Courtney Sofiah Yates

Peering Into the White Room is a short photographic story that details, with strobe-like quality, the stages of grieving a dead lover. On its surface, a singular fashion editorial, Peering Into The White Room’s true nature is as a theatrical set of tableaus of charged, human loss, love and desire. It is an outstretched hand to those who have experienced the loss of a past or current romantic partner and the unique qualities of such grievances.

The book’s title and images are inspired by an online guided meditation used in the first days of the artist’s grief. The meditation prompts the listener to imagine themselves in a limitless white room and to invite their passing loved one into the room to spend their last moments together. Yates’, both disturbed and comforted by this activity, imagined her love not only in the room with her, but also watching her from outside—considering, waiting, protecting.

PITWR is the artist’s most concrete project in her wider effort to examine how pain interacts with memory to create personal history and legacy. Yates’ work generally aims to offer a salve.

The book is constructed in a simple accordion design of photographic prints mounted onto thick paper which sit between heavy, cloth-covered hardcovers. The object calls back to the simple representation of complex and tragic events which are often found in children’s storybooks. The book is sized in such a way to feel comfortable, clutchable, and usable.

Each hand-made book contains nine mounted images.

Production Details

6 × 8 in
24 pages
Hardcover accordion
Cover materials: Cialux Navy Blue
Paper used: Colorplan, 270gsm, Pristine White and Neenah Classic Crest, 270gsm, Patriot Blue
Foil stamping on front and back cover


Edition of 50
Photographs by Courtney Sofiah Yates
Bound by Annie Hillam