“My mother never told me, “ my mother says to me all the time. Standing naked in her studio, we talk about creating an artful life, the paintings on the wall, how my mother is aging, stories of the past--the knowledge she passes down to me.
With the help of my mother, I’ve embarked on a journey to understand our bodies in relationship to each other, and even deeper our relationship to one another. I consider Lux Incarnata to be my first self portrait. Although I have been using my body as subject for years now, I was always playing a part--just another female figure in the vast archive of images. This stems from me growing up as my mother’s muse.
There is a legacy of images in my family. My grandmother painted my mother, my mother painted me, I photograph myself. In this image making there’s a poetic metaphor to be made. Just as a photographer uses a negative to make a print, my mother essentially made me in her image, I’m her print.
It took me up until this point in my life to realize this fact. My mother and I were at the spa and I looked over and thought, “she has my back!” I had never thought that we had the same physicality. Of course we look like mother and daughter, but I never thought our bodies were the same. The more and more I look at us, I see that I have her breasts, her neck, her belly...the list goes on.
Both of us are at a transitional period in our lives and relationship. She is taking over the family role that my grandmother had, and I am stepping into her role as a grown daughter. She is aging, so am I. This is the natural course to be walked in life, and should it be celebrated! We are not making these images to mourn the passing of time, but to embrace it.
I have chosen to print my photographs on white glass because it reminds me of a milk glass, mother’s milk glass. Glass is very similar to the human body -- It is strong, yet can wither and break. I have transformed our flesh into the constant of light, Lux Incarnata. The relationship between mother and daughter is always in flux, the only constant it the passing down of knowledge.