Today, I found two images that I am posting about for slightly different reasons. I Promise to be a Good Mother by Jamie Diamond taken in 2007 is immediately pleasing to the eye thanks to the cheer joy that emanates from the picture and the dynamism and playfulness of the mother-child interaction. We all can relate to this simple expression of happiness although there is the possibility that it might be painful for some to watch, so "vanilla" it is in appearance and a far cry from what a number of people have experienced. Yet despite this ideal moment captured in time, the title of the work turns the composition into more of a reminder that this perfect moment is seen as more as set against the frailty of life and the challenges to come. But the photography remains optimistic in essence because it says that you can always look up to that moment in time, later on, to remind you of how joyous and generous the mother and child love can be, and of what promise it held. One day, in a very long time, the child will be able to look at this photography and marvel at how young and full of hope and life his mother was.
In the next picture, which is more complex, less easily legible I was attracted by the title of the work: Mother Always Used Too Much Perfume. The painting is by a Swedish artist called Patrik Andiné and dated from 2008. I find it interesting because the relationship between son and mother is a central expression of the painting but in a very distanced way; it is a sense of distance emphasized by the presence of a curtain between the two invisible, absent-present protagonists. The mother is all-present, yet invisible to the eye but not to the sense of smell. The symbolism is very economical with a strong emphasis on the notion of limits and threshhold (of tolerance). The painting is seemingly about a complex, love-hate relationship and as one interested in perfume in the context of society it is interesting to see perfume be clearly seen and used as a symbolic language about human relationships.