Mothers and Daughters is a photo series by Marina Hoppmann. "A project about women who have lost their mother at an early age is something I had in mind for a few months. Because of my own history this is something really close and intense for me and it took me some time to find the courage to bring this idea to life. With this project I want to honor the relationship between mothers and daughters and visualize the deep bond that connects us, and always will. It might not bring our mothers back, but it brought us together, exchanging and sharing so many similar thoughts and feelings."
How did you come up with the idea?
I think there are a lot of beautiful photographs that portrait mothers and daughters. And especially since I am working as a photographer I always wished to have the opportunity to portrait my mother or make a self-portrait with her. I have a lot of clothes from my mother, in which I feel really safe and close to her. This led me to the idea to take a portrait with her, with her on my mind and with her clothes on my body. I wanted to honor and visualize our relationship, even if she’s not around anymore.. Also I felt the urge to talk to women who have suffered the same loss and who might have similar feelings and thoughts. I had this longing for exchange and felt the need to talk about my state of mind.
Do you feel somehow connected to other women who are motherless too?
Definitely. I felt a strong bond with all the women I met for this project. I guess we share a similar pain, even if we were all in different ages when our mothers died. And although I met some of them for the first time we could immediately exchange deep thoughts and feelings, which felt really relieving. I felt less lonely with my pain when hearing others experienced the same.
How long has it been since your mother passed away?
Twelve years, I was seventeen.
Being so young, how did you manage to deal with the sorrow?
Looking back, I remember being afraid of forgetting moments with my mother and to lose the memory of her. So I wrote down the most important moments I shared with her. Writing down thoughts in general and trying to express my feelings helped me to somehow deal with the situation, I guess. Most important was talking to my close friends, laying in their arms, crying together,.. their support is everything. Since so many years and until today, they really vitalized me a long the way.
Has the time passed healed the grief?
I would say it changed.. it is not that desperate anymore. I think I got used to a certain kind of sadness in me, that always accompanies me. It will never heal. Besides my everyday life in which I miss her, there will always be certain moments or periods in my life where I wish her by my side.
In which ways can you feel she's with you?
She is with me in every decision I make and in everything I say.
Would you like to become a mother one day?
Yes, I think so.
We recently published an interview with a friend who used to dream a lot during her pregnancy with her mother. Do you happen to dream with her too?
There are times in which I dream about her a lot. I am always glad when I do, everything feels so real and I can see her again.