Julie Scheurweghs – Birth of a Mother
Julie Scheurweghs’ photography questions the imagery of women. Always linked to the events in her own life, her new series is about becoming a mother. Taboos about the female body determine our image of motherhood. Julie Scheurweghs shows that carnal or so-called raw imagery can be at least as aesthetic and powerful as the romanticised photographs with which we are familiar. What happens before, during and after delivery is dominated in the public domain by idealised bodies stripped of all juices, fat, pain and welts. On the one hand, there is the clinical approach that often runs counter to how mothers would act emotionally or instinctively, and on the other hand, a sexualised patriarchal view that only offers space for the woman as an object of sexual desire. Both ways of visualising femininity distort the reality. For ‘Birth of a Mother’ Julie Scheurweghs therefore explicitly opts for motherhood, without disguising or dramatising it, as a possible stage in a woman’s life in which transformation and strength lie. Her oeuvre offers different perspectives on being a woman, breaking through stereotypes and showing that multiple identities can be combined. It questions our rigid view, driven by endlessly reproduced clichés.
‘Birth of a Mother’ is part of the International Photo Biennale Ostend (Internationale Fotobiënnale Oostende).