Edith Maybin: The Tenby Document

New York

19 June — 28 August 2008

Untitled #1, 2006

Untitled #18, 2006

Untitled #17, 2006

Untitled #16, 2006

Untitled #15B, 2006

Untitled #14, 2006

Untitled #13, 2006

Untitled #11, 2006

Untitled #10, 2006

Untitled #9, 2006

Untitled #8, 2006

Untitled #4, 2006

Untitled #3, 2006

Press Release

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce the premiere New York exhibition of Edith Maybin's photographic series, The Tenby Document. The show will take place from 19 June through 28 August 2008 with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday June 19 from 6-8pm.

The Tenby Document is an intimate exploration of the interactions between mother and daughter, and the discovery of the "self" through another. In 2005, Maybin began to photograph herself and her daughter in a house in the town of Tenby, Wales. Playfully reenacting stories within their enclosed setting, Maybin photographed mother and child separately and in the same position, often bridging the gap between them by digitally reassembling their bodies into a single figure. The structured Marks and Spencer undergarments featured in the photographs link the two models to the tradition of Maybin's own mother, further blurring the lines that distinguish one generation from another.

Maybin positions herself and her daughter in front of mirrors and windows within a private home. Inspired by Lady Clementina Hawarden's Victorian photographs of her daughters, Maybin offers reflections and openings as escapes from structure. She subverts the viewer's gaze by providing the feminine mystique as decoy, and as a result, she and her daughter are further free to escape by way of reverie and play. In this interior setting, mother and daughter reverse roles and identities, and together engage in novel forms of self-discovery.

Throughout the series, Maybin employs surrealist distortions that challenge reality: a woman and her child are merged into one, the back of a head is reflected where the face should appear, four legs emerge from a single torso. Maybin's photographs grant us access to that which is beyond the usual limits of perception, and these unprecedented views of the individual are the core of Maybin's exploration. By photographing herself and her daughter and combining the results, Maybin documents the metaphorical, mirrored reflections of mother and child. In doing so, she captures new angles from which to see oneself and reflect on one's identity, thereby recreating her own experience of motherhood.

Edith Maybin (b. 1969 Canada) is a graduate of Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales where she graduated with an MA (Distinction) in photography. She holds the title of Free Range 2006 Photographer of the Year, Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, and was recently selected for the AXA Photographic Portrait Commission with the National Museum Wales. Maybin's work is featured in a variety of permanent collections including The National Portrait Gallery, London; The National Museum of Wales; and The Sir Elton John Photography Collection.