Oh Mother… 2020
Oh Mother… is an autobiographical photographic series depicting my reality as a single mother, in response to the presence but mainly the absence of my children. The day to day as a single mother, regaining control of my life while intertwined with the responsibility of raising two young daughters, being a person depended on. Oh Mother… is an exploration of a mother-daughters relationship, a self exploration, haunted by the reality that we become our own mother, for the better or the worst. The pressure to perform as a young parent in a world where so much is expected from caregivers as I try to figure out my own path while constantly being interjected by past trauma, directing the present and the future.
Inspired by the fluxus artists of the 60’s and 70’s, the seemingly finished product can be seen as a moment of realisation brought on by exploration of the self through the process of creation. The photographs represent a transitional moment, a moment that will never be reproduced in the present or future. The pictures belong to the past and stand as a reminder of the reality and potential we, as humans, hold. The self portraits externalising the internal turmoil, act as an urgent document to examine, to self reflect, in order to break away from the toxic maternal chains and continue onto a healing journey.
As Barthes insists in his essay Camera Lucida, Oh Mother… is a tension in between the studium and the punctum; the subject present in the photographs acting as a vessel for the undeniable reality perceived in the small details, testament of time passed.
Exploring my own self through photographic representation, sometimes honest, sometimes exaggerated is a revealing experience explored through these self portraits, while the abject everyday scenes imbued with messages bringing a sense of purpose and meaning to the bigger picture also act as a reminder of the passing of time, and that time can heal and allow for change as long as one is willing to confront their story. Oh Mother… shines a light on the often overlooked at reality that is raising children while maintaining a sense of personal identity and breaking away from the weight of past generations.