Lya Edwards’ Partial is built around themes of isolation and haphazardness, and the result is a beautiful book that makes you feel solitary, and just a little bit discombobulated — in the best possible way.
One of many reasons that Partial is so appealing is that the cover is wonderfully representative of these themes. It contains a strong image, one that surprises and attracts the viewer, and the image really works with the title to shape the entire body of work from the the very beginning.
We checked in with Lya about how she selected her cover, and she had some interesting things to say:
“I spent a good while fretting over the format of the book because I didn’t want something that looked too much like a photo book but rather a composite of pictures. So since I chose the smallest square format, I chose one of my square pictures. I felt the cover image truly represented what I was trying to accomplish with Partial: an appealing emptiness, a thoughtfulness dedicated to nothing, and nostalgia.
The cover image is a simple scene: you have a segment of an empty street with the notification of the speed zone and limit obviously unattended to, a fragment of drying greenery in the upper right-hand corner, and a shadow of the top of an unknown tree in the lower left. These elements repeated themselves in different ways and while I kept shooting, I realized that I had been unknowingly forming some sort of photographic math equation. It didn’t matter where I went, whether I was in Oakland or San Francisco, the same things kept showing themselves to me, and that was probably because I was partial to them.”
You can see more of Lya’s work here.