Mythical Mother 2021
For centuries, the idea of how a Mother should be has been determined by societal expectations of what that should look like. These expectations may vary depending on cultural influences, which to a great degree find their roots in mythology. It must be considered that a lot of the stories we live by have been told from the perspective of men, and interpreted through the lens of patriarchy. If we award more authority and agency to our mothers and daughters, will that change how we look at these roles and our expectations of them? If we change the narrative, perhaps we can reimagine the way we can look at our mothers and how we raise our sons and daughters.
Mythical Mother is a body of work that I created in response to this idea for the purpose of a group exhibition of the same name, held virtually by The Spilt Milk Gallery, Edinburgh in the Fall of 2021. In it, I contemplate how mothers have been portrayed in certain myths and popular iconography, with the intention to correlate my experience of mothering with my interpretation of these myths. We know of the mother figure painted for us by mythology and clever marketing- she is loving, giving, virtuous. But I want to explore the mother that is in fact a lot more. A powerhouse with the ability to forge a life, curate it, maintain it, complete with her own aspirations and desires. I imagine a mother with not just power, but also, autonomy, authority, and agency.
Covidity is a collaborative photo series made with my daughters during their school closures in response to the outbreak of Covid 19. When I started work on the project in the summer of 2020, the girls were ages 7 and 10, but by the time we concluded, they were each a year older. The series of images is an attempt to visualize our curiosities, and conversations with one another, over the countless hours we spent in each other’s company; as we navigated this extremely trying time in our symbiotic lives, where we found ourselves restricted from movement, but not from thought.
When I started the project, it was my interest to make staged portraits of the girls to document how they felt, their interests, and their intellectual leanings during their time at home during the lockdown. But with time, the imagery organically morphed to include my experience of mothering in the pandemic. The was an extremely difficult time for those engaged in ‘motherwork’, and that became apparent in my creative output.
The Covid 19 pandemic has affected communities all around the globe. While some have been affected more than others, we’ve all had to reimagine the way we live with creativity, resilience and hope. With that in mind, the series hopes to provoke contemplation in the viewer over aspects of the human condition during this period in our collective history. Themes in the images that may come across to viewers include isolation, fear, despair, hope, resilience, the bond between sisters, the interdependence of mother and child, maternal love and maternal ambivalence. As someone who’s endearing interest is in presenting the feminine and the maternal experience, the series draws particular attention to these aspects.
: n. establishing a state of being that effects various facets of life such as, but not limited to, emotional, economic, environmental and academic well-being.
About Plastic 2020
In the midst of creating work for Covidity, my younger daughter became acutely interested in the subject of plastic pollution. She was homeschooling at the time since her school was closed during the first lockdown in New York City. She watched a video about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which stirred her curiosity and caused her much distress. These images are a medium to communicate this discomfort to the viewer and underscore the urgency for action to save our planet for future generations. To demonstrate how entrenched our daily lives are in the use of plastic, I used everyday plastics, mostly single-use, to create her wardrobe and as props. The overall indication is that there is plastic in what we wear, what we eat, how we shop, and in our water. The imagery is a painful look at this reality from the perspective of a child; the one that will inherit the consequences of the degradation being caused by the present generation of adults.