Mary is the name of my grandmother. The subjects of these photographs are Mary’s daughter Chloe, and Chloe’s daughter, myself. By naming the work Mary, rather than Chloe I am drawing attention to the cyclical nature of motherhood and making references to the Madonna and Child and to the ever-changing role of the mother.
The work focuses on my relationship with my Mother. The photographs show her and myself in everyday scenarios. Whether in the bath, on the phone, out on a walk or having breakfast, the sequence of images seeks to examine the underlying social identities that partially define us. By placing myself in amongst the series of images, a subtle visual merging of our dual identities occurs so as to illuminate the similarities and comparisons that are inevitably drawn between mothers and their daughters.
I began noticing how much my behaviour seemed to resemble that of my mother’s. Ironically this only began to emerge as an important theme when I moved out of the family home and became separated from my mother.
This distance enabled me to value and appreciate my mother, Chloe, both as an individual and as a woman distinct from her role as my mother.
Leaving home has enabled a new relationship to be established between us. It means we are now much better able to respect and love each other as two separate adults, each offering proper recognition of the other’s individuality.
The portraits delve into the complex ambiguity of the blurred distinction between the personalities of “Mother” and “Daughter”. By drawing upon reflections from our past together I hope to explore the interface between both inheritance and individuation. Whilst at the same time the work foreshadows the future of our still evolving, and very close, mother-daughter relationship.