Contemporary Portrait Photography 2019
The complexity of being a mother to a daughter is profound. As she moves forward with the tenderness of youth and the vigor of what is to be, I begin the slow march of redefining not only our relationship, but also reconstructing who I am and my role as a mother. As a participant observer, that of being a mother and an artist, I seek to understand this journey by photographing mothers and their teenage daughters at that critical precipice when both parties move into uncharted territory.
My daughter Maya is the inspiration behind this project. When she was little she would play in my closet and try on my high heels. I told her that she could borrow a pair for her 6th grade graduation. When the graduation came, her feet were two sizes bigger than mine and I knew that the connection through wardrobe was simply a happy memory. That moment had passed.
It was then that I started photographing Maya, her friends, and their mothers, and have continued to explore those relationships over the years, now focusing on the mother/daughter connection in particular. I am interested in the nuances of these complicated relationships at a transitional time in the girls’ lives: the constant push/pull, the simultaneous need for independence and utter collapsed dependence as they individuate into mature young women. But I am also interested in recognizing the mother and her internal struggle as she begins the process of releasing her offspring into this wild world.
I photographed these pairs of mothers and daughters beginning in 2014 over a period of 2 years when they were finishing 6th grade entering the middle school years. Now I begin again as the oldest amongst the young women are starting their last year of high school, preparing for their next phase of their lives and the mothers are doing the same.
Jane and Maggie from the series Mothers and Daughters Re-visited
Digital Archival Print/Nikon D750/Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta Satin/Edited in PS
11” x 17” print / 19” x 25” framed