“The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.”Adrienne Rich
The dynamics of femininity and female relationships greatly influences my work. I believe in the development of the female mind through the affects of interacting with other women as opposed to living up to a male inspired/conceived paradigm. I search for the small, subtle signs and symbols of shared perceptions, particularly about beauty and the female body, that connect women to other women and from which we learn and grow as individuals. In my work I explore the idea of a woman’s inner self and how it is shaped by the social worlds and how one woman’s perceptions can affect the other women in her life.
My curiosity about female relationships is what initially inspired me to observe my own relationship with my mother. I hoped that if I learned to understand our relationship, it could lead me to learn something important about myself, which would help me develop and better understand my own identity. Like most women I know, my self-image was excessively dependent upon how good I felt about my physical appearance and I have struggled with trying to live up to a standard of what I thought defined beauty. By turning my attention to my mother, particularly on how she deals with getting older, I came to realize that she is trying to preserve her youth in order to stay beautiful. By using my mom as a model (i.e. subject), I try to understand my own identity through our interaction. When I photograph the two of us together, my goal is to explore the subtle bonds that link mother and daughter, as a sub-plot to the obvious differences between aging mother and youthful daughter. In doing so, I am searching for a closeness within the distance between us, as a means to conquer our own fears of the inevitability of growing old (i.e. model as role model). I try to make my work honest and truthful; I don’t want to manipulate our relationship, but rather reveal and understand it.
In doing this long series about my mother, I have also come to appreciate the uncontrollable changes in the landscape around my home in Long Island, NY. I try to use this specific landscape as a metaphor for my relationship with the space that is affected by the passing of time.