My Mother’s Hand Me Downs | I've always realized how not having my mother in my life affected me, but as I got older that realization shifted from something I could brush under the rug to an entity which I could not avoid. What would I be like today if she was by my side more often? Always anxious, often distraught, sometimes completely lost, I’d notice her absence when in need of maternal advice. Little things like seeing my friends’ mothers serving dinner when I slept over and waiting for my dad, never my mom, to pick me up from places became more than just little things. Who would I be today if she was by my side during those yesterdays?
uestions are usually posed in the form of words, but all the questions I have when it comes to my mother are better represented by the mediums I chose in this project. The title of the project stems from both formats of the project. The first being image transfers on the literal hand-me-downs I’ve received from my mother.
The old photos and letters transfer on as if they are deteriorated, representing the complicated relationship we have shared. All relationships come with imperfections because they are made up of inherently flawed human beings. Despite these flaws, we will always be striving to better them, perhaps so much so that we have created an idealized version of what they should be. My repeated use of the Virgin Mary speaks to this glorified image of motherhood. My mom may not have offered everything the ideal mother would have, but in the moments when she would pass on one of her favorite pieces of clothing to me, I reveled in the intimacy we shared.
The idea to use our pieces of clothing as the canvas to these photographs came naturally. The second way the project is presented is through photographs of my mother and still lifes that represent her and the intangible hand-me-downs I’ve received from her. My mother remains anonymous within the project representing the role she has played in my life. At the start of this project, I couldn't find it in myself to point the camera at my mother without knowing what I had to say to her first. This project represents the dialogue I’ve longed to have with my mom. I’ve grown tired of hiding secrets. I hold no animosity towards my mother; I do not wish that a different person gave birth to me.
I know better than to watch the past through resentful glossy eyes. I love my mother. I wish for the future to provide more chances to rebuild, maybe even just build , a healthy connection with my mom. Who will I be if she stays by today and for the days to come? With this project I speak to the intimacies of motherhood from my eyes, established by exploring the absence of my own mother and the hope to reconnect with her. www.crystellecolucci.com