Mothers in mythology often represent powerful beings, holding the awe-inspiring ability to create. Take Gaia, the Greek mother goddess who gave birth to the universe, or Toci, the Aztec mother of the gods. Outside of mythology, however, there are many forms of motherhood, some of which hold significantly less power than the idols of old.
What with an inequitable division of childcare, workplace discrimination, increasing fertility problems and the demonisation of any mothers who don’t fit into a slender societal ideal, it’s clear that motherhood can be complicated, demanding and very much a feminist issue. Yet for many women, it’s an incredibly important part of their identity or an unquestioned future plan.
Home Truths is an exhibition exploring maternity through photography. A number of artists have their work displayed, showing a depth of experience and interpretation.
Philippa Dunjay, who reviewed Home Truths, writes that it is:
a visceral and powerful exhibition that examines how the act of becoming a mother affects female bodies, creativity and sense of self. Set over two floors, many of these photographers are women who are mothers and artists, illustrating a complicated set of desires and identities they are trying to figure out
IMAGE: Home Truths – Photography, Motherhood and Identity – Elinor Carucci, Feeding Emanuelle From a Plastic Bottle after I Stopped Breast-feeding Her, 2005. A woman holds an infant, feeding it from a bottle. Their shadow is cast onto a white wall.