Mother Figure: 71 Self-Portraits in Isolation

Isolating with young children has brought renewed presence, beauty and purpose to my days, but there is also a darker underworld of more difficult experiences in me that need a space to be recognised: the desire to escape, anxiety about safety, grief for the world, desperation, frustration, and overwhelm. Many of these images are attempts to hold both the light and the dark simultaneously. Curiously, when I make an image about an “ugly” moment, often the grace that also lives inside it comes suddenly to light. Or a sense of the absurd or the surreal provides me a moment to breathe, to break through the quotidian, the daily grind, however briefly. 

 

More than ever before, I am driven during the pandemic to use the camera to wrestle with and articulate my inner world. Each image is an attempt to condense a feeling state – a desire, a dream, a fear – into a kind of visual artefact. To mark it, express it, maybe even let it go.

As the weeks pass by and we shelter in place, the notion of self begins to dissolve and expand to encompass more than just my body, but also, the children, the house, the plants in the garden, the laneway.

 

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