Sheilagh O'Leary's images, often seared with blasts of light and carved out of vivid darkness, boldly fix the human form on the rocky cliffs of the Newfoundland coast, or in a quiet pool or river. Whether outdoors or in the studio, the human figure is sculptural in her work. It is sometimes textured with superimposed motifs from nature: shrubs on the forest floor, or the lacy patterns of light on water, or the bark of a tree. Nakedness becomes a metaphor for what is essential about human experience, how the body defines us, how we express ourselves physically, and how we belong to the landscape and are also apart from it.
About the authors
Sheilagh O'Leary is an award-winning art photographer born and currently living in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in numerous art journals and publications such as the Globe and Mail, Arts Atlantic, and the Newfoundland Quarterly. O'Leary received her art education through Concordia University s Faculty of Fine Art, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Rockport Maine Workshops. Her passion to study human nature drives her to produce striking collections of black and white nudes and portraits, with an intimate exploration of her subjects and their relationship to the Newfoundland landscape.
Lisa Moore is the acclaimed author of the novels Caught, February, and Alligator. Caught was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is now a major CBC television series starring Allan Hawco. February won CBC’s Canada Reads competition, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was named a New Yorker Best Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Alligator was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a national bestseller. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories called Something for Everyone. Lisa lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
O'Leary captures a remarkable variety of mood and shade in these works, from the starkly mythic grandeur of the vulnerable naked figure exposed to the elements on a rugged beach, to the quietly intimate image of partners considering the birth of a child. She brings to this collection a strong sense of design, expert technical understanding of the art of photography, and a vast interest in the question of what is essentially human. --Lisa Moore
Other titles by Lisa Moore
New Writing Made in Newfoundland
This Is How We Love
How a Mega Dam Became a Predatory Formation
The Democracy Cookbook
Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador
Something for Everyone
These Festive Nights
Writers on Writing in Canada
Caught (TV tie-in edition)
The Bush Garden
Essays on the Canadian Imagination