Cig Harvey: Gardening at Night
By Jean Dykstra
The small miracles and slow 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 piece 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.
As Harvey noted in the Times article, “Art, in any form, demands that you turn yourself inside out. You must be obsessed for it to be any good.” But, she added, an artist can be obsessed with her art and with her children, and in her case, those twin obsessions have resulted in a series of quietly beautiful, oped-ended photographs, Gardening at Night. Click here to continue reading.