Ontario-based photographer Patty Maher populates the forests and fields in her work with mysterious women. Their hair hides their faces as they wear flowing dresses. Whether these women are friends or foes (or fairies or witches), is unknown. Yet they, the spaces they inhabit, and Maher”s artful shots all seem at once familiar, alien, comforting, and frightening. Inspired by the natural beauty of Canada, Maher started off by shooting landscape photos. She soon realized that by adding a human element, a narrative emerged, imbuing her photos with a more emotional impact.
“I dont tend to show faces in my work because I think that makes the story more universal, and I believe it allows other people to identify with the photo more easily and write their own meaning into it.”
The Forest Dweller
She Shines a Light
Ashes to Ashes
When We Were Sisters
After the Harvest
She Dies Waiting
Fear of Falling
(source Patty Maher)
One of the important parts of her work, Maher explains, is the participation of the models and the audience. Her pieces are deliberately left open-ended so that viewers can create their own interpretation.
You can see more of Maher”s work, including some less eerie images, on her website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.