Reflect Transform Become Statement
I became a parent only a short time after losing my mother. Faced with her absence, everything I expected to happen after having a baby fell apart, and I felt adrift and uncertain, torn by the powers of loss and love.
This series documents the diverse metamorphoses women undergo as they become mothers, and especially when that transition happens during a larger experience of bereavement. Shot over four years and completed several years later, the series gave me the opportunity to break down my feelings of loss, of feeling overwhelmed or joyful. My images explore the underpinnings of my own fears about my shortcomings as a parent. Without my mother’s advice and reassurance, the postpartum experience often overwhelmed me, and many joyful moments with my new son and young daughter were also infused with an awareness of the relationship I had lost.
Many women feel unearthed, turned inside out, or disoriented when they become mothers, even when they’re also overcome by wonder and love. Although the series began as a reflection of my own intermingled grief and joy, connecting with these women taught me how common my feelings are, although they are rarely expressed. The 19 portraits in this series attest to the simultaneous diversity and unity of the motherhood experience—we are a sisterhood of mothers. Each image reflects a woman who created life, lost life, and challenged their bodies, minds and spirits in the process of becoming mothers. For me, it is a deeply personal contemplation about the growth that is possible even when we are held tightly by grief.