When a daughter and mother want to get to know each other better, swapping clothes can help. Photographic artist Kristiina Männikkö contemplates her own relationship with her mother in the series Katse (The Gaze). Looking out of the portrait photographs are the artist in her mother’s clothes and the mother in her daughter’s surroundings.
Underlying this set of works was Männikkö’s desire to get a better understanding of her mother, and through that of her own identity. Although portraits predominate, the series also includes pictures of the artist’s own baby clothes, and of the mother and daughter’s shared childhood landscape in Kälviä.
Männikkö paid particular attention to the gaze as a mirror of the personal relationship. She found it difficult to look her mother in the eye. Meeting her gaze through the camera viewfinder was easier. During the project, direct eye contact did occur, and the relationship became a warmer one.
Männikkö says: “Even though it was tough, frightening even, investigating and processing my own mother/daughter relationship was the best decision I ever made.”
Read Kristiina Männikkö's own statement here.
Meet the artist on Sunday 7.8. at 2pm. Museum entrance fee.
Meet the artist in the Night of the Arts 26.8. at 6pm. Free entrance.