(Life With) Maggie


Written by James Read
01 Friday 01st May 2009

Maggie is a fictional character created by photographer Ofer Wolberger and portrayed by his wife Billie Martineau in a mask. She travels as a tourist through a nostalgic world, while Wolberger takes holiday snaps of her. It's rather odd.

Broken Piano, Natchez, MS

Who is Maggie, and why does she wear a mask?

To this day I'm not even sure who Maggie really is, as it's a constant discovery and she seems to be full of surprises. One of the main ideas behind the project is to see the world through someone else's eyes and to learn about that person by what is surrounding her. The mask isn't something Maggie is wearing, it's what makes her who she is.

James Dean's Last Stop, Lost Hills, CA

You have said, "Many people are obsessed with constructing online identities through social networks like MySpace and Facebook, Maggie is out in the physical world attempting to understand how and where she fits in". Maggie is played by your wife, who you met on a social network, right? Do you feel that each of your online identities were constructed, and destroyed upon meeting physically?

My wife and I did meet online but it was more a product of chance than both of us actually being registered to the same site. In essence though she found me on a social networking site. We came to know each other through writing emails and letters back and forth and when we eventually met in person I don't think any of that was destroyed. I think that all the writing really set the basis for our relationship.

Saint-Michel des Grèves, France

People have declared that they are in love with the masked lady - how do you feel about this?

It's flattering that people have really been taken in by Maggie and enjoy following her along her travels.

Jimmy's Place, Natchez, MS

Could you tell us about Jimmy's Place please?

We met Jimmy (King of the Swamp Blues) Anderson through a mutual friend down in Natchez, MS. Jimmy is a singer/songwriter who never really got his due. When we got to Jimmy's house, we were invited inside and Jimmy and a couple of friends quickly played I'm a King Bee for us while sitting in his living room. He played the harmonica and sang the tune. It was an extraordinarilly touching experience and afterwards we asked him if he wanted to make a picture. He showed us his back room and we knew it would make a great setting for Maggie.

Golgotha Fun Park, Cave City, KY

See more of Ofer Wolberger's photography at www.oferwolberger.com

(Life with) Maggie runs at Michael Hoppen Gallery from 4 June - 25 July. More info at www.michaelhoppengallery.com

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.