I grew up Catholic and I am very comfortable with space being set aside for sacred objects and meditation time. As a result, I became a shine maker myself, both informally and professionally. On New Year’s Day 2019 I decided to build a shine to the New Year and to preserve its beauty in a photograph. So powerful was that experience that I continued to take photographs throughout the year of my constructed vignettes and shrines. My only rule was that I would have to feel better, happier, more relaxed by looking at the image I had made through the camera lens. Only then would I permit myself to snap the shutter. Sometimes this process took hours of construction, sometimes mere minutes.

The photographs are enlarged to 2 feet by 3 feet on purpose. That is how I see the finished image in my mind’s eye. I love the idea of making the small and fragile into something big and imposing. To see a room full of huge dogs and apples and flowers is a somewhat giddy first encounter. I never see one of my photos without feeling healed from trauma in some small way.

Each enlarged photograph gives me a chance to relive the moment when I first looked through the lens and felt enveloping calm. For that I am forever grateful to my camera. My camera and my vision of the world have found true companionship.


Lucy Fairchild earned a degree at the University of Utah in “The History and Criticism of Film.” On the way to that degree she discovered she was tired of film and became a visual artist. Early work included painting wooden furniture that sold at art festivals and Utah galleries. Other work included collage, installations and drawings. She currently maintains a studio at Poor Yorick Studios.