words + photography – hayleigh longman
location – london, united kingdom

London based photographer Hayleigh Longman uses her practice to open a dialogue and collect stories tied to people and places which explore the duality of human strength and fragility. Longman uncovers ways to visually approach subjects of a sensitive personal nature, considering the elements of play and performance woven within human existence. She shares an interest in exploring imagination and play as recurring themes within her work, especially when collaborating with young people. Working with photography and installation, she tries to capture the fleeting moments of youth. 

Returning to a past project, over Easter Longman decided to revisit one of the families captured in a series initially shot over five years ago. The children of yesteryear were now teenagers and Longman’s latest work explores how the girls’ connection had grown and changed, but still incorporated a feeling of playfulness. The work reflects on female relationships, their intimacies and tensions.

“I have a really deep interest in human connections and relationships; my work always has a performative element to it, whether it’s around me and my relationship with my mother or my collaborators. I see a performance in these images – the girls’ relationship, their connection and the support they share as they confide within one another subconsciously. I thought about how over the last couple of years since I haven’t seen them, they have developed and we have all been through something collectively – their body language is different now and it was a great moment for me as a photographer to get to return to a previous relationship and reflect.”

These joyous and beautiful moments, nuanced by the awkwardness of teenagerhood, capture the challenges of being a young woman in today’s society, and all that this encompasses.

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