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Cemre Yesil

Published date
23 May 2019

The Photographic Embodiment of an Embrace: The mother-child constellation as a paradigm to explore the nature of the photographic double-portrait and how it manifests both the physical and mental relationship between self and other.

London College of Communication

My practice-led research focuses on how photography – both the act of photographing and the resulting image - furthers the human need for physical embrace. By investigating photographic corporeality and visual embodiment, this research will present how the body of the image embodies encirclement and enclosure, thus bringing them ‘into being’ and ‘into presence’.

In particular, my research explores how the actual posing for a double-portrait constructs and summarizes a relationship while at the same time considering the photographer’s role in this encounter. On this basis I am looking at how the material photographic double-portrait extends and expands the spatial coexistence of the embracing pair.

The case study, a part of my study on the photographic double portraits that explores and manifests physical and mental relationships, focuses on the visual togetherness and referentiality of mother and child. The origins of my research question are to some degree subjective in that I began by using the medium of photography to question my origin and my own referent, my mother. Moreover, in this case study of the mother – child bond, a slight variation exists in terms of choice of subjects.

My case study focuses upon not only the image of the mother-child embrace, but also on reverberation of the mother–child image within the embrace between adults: the less visible, but nonetheless compelling, adult-child and mother’s continuing need(s) for the parental embrace.


Dr Wiebke Liester

Dr Maria Walsh