A Mother's View
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This relationship, like all relationships, is about acceptance and trust. In each moment I am challenged by my own prejudice and fears. Disabled or not, to witness a child grow up and allow them to develop as themselves, to nurture potential but not overwhelm is a daunting task facing all parents. With a child who has a disability it is hard to ignore this task. Even the most mundane experiences are heightened and intensified. The pace of life is slowed down and so these feelings that accompany this journey unavoidably rise to the surface daily. My struggle has been to stay close enough to a core sense of myself and not to be seduced by an external image of 'how to live' and 'what's important' but to a vision created by just us in the present reality of our lives. When you have a learning difficulty you already live outside a well-defined box. Often being 'different' can be liberating. This is my point of view. I do not intend to speak for other mothers. It is the history I have created and I am aware that there are many different ways to tell this narrative. Each child is different and each child with Downs syndrome is different. This document is about being 'Up Close,' up close to both of us. Up Close: A Mother's View is an extraordinary book. With some fifty photographs taken over the first twelve years of her daughter Ophir's life, and a meditative, thoughtful text, Fiona Yaron-Field conveys her moods and feelings, reactions and impulses as a mother. Her lucid words frame the record of an affectionate and unflinching focus on her relationship with her growing daughter, reflected back through the lens of the camera. Fiona has worked as a professional photographer and Art Psychotherapist for over fifteen years. Her work has primarily focused on the family and running a successful portrait business. She has worked in various community-based projects teaching photography and facilitating groups of children and adults with both mental and physical disabilities. Fiona has exhibited her photographic work, and most recently her show Shifting Perspectives was shown at the OXO Tower, London, after touring in the UK. Her latest project is due to be exhibited in June 2008. She is the mother of two girls. Ophir, her eldest, has Downs syndrome.
Bunker Hill Publishing Inc, 9781593730673, 144pp.
Publication Date: October 6, 2008
About the Author
The author has been a professional portrait photographer and Art Psychotherapist for over fifteen years. Her work has primarily focused on 'the family'. She has worked in various community based projects teaching photography and facilitating groups of children and adults with both mental and physical disabilities. She lives in North London, UK with her husband and two daughters, Ophir and Noa. She continues to photograph them as part of an ongoing project. Up Close is her first book.Amanda Hopkinson is the director of the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, England.