The Middle of Somewhere by Sam Harris

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The Middle of Somewhere, published by NY publisher Ceiba Foto, recently launched in New York’s Bronx Documentary Centre and will be launching in London’s Photographers’ Gallery in July. The Australian launch will be held at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in August. It will have a limited print run of only 600 copies.

In a digital world saturated with consumerism, The Middle of Somewhere brings a voice of an unaffected childhood in a remote corner of the world, the Southwest of Australia. With a warmth and candour rarely seen, Sam Harris focuses his lens on his daughters’ childhood, in a place where they are free to experience the wonder of their surroundings. The trees and the shadows, the sunlit faces and the passing seasons, are movingly brought to life by his evocative photography. The book is a diary, a family album about Uma and Yali, his daughters, growing up. This body of work spans a twelve-year period in the life of the photographer’s family.

Uma and Cheepy. © Sam Harris
Uma and Cheepy. © Sam Harris

Before settling in Balingup, Southwest Western Australia, Harris abandoned a successful photographic career in London where he was shooting music sleeve art and portraits, for Beth Orton, My Bloody Valentine, Blur, Elbow, Jamiroquie, and Victoria Beckham, to name a few, and documentary assignments for leading UK publications such as The Sunday Time, The Telegraph and Esquire.

Uma, steamy window. © Sam Harris
Uma, steamy window. © Sam Harris

In 2002, Harris and his wife, Yael, with their two-year-old daughter, Uma, bought one-way tickets to India, packed two bags and lived nomadically for several years, in villages in India, where their second daughter, Yali, was born, and camped around Australia. It was during their travels that Harris turned his camera inwards.

Portrait of Sam Harris.
Portrait of Sam Harris.

Since then, Harris has been developing an extraordinary body of work, based on his family’s life, and revolves around his two daughters’ childhood. So far, he has released a multi-award winning photo book, Postcards from Home and two photo series: Postcards from Home (2008 – 2011) and The Middle of Somewhere (2011 – 2014), both of which exhibited and published internationally. “My work is a celebration of childhood, family life, love and our simplistic lifestyle, which intertwines with our environment,” Harris says. “The reaction to my work gives me all the fuel I need to carry on shooting until the girls have left the family nest.”

The Middle of Somewhere is available here.

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