20 June 2022

Using Performative Photography, Meg De Young Redefines The Relationships With Her Mother

20 June 2022 - Written by PhMuseum

The Australian photographer deconstructs the traditional narratives around the mother-daughter relationship relationship, exploring the meaning of this bond by distancing from patriarchal perspectives.

"The Conversations We Have" is a practice-led research project that explores the mother-daughter relationship from a feminist perspective. Historically, this relationship has been constructed and narrated through patriarchy. Using collaborative theater as a way to destabilize this, my mother and I perform in a domestic space to critique narratives related to mother-daughter intimacy, mother-blame, matrophobia (the fear of turning into one’s own mother), and motherhood as a social construct. In doing so, we reclaim our relationship in its own image.

Importantly, this research contributes to an under-explored field in photography and art. While the social construction of motherhood has been examined in contemporary art, the mother-daughter relationship hasn’t been imaged to the same extent. Or, when it is represented, it does not reflect the relationship that my mother and I have. I am seeking to expose the previously mentioned narratives for what they are – an ideology. ‘The Conversations We Have’ conveys the process of beginning a dialogue with my mother and writing a narrative that reflects our lived experience.

Words and pictures by Meg DeYoung


Meg De Young is based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) where she works primarily as a photographer and visual artist. Her current research and practice explore women's relationships from a feminist perspective. She completed her BA Honours (First Class) in photography last year and recently won Ballarat GradFoto 2021 Exhibition for her ongoing project ‘The Conversations We Have’. Follow her on Instagram and PhMuseum


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.

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