Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Best of Voies Off #2: Heather McDonough

Heather McDonough was my first victim. And her images stayed with me 23 portfolios later... a sure testament to some strong work!

She showed me two projects. The first, September Song, is a very tender study of her mother's battle with ovarian cancer. Heather has made it into a book, perhaps purely for the benefit of showing it to people, but it also works very well in this way. Intimate portraits are mingled in with still lives, of windows, doors... and observations around the home. The contrast between light and dark are ever present, a constant reminder of the fragility of life.

The second project, entitled Doris, is also a little bit about death. Doris was Heather's elderly neighbour, and after she passed away the photographer gained access to her house. Here she found a decor that had not been updated for many years... and pointed the camera at this marvellous aray of wallpapers. Again compiled into a book, the images are interspersed with old photographs of Doris herself... and the result is an intimate portrait of a very private woman.

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