This body of work explores the archetype of the mother/child relationship.
Over the last two years I have been photographing myself, my now 2 1/2 year old daughter, and my mother. I am interested in the complex and conflicting physical, psychological, and emotional dynamics that reside in the mother/daughter bond: a world replete with joy, but also hidden dangers, fears, and inconsistencies. It is a world in which, like children’s fairy tales, nothing is as it appears and reality is in a constant state of flux.
My interest in early northern Renaissance painting has influenced this body of work. Intrigued by representations of the Garden of Eden and the Madonna and Child in 15th century religious painting, I reinvestigate the contradictory attributes of the mother/child bond in a secular, and autobiographical, setting. I use bodily gestures, garden-like settings, and starkly lit interiors as allegorical elements of my pictures, loosely reinterpreting religious themes of Renaissance painting through the lives of this present day three-generation matriarchy.
I am interested in using photography, not to document the daily lives of my daughter, my mother and myself – but to investigate the emotional, physical, and psychological slippages and reversals between our roles. While I probe my own raw fears and anxieties of motherhood through this work, I hope to reveal the vulnerability and weightlessness of the mother/child kinship, a sense of being both separate and together.
- Ri Anderson
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