East O' the Sun, West O' the Moon
From the series, "The Lighthouse and how she got there," 2006 - present.
The Lighthouse pictures take place in a 19th century Anglo world of Dickensian institutions and vast moorlands and tundras where urchins and strays struggle to find their way. The digitally composited series tells the story of an adolescent girl, the inmate of a workhouse / asylum who wrestles with her burgeoning body and her desire to flee the menial confines of her existence. After a catastrophic fire destroys the institute, she wanders through barren countryside where bogs threaten to swallow her whole and sheer cliffs impede her progress. The titles of each piece - which are derived from the first lines of Victorian novels with orphan protagonists – provide clues to the plight of the lost child star who narrowly escapes disaster and soldiers on. From image to image she gradually gets her bearings as she approaches the lighthouse, her ballast and lodestar that beckoned to her from her dormitory window in the asylum. In one ending of the story, she is taken in by the lighthouse keeper. In another, she falls prey to swampy secretions and decay while resting in a field. A third version has her coming back to the rebuilt institution as the favored ward of the superintendant while acting as a double agent and escaping with a rag tag girl posse across the sea. The girl gains resolve and pluck (and grows up literally) over the course of the series. She started being photographed at 12 - she is now 16.