Originally created 11/14/97

Photographer captures women in nests



Every woman needs her own little spot to sit and read, rest or think, says Grovetown photographer Margaret Ann Hogue.

Maybe it's a hot bubble bath and a steamy romance novel. Maybe it's a barrel-back chair or an overgrown garden -- but she has to have a place that's completely hers.

"A woman's nest is a spot where she just is being herself," Ms. Hogue says. "These are very private moments. No one would see them like this."

Ms. Hogue spent a year and a half photographing women in their nests, hair uncombed, without makeup. It's like a series of Calgon commercials without a silky leg sinking into bubbles.

You can see the 50 photographs by Ms. Hogue and Mary Jo Brezny of Asheville, N.C., in an exhibit on display through November at Studio Fotografica, 1008 1/2 Broad St.

The idea of your own special corner is nothing new. In Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, the title character crooned, "In my own little corner of my own little room, I can be whoever I want to be."

The exhibit shows the corners in women's lives that no one else sees.

For example, there's Harriet sitting at her dressing table by a lace-curtained window in the back corner of her bedroom.

"She's just fussing with her hair, spraying some scent on," Ms. Hogue says. "She's just taking time out."

Which is all a nest is. It's a place where you can breathe and rest.

Then, in a plaid flannel shirt and sweats, her hair uncombed, Jamie clutches a cup of tea and stares out the window. It's 7 a.m. and she wants to go back to bed.

"She likes to sit at her kitchen window and gaze out at the squirrels and decide, `Do I really have to go to work today?' But she's her own boss, and she knows the bills won't get paid if she doesn't," Ms. Hogue said.

A nest doesn't need to be indoors, Ms. Hogue says.

Katherine carries hers on her back. "Katherine's in her element outside in nature," Ms. Hogue says, looking at the picture of a woman in her mid-60s, her face poking out of a pup tent. "On an island on Lake Michigan where there are wolves, she camps. She goes constantly. Her kids are grown, she's a widow, and she takes these trekking-type trips and roughs it. It's her style."

Ms. Hogue's nest is a blue, linen love seat that rocks back and forth.

"It's where I can be with my animals and their fleas. I can light my incense and no one cares. I can play my weird music and no one cares because I'm by myself."

Her husband's down the hall with his computer in his own nest, she says. Men nest, too, but male nests just don't interest Ms. Hogue as much.

"I don't think men will understand what it's all about," Ms. Hogue says, looking at her exhibit. "They just don't have the right brain. I don't think they understand the need women have to have a special space to themselves. When I say space, it may not be four walls. It's a spot."

Photography exhibit

What: Women in Their Nests

When: Through November

Where: Studio Fotografica, 1008 1/2 Broad St.

Phone: 823-0332