My Biography - Margaret Dean
Margaret Dean grew up with a passion for mythology and historical literature. The Arthurian Tales fascinated her and as a teenager she devoured any book she could find on the subject. "I was entranced by the sheer romance of it all"
From there her interests broadened to Celtic folklore and exploration of mythology in general. "I have quite a comprehensive collection of myths and folklore from all around the world. I love it! It is so rich with symbolism and meaning. It is what shapes the psyche of a culture. But it is the Irish Celtic myth cycles that speak to me on a personal level. They are a part of my spiritual identity"
Another part of that identity is a deeply held belief in the realm of Faerie. It is something she has always accepted on an intellectual level, as well as an emotional truth:
"For me, the idea of Faerie as a place is perfectly logical. All cultures across the globe have at one time believed in the existence of a parallel but hidden dimension. It is only since the industrial age, and the rise of a dangerously human-centred environment, that the idea became trivialised."
It is this scientific & human-centred view of the world that Margaret challenges with her photographs. She wants us to be able to believe in Magic, in wild possibilities. She wants to cultivate a connectedness with the Earth and with all its beauty
mysteries. She argues that if we all believed in Faerie, we would recognise that the earth is not a human realm to do with as we please. We share this space and time with other sentient beings and we must learn to be respectful of that. "Our ancestors understood this and were mindful of Nature - but we have forgotten and Nature has suffered because of it"
"I am contacted every day by people who thank me for my images, because through them they are able to believe. There seems to be a deep longing for belief. It is something a culture cannot deny for too long. Science cannot replace something that is so entrenched in the human psyche. It is what feeds our souls and makes life meaningful."
Margaret first became interested in photography when her daughter was born in 1998. Totally self-taught, her husband built her a makeshift darkroom in a corner of the back shed. In 2004 she made the decision to follow her dream. She combined her two favourite passions to create a unique portfolio of Faerie images that for many people simply "ring true".
Her images express an obvious reverence for Nature. The atmosphere is dreamy. Their sepia tones and hand-coloured effects produce images that possess a timeless quality. The wings are all real photographed separately and built into a collage on the computer. Her tools of choice are really very basic: she still uses a Canon 35mm film camera she picked up second-hand a few years ago, and she prefers to use natural light. Rarely can she take a walk in Nature without envisioning a faerie somewhere. "It is a very magical place inside my head - nothing seems complete unless it has a faerie in it.