Women in horror: LocustGirl - Photographer Heather King

I didn't meet Heather King at The Ottawa Goth event "The Aftermath". I saw her, hundreds of times - but I didn't meet her. the bulk of her work is self-portrait. After falling for her artwork, I would like to see the face in the flesh behind all this death and beauty. Soon enough, I will get to.

Health problems, largely not diagnosed, plague this photographer. From the massive amount of work she had on display under her trade moniker LocustGirl Photography, you would think she is working night and day at a feverish pace. Feverish, perhaps, but life gets in the way. Hospital visits get in the way. Exhaustion of the most distressing nature you can imagine - it gets in the way.

I have met many talented artists with an array of 'things that get in the way' but I have never seen such a large amount of quality work from them. King has a huge repertoire ranging from horror, to expertly captured nature photography, animals, landscape, light, beauty, hope...

Then, her horror photography rips your attention right off your face again and slaps it down on the table with a sick smack and blood-red spatter.

It is wonderful. Her use of physical effects blended with layering and computer assisted post-production is striking and articulately imagined. Vampires, wolves, bats, knives, blood... there is a little bit of everything and it is all scary. The dark corners of her imagination are all over the map so it is bound to hit you where you cower and shiver.

There is no way to convey the range of images other than flipping through the stacks upon stacks available to the public. This is why we will be bringing LocustGirl with us to the Ottawa ComicCon on May 12 and 13, and to FanExpo 2012 Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in late August. If we can bring her physically, we will - yet like me, you may have to settle for pieces of her. Bloody bits of flesh. A tattered dress. An eye. Some hair...

For now, here are some snippets of e-conversation.

How long have you been taking photos? "Ever since I was a little girl. I was always fascinated by photography and amazed with the concept of being able to make time stand still capturing a moment forever. What camera do you favour right now? "I have used many cameras, currently I am using the Canon Rebel EOS XS with a 55-250mm lens."

"None of this was for shock value.
It was a release."

There is huge subject matter contrast in your work, can you explain where it comes from? "Emotions come into play when working on a piece. 2007 is where the 'dark photography' erupted. The type of people we surround ourselves with in life definitely plays a key role in the outcome of artistic projects.

"If one surrounds themselves with dark, twisted, evil, mentally disturbed souls, it leaks into the art. I was living in a tormented hell with a physically and emotionally violent monster... it clearly shows in my work - the horror, the raw agonizing emotion, the blood - that it wasn't a very safe place to be."

"The more I kept my focus on the darkness, the worse it became. None of this was for shock value. It was a release. The better I became at depicting my demons, the more I wanted to outdo myself next project. It was an addiction and it was all too consuming. Every time I closed my eyes, I would ONLY see these images I spent so long in creating.

"Now I focus on the light. I try to create magic with femininity, nature, wildlife and hope. Every time I close my eyes now I see magic, beauty and mystery."

And she does. Checking her portfolio on RedBubble or seeing what she has available on her facebook, you can see the array. You can also peruse the great interview by our brother-in-harms, the Zombie King over at Zombieinfo.com. Although the dark, gore and gothic theme images speak to me - there is a snowy owl and kitty cat fan in most of us. Before we bring her photography to the table for all to enjoy in May, look for another in-depth artist profile to come. This small celebration at the tail-end of Women in Horror Month only scratches the surface. 


Sonsey said…
I'm happy to have several of her pieces hanging in my studio currently.