In the mail: Moyra Davey

Beaverbrook Art GalleryApril 7, 20210 Comments

In the mail: Moyra Davey

Last week we were fortunate to receive mail from renowned contemporary photographer Moyra Davey. She donated a suite of custom photo works to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and they arrived to us in a very unique way. The photos are folded, taped and mailed in a way that they themselves make up the envelope and are meant to be unfolded and shown with this visual evidence still in place. 

Born in Toronto, and based today in New York City, Moyra Davey’s early photographic work focused on depicting family and friends, as well as everyday life. She uses photographs, videos and publications to offer visual insight into these often overlooked details. She is one of the most prominent conceptual photographers in North America and has had her exhibitions shown all over the world. 

Mailing the photographs through regular mail means that we get the chance to see all of the signs of their travel, delivery, and subtle wear. In our case, they arrived on different days and in very different weather. A couple arrived in the rain and so have slightly worn and crinkled edges. Others arrived in the sunshine so have very little changes evident. It is fascinating to see these signs of the journey they took to get to us. Now that they have arrived, the photographs are unfolded, flattened over several days and are shown with the ridges, leftover tape, crinkles and any other signs of their travel on full display. 

Moyra Davey’s work is currently on display in an exhibition called “The Faithful” at the National Gallery of Canada. The exhibition explores her trajectory from early images of family and friends, through portraits of the detritus of everyday life, her mailed photographs, and films examining the work of authors, philosophers and artists. 

This photo series is being donated as a memorial gift to honor Robert Morimanno who lived in Fredericton and passed away in 2019. He and his family loved the Gallery, and Robert’s wife, Laura Davey, is Moyra Davey’s first cousin. It is a generous and fitting tribute, as well as a great addition to our contemporary photography collection.

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