Photograph by Matt Finn

Matt Finn: Mother

A couple of weeks ago I said I would visit the work of Matt Finn, having learned about him from a talk by Francesca Genovese of Francesca Meffeo Gallery.  Though a shorter post than I normally like to write, I have made a few notes here regarding my response to this work.

I was drawn to Matt Finn‘s work for a number of reasons.  It is a simple project that follows the life of his mother since the 1980s within her home.  This building of a collection of images of one parent over such a long period of time has created a substantial work of family dedication, however, it is more than that.  It carries universalities of mother-child relationship, and of the brevity and fragility of life.

As a mother myself, I recognise in Jean’s expression a patience and tolerance that she carries toward her son who consistently photographs her in the intimate domestic environment.  I can’t help but wonder how she truly felt when the camera was pointed toward her, especially in those images where she is looking directly at the camera, but the repeated act of photographing alone suggests a trust between the mother and the son.  I have a mother in her 70s, and I am also moved by the journey of the woman that is depicted in this work, prompting me to reflect as both my own mother and myself move through life on our independent, yet connected, paths; building our own places which we call home.

To me, this body of work conveys a kind of acceptance by Finn and by his mother.  Finn, having been a witness so closely to ageing and declining health, perhaps acknowledges that we we cannot carry on engaging with the world in perpetuity, that we must make the most of the journey for as long we are able.  It is a moving story, sensitively told.

Mother

Mother

Images from Mother by Matt Finn
Available at: http://www.mattfinn.com/g-28-mother.html?p=7
Accessed 7/12/18

“Following his mother from middle age to elderly woman now suffering from mixed dementia and leaving the family home into a residential care home, these images serve to show the warmth and fragility of life.”  http://www.mattfinn.com/