All posts tagged: motherhood

Reframing the debate around teenage motherhood

When Raphaela Rosella was a teenager, her twin sister became pregnant. “I called her a slut and told her to get an abortion because I thought she could have a better life,” says the Australian photographer, who is now 27 and took part in last year’s Joop Swart Masterclass.     “But what is a better life? On reflection, I realised my reaction framed my sister’s pregnancy as a social problem. Instead of supporting her choice, I assumed that becoming a mother at a young age was irresponsible and irrational. Most public discourses do not consider that becoming a mother at a young age could ever be a rational choice,” she explains.     Years later, after spending time with a young, homeless mother, pregnant with her third child, Rosella was inspired to start the evocatively titled project, You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one. Following mothers Tammara, Nunjul and Rowrow, it proposes that teenage pregnancies aren’t necessarily ‘irrational’ or ‘irresponsible’, and can have positive outcomes.     “Tammara was part of my previous project …

2015-11-03T12:49:22+01:00

Looking for Alice: a mother’s gradual acceptance of her daughter, born with Down’s Syndrome

On one level, Looking for Alice is an illustration of family life, says Sian Davey, with “all the tensions, joys, ups and downs that go with the territory”. But on another, this photography series challenges perceptions of difference, because it focuses on images of her youngest daughter, who was born with Down’s syndrome. “The photographs explore the entwined narratives of my relationship with my daughter, and society’s prevailing attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome,” she says. A trained psychotherapist, Davey speaks openly about her feelings – from her “deep shock” when her Alice was born, to the gradual acceptance that allowed her to “fall in love with my daughter”. “It was not what I had expected,” she continues. “I was fraught with anxiety that rippled through to every aspect of my relationship with her… I saw that Alice was feeling my rejection and that caused me further pain. The responsibility lay with me; I had to dig deep into my own prejudices and shine a light on them.” In Davey’s photographs, we see Alice smile, cry and …

2015-09-07T14:31:01+01:00

Jenny Lewis: One Day Young

BJP

You don’t have to look far to find cultural representations of motherhood. The Virgin Mary, with downcast eyes; Heat-era celebrities flaunting impossibly flat, post-baby stomachs. And yet these images all tend to show a particular take: evasive, sanitised, as though to distract from the unseen horror of labour. “Everyone seems to have this fear and anxiety about the birth,” says Jenny Lewis, whose project on new mothers, One Day Young, has just been published by Hoxton Mini Press. The book consists of 40 portraits, selected from 150, of Hackney-based mothers in their homes, within 24 hours of the birth. “After my son was born, I felt this responsibility to tell people I met who were pregnant that it’s going to be OK.” She decided a portrait series could do that job for her. [bjp_ad_slot] “I put leaflets up in hairdressers, chip shops, corner shops, trying to get a varied demographic of people,” she recalls. The leaflets included a link to her website and as soon as she’d shoot a portrait, she’d publish it online so potential subjects could …

2016-02-08T13:07:51+01:00

BJP Staff