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Hysterectic book now online

Happy International Women’s Day 2020! We know this has been long awaited and what a better day to launch ‘Hysterectic’ online than International Women’s Day.

Since the exhibition and limited print run of ‘Hysterectic’ Sonya’s work has encouraged women going through surgery or treatment to think creatively in using the arts to take back some form of personal control and to feel empowered through expressing and speaking up about their own experiences.

This limited edition publication includes an essay by acclaimed writer Cherry Smyth and was designed by Thought Collective, Belfast. It was winner of the UK McNaughton Review Award 2010. To purchase a signed copy, drop us a message or visit our shop.

The answer to the question of who owns our bodies lies in establishing the legal, moral and social principles of bodily integrity, so that each person controls the universe within our own skins. Therefore the point is not to give each other answers but to share questions and experiences’ – Gloria Steinem, Revolution From Within.


‘No Words’ wins LensCulture Juror’s Pick for Visual Storytelling Awards 2019

No Words

‘No Words’ has been selected as one of seven Juror’s Picks as part of the Visual Storytelling Awards 2019, run by LensCulture. Jim Casper, Editor of the online magazine about contemporary photography in art, media, politics, commerce and popular cultures worldwide, awarded Sonya’s submission special distinction.

He writes ‘The image itself is stripped down to its essence. It’s got a strong and haunting graphic quality that sears itself into your mind and makes you curious to know the story behind the picture.’

Sonya remarks, ‘This image captures an intimate moment of acceptance/atonement between me and my son, our struggle with the pain of his self harm in the past, and the truth of the present.’

Sonya looks forward to exhibiting her work in the ‘Best of LensCulture’ exhibition at Aperture Gallery, New York in April.

You can read more on LensCulture’s website here.

In Conversation with David Park & Sonya Whitefield…tickets on sale!

Sonya will be taking part in an ‘In Conversation…’ event with acclaimed writer and collaborator David Park at the Seamus Heaney Centre on Saturday 8 December 2018, 15:00. Following Sonya’s personal photographic response to Travelling in a Strange Land the pair will be in conversation with Dr Eamonn Hughes to talk about their collaboration and the links between the word and the image.

Thank You to John Hewitt Summer School

A big thank you to the John Hewitt Society International Summer School for exhibiting Sonya’s latest work ‘Travelling in a Strange Land’. Here’s a taster of this year’s Summer School…watch out for Sonya’s photographs!


David Park: How my latest novel became a photography exhibition

David Park speaks about Travelling in a Strange Land and Sonya’s photographic response in The Irish Times, ahead of her exhibition at the John Hewitt Summer School from 23rd-28th July.

Read the full article here.

Travelling in a Strange Land

The novel Travelling In A Strange Land by acclaimed writer David Park will be officially launched on Friday 9th March at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. I am very proud to be part of a creative collaboration with David, producing a body of images taken in response to the narrative. At the launch I will be sharing the motivations and inspirations behind selected photographs. The main exhibition of work will be launched and exhibited this summer as part of the John Hewitt Summer School at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh. A photo booklet of images and text has been printed with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a free copy will be made available with every sale of the book on the night.

Work in Progress: Travelling In a Strange Land

“The photographer must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveller who enters a strange country.” Bill Brandt

Travelling In A Strange Land is a creative collaboration with the highly acclaimed writer David Park.  It is my artistic response to his upcoming novel of the same title, which will be published by Bloomsbury in March 2018. The works explore a reflective journey through the themes of familial love and loss.

“When we first discussed the possibility of working collaboratively it emerged that Bill Brandt was one of the significant influences on Sonya’s work so there was an early sense of synchronicity, helped by discovering a range of shared cultural influences…The ideal was that each art form would give to the other and in the fusing of the two we hoped that something new might emerge – I suppose in a way our own humble and tentative attempt to create the equivalent of a sacred carving.” David Park

It is intended that the final exhibition will appear in exhibition and print. Watch this space for updates.

‘Glorious Freaks’- An art and photography exhibition

NUI Galway’s Feminist Society in association with the University Theatre and Arts Advisory Group are proud to present their up and coming art and photography exhibition entitled ‘Glorious Freaks’. The event will be held in the QuadArtGallery from the 4th to the 8th of March 2013 to coincide with International Women’s Day and will focus around the theme of ‘Body Image’.

26 Treasures Anthology Book Launch

Last autumn 26 writers were paired with 26 visual artists in order to respond creatively to 26 treasures found in the Ulster Museum.  Each writer was given the same constraint: to write a personal response to an object using exactly 62 words.  This anthology brings together the work of writers and visual artists, from the ’26 Treasures’ exhibitions in the Ulster Museum as well as the V&A in London, the National Library of Wales and the National Museum of Scotland. Read more here.

Belfast Telegraph: Sonya through a glass darkly

Sonya Whitefield, from Co. Tyrone, reacted to her hysterectomy by picking up her camera – and the resulting exhibition is shocking Belfast. Jane Hardy reports here.

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