New Skin – Exploration into Motherhood
As a photographer I was compelled to document not only my own pregnancy (‘288 Days, 2014) but also the days, weeks and months which unfolded after the birth of my son, Rico. The New Skin project developed alongside my own transformation into the ‘new skin’ of motherhood where boundaries between night and day, joy and despair, elation and exhaustion are confused. As my son began to grow, move and interact in our home, I began to notice his little interventions. Gradually I documented these on my medium format film camera, taking time to digest the scenes he’d leave behind. It was my way of recording and remembering each of these small but significant stages.
I started to find that when I gave into the chaos and embraced it, there was rich ground for documenting the changes which were happening physically, emotionally and psychologically in my new identity as a mother. It began to be my way of restoring some of the balance between being an artist and a mother, allowing the creative to seep into the domestic world I was now submerged within. All of the images were naturally occurring situations and happenings. This was really important for me since I always work within a documentary style.
The kitchen of the Grade I listed Regency Town House was the perfect canvas for playfully exploring the domestic space and its everyday absurdities. My aim was to create a carefully crafted series of installation pieces, exploiting the quirks and character of the kitchen. A giant photographic House of Cards balances the fragility of my new identity on a kitchen table, imprinted crockery and tea towels display the domestic on a Kitchen Dresser, and the everyday idiosyncrasies of a toddler are delicately suspended in frames across a fireplace in the series Passing Pieces. Additionally the installation features a Wall of Images, a Video Projection and Self Portraits. At the rear lies the hollow remains of a scullery. It is here where I chose to explore a darker side in my motherhood journey – the Miscarriage.