Exhuming the Hidden Mother @cleprintroom

Diana Hlywiak - "Hidden Mother"

Diana Hlywiak – “Hidden Mother”

Hollie Gibbs reviews Hidden Mother: Reimagined at

Melancholy children stare uneasily out, their eyes void of passion, their faces bereft of emotion. Behind each, a faceless figure materializes, lurking, hidden but watching vigilantly. Occasionally a hand crops up, clutching the child, holding on for dear life.

“Hidden mother photography of the 19th century was born out of a sort of necessity. Portrait photography’s long exposure time required small children to sit unnaturally still for long periods, while often their mothers, covered in upholstery cloth or drapery, would hold them. Oval frames would then ‘crop’ the mother out, leaving only a ‘perfect’ child portrait…”

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