Hidden Mothers by Megan Jacobs

Issue 117

The series Hidden Mothers references the early usages of photography when exposure times were long. Mothers who wanted a record of their children were instructed to hide themselves under a piece of fabric and hold their children for the duration of the exposure to ensure a sharp image. I create formally similar images in contemporary times, as a metaphor for the unrecognized work that mothers do to support, provide for and nurture their children. Each mother is wrapped in a floral bed linen that elicits traditional notions of femininity and domestic spaces. There is a tension between hiding and revealing: the mothers’ identities are obscured, yet the vibrant sheets accentuate their presence, while in other instances aspects of their identities are exposed. This interplay explores the complexities of motherhood and functions to illustrate the mutability of identity and in some instances an erasure of self. Mothers are navigating a world where their roles as a nurturer can feel sidelined and invisible. In an era when mothers are experiencing statistically increased parental time commitments coupled with rising childcare costs, mothering is not only personal, but political.

Megan Jacobs lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
To view more of Megan’s work, please visit her website.

Historic Hidden Mother Image

Historic Hidden Mother Image

Eileen , 2017

Eileen, 2017

Eileen Text , 2017

Eileen Text, 2017

Rubina , 2017

Rubina, 2017

Lisa , 2017

Lisa, 2017

Jenn , 2017

Jenn, 2017

Emily , 2017

Emily, 2017

Jessica , 2017

Jessica, 2017

Sara , 2017

Sara, 2017

Diane , 2017

Diane, 2017

D , 2017

D, 2017

D Text , 2017

D Text, 2017

Lisa E , 2017

Lisa E, 2017

Lisa E Text , 2017

Lisa E Text, 2017

Dionne,  2017

Dionne, 2017

LuzMarina , 2018

LuzMarina, 2018

Tarra , 2018

Tarra, 2018

Erin + Andrea , 2018

Erin + Andrea, 2018

Megan , 2018

Megan, 2018

Sarah , 2018

Sarah, 2018