Rummaging through old photographs, cine film and letters, my mother’s image is formed in fragments; the child doing cartwheels in the garden, a young bride yearning for her own children, a gardener, kneeling in the damp soil as she tends her plants, a mother who tenderly nurtured me.
The garden, as a metaphor for motherhood, stands at the intersection between two dialogues. The first, a small bundle of letters written by my mother long before my birth, which form a daily diary to my absent father, filled with joyful news from the garden as she nurtures it into life. The other, my reply to her, in a series of garden images inspired by her letters and my own memories.
Shot on a large format camera, using the antique wet plate collodion process, its exacting nature and the resulting imperfections on the emulsion, impart an emotionality which resonates with the labours of birth and the pain of grief.