Anna Fox – My Mother’s Cupboards

Anna Fox’s work My Mother’s Cupboards is an autobiography of when Fox’s father was ill and confined to a wheelchair. Her mother was the main caregiver. Fox made the work rather secretively, keeping a notebook with her and recording her father’s rantings, particularly those about her mother, grandmother and herself.

These quotes pointed to something desperately wrong going on, a terror of women and an attempt to squash the life out of us.

As a contrast to the wild, abusive rantings of her father, she photographed her mother’s cupboards which were always very neat.

I photographed the cupboards to deliberately exaggerate the neatness and that neatness became violent like the quotes.

Anna Fox designed her book in a similar fashion as a small prayer book, with light weight pages and pale pink covers. The text (structured like poetry) and images show through the translucent pages, layering on top of on another. The print is tiny and an elegant cursive font is used so the viewer is enticed in to read the text only to be confronted with words that shock them.

My Mother’s Cupboards and My Father’s Words by Anna Fox
Colour photographs of my mother’s tidy cupboards together with excerpts from my father’s rantings. An unexpectedly wicked narrative exploring a claustrophobic relationship, designed as a miniature bookwork.

The front of the book bears the title “My Mother’s Cupboards” and the rest of the book’s title is on the back of the book “My Father’s Words” which is probably only read once the book is closed, thereby providing a lingering ambiguity which is never really resolved.

This is an example of work where the text and images just don’t seem to makes sense together in the ordinary sense, but could almost work in a standalone manner. However, juxtaposed as they are and presented in the delicate manner that they are, the text and images become interlaced and a fusion is created that is highly personal and autobiographical.

Reference List

The ASX Team (2013) ASX Interviews Anna Fox (2013) [online] American Suburbx. Available at: http://www.americansuburbx.com/2013/06/interview-anna-fox-asx-interviews-anna-fox-2013.html [Accessed 17 April, 2017]

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