Mothers and Daughters, 2012

In my latest project, 'Mothers and Daughters' I portray the complex and sometimes challenging relationship between a mother and her daughter. It is both documentary and biographical in nature, as it also illustrates memories of my and my two sisters' relationships with our mother, and even our mother's relationship with her mother.

I chose to work with real mother and daughter pairs in their own environment, rather than with models or actors. I only needed to orchestrate the sitters moderately to show the essence of their emotional bond. They created their own small world together, at the same time, through the staging of the scene, reviving my memories of my own family's relationships.

As the project grew in shape, form and content, I related to twenty different mother and daughter pairs, with their very varied, sometimes ultra-sensitive relationships, and realised again how much the fragility and vulnerability of the female is exposed fully in the mother-daughter relationship.

Over passage of time it changes significantly. The babe-in-arms is fully dependent on the mother, but at the other end of the age scale, the mother often becomes dependent on her daughter to satisfy her emotional needs.

In the adult relationship the intimacy of the bond is established by the love, struggle and rivalry of a shared lifetime, leading to a mature understanding and acceptance of each other. Between childhood and adulthood, the full spectrum of emotions is played out. My images try to capture all of these very different stages in this extremely special and complicated relationship.