September 10 - October 24, 2015
Press Release Images

Cig Harvey: Gardening At Night

Twilight is a period of obscurity, that in-between time when the world pauses to welcome night’s cool embrace. Within the umbra that comes with twilight anything is possible, in those fleeting moments home becomes a palace where imagination reigns. Cig Harvey’s photographs emerge from this imagination and take you to a haven of possibility where the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary. Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to announce Gardening at Night, a body of work from Cig Harvey in the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. The show features metal prints and framed photographs, as well as several animated photographs and neon texts. A newly released monograph of the same name accompanies the exhibition.

Just as twilight enriches the landscape, making trees a deeper luscious green and the sky a richer blue, Harvey seeks to capture the effervescent hues that come alive in this strange light. Jewel tones saturate this series and are often the predominant feature of each photograph. Little Red Riding Hood, Rockport, Maine captures the imaginative playtime of a little girl, cast in ruby tones. Here vibrant crimsons are layered upon each other; the velvet of the chair and cape fuse creating a chameleonic hiding place for the child. In Sadie & The Birdcage, Tenants Harbor, Maine obscurity once again plays a role. As a portrait set in front of a dark background, the subject should be viewed easily, and yet we are confronted with having to look between the bars of the Magritte-like pink birdcage to see Sadie.

Though the subjects and setting are familiar to us, we cannot help but feel that Cig Harvey has led us through the looking glass to a world of wonder. In the way that twilight is not quite day and not quite night, the photographs of Gardening at Night are stories not yet fully developed, while still capturing the unexpected yet oddly harmonious moments that surround us daily.  

Cig Harvey's work is included in permanent collections of major institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Her first monograph, You Look At Me Like An Emergency (Schilt Publishing, 2012) sold out in all printings and was accompanied by a solo museum show at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway in Spring 2012. Gardening at Night was released by Schilt Publishing in Spring 2015. The artist lives and works in rural Maine.

Gardening at night in the international new york times

Of Home and Nature
August 20, 2015

Cig Harvey, a British born photographer, presents a surrealistic landscape of images that focus on home, family, nature and time. For Ms. Harvey, who lives on the central coast of Maine, seasons are metaphors for the phases of life. The intangible, like the lives of birds or a barren tree, evokes the ordinary and the unusual. To view the feature click here.

Cig Harvey: Gardening At Night reviewed in Photograph Magazine

Portfolio September/ October 2015
Cig Harvey: Gardening at Night
By Jean Dykstra

The small miracles and slowly ripening narratives of the domestic sphere have absorbed photographers from Gertrude Käsebier to Sally Mann. It's a perplexing fact of contemporary art criticism that artists -- female artists, in particular -- should have to defend that terrain as the subject of their creative practice, but a recent New York Times pieces asked: "Why Can't Great Artists Be Mothers?" Cig Harvey rejects the premise. Harvey's fanciful, dreamlike photographs are rooted in the natural world, in fantasy, and in her experience as a mother. To continue reading click here


Diary of a Life: Cig Harvey's Mystical Portrait of Home and Family
By Cheryl Newman
September 10, 2015

When photographer Cig Harvey points her camera at her family, she creates magic. Familiar domestic environments are gently manipulated to lend a sense of the surreal. A gently blowing curtain obscures a kneeling figure; light becomes fairy dust and a hot tub is filled with limitless light. Published as Gardening at Night,  the photographs are designed with a narrative in mind. To continue reading click here.