Tori Ferenc, In waiting
Curator: Lola Paprocka
Something that often gets forgotten when a firstborn comes into this world, is that it is not only the birth of a child, but also of a mother. It is a metamorphic experience for the whole family, changing the relationship dynamic and the way we look at our own parents. First-time pregnancy and early parenthood are riddled with doubts and fears. Will everything be okay with the baby? Is labour going to hurt? How will this new role change me? In my own experience, these feelings were heightened as I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of the global pandemic.
Pregnancy is a time of endless anticipation. In Waiting focuses on the period of my life when everything else seemed to be on hold. Since we were initially unable to travel from London to see our families in Poland, the pregnancy became an intimate experience I shared with my husband. Limited mostly to the space of our apartment, I turned the camera on us. I began documenting our lives in this transformative moment, and I have continued doing so with the arrival of our daughter.
Shadow and light play a central role in this work, reflecting the complexity of early motherhood with its highs and lows. Family portraits are tangled with still lifes of mundane parental reality: groceries dumped in a hurry on the table, cabbage leaves for relieving mastitis, and various landscapes from daily walks. Becoming a mother can be an extremely isolating and claustrophobic experience, and there were days when I felt like the walls were closing in. Doing this project has become a testimony of my own motherhood, but also a way to cope with its challenges. This deeply personal work has turned into a form of visual diary, allowing me to explore my own boundaries on both sides of the lens.
This exhibition is part of the ShowOFF Section of Krakow Photomonth.
Tori Ferenc (b. 1989, Gniezno) is a portrait and documentary photographer. In her photography, Tori is interested in documenting the reality of communities that are often marginalised by society at large—from Orthodox Jews in North London to Irish Travellers gathering at horse fairs and elderly dancers in English dance clubs. She focuses on themes of identity, community, and, most recently, parenthood. Her experience in portrait photography has allowed her to work with a wide range of periodicals, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Telegraph, Icon, Wallpaper, Time, and Bloomberg, among others. She lives and works in London.
Tomasza 24 St.