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Fugue - Signed

Fugue - Signed

by Lydia Goldblatt

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Pre-order. Expected June 2024 (UK), August 2024 (US).

Fugue by Lydia Goldblatt is a body of work about love and grief, mothering and losing a mother, intimacy and distance, told through photographs and writing. Centring on the domestic space and made over the course of four years, it tells a story that is neither apologetic nor idealised.

When Goldblatt became a mother she found herself unable to make pictures. However, after her own mother died, she began to photograph again, both at home and in the city around her.

‘I wanted to be honest about what I was struggling with, about the feelings of claustrophobia and rage, as much as intimacy and love. These are feelings so often hidden by mothers, so often silenced as unacceptable.’

An exhibition of photographs from Fugue will be on display at Robert Morat Galerie at Photo London from 16-19 May 2024.

More about this book

Goldblatt works on medium format film to make her photographs. When she began this series it meant that the process was blind, and she didn’t see the images she was making for months. It allowed her to slow down physically and mentally and develop a way of looking and feeling intuitively. At the same time she also began writing.
Her lyrical text weaves throughout the book.

 ‘Photographing became a lifeline, a way of weaving past through present. Through my pictures and writing, I was able to think about the transformations that accompany motherhood and loss. And I could challenge the archetypes and taboos of motherhood. Beyond mothering, I have been able to explore a wider sense of caregiving through the relationships my partner holds with our children, those they hold with each other, and through the writing that spans generations. I hope that this work gives voice to a story that is both individual and collective.’

The photographs depict a rhythm of domestic life, the passing of days and seasons. They show the stillness of objects contrasted against small children moving in and out of frame and everchanging light. Goldblatt draws upon small details of daily life—the texture of skin and assorted sheets, mops, houseplants and mirrors—imparting not a record of life, but a feeling. The photographer herself is glimpsed through reflections, shadows or abstract flesh—placing herself both within the photographs and also as an observer, intimate and distant.

The title Fugue holds two meanings. The musical definition of interweaving and repeating elements in a composition which collectively create a complex narrative. It also refers to a dissociative state or loss of self. Both meanings encompass the transformations that accompany motherhood and loss, and the deeply personal and collective resonances of daily domestic life.

 An exhibition of photographs from Fugue will be on display at Robert Morat Galerie at Photo London from 16-19 May 2024.

Published June 2024
199 x 250 mm
192pp, 120 images
Hardback, clothbound cover
ISBN 978-1-915423-41-2

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  • Lydia Goldblatt is a British photographic artist based in London. Her work has been widely exhibited, including the National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House London, the National Museum Gdansk, the GoEun Museum of Photography in South Korea and the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Germany. Her first book, Still Here, is held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum National Art Library, and her work is held in numerous public and private collections including the National Portrait Gallery and The Women’s Library, London. Her work appears regularly in publications including Guardian Saturday Magazine, Financial Times, Telegraph, and Sunday Times Magazines, New Statesman, New Yorker, De Zeit, and Wallpaper*, amongst others. Goldblatt received the GRAIN Projects Artist Commission in 2020 to develop Fugue, and received an award for her portrait from the series in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

  • ‘Photographing became a lifeline, a way of weaving past through present. Through my pictures and writing, I was able to think about the transformations that accompany motherhood and loss. And I could challenge the archetypes and taboos of motherhood. Beyond mothering, I have been able to explore a wider sense of caregiving through the relationships my partner holds with our children, those they hold with each other, and through the writing that spans generations. I hope that this work gives voice to a story that is both individual and collective.’

    - Lydia Goldblatt