Striking snapshots of the importance of motherhood

Striking snapshots of the importance of motherhood

The University Centre Stockport College’s latest undergraduate show serves as a reminder of the importance of motherhood, depicting children celebrating major milestones when mum is absent.

BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography student Caroline Wallbank chose venues such as Sir Robert Peel Pub, Our Lady’s Catholic Church and Stepping Hill Maternity Department around Stockport to capture her children’s wedding day, graduation day, 18th birthday, first baby, passing a driving test and moving into their first home.

Shooting on a tight £30 budget, the 29-year-old mum-of-two from Edgeley enlisted the help of her two children Callan, 6, and Cara, 8, in the project examining her own mortality, using outfits from her children’s dressing up boxes and Cara’s bridesmaid dress from her wedding day.

Caroline said: “Many people have read the narrative differently, some thinking it's comedy and others thinking I'm commenting on children growing up too quickly in this generation. That’s fine, I don't mind. I really enjoyed working on this particular collection, and I think it’s one I'll always remember because it was a joint project between me and my two children.”

Caroline’s photos were inspired by the work of London-born photographer Phillip Toledano, who snapped himself in everyday situations wearing different prosthetics in an exploration of possible future life scenarios following the loss of his mother.

They are on display at The University Centre Stockport College’s Creative Art Department throughout this academic year, with the opportunity to see them at the Higher Education Open Event on Wednesday 6th May.

Tutor Mario Popham said: “Caroline is an exceptionally student who is always pushing her creativity in fascinating directions. The pictures succeed in being poignant, but also surreal and funny, with the children depicted incongruously in adult situations.

“I thought her work was exceptionally imaginative, brave in its content and execution and technically accomplished. It was also great to see her responding to her research, assimilating the work of other photographers and then going on to produce her own personal and original work.”