“Good Lord, leave your mother alone,” he said under his breath, hoping they might hear.
My daughters and I meet on a battlefield between love and resentment. The last two years – when a room of one’s own has never felt possible – have tested and deepened many familial relationships.
I used to hold the naïve notion that I’d be a ‘natural’ mother. I never expected to lose myself and my patience to motherhood or for the ‘maternal’ to taste so sour at times. It didn’t take long to feel like I was failing us.
Through photography, something I have been begging to do ‘alone’, I gained a means to understand and move through this experience. I led myself away from resentment towards love, expansion and wonder.
These observations of my daughters and their everyday environment (my in-laws’ Florida house) reflect my state of mind, both intentionally and unconsciously. The scattered colour represents the flush of hormones incurred by pregnancy, birth and the scent of my child’s skin.
Based in South Florida, Australian-born Mikaela Martin is a self-taught photographer whose background in film and theatre informs many aspects of her work. She explores childhood and family life narratives, the idea that in our youth, we have an uncomplicated, illuminating relationship with life’s elusive unknowns.
Martin’s work has been recognised by The Documentary Family Awards, Palm Photo Prize, and The Australian Photography Awards.
She has exhibited throughout the US and at FORMAT Festival (UK). She has recently also received commissions from Apple and the Gates Foundation.
She was a guest judge for the 2021 Documentary Family Awards and is a member of Women Photograph, a non-profit dedicated to the elevation of women’s photojournalism.
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