In his book Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes narrates how his mothers old photographs, (those from before he was born, a period he refers to as “History”), proved to be of little help in his attempt of finding her essence in them. Understanding that the fashion and taste of that time distracted him from recognizing her, Barthes omits the fact that in those photographs, his mother (who he only met after what he calls “History”) was not a mother yet: her identity was not shaped by the experience of Motherhood.
Becoming a mother implies not only the discovery of an infinite love, but also uncertainty, chaos and doubt. And above all, the disappearance of the woman that mother once was.
A quick search online reveals a global interest in showing the joys of Motherhood, avoiding to mention the difficulties and sometimes regret that comes with it. The figure of the “good mother” is enhanced, creating an idealistic perception of how women should feel about their pregnancy, labour and postpartum.
Like this, there is a lot of secrecy and shame around the subject of Motherhood. A mother is only perceived as a nurturing and caring being who is exclusively dedicated to their children. From the moment they become, they ceased to exist for themselves.
“A Faint Line” explores this complex process through the subjects of identity and social preconceptions on Motherhood. Inspired by personal diary entries, the series portrays the contradictory event of Motherhood where actions and emotions do not always exist in balance. Expectations and outcome often differ, making mothers question themselves at all levels.