I work using photography. I make visual juxtapositions and sequences that recall memories—lyrical associations of light and colour. I photograph to see how things look: when out walking, talking and exploring, involuntary memories surface, linking the actual to the remembered. The single images are puzzle pieces and I am re-making and re-working the completed image.
The current work, recently exhibited, was all made in my immediate neighbourhood, the inner-city borough of Hackney, over three years of walking with friends and family. The repetitious nature of walking in familiar locations highlights difference and change. The walks are filled with storytelling, through conversation and discovery; happenstance encounters and new observations; and these words and connections weave through the images. As part of this recent exhibition, I created a set of nine ‘survey’ maps that reveal the routes walked and the dialogues they frame. These maps reference the locations as encoded by what3words, a mapping system that divides the Earth into three-metre squares, each with a unique three-word address. These pseudo-random labels often add a playful serendipity and resonate with the specific landscape they depict
From the series Dialogue

Heather McDonough and David Harrison
The what3words address is a location on Hackney Marshes through which Heather and her partner David often walk. David, a musician and birdwatcher, collects birdsong on the walks—it becomes an informal map of the seasons and time of day. London is home to a large and growing population of ring-necked parakeets that have become a metaphor for flux and migration. They are exotic and raucous, and various treetops alongside the river on the marshes host a nightly roosting of thousands of these unlikely birds. They begin to fly in from afar as the sun sets, firstly singly or in small groups, but then in great flocks until, as the light dims, the air is full of fluttering and squawking. As night falls, it brings a sudden silence. For Heather, photographing the clouds overhead became almost an act of subversion of the notion of location. The sky is a liminal space, a threshold.
About the exhibition:
DIALOGUE, DISINTEGRATION AND THE DISCONNECT is a three-woman exhibition at the Unitarian Chapel, London N16, March 2023.

Mara Bodis-Wollner, Sacha Lehrfreund and Heather McDonough are photographers and artists living and working in Hackney, London.
Working individually, but following each other’s work on Instagram, they eventually decided to meet and discuss their interests, approaches, and reasons for shooting at night in Hackney. Each of their styles crossed over, bound by different artistic parameters.
The relationship to each other’s work and the local neighbourhood initiated a playful conversation and led to an artistic collaboration, culminating in this exhibition.
The trail of art throughout the building evokes the experience of the night walks. The urban nature that was captivating outdoors has relocated to the interior in different forms and media.
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