‘The Conversations We Have’ is a practice-led research project that explores the mother-daughter relationship through a feminist perspective. Historically, this relationship has been constructed and narrated through patriarchy. Using collaborative theatre as a way to destabilise 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 more broadly. 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.


Meg De Young is a visual artist, living and working in Naarm. Her current research and practice considers how social structures influence the experience of women and how collaboration and performance can bring new meaning to the narratives that surround this.  

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