Mothers | Margaret McCarthy : from The Divine Feminine: Women in Celtic Myth

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As a student at NYC’s School of Visual Arts, I only purchased a camera – with much complaining – when the school required a photography course to graduate.  I fell in love with photography.  The rest is herstory.

From the get-go, I began posing my family and friends as characters in the Celtic myths I was so fond of.  My sisters and female friends were especially patient with me, as I turned them into Celtic heroines.

Subsequent trips to Ireland made me a landscape photographer. At the megalithic standing stones of Ireland, Cornwall, England and Galicia, Spain, I discovered my love of ancient landscapes.  Residencies in the American South at Georgia’s Hambidge Center and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts allowed me bask in the natural world in ways not possible in a city. I became close to particular trees, groves or waterfalls. My landscapes are always a sort of love poem to place, attempting to capture the genus loci or spirit of a place.

Which brings us to now.  In this time of Covoid 19, a virus that attacks the respiratory system, it’s especially meaningful to think about, honor and celebrate trees — the lungs of the Earth.

The whole world is on pause.  This pause, unbidden and unprecedented, has given the Earth a chance to catch her breath — and us a chance to contemplate how we can better preserve the wonderful gifts we’ve been given.

Our culture seems determined to manipulate and control the natural world, while our souls seem to long for a way back to balance with it. My work is about that yeaning.


Inspired and indebted to mythology, Margaret McCarthy brings the eye of a poet to her photography, exploring archetypes of myth and dream in her imagery.

Recent honors include Honorable Mention in 2020’s 14th JULIA MARGARET CAMERON AWARD for Women Photographers and a Merit Award in the ALL ABOUT PHOTO AWARDS 2020.  She was named among the “Best of the Best Emerging Fine Art Photographers” by BW GALLERIST Magazine;  ARTZEALOUS  chose her as one of “Four Photographers to Keep Your Eye On in 2016”.

McCarthy’s extensive list of exhibitions include: the Fogg Art Museum, The Griffin Museum of Photography, the Overseas Press Club and The Hudson River Museum, as well as numerous galleries, universities and public exhibition spaces. Her “Divine Feminine” series is now part of the Kinsey Institute Art Collection.

A few of the fine art publications where her work has appeared include: BW GALLERIST (Best of Best, 2016) ARTZEALOUS, (“Photographer to Watch in 2016”)  LENSCRATCH,  SHADOW AND LIGHT Magazine, MUSEÈ Magazine, aCURATOR,  LE JOURNAL de la PHOTOGRAPHIE,  Elizabeth Avedon’s Photography BlogSpot, U. of Georgia’s ARTS AND LETTERS JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY CULTURE,  WRITING ON WATER  (MIT Press), PARABOLA Magazine and SOUTH X SOUTHEAST photomagazine.

An accomplished poet, Margaret McCarthy’s poetry has been published in numerous literary magazines, journals and anthologies; her collection NOTEBOOKS FROM MYSTERY SCHOOL (Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, KY, 2015) was selected as a New Women’s Voices Award finalist.

McCarthy publishes a web broadside, A VISION AND A VERSE, combining her imagery and poetry.


Follow Nancy McCrary:
Nancy is the Publisher and Founding Editor of South x Southeast photomagazine. She is also the Director of South x Southeast Workshops, and Director of South x Southeast Photogallery. She resides on her farm in Georgia with 4 hounds where she shoots only pictures.


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