Edith Maybin

born in 1969, Canada
lives in Tenby, Wales, Burlington, Canada

The Tenby Document (2006)

In these photographs, Edith Maybin investigates the space between a mother and her daughter. She takes portraits in a home environment, where she and her daughter enact secret stories together whilst wearing Marks and Spencer undergarments, a gesture towards Maybin’s own mother and an investigation into female rituals and sentimental inheritance.

They replay these secret stories until the camera captures the mother and daughter separately in the same position. This allows for digital reassembly and the final presentation of the two as one. Maybin digitally places her five-year-old daughter’s head on her own body; the photograph resolving the dichotomy of the relationship. In closing the gap between the mother and the daughter, these images, whilst formal, subversively provide room for fantasy, identity reversal, and reveried escape.

Inspired by Lady Clementina Hawarden’s photographic portraiture of her daughters in tableau contrasted with the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maybin and daughter paradoxically elude the gaze by way of performance and imaginative abstraction into a place, similar to Vermeer’s women, intangible.

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