Cig Harvey in The New York Times

Fairytale Photos of Everyday Life

By Jonathan Blaustein

Ask anyone who’s been in a serious car accident, and they’ll swear that reality moves in slow motion as metal crumples, glass shatters and bones break.

That kind of event can change one’s perspective, and for the photographer Cig Harvey, her brush with vehicular death in 2015 inspired her new series “You an Orchestra You a Bomb,” recently released by Schilt Publishing, which also opens as a solo exhibition at Robert Mann in New York on December 7. With its strong emphasis on evocative color and objects culled from the natural world, the project touches upon magic, mystery and fairy tales. One easily imagines Narnia just through the wardrobe door or Hogwarts awaiting at the end of the train ride. (Surprisingly, Ms. Harvey, who was born in England, has never read the Harry Potter books.)

As is her custom, the series features Ms. Harvey’s six-year-old daughter, Scout, along with other relatives and friends. And the narrative is clearly propelled by the motivations of a mother, one enraptured by life after a near-death experience.

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