Cig Harvey Biography

European photographer, Cig Harvey, is known for her photographs exploring the narratives deeply rooted in the natural environment and familial relationships. The slow passing of time and the natural surroundings of Cig Harvey's rural home in the Midcoast of Maine has made her alert to the magic of the mundane. Harvey’s photographs depict luscious color and luminous natural light whether it be a portrait or still lives. Her early work presented stylized and cropped self-portraits including visual metaphors and elaborate costuming. Since then, she has shifted her focus to more spontaneous photographs of her life in Maine. “I want my photographs to be a jolt, they explore the magic in the world while having one foot very much placed in reality.” Cig Harvey explains of her work. Her recent work has expanded her focus on familial relationships to her own experience with motherhood and her relationship with her daughter.

Born in 1973, Cig Harvey grew up in South West England. Harvey's interest in photography sparked at a young age, as she was a fan of the portfolios that The Independent published in their Sunday editions. Harvey worked in the darkroom as early as 13 years old which furthered her interest in photography. In 1999, Harvey moved to the United States and received her MFA from Rockport College. In 2005, she was selected as one of Photo Districts New’s 30 emerging photographers to watch.

Cig Harvey was an assistant professor at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University where she worked for ten years. Her first solo museum show was held at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo in 2012 in conjunction with the release of her first monograph, You Look At Me Like An Emergency. This book was a personal exploration of love, loss, longing and belonging. It sold out in all editions and was selected by Photo District News as one of the best books of 2012.

Harvey's second monograph, Gardening at Night, 2015, featured work exploring familial love and sense of place in the natural world, with seasons figuring prominently as metaphor. This book was released to critical acclaim from Vogue and The New York Times, among others. Her third monograph, You an Orchestra You a Bomb, centers on our relationship with life itself, capturing moments of awe and sacred seconds that convey our fragile present.

Her latest monograph, Blue Violet, 2021 is a book of deeply personal photographs, drawings, and writings. It is a meditation on the procession of seasons and sensory abundance.

Cig Harvey’s photography has been exhibited internationally and is included in several collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, George Eastman Museum, and The Farnsworth Art Museum. Cig Harvey photography has been displayed at Paris Photo, Art Miami, and AIPD every year since 2006. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER, an international organization that honors, supports, and provides opportunities for gifted and committed photographers. In 2018, she was named the Prix Virginia Laureate, an international photography award based in Paris and in 2019, a mid-career retrospective of her work appeared at the Ogunquit Museum of Art. Most recently Cig was named one of the 2021 recipients of the Farnsworth’s Maine in America Award.