MOTHER is a twenty minute film clip montage of mostly Hollywood movies depicting unforgettable Mother characters. Gary and I have cut together scenes of Mothers from some of the greatest dramatic movies ever made. For example: Stella Dallas (1937), where Mother (Barbara Stanwyck) is not invited to her daughter’s wedding and watches it standing outside in the rain; Imitation of Life (1959) in which the fair skinned Daughter (Susan Kohner) can’t acknowledge her black mother (Juanita Moore). Scenes like these have always ‘cut me up’.
MOTHER is a roller coaster of emotions: fight scenes between mothers and daughters, but also comedic moments and scenes where a lot of love is shown. Included are funny clips from 1970’s TV shows, such as Mary Tyler Moore (where Rhoda’s Mother - Nancy Walker - comes to visit), and Maude (Bea Arthur), featuring television’s favorite Feminist Mum. The montage ends dramatically as Mothers turn into heroic protectors of their young. In Aliens (1986) a machine-gun toting Sigourney Weaver yells; “get away from her you B…h!” MOTHER ends with a scene of a pregnant Native American woman trudging in the snow to give birth. A message of the film could be very simply: ‘It is tough to be a Mother’.
—Tracey Moffatt, 2009
Tracey Moffatt is an Australian artist of major international significance. Her photographs have achieved iconic status in Australia and overseas. Born in Brisbane in 1960, Moffatt studied visual communications at the Queensland College of Art, graduating in 1982. Since her first solo exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney in 1989, she has exhibited extensively in museums all over the world. Her short film ‘Night Cries’ was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and her feature film Bedevil was selected in 1993. In 1997, she was invited to exhibit in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. A major exhibition of Moffatt’s work was held at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1997/98 which consolidated her international reputation. In 2003 a retrospective exhibition of Moffatt’s work was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and in 2004 at the Hasselblad Museum in Sweden. In 2006, she had her first retrospective exhibition in Italy, at Spazio Oberdan, Milan. Tracey Moffatt has recieved numerous awards and prizes including of the 2007 Infinity Award for art, awarded by the International Center of Photogaraphy New York. Infinity Awards are given for outstanding achievements in photography by honoring individuals with distinguished careers in the field and by identifying future luminaries. This will be Tracey Moffatt’s tenth solo exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.