Cig Harvey Photos Featured in Upcoming Edwards Art Gallery Exhibit

Emily Magnus '88
Cig Harvey’s photographs are the focus of the next Edwards Art Gallery exhibit at Holderness School. The opening reception for “Cig Harvey: A Simple Grace” will be held on Friday, January 11, from 6:00 PM-7:30 PM.
“There are small moments in each day that often go by unnoticed—moments deserving of a closer look—yet most are lost to eternity,” says Director of the Edwards Art Gallery Franz Nicolay. “Those passing glances are often observed, but not celebrated—meaningful moments of transition, irony, poetry, epiphany. Some are fortunate to be captured with a lens and shared through the expansion of time, in a photograph. Cig Harvey is our conduit to such metaphors, contained in these unadorned acts of hyper-observation.”
 
Cig Harvey is a photographer and writer who is based in mid-coast Maine. According to her website, “She grew up in Devon in southwest England and became interested in photography as a young teenager while working in a darkroom. She received her MFA from Rockport College in 1999 and in 2005 was selected as one of Photo District News’s 30 emerging photographers to watch.” Cig was also an assistant professor at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University where she worked for ten years.
 
More recently Cig has authored three books, You Look At Me Like An Emergency (Schilt Publishing, 2012), Gardening at Night (Schilt Publishing, 2015),  and You an Orchestra You a Bomb (Schilt Publishing, 2017). These monographs feature simple textual vignettes that support and illuminate her compelling and vibrant photographs.
 
In an interview with B&H Photography Podcast, Cig Harvey says that she uses her work to seek out beauty and help her to slow down. She says she is always writing as a way of thinking and that her photographs are usually created completely separately. It is only when she brings both her writing and her photographs together that she begins to see themes and realize where she was headed almost entirely subconsciously.
 
“It could be the feel of crushed velvet between fingers, the browning edge of a magnolia blossom in spring, the collected contents of a child’s pocket—they are the needed details of a story yet untold,” says Franz. “Cig Harvey offers us this simple grace, adding color to our lives.”
 
Indeed, her photographs capture vivid colors—a red velvet chair, the yellow breast of a bird in flight, the orange peels of a fresh clementine. The backgrounds in her photographs, however, are often monochromatic, bringing heightened significance and meaning to the targeted use of color. Take for example, “Scout in a Blizzard” in which Cig Harvey photographed her young daughter Scout in a red jacket walking through a snowy landscape.
 
“I have a deep-seeded love of color,” Cig explains in her B&H interview. “I love this idea of the symbolism of color, the meaning behind color, how that changes from culture to culture. But I typically tend to use one color at a time…In a picture, for me, I really think I use one major color at a time to tell the story.”
 
Cig Harvey’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in several collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, George Eastman Museum, and The Farnsworth Art Museum. Her work has been displayed at Paris Photo, Art Miami, and AIPAD every year since 2006. She has been a finalist for the BMW Prize and The Karl Lagerfield Collection at Paris Photo, The Clarence John Laughlin Award, and The Taylor Messing Photographic Portrait Prize. Most recently, Cig Harvey was awarded in Paris The 2018 Prix Virginia, an international prize for women in photography. She is represented by the Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Huxley Parlour Gallery in London, Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, and Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.
 
Holderness School’s exhibit of Cig Harvey’s photographs will be open to the public on Friday, January 11. The exhibit will close on Friday, March 1 and will also be closed during the school’s vacation, February 4-5.
 
Gallery hours: Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday and Saturdays, 9 AM – Noon

For more information about the exhibit, contact Franz Nicolay at 603-630-2238 or fnicolay@holderness.org.
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