Is it at all possible to speak in general terms about the meaning of art in one’s own life? I cannot imagine life without art, but maybe its just a personal matter? I’m turning thoughts about the role of art in society around in my head, without coming to any satisfying answer. The only thing I’m pretty sure of, is that art is not a pretty add on, art is for real, art is about life and death.
Tierney Gearon’s main focus as a photographer is her own children, and her mentally ill mother. Above is the mother together with a young child. It’s a frightening scene, the grandmother totally incapable of understanding what kinds of feelings she arises in her grandson. But what worries me even more, is the mother – the photographer – and how she uses a situation like this to make art!?
But at the same time I have to admit; the picture is, artistically, a great image. A kind of image that rips your heart & soul to pieces.
This is Tierney Gearon – in her own words:
My mom is mentally ill, and a big part of it is how I celebrated my mom instead of being embarrassed or trying to hide from her. Instead, I celebrate the beauty in her …Not only does it rejuvenate my soul, but photography also helps me to process things, even though I might not be realizing it at the time. What did The Mother Project specifically help you work out? That I’m not mentally ill and that I can’t fix my mom. They were two really big battles I had to get through, and this work helped me with that.
I find Gearon’s own statement very interesting, because as one can see, she uses art, the art she herself produces, in a therapeutic or palliative way. An interesting question is if we, the public, can use her art the same way.
Tierney Gearon, American photographer (1963).