Artist and photographer Cig Harvey is Holding the Blue for her first UK solo exhibition

Pomegranate seeds, Rockport, Maine, 2012 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

The first UK solo exhibition of work by Cig Harvey will open at Beetles + Huxley in September. Holding the Blue will showcase 30 photographs from Harvey’s career, taken between 2003 and 2017, as a prelude to the release of her new book You an Orchestra, You a Bomb in November.

Often highly orchestrated, Harvey’s early works created a fantasy version of her own life experiences. Using herself as a model, each image was self-referential and meticulously mapped out to include specific metaphors, symbols and content. As her work progressed, Harvey introduced increasing amounts of spontaneity and branched out to include other models, such as neighbours, her daughter and husband. In Harvey’s most recent work, which focuses on her hometown in Maine, mundane locations and events are depicted with strange colour combinations or unexplained light, which lend the images an unsettling air.

Heavy with implied narrative, each photograph is a vignette – the visual equivalent of a short story. Seemingly random images of people, places and things, when combined, suggest the passing of time and seasons. The subjects of Harvey’s photographs are usually partially concealed, whether it be through careful cropping, distance or her use of lighting – for example, a child behind a curtain, a woman obscured by the dappled light through a car window or a figure facing away from the camera into the sea. The symbols used throughout Harvey’s work suggest a complex jigsaw to be pieced together by the viewer.

Cig Harvey – Holding the Blue kicks off at Beetles + Huxley on 5 September and runs until 16 September 2017. Opening times are Monday to Saturday between 10.00am - 5.30pm. Admission is free.

Main image: Pomegranate seeds, Rockport, Maine, 2012 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Birds of New England, Rockport, Maine, 2006 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Birds of New England, Rockport, Maine, 2006 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Cut apple and gingham dress, self-portrait, Clark’s Island, Maine 2003 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Cut apple and gingham dress, self-portrait, Clark’s Island, Maine 2003 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Deep Bay, Self-portrait, North Shore, Bermuda, 2005 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Deep Bay, Self-portrait, North Shore, Bermuda, 2005 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Goldfinch, St. Petersberg, Russia, 2014 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Goldfinch, St. Petersberg, Russia, 2014 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Kendall at Beauchamp, Rockport, Maine, 2014 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Kendall at Beauchamp, Rockport, Maine, 2014 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Plane, self-portrait, Los Angeles, California, 2004  © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery 2003

Plane, self-portrait, Los Angeles, California, 2004 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery 2003

Red curtains, location, Maine 2017 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Red curtains, location, Maine 2017 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Scout in the Blizzard, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Scout in the Blizzard, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Two brothers, Rockland, Maine, 2015 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery

Two brothers, Rockland, Maine, 2015 © Cig Harvey courtesy Beetles + Huxley Gallery