Morgan FORD WILLINGHAM

ARTIST STATEMENT

From the day Imogen was born, my life changed. Every second is part of a building, poetic existence.  An existence that at times recalls feelings of reliving my own childhood through a doppelganger,  while at other times seems as strange and alien as observing a random child on the street – I am at  once curious and arrested by the mix of emotions carried from day to day. As she grows into a being that is distinctly different from the individual that her mother is, was, and is becoming, I am forced to  examine the hopes and desires carried as her life progresses. 

This work examines a mother and her child, the observer and the observed, and the distinctiveness  of each. We are tied by experience, memory, and DNA. The images individually and collectively  allude to the intimate daily circumstances between my daughter and me, and the historical and  cultural influences that shape us both as individuals and as a familial unit.  

The series consists of portraits of mother and daughter printed in the historical photographic process  cyanotype, often referred to as a “blue-print”. Some images include hand embroidered text of  excerpts from poetry and literature that served to wind a young child down for sleep and that still  speak of the possibility for a life that continues to unfold. Other images include floral patterns that  allude to the art historical context of motherhood and femininity. The use of found textiles  appropriate the history of intimate objects and their resilience through time.

Morgan Ford Willingham is a photographic artist and educator. After receiving a MFA in  photography from Texas Woman’s University, she moved to the Midwest to pursue a career in  academia and art making. Morgan explores pop culture, advertising, and societal norms to better  understand its influence on women, and their identity and self-image, through the use of various  mediums, including photography, book arts, and installation. Her work has been widely exhibited,  including Humble Arts Gallery in NYC, Filter Photo in Chicago, and the Hite Institute of Art in  Louisville, KY. She is currently Associate Professor of Photography at Emporia State University in  Kansas.