Central to photographer Margaret Hyde’s work is the potential for transformation. Using the lens as an extension of her eye, Hyde hones in on the small details of our natural world and everyday habitat to honor the hidden value of the overlooked and undervalued. Using natural lighting, close-up angles and macro lenses, Hyde monumentalizes and meditates upon the mundane.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Hyde’s mother was an avid amateur photographer with her own dark room and an assortment of cameras. Hyde began her own mostly self-taught photographic training at the age of 10, learning to maneuver the dark room and handling manual cameras at summer camp.
Growing up amidst the Memphis art community, Hyde became acquainted with photographer William Eggleston and was inspired by his work— particularly the manner in which he was able to transform ordinary, everyday subjects into remarkable images.
The concept of transformation through photography extends to every facet of Hyde’s daily life, as she remains active in service, justice and equality. A native of Memphis, TN, Hyde, along with her family, helped to found Hyde Family Foundations (HFF), a charitable body that supports the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis and other worthy organizations. In 2008, Hyde produced the Academy and Emmy-nominated documentary short The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306, which details the last days of Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to art and filmmaking, Hyde is also a children’s book author and publisher, with titles including Dreadilocks and the Three Slugs, the “Great Art for Kids” series and the “Mo’s Nose” series.
In 2007, Hyde accompanied a documentary film crew to capture the unique beauty of Bhutan. This was followed up in 2008 with an invitation from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to photograph orphanages and rebuilding efforts in Liberia.
Hyde’s most recent series of photos feature lustrous spaces and objects, inspired by the many years of her living and vacationing by the water. In particular, the abalone shell speaks deeply to Hyde as a metaphor for people and the lives they inhabit. When looked at mindfully in the light, a seemingly worthless broken abalone shell represents emotional traumas and irrevocable experiences. Hyde believes that her photographic subjects contain powerful emotional resonance and a striking visual aesthetic that requires meaningful study. They ask us to evaluate ourselves, and our natural world in a meaningful and transformative way.
Hyde has participated in dozens of group exhibitions, as well as being featured in solo shows in Los Angeles in 2011 and New York in 2015. Two of her pieces were chosen to greet attendees at the Spectrum Art Fair as part of events surrounding Art Basel Miami 2014. Her work is held in private collections including the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA and the Laddie John Dill Private Collection. Hyde lives in Santa Monica with her husband Chris Gough and their three children.
Download Margaret Hyde’s Resume in PDF format