Shawna Gibbs

Living with Dora Marquez, Reading
archival pigment print
16 x 20 in.

As our children grow, there inevitably comes a time when their hearts and minds are filled with the larger-than-life adventures of people who are not their parents, often fictional characters found in books or on television. As parents, we share in their joy of discovery by helping to fill their lives with the visions and stories of these role models. Yet, as a child’s heart is filling with love and admiration for these new heroes, we find ourselves resenting these new figures as we realize that growing up also means turning away from us, their original heroes.  ‘Living with Dora Marquez’ is an ongoing body of work that explores the development of children’s attachment and identity. By intentionally placing the camera so my daughter’s face is turned-away and hidden from the viewer, I’m able to re-create the emotional tension and the love-hate dichotomy of what it’s like for parents to watch their children grow up.