Belfast Exposed present Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity, an exhibition by eight international artists who explore the complex and demanding experience of motherhood.
The artists draw on a wide range of influences, from fashion and lifestyle magazines to fantasy and fiction, from painting and iconography to vernacular photography, from performance and staged practices to private journals and everyday life. Set against a backdrop of insatiable public appetite for pictures of celebrity mums and babies, the artists depict familiar, and less visible aspects, of mothering from a deeply personal perspective. Pregnancy, birth, the effect of becoming a mother on one’s identity; the relationship between generations of mothers; coming to terms with loss, abandonment, and the unfulfilled desire to become a mother are all areas explored in the exhibition. Interweaving narratives, charged with conflicting emotions, provide an intimate, multi-faceted and unconventional view of a universal experience.
Elina Brotherus’ Annunciation series is an intensely personal body of work recording the artist’s monthly efforts over a five-year period to conceive a child with IVF treatment.
Elinor Carucci’s Mother series charts the various stages of motherhood, from her first days of pregnancy in 2003 through to her twin children’s eighth birthday.
Ana Casas Broda In the series Kinderwunsch (German for ‘the desire to have children’), Casas Broda stages and photographs games that she and her children play together which allow her to explore memories of her own childhood and her relationship with her mother.
Ann Fessler’s experimental film, Along the Pale Blue River is based on her personal experience of being an adopted child. The film is made up of collage, video and archival footage, along with film shot by the artist.
Fred Hüning’s trilogy Einer, Zwei and Drei follows the photographer and his wife through a profound cycle of love, loss and birth. It represents a process of coming to terms with grief and provides an intimate and sensitive view of the life of a small family.
Miyako Mother’s series is a portrait of a woman, seen through her daughter’s eyes. The work is made up of images of the artist’s mother’s aging body and some of her personal possessions.
Katie Murray’s video, Gazelle explores ideas about motherhood, relationships and cultural expectations of women. Through this piece, we see a woman trying to negotiate her simultaneous desires to care for her children and to preserve herself.
Hanna Putz Over the past few years, Hanna Putz has photographed her friends, as they became mothers. She is interested in exploring the shift in identity that takes place when a woman becomes a mother.