Mariah Barlow

The Distance Between

The notion of mother-daughter relationships is often characterized and bound within themes of intimate embraces and lighthearted bonds. Much of my perception of my mother has been clouded with memories of my childhood, where we endured living with her abusive ex for many years.

My feelings as a confused and hurt child, transformed into feelings of frustration and strain as a young adult. It has taken me 22 years of life to understand that the trauma we both experienced together in the past does not define our relationship with one another. Opening up to my mother and allowing her into my space of creating, has begun the process of breaking down emotional barriers I have unknowingly harboured.

The analysis of our relationship (quite literally) under a microscope, has made me realize the many similarities and differences between us, and that it is okay to be our own individuals. The body of work we created together, The Distance Between, is a symbol of acceptance and forgiveness.

It is almost like a lifeline being thrown to my mother, showing her I care about our relationship, and I want to work towards strengthening it in the future.

Mariah Barlow is a Toronto-based photographer and visual artist. Mariah explores analogue mediums with a focus in 35mm photography and Super 8 filmmaking. Past projects have dealt largely with themes of vulnerability, intimate moments, and relationships. She is heavily inspired by the interactions she shares with those she photographs, and strives to maintain authenticity in the visual representations of her subjects.