About Chatwin author and photographer Candace Doyal
Doyal, 33, is a photographer and storyteller, as well as part-time bartender, painter, and arborist. She has had a camera around her neck since she was 17. Her photography is a combination of staged scenes and portraiture. “[They’re] images from growing up that have been seared in my mind,” she says. A woman sitting reflectively in a prison cell. A bleary-eyed junkie posing on a bed. On the back of her photographic prints are raw and plainly written prose that caption each photo like the lonesome wail of a dog barking in the distance. She is a fan of Bukowski, and like him, anyone can pick up her work and feel it.
“I’ve always been pretty much an open book,” says Doyal. “There’s nothing more important than the human connection. I’ve never held back from connecting with people on a deeper level, I can’t help it. On a selfish level, it’s cathartic, on a social level it’s about broadening my community – to open hearts and minds, and to have my heart and mind opened.”
Her first book, This Thing Is About To End, due out by Chatwin in late spring of this year, is memoir with implicit and explicit commentary on the criminalization of addiction and of the need for prison reform in the United States. “We just get so stuck as a society, and as individuals… I watched [mom] struggle. I lost faith in people changing,” she pauses. “Then I worked for a non-profit that did post-release assistance work, and I watched people start over. They were given a new lease on life. It changed my world. I realized that I can have an impact."