Religious conflict, environmental deterioration, poverty and refugee crises are all issues that are tackled within Garthwaite’s work, from landscapes to portraits and from love to anger, hope to desperation and smiles to tears her work allows for great insight into difficult lives and forgotten worlds. The use of colour within her work is well-considered and highlights the subject and purpose of each image. As a photojournalist who works on many different projects Garthwaite is still able to maintain an honest representation of the subjects she covers in short periods of time, this can only be achieved through immersion within each world she photographs, one which she achieves by living in both Iraq and the UK. Her work exposes issues that can inspire change and an understanding of the difficulties facing not only us but our natural world.
The project ‘Light Between Mountains’ ‘documents the lives of communities affected by land mines and airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.’ This project epitomises Emily’s work with not only aesthetically stunning photography but also incredible storytelling ability. Working with non-profit organisations the project is ambitious in that it aims to document the lives and stories of many different people, in turn depicting and creating an image of an entire humanitarian crisis, but despite its ambition and complexity ‘Light Between Mountains’ delivers a broad and emotive story tackling issues from love to loss and happiness to despair.
Light Between Mountains doesn’t aim to just paint an image of a war-torn environment or bleak and desperate lives but instead documents and highlights the lives of individuals and in some cases the beauty and happiness in these lives, as a result, people are transformed from statistics to individuals and greater connection and empathy transpire leaving the viewer unable to deny how similar we all are.