Martha is an ongoing project in which Siân Davey (b.1964) explores the relationship between herself and her step-daughter, by photographing her during the vibrant period of time as she grows into a woman. She says about the process of working together on the series: “we have journeyed into each other’s psychological landscapes as we explore what our relationship means, we both mirror each other’s maternal wounding, both our mothers loved us but were felt as absent, this became the common ground to move forward from.”
The work began when the photographer’s step-daughter was 16 years of age, a time when a girl is on the verge of becoming a woman. On the one hand, she is still a girl that can be free from the weight of societal expectations and norms. On the other hand, she is already a woman that has started to discover the new world ahead of her and that begins to make sense of how she understands the psychological and existential territories of intimacy, love and belonging. Davey captures these turbulent developments in a personal but also recognizable and touching way.
Sian Davey has just been announced as the 2016 winner of the Prix Virginia, an international photography prize for women.