Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Mothers and daughters

Madison Schultz


I believe that there is some elusive, transcendent quality to the mother-daughter relationship. I’ve felt it viscerally in my own relationship with my mother, and I’ve felt its ripples from my mom’s relationship with my grandmother. I’ve caught glimpses of its edges in my observations of other mothers and daughters.

In the Fall of 2018, I took on the task of learning more about this quality and capturing it through photographs. The culmination of my individualized major (Social Justice and Photography), my work explores questions like “What makes the mother-daughter relationship unique from other relationships?” and “What are common themes or truths within mother-daughter relationships that transcend differences in circumstance?” The purpose of this work was to deepen and widen these questions through the process, rather than to answer them with the final product. The work looks at the universal, but at the particular as well, exploring how individual backgrounds and circumstances play out within one specific human relationship.

Throughout the course of the project, I found that this mother-daughter connection is a thread that runs through many contemporary arenas - art, photography, music, and literature. Many of these works helped shape my own inquiry and allowed me to contextualize my work.