Howling at the Moon is a body of prophetic, psycho-geographic composite images made over two-and-a-half years of travel through Europe and Morocco.

Using photographs to evidence day-to-day experiences in the physical world, coloured by internal thoughts and feelings, Howling at the Moon explores my current thoughts about awareness; the layering down of experience over time; and the creation of memory.

As a whole, Howling at the Moon expresses transition into a new phase of life and forms a document of a process.
Mid-life held out a pair of wings which took me away from the familiarity of everything I knew and offered a shifting horizon and perspective. The opportunity of flight provokes thoughts of freedom away from a known environment, but as much as there’s a leaving there’s an arriving and life always presents a new set of challenges regardless of the situation.

Through the work an iconography developed, my own kind of language, with a particular interest in birds and phases of the moon. Constantly growing and diminishing back into herself to start again, the moon, the quiet observer with governance over her domain, represents instinct, intuition, flexibility, constancy and guidance; while birds, domestic and migratory, with their distinct behaviours, habits and habitats have implied personalities and characters. As archetypes they help to develop the narrative within each image.

As for experience and memory: everything is both fixed and in a state of flux simultaneously.
The present is where life is experienced and is a constant. Past and future are both creations, memories, formed by thought and as such are fluid. I experience everything through my own tainted filters, already coloured by past memories - a personal kaleidoscope constantly changing and shifting through the conscious process of thought. I either choose how my present experience affects me and create an ever-evolving memory of the past, or, reinforce an established internal dialogue that limits and narrows my current experience of who I think I am. I have realised through making these images, as much as there’s a knowledge of the past, there’s also a knowledge of the future - as though my life is a one thing - all at once, complete and perfect and it is my awareness that moves around and through it.

The works are intuitive, made feeling a certain aesthetic and then fine-tuned until they felt right. Months and sometimes years afterwards the image revealed completely and concisely something in my future which at the time of making the image, I had no conscious awareness of. This has made me consider whether somewhere in ‘my peripherals’ I have a knowing of the future - that there is a part of me that knows the full picture and whispers to me through my surroundings and environment. I am learning to pay attention to the present and to develop an acute awareness within it. Life is multi-dimensional. The present holds clues and answers if I pay attention to it in a gentle way and allow it to be absorbed.

I marvel at everything around me, challenged by perspective and the lessons that life holds out at any time while enjoying the spaces which reveal as much as the nouns.

logo fran maguire