Someone asked her if she had a name for her photos, and she settled on “Cygnets,” meaning “young swans.”
Like a young swan, her subjects are beautiful and looking to the future. There’s also an undercurrent of complicated emotions running beneath. They’re all trying to be somebody, but there’s something else going on alongside their ambition.
Magowan’s selected photos delve into those emotions and try to represent them as photographs.
Young people are taught ideas about beauty and success. But they also have their own ideas about beauty and success that can conflict with what they're taught, Magowan said.
'Just because a space suggests something, and just because a person looks a certain way, doesn't mean that we're naturally fulfilled.'
'The truth is, we put a value on having things, but sometimes it's just empty and meaningless,' she said. 'It's all an attempt to convey a fixture of being ok.'
The subjects looked weighed down with expectations. With those expectations, they lose their innocence.
She poses her subjects in 'spaces with wallpaper, colours, and strange knickknacks or tchotchkes,' because they offer a background and context for each subject.
Magowan took hundreds of pictures for each shoot. She culled the ones that represented what she wanted to say.
Half the time, she doesn't know exactly what she'll get. She just has a rough idea based on pictures she's seen of a subject's home.
'I might not be picking always the most classically beautiful picture,' Magowan said. 'Or I might be overlooking the most classically beautiful picture.'
'If you're someone who has a deep sadness in you, you're always trying to figure out why, and you're always trying to make sense of it,' she said.
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