Heather is one of four sisters named after flowers, born in Cork, Ireland. Their parents separated when the girls were young, and they moved with their mother to a small village in Wiltshire called Swallowcliffe. Heather’s photographs are instant reactions to the things that have caught her eye, her boyfriend Billy and tower blocks of the sky. Her camera often draws focus on symbols of masculinity, the trigger acting out her everyday dreams, young love, hopes and Fantasy’s.
Heather has just graduated from The University of West of England with a First Class Honours in Fine Art and Visual Culture. Three years of study and exploration into the essence of her photography can been seen culminating in her final piece untitled ‘Sweet Sixteen’. Where a stationary motorbike, never stands still.
“Our studios were based at Spike Island, so you where always around fellow artists and creative communities, being invited to opening nights with cheap bars. It’s a great city to study in if you’re a young artist, lots of exciting young collectives working together. Bristol made me so much more confident within my practice and self. I moved to that city alone knowing nobody, I was a very shy girl, I’d have my twin Rosemary make all my friends for me when I was younger, now I’m part of a great young creative community. It’s a city I want to stay in, move to Easton an area I love to take photos and eat samosas.”
I ride around housing estates looking for stuff to photograph. The objects found respond to my perception of masculinity as represented by a working class male, a social portrait. They aren't to be seen as a negative this isn't the intention. I love lads, a proper mans man. I've got no balls to ask for a photo of these lads I love, so I photograph everything that builds my understanding of working class masculinity and what it means to be a man in today's society. The stereotype, the cliché. Not quiet an outsider looking in, I'm no lad but I'm no middle class girl either.
Lads. Billy. Scooters. Dirt bikes. Learner plates. Subaru's. Boy racers. Rigger boots. High viz. Builders. Reebok Classic. Matching tracksuits. Mike Skinner. Girls. Scrunchies. Plaits. Hair cuts. Pony kids. Tower blocks. Garage. Northern England. Community. Red brick houses. Estates. Dandelions. 9 ct gold.
I'm going to stick my head down and focus on my practice, I have to move home for 2 months leaving the creative community I’ve been part of for three years in Bristol behind briefly. I'm part of a few collaborations and group exhibitions happening this summer in England and internationally which will keep me motivated while back in Dorset.
From September Billy and I leave for America for three months. I'm lucky that my practice is photographic and minimal, it can travel with me, and it will be interesting to see if I continue looking at working class communities in different cultures other than in England.
I've given myself until January 2015 to relax and travel some more, I’ll move back to Bristol and from then I’ll think about further education in Art Therapy or Social Care. This is all a rough plan; I understand reality is going to be a lot harder.
“Before even passing his test he was arrested for having someone on the back of his scooter with without a helmet. He owned his scooter two months before passing his test, riding it to the CBT yard to get his license, he was sixteen. Thirteen minutes after insuring it, he crashed and did so at least four more times. Saving a weeks wages he brought his own bike, he was a labourer at the time. At the age of eighteen he lost his license, drink driving on route to a girlfriends house. Having his scooter made him feel free and independent, part of a collective as all his mates had one and if you didn't you'd be on the back without a helmet.”