‘Eating Flowers: Sensations of Cig Harvey’ at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Bangor Daily News, July 31, 2019
OGUNQUIT — Cig Harvey’s monographic exhibition, “Eating Flowers: Sensations of Cig Harvey” will run at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily until Oct. 31, at 543 Shore Road.
“Eating Flowers” is a sensory masterpiece that spans photography, video, mixed media and the written word. The work is installed in two galleries at the museum: the large bright center gallery is an explosion of color, larger- than-life photographs hang flush with framed text, and the full height of the space is seamlessly hung salon style. Through a stone archway, the smaller gallery is a dark blue, where jewel-toned still images are juxtaposed with videos creating a deep magic. The exhibition is immersive and experiential; time slows and you are in among the pages of a cinematic book, feelings come to life, sensations are animated and amplified.
“Eating Flowers” is Cig Harvey’s most comprehensive exhibition to date, featuring more than 80 works from a selection of Harvey’s creative projects from the past twenty years. The exhibition takes its title from an original neon, “Eat Flowers,” commissioned for the show and installed in the museum’s seaside sculpture gardens. The artist’s letterpress prints of the written vignettes were also commissioned by the museum and printed in collaboration with Maine Media Workshops in Rockport. This is the first time that Harvey’s words have been truly incorporated into her installations, shown along side her photographs and neons, and the results are electric.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have had many shows in the last 20 years, but none more beautiful than this,” said Harvey.
The British-American photographer lives and works in Rockport. Widely regarded for her vivid color photographs and the seductive vocabulary of her poems, Harvey’s work invokes the magic of everyday life in Maine — one deeply rooted in personal experience and the natural environment — and informed by sensations of touch, taste, sight, sound, smell and memory.
Her work narrates dreamlike journeys through physical and emotional states of being, exploring breathless moments and the boundaries between the senses.
“Cig’s work here is exceptional, and this installation marks a pivotal moment in her practice,” said Michael Mansfield executive director and chief curator. “There is a profound sense of life, optimism, and elation in this work. At a moment when the sensations of everyday life are hemmed in by social media or colored by political discord, Cig’s voice as an artist reminds us again of hope, imagination and wonder. It gives us time and space to remember where life truly is.”
The artist’s works have been widely exhibited and reside in the permanent collections of major museums and institutions, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; and The International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. In 2018, she was named the 2018 Prix Virginia Laureate, an international photography award.