TheBlackbird Singing

Posted by in February's Magazine

Arusha Gallery has announced that the Edinburgh-based photographer Jannica Honey will be the subject of its spring exhibition. The Fuji award-winning artist will present When the Blackbird Sings, a new series of 30 works (digital Giclée prints), which focuses on the female body and its links with nature.

The compelling works depict naked women of all ages as well as poetic shots of flowers in water. Subjects include family, friends and acquaintances of the artist – always posing outdoors at twilight. She shot the images over the course of a year, on every full and new moon, starting at the October 2016 Supermoon. The exhibition is named after the aforesaid blackbird, which greets twilight with song; while shooting the series Honey was struck by the song’s memento mori undertones.


The resulting photographs unveil lyrical still lifes, alongside delicate moments of tenderness and unashamed femininity, celebrating the beauty of the female form at any age. While some sitters smile directly at camera, others look away, almost blending into the surrounding setting of moss and trees. The colourful flowers are captured resting on the surface of the Water of Leith.

Shooting at twilight allowed Honey to challenge the limitations of her chosen medium, in part for the time constraint (twilight only lasts 15-20 minutes), but also for the particular blue hue the light takes on during that time.

While most photographers consider it unflattering for their subject matter and shy away from it, she explores its potential to offer a glimpse of an ephemeral moment in the 24-hour-cycle. The exhibition also delves into the significance and symbolism of dusk, studding the ethereal quality of twilight; an in-between moment which doesn’t belong to either day or night, and which Honey sees as an emotional, reflective pause in her day.

The project started when Honey felt compelled to reaffirm her own ‘feminine voice’ in the face of personal challenges and male-dominated political events – in particular the recent death of her grandmother and the US elections. By basing her shooting schedule on moon cycles – an intrinsic feminine rhythm – she channelled the earth’s natural rhythms into her work, exploring her own reconnection to womanhood and femininity.

This photographer’s work often concerns itself with the female body and the place of women in society. In 2011 she spent two months photographing Edinburgh strippers, providing a candid and sensitive insight into a world rarely captured and her images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Aesthetica Magazine and The Guardian. n

Exhibition: Jannica Honey:

When The Blackbird Sings;
2-25 March 2018
Arusha Gallery, 13A Dundas St, Edinburgh, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm/Sunday by appointment


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