HeARTbeat: Julia Fullerton-Batten’s Intimate Portraits of ‘Mothers & Daughters’

ColumnWhat would your mother/daughter relationship look like through the lens of a photographer?

Julia Fullerton-Batten makes a career of focusing our gaze on the multifaceted world of women. Her latest series is no different: Mothers and Daughters peers into the fertile ground of relationships shared between two generations of women. Working with real families, Fullerton-Batten presents a somewhat manipulated scenario in which these stories unfold.

Fullerton-Batten typically brings a stylized eye to her subjects, high production value to her finished shots, and directs a strong narrative. In the case of this series, she worked a little differently:

I chose to work with real mother and daughter pairs in their own environment, rather than with models or actors.  I only needed to orchestrate the sitters moderately to show the essence of their emotional bond. 

They created their own small world together, at the same time, through the staging of the scene, reviving my memories of my own family’s relationships.

As the project grew in shape, form and content, I related to twenty different mother and daughter pairs, with their very varied, sometimes ultra-sensitive relationship and realized again how much the fragility and vulnerability of the female is exposed fully in the mother-daughter relationship.

Though the portraits tend to portray a certain socio-economic demographic and is notably missing women of color, we can’t help but find moments of familiarity within the photos.

Fullerton-Batten taps the root of commonality with her theme. Indeed that may be the most unnerving aspect of the project as we witness the most visceral of universal bonds under the glare of key light.

Inspired by a post in Whitezine. Images via Julia Fullerton-Batten.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.