My workshop at Chester Art Centre with Kate Inglis gave me lots of food for thought regarding self-portraiture as a means of meditating on particular emotions, and on photography and storytelling. Here I am trying to capture my reflection on motherhood and what it means to me. I think I started getting the process of making a self-portrait, but am still really working on how to get to the depth of emotions.
Raggedy Ann has been with me since birth, or at the very least my first few days of life. Looking at her stitched up neckline, her ratty clothing and her floppy arms reminds me of how much love my mother shared with me. Her expressions of love in the little things (and big things) she did for us, including rescuing my raggedy doll from a heartless purge attempt by someone after a move. ;-)
I have a small collection of things that remind me of mom and nanny that I keep handy for when I need their comforting maternal love. Placed on a shelf next to my reading chair. Sometimes I need only glance in that direction, while others I cling to that little bear trying to breathe in the essence of those two amazing women.
Mothers breathe life into their children, mould them and guide them, nurturing their very being. Only mothers seem able to see right into the soul and really know who their children are. There is an ability from early on to distinguish bits of personality that may be nurtured but never stamped out. Through a mother's love children become people in the wholest sense of the word.