My earliest work which deals with maternal subjectivity is kisses made in 2001. It is a series of photographs of my middle son’s body covered in blood red kiss marks which were made by kissing his abdomen and chest area using red lipstick. The images are brightly lit and almost clinical in presentation. The child is lying on a white sheet, covered in kiss marks. The kisses may be interpreted as bruises, they convey excessive and aggressive love. The body is severed and objectified only the torso is visible. The child is lying on it’s back and is waving it’s arms, which become a blur in the left hand corner of the image.
The body is at an oblique angle as if about to slip / slide out of the frame, suggesting the possibility of loss. The mother is absent from the image but her subjective position is communicated through the marks on the body. It is difficult to communicate expressively with photography, but using the embodied act of kissing, presenting the trace of the kiss on the child’s body allowed me to introduce expression through gesture and trace.