Behind Glass offers a layered exploration of motherhood as shown during the months of the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic, as unprecedented stay-at-home measures swept across Australia and the world.

It stands as both a creative commentary and an important cultural record. Born of the pandemic, shooting began for the series as the first stay-at-home orders came into force in Australia.

Making portraits of those in her immediate community, It’s a body of work motivated by a need to make visible the unseen role of parenting during such isolation and the light and darkness of motherhood during these extended periods of lockdown;

Whilst informing of a particular time, Behind Glass also speaks more broadly of the maternal experience. Newly detached from the outer world as societal constructs and expectations remain vastly at odds with lived experience.
Behind glass, mother and child appear like living and breathing masterpieces – divine comedies of domesticity.

Through this work, the hope was to make visible the hidden role of parenting; the deepest tenderness, tedium, quietude, love, frustration, fear and despair.















In-Passing’ began in 2015, the year Lisa became a mother to her first child and then shortly after suffered the loss of her own mother to illness. At first, it provided a therapeutic outlet for a new reality that didn’t feel like her own.

Two new identities, mother and motherless.

These events provide the inception for what has since become a long-running commentary, a visceral account of the chaos and intimacy of the familial space during her children’s formative years. Heavily saturated by the unravelling departure from the identity of who she once was and the metamorphosis of self that becoming a mother sets in motion in both body and mind, a historically unobserved and acknowledged transformation.

Arranged non-sequentially this narrative skews time and swells back and forth from the more readily observed challenges and experiences of new motherhood and into the now enduring role that will define much of the rest of her life.

With references to mortality and renewal, each image tells of a particular stage in the cycle of her children's development and their relationship, reflecting the complexities, intimacy and emotional landscapes within the mother-child universe.


How long does a mother ‘carry’ a child?
As early as the second week of pregnancy there is a two-way transference of cells and DNA between the fetus and the mother. Cells containing DNA cross the placenta and enter into the mothers’ bloodstream, embedding in various organs including the heart, brain and lungs, where evidence has shown that they can remain for decades.
This phenomenon is called microchimerism, from the word ‘chimera’, referring to a mythical creature made up of the parts of different animals.

Mother, as chimera.








                                                                                                                                                                                                       












An overview of images from the past 8 years made in various locations throughout Australia of mothers and their children.

Motivated by her own experiences during pregnancy and the shock of new motherhood Lisa began documenting mothers around Australia as an act of unification and reverence for the profoundly under-represented transformation that occurs in the body and mind of a woman when they become a mother.
With a heavy focus on the pregnancy and well-being of the baby and the medicalised support system as the primary contact for pregnant women and new mothers in Australia, there is little to inform or support the complex and profound emotional and physiological transformation that changes a woman’s very being once they give birth.

Combined with the lack of realistic and varied representations of the new day-to-day lived experience or the healing, leaking and forever changing bodies and minds these disconnected cultural constructions work against mothers and hold them to an unachievable standard, adversely affecting mental health, and subjecting them to more confusion, angst and guilt at an already incredibly raw and fragile time.
Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are some of the most profound, deeply beautiful and intimate human experiences and yet it is also some of the most physically and emotionally challenging, relentless and claustrophobic. The Recognition and support for mothers, particularly those without adequate access to nutrition or who are exposed to excess psychological and social stress is crucial to creating healthy societies.

  








It is now widely accepted that our planet is warming.
The effects of this are being seen around the world and when we look outside our windows.
Large-scale and unprecedented weather events seem to unfurl with greater intensity with each coming season.

The first months after the birth of my second son was marked by the continuation of a devastating bushfire season along the east coast of Australia, now colloquially known as ‘Black Summer. I remember staying inside when he was only a few weeks old, worried that the smoky air would damage his tiny lungs.
Then, in the following couple of years, widespread flooding exceeded all previously existing records and devastated multiple local communities, creating almost unfathomable damage and destruction. I was stranded in another state away from my children at this time, cut off completely with no phone or internet contact to check on their safety, and it was days before I was able to be reunited with them.
As a mother, one of my strongest instincts is to keep my children safe, but these events activated an almost ever-present sense of fight or flight and a feeling of dread for their future.

The balance of despairing at the devastation whilst still outwardly remaining positive for them and the state of the world I brought them into has never been so arduous to maintain.

This work reflects where I have found some solace, in nature's renewal and resilience, and my children's reverence and connection to the natural world.