She Wanted to Be Called Mary
Project info

She Wanted to Be Called Mary explores the confines of feminine roles, mothers as individuals, and the complex relationships between mothers and their daughters. I focused on the relationship between my mother and I by creating images that illustrate her character loosely based on memories of her that have stayed with me. My mother’s identity is so closely tied to being a mother and a wife that she could never exercise her identity as an individual. This body of work originally began as an analysis of our relationship as mother and daughter and was meant to serve as a catalyst for reconciling my feelings towards her. As this project progressed it has evolved to include an exploration of my mother as an individual outside the context of motherhood and expresses the confinement she felt within her feminine role. Each individual scene was slowly crafted with the 4x5 camera, which requires additional diligence and intention. This calculated and meticulous process is an echo of the process my mother used when constructing her own image. She Wanted to Be Called Mary allowed me to see myself in my mother’s likeness and draw parallels between our lives that I have struggled to acknowledge. As a result, my frustration with her has dissipated and I have made space for an elevated connection, empathy, and understanding of her.