This project explores Roland Barthes’ idea of trying to find the essence or identity of a person through the act of photography. In Barthes’ book “Camera Lucida”; he speaks about looking back through old pictures of his mum in a hope to “find” her. “Photography thereby compelled me to perform a painful labour; straining towards the essence of her identity” Barthes (2000, p.66)
I also explore the idea of the “familial mythology” A term used by John Byng-Hall in “Re-editing Family Mythology during Family Therapy”. A “familial mythology includes false or edited beliefs about the present which may be coupled with family legends which support those beliefs.” Byng-Hall (1979, p.103) Thus “Re-editing myths involves enabling families to alter their relationship and their self perceptions” Byng-Hall (1979, p.103)
I am using the camera as a tool to focus on my relationship with my mum, having her sit for me, collaborating with her, is me confronting the idea of our relationship and the distance I feel it has. These are ideas and feelings that I have built up in my mind from childhood, however this is my attempt to alter this in some way, using this project as a way to bridge that gap and feel somewhat closer to her.