Martha: Siân Davey

May 24, 2018 - June 24, 2018 - Old Custom House, Waterfront, Ipswich

The series ‘Martha’ presents ostensibly an idyllic scene layered with tension. Martha, named after Siân Davey’s step-daughter, was a response to the question ‘why don’t you photograph me anymore?’

Her announcement felt like a demand to be seen by Davey who felt within perhaps an anxiety that she, her step-mother, had somehow lost interest in her. Her sister Alice has been the artist’s primary for the past 18 months. In ‘Martha’ the camera negotiates the thresholds and social boundaries of her step-daughter’s worlds within and without the family. Underlying the series is a collaborative attempt of two individuals to understand each other. Brought together to perform as mother and daughter, their mutual understanding is, in part, framed by a shared sense of maternal absence, and by the complex and fluid nature of friendship in the world of the adolescent.

Siân Davey is a photographer with a background in Fine Art and Social Policy. She has worked as a humanist psychotherapist for the past 15 years, and it is this training that has helped facilitate an acute and nuanced awareness of both herself and her immediate worlds.  Her work is an investigation of the psychological landscapes of herself, her family and her community, all of which are central to her practice.

Siân has recently completed her MA and MFA in photography. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including more recently, the Arnold Newman Award for New Directions in Portraiture and the Prix Virginia Woman’s Photography Award. Her work has been included in the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Portrait Award for the last three years. Her book Looking for Alice was shortlisted for the Aperture Best Book Award at Paris Photo 2016.

Opening Times: Saturday 10-4 ONLY


Martha: Siân Davey

Martha © Siân Davey courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

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