PATRICK HARTIGAN: Mother’s Birthday



24 Aug – 18 Sep 2011

PATRICK HARTIGAN  |  Artist Statement, 2011

The exploration of specific emotion through biblical subjects including the Madonna and child has a long and powerful precedent in painting history. One encounters this subject constantly in the museums, but in Australia I noticed an interesting link to this history in family snapshots from the 1940s and 50s. In formal terms the photographic aesthetic from this era shows vestiges of painting history in the form of tightly composed images – often centered on a mother and child. However, unlike earlier photos these images were taken outside of the studio, in more domestic settings – on a front lawn, for example. Beginning with these images I have gradually narrowed my focus around the specific emotional qualities of the female subjects, usually mothers.

- Patrick Hartigan, March 2011