MOTHER CHURCH

2014-

A developing studio project
shot on a Nikon D90 and with IMAGIAM lenticular software

Motherhood is good. I’ve been a mother of two since 2013, and I’ve not always been able to say this. The soft imagery of motherhood, and in particular the composed and calm Marys in iconography, are far from the truth of it. The myriad ways in which I discovered motherhood were more like Liz Berry’s ‘wild queendom’: the hard graft, the displacement, the trauma, the lock-down. These were, and are, ritualistic experiences, common to many and transformative for everyone. If ever there was a lost language for cultural and spiritual reckoning, it’s in motherhood.

In 2014, the birth of my second child was televised on the UK programme ‘One Born Every Minute’. For a proposal with the Birth Rites Collection, I engaged in the social media conversations that happened around it, and began work that explored the typology of birth. This developed into a number of portraiture projects, including a series of 9 self-portraits based on Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography, and The Twelve, seen below. Unrealised in print, with the exception of my statement piece Natal, the project continues to gestate as I look for partners to bring the work to term.

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