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2019 Annual Conference


March 07-10, 2019

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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Ashley Kauschinger

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Southeast

Questions of Origin

Questions of Origin is a series that investigates complicated aspects of the mother/daughter relationship and distills them into constructed narratives that evolved from childhood memories of the adult daughter. These ideas are communicated through the use of symbolism and metaphor, to encourage the viewer to project their own experiences onto the photographs.

The imagery primarily occurs within two settings: landscape and domestic space, and are used to communicate aspects of being a woman. The landscape images represent the female body, and draws upon the metaphor of the land creating life. The domestic space is utilized to represent society’s view of the role of women, and to recall memories of learning how to be a woman from the maternal figure. Specific times of day often function as metaphors. For example, some of the images occur while the sun is setting, which suggests the passage of time. Others occur during mid-day to suggest the burgeoning possibilities of life. Overall, the use of light and deep blacks play a pivotal role in creating a tension, emotional atmosphere, and to suggest a sense of memory to the viewer.

The still lives use objects that are personal but act as universally relatable symbols of femininity, such as thread, cloth, and kitchen tools. These objects draw a connection between what is passed down from mother to daughter, such as learning to sew
and cook, as well as family heirlooms. The dual portraits explore the past and present.Throughout the work, the two figures communicate through gesture to investigate the relationship and emotional connection between the mother and daughter. The individual portraits contemplate the mother and daughter when separated, and examine past memories, the search for independence, and feelings of loneliness and longing.


Morning Ritual




Grace, Stillness, Light

Skinning Apples

Cherry Filling

Spilt Flour

Flesh and Memory

The Wellspring

Ellis Island

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