Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project

Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project is a feature length documentary exploring the work and intimate relationships of photographer Tierney Gearon. The film was shot over a period of three years, capturing an especially tumultuous time in Gearon's life as she relocates from London to Los Angeles and has her third child at the age of 41. The primary of focus of The Mother Project, however, revolves around Gearon's relationship with her mother, who's affliction with mental illness has greatly impacted the lives of those close to her. She therapeutically examines this relationship while simultaneously exploring the dynamic that exists with her own children. In 2001, as Gearon was making a name for herself, her work aroused intense controversy regarding a her series of intimate portraits taken of her children in the nude. As directors Jack Youngelson & Peter Sutherland write:

The documentary addresses the questions that have long been associated with Tierney's controversial work, and by extension, questions that face all artists who draw on their family for inspiration. Are the photographs as therapeutic for her subjects as they are for her? Is the camera Tierney's way of communicating with her family, or is it a protective shield?

For anyone in the Boston area, the Museum of Fine Arts will be showing The Mother Project throughout the month of November. For specific showtimes, click here. The film will also be airing on the Sundance Channel (check here for details) and is also available for purchase here.

Image © Tierney Gearon