Fiona Gardner, Neddy Garde Miss Subways: Dec 1967—Jan 1968, 2007
A testament to my interest in the work of Fiona Gardner, several posts over the last year on Art Fag City have featured her photographs. In as much I like that they are well composed, beautifully printed, and finely detailed, I find Gardner’s ability to capture subjects seemingly at ease in these constructed environments uniquely engaging. Her work never looks canned or overly staged and there is an element of frankness and honest to these pieces, photographers rarely achieve. Gardner’s latest series, Miss Subways documents former beauty pageant winners in their current homes and workplace. Neddy is currently featured in our masthead.
Fiona Gardner is an artist based in New York. She received her BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1999, and graduated with an MFA from Columbia in 2004. Rooted in ideas of place, personal history, and the relationship between
fantasy and everyday life, her work focuses on women and performance in constructed environments. Previous projects include directing and photographing female performers at roadside attractions in Florida, including mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs and southern
belles at Cypress Gardens. She has also photographed women in fantastical costuming and props, such as a 16-foot shoe or a giant-sized treasure chest.
Over the last year, Fiona has been tracking down former Miss Subways to photograph in the places they currently live and work. Writer Amy Zimmer collaborates with her to interview these women and examines their current lives relative to their past aspirations. They are actively seeking former Miss Subways for a forthcoming book, and can be contacted at info[at]fionagardner.com.