Heather McDonough was born in Pennsylvania, USA and has lived most of her life in the UK. She has lived with her family in Dalston, Hackney for over twenty years. Much of her recent work based around the East End is included in the East End Archive, supported by The Cass, where she is a photography lecturer on the Photography, Fine Art and Graphic Design BA courses. She has been involved in many local projects with schools and museums, and in running workshops for the local community.
In 1996 the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) commissioned McDonough to make a permanent photographic installation. In the same year she undertook an MA in Drawing (Fine Art) at Wimbledon School of Art. She was shortlisted for the European Women’s Photography Award held in Italy in 2001. Her work was selected for the Kobal Portrait Award in 2001, and her work has been exhibited at London Transport Museum; St. Georges Hospital Trust; V & A Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood; Hackney Museum; and The Photographers’ Gallery. McDonough’s work is held in the archives of Hackney Council and the Geffrye Museum. Many of her projects have been exhibited in Photography Festivals: [Open Here]-Hereford Photography Festival 2010; Brighton Photo Fringe 2010; Arles Photo Festival, France, 2011; Portrait Salon 2011; and annually in PhotoMonth. Most recently her hand-made books were nominated for the Unseen Dummy Book Award 2013, in Amsterdam. Part of the Leave to Remain project will be in a group show opening Photomonth, in London, October 2016.
She is currently making a series of books of collected images from her archives of the last twenty years.