JOY CHRISTIANSEN // Portrait of a Mother

Portrait of a Mother

“Portrait of a Mother” explores the subject of motherhood and family, both from a personal and universal perspective. Through this series, I record the private moments within the lives of my family and our domestic space. The resulting images artistically document the growth cycles of my children, the successes and failures of motherhood, and focus on the body through sickness and healing.

The project initially began due to an innate desire to document and record the events that were unfolding within my life following the birth of my first child Emmet. Shortly after his birth he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and underwent surgery. 

The project has evolved from those initial images, also recording the life of my daughter Elinor and is inspired by curiosity, exploration and play. Through these photographs, my family narrative is revealed. The quiet moments documented within each photograph are familiar. They can be sweet, but also curious, seductive and dangerous at the same time.

Within this body of work, the lines are blurred between the documented and the constructed. Each image serves both to authenticate a reality as well as to construct a private drama. Collectively the images become evidence. They represent the wounds, marks and scars that reflect the past and the present.