inspiration: Sally Mann
Posted in my heart wanders, nature, photographers May 27th, 2008 by piablog


“…the things that are close to you, are the things you can photograph the best…”


“…and unless you photograph what you love, you are not going to make good art.”


“it’s always been my philosophy to try to make art out of the everyday and ordinary…it never occurred to me to leave home to make art.”


A few weeks ago I watched a documentary. And it took hold of my soul so swiftly, that it has taken me this long to tell you about it. What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann by Steven Cantor is engaging to say the least. It is so raw, Steven manages to take you right into Sally’s world, and even though you are not sure you want to be there, you are captivated, you can’t let go. Working soley with an 8 x 10 large format camera, Sally’s work is beyond words. She captures life and death in a way I never thought possible. I will say no more, but if you haven’t already seen this doco then watch the trailer here, and get your hands on a copy of the dvd here.

Sally’s philosophy about her art resonates deep within me. She is certainly an inspiration for My Heart Wanders. Think about her words above when you capture your wandering heart in the coming days.

For more info on Sally, click here and here.

All images and quotes by Sally Mann.

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  1. sofia says

    had to go on research for more…didn’t knew Sally and I’m completely captivated by her mystical work. Children in adult situations, life and death….disturbing !!!!
    Thanks for introducing me to this artist.
    And it is oh so true what she says about art…

    May 27th, 2008 | #

  2. Yoli says

    Thank you Pia for the introduction. Beautiful work.

    May 27th, 2008 | #

  3. nadia says

    I love her work. Have heard her in interviews and have learned a lot from her. her work has inspired me for a long while and i appreciate the many battles and controversies that she has worked through.

    May 27th, 2008 | #

  4. jo says

    oh, i love her so much, definitely one of my all time favorites…
    such poetry in every image she takes….

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  5. tyler says

    haunting and breathtaking. i look forward to learning more. thank you for the truly poetic find.

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  6. Kirsty says

    Beautiful, beautiful images.

    Her name has been raised a bit over the weekend in relation to the Bill Henson exhibition in Sydney.

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  7. Aran says

    Beautiful, beautiful photographs.

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  8. pia says

    as yes, Bill Hensen. He is another incredible photographer whose work i find inescapably enchanting – again, you’re not sure you want to be in his world, or anywhere near it, but you can’t help being drawn into it. Very powerful. Thanks Kirsty!

    thanks everyone, beautiful comments. i love waking up to read your thoughts about a post, it is the best part of my day. so while i hope to be enhancing your day, you in turn, enhance mine! love it. x

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  9. Esti says

    I didn’t know her. Thanks for the post and the magical pictures.

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  10. Jill says

    Hi Pia, I just send off my two photos to my heart wanders. Finally! I do love Sally Mann’s photos, and I love her philosophy of finding art where you are, in the everyday. I haven’t seen her latest work though. I will have to check it out.

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  11. Jill says

    whoops…that should say “sent” not “send”. thanks!

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  12. Liz says

    thanks for the introduction to an amazing artist that I had never heard of… her photos are riveting, and somehow magical and disturbing all at the same time… great new find, thanks!

    May 28th, 2008 | #

  13. Carolina Eclectic says

    Wow, I have never seen her work before! Fantastic.

    May 29th, 2008 | #

  14. itsasne says

    Her work is stunning, and even more so now, in hindsight. It’s hard to forget that photograph of one of her daughters (Virginia) with a cigarette in her had, her stare so confident, looking straight at the camera. Her new work is so dreamy… I love her approach to photography. So good to be reminded of her! Thanks Pia!

    PS. Will Bill Hensen be charged?
    Similar thing happen last year to Nan Goldin in the UK. Even more oddly, it was the gallery who called the police!

    May 30th, 2008 | #

  15. lynne says

    i love her photography
    and i adore your chalk board ramblings!

    June 3rd, 2008 | #

  16. itsasne says

    An interesting interview with Sally Mann I’ve just read:

    June 11th, 2008 | #

  17. tracey says

    i’m a big fan of her work as well. something so dreamy and at the same time haunting.

    July 22nd, 2008 | #

  18. Vence says

    You can find an article on the last exhibition of Sally Mann in Karsten Greve gallery, Paris on

    December 16th, 2010 | #

  19. Amy says

    I’ve seen it…same reaction…

    July 1st, 2011 | #

  20. Cristina Kimmel says

    Jackson Fine Art will be exhibiting Sally Mann’s ‘Proud Flesh’ and other works. Opening Friday, September 9th 6-8pm. The artist will be in attendance to sign copies of ‘The Flesh and the Spirit’. Visit for more info. Contact to reserve a signed book.

    September 2nd, 2011 | #

  21. Emily says

    Heyy do you know the name of the last image? 🙂


    October 12th, 2011 | #

  22. rebecca says

    I saw this doc at sundance several years ago… life altering…
    Your wandering is lovely, and awe inspiring! Namaste

    November 20th, 2011 | #

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