Photography and Motherhood.
Edited by Susan Bright. Text by Susan Bright, Stephanie Chapman, Nick Johnstone, Simon Watney.
Art / Books/Photographers' Gallery, 2013. 176 pp., 150 color and 20 black & white illustrations, 8½x10½".
Published to accompany a highly anticipated traveling exhibition, Home Truths examines contemporary interpretations of one of the most enduring subjects in the history of picture-making: the image of the mother. Focusing on the work of 12 international photographers, it challenges the stereotypical or sentimental views of motherhood handed down by traditional depictions, and explores how photography can be used to address changing conditions of power, gender, domesticity, the maternal body and female identity. The work featured here is highly personal, often documentary in approach and with the individual at its center. The featured artists-among them Janine Antoni, Elina Brotherus, Elinor Carucci, Ana Casas Broda, Tierney Gearon, Fred Hüning, Leigh Ledare, Miyako Ishiuchi, Ann Fessler, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Katie Murray and Hanna Putz-offer very different views of contemporary motherhood, from the devoted to the dysfunctional. The book's essays explore the historical and contemporary context of the mother figure, illustrated with dozens of comparative images from antiquity to the present day. Curator and editor Susan Bright traces the history of photographs of motherhood from the nineteenth century to the present; Simon Watney discusses the Madonna; Nick Johnstone looks at the presentation of the mother from the perspective of the father; Stephanie Chapman explores issues of motherhood and loss as expressed through photography.