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On Motherhood and Creativity

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I’ve decided to show some of my photographs in the upcoming Ode to the Motherlode show. Personal portraits I made of my sons as part of an ongoing series examining their identity formation and my relationship to that process. Writing my artist statement was hard. This is what I came up with.

Motherhood forces a shift in focus from self to other. The “Who am I?” inner voice is drowned out by the “Who are they going to be?”

Juggling your former life and desires while navigating the bumpy terrain of new parenthood feels like a tectonic shift. Pieces fall away and the new surface that emerges looks very different.

I have been photographing things that shape and define me for as long as I can remember. Beginning with a Brownie camera I used to photograph my stuffed animal collection to capturing my angst filled twenties and revolving door of friends with a trusted Polaroid SX70.

For the last five years I’ve been armed with an IPhone. Like most moms mine is never far from reach. I use it to run and organize my work and family.

With it’s tiny built in lens, I also capture and savor the fleeting moments that define my boys and those hinting at who they are destined to be.

These images are part of an ongoing series. Snapshots of life going by at lightening speed and at times hauntingly slow. Awkward teetering between little and big. Looking at them I am struck by both the brilliance and bore of domesticity. I see glimpses of the vintage me. And someone still learning to navigate the terrain of motherhood.

My hope is that when my boys look at these images, they see a mother who did more than nag them on the way to baseball practice or make mediocre macaroni and cheese.

I want them to see that I stopped and noticed things. Between the piles of dishes and dirty clothes I saw windows of them being vulnerable and curious about their surroundings. By feeding my creative soul I hope to instill in them the value of self love and it’s vital role in nurturing and loving others.