ALEXANDRA de STEIGUER
FROM INSIDE THE BOOK JACKET
Since the 1600’s the Isles of Shoals have hosted a variety of communities; rugged fishing villages, grand nineteenth century hotels, marine research facilities, and the summer conferences of today.
But in winter, the Shoals are deserted. That’s when Alexandra de Steiguer arrives. Alone, she keeps watch over the buildings and grounds and natural elements – the winter caretaker.
With every historic structure boarded up, the island’s rich history is veiled. And though buttressed against harsh weather and relentless winds, the islands remain timeless and inspiring to the single human witness that remains.
From this place – a smattering of small islands situated in the north Atlantic, miles from the mainland – Alexandra draws on sixteen winters of virtual solitude to produce this volume. In it, she asks, “Can life itself be a work of art – a rewarding product of creativity, reflection and inspiration?”
With sixty-nine stirring black and white photographs that give voice to this rugged setting, her stories and reflections tell of how she learned to live in a very small place. Even while embracing solitude, she learned to value the connections between herself and the wider world. In Small Island, Big Picture, Alexandra shares with us the power of living in amazement of those connections, of loving the mystery of the unknown, and of re-examining what we think we know about ourselves.
Though graced with beautiful images, hand-printed by the author in a traditional darkroom and then scanned for quality duotone, offset printing, this is more than a coffee-table art book. Rather, it is a small wonder of insights to be revisited again and again.
IMAGE LEFT: Hotel in Snow
Alexandra de Steiguer is the winter caretaker on the Isles of Shoals during their five deserted months, and this year she’ll be spending her seventeenth winter on the island. Her images offer a solitary winter perspective; they pay tribute to the wild elements that claim these shores and reflect the connections within the natural world, while also pointing to the transitory and humbling nature of our residence in such places.
Her black & white photographs are personally hand-printed and because of the traditional methods used, each image has its own unique qualities. They are printed, mounted and matted to archival standards, and are signed, dated and numbered.
Alex’s work is in the permanent collection of the DeCordova Museum, she has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout New England and is a two-time Artist Fellow of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. A new book of her work “Small Island, Big Picture” is scheduled for release this August.
Alex is happy in Studio #9 here at Chases Garage and has transformed the space into her private darkroom.
All of Alex’s images have been personally hand developed and printed in her darkroom. Because of the traditional methods used, each image has its own unique qualities. They are printed to archival standards on double weight, fiber-base gelatin silver paper, and are mounted and matted on acid-free museum board. Each image is signed, dated and numbered on the back.
Saturday, November 16th Open Studios 11a-8p
Chases Garage Artist Studios & Gallery
16 Main St, Route, 1A
York, ME 03909