Jenny Lewis was born in Essex but has lived and worked in Hackney for 20 years. As an editorial photographer she has made a name for herself working for some of the leading magazines and publishers. Her work as an artist centres a lot around the wonderful people of Hacnkey and East London and Jenny has been vocal on the issue of gentrification in these areas for many years. She also takes inspiration from other creatives and has photographed the likes of our other Photo Postcard Artist Martin Parr as well as such names as Peter Blake and David Walliams.
Her photo postcard comes from her One Day Young project which captures mothers within the first 24 hours with their babies. The photographs are a tender reminder of the epic possibilities of the human body and in particular the female one. In her own words; 'It’s really quite simple — I wanted to tell a story about the strength and resilience of women post-childbirth that I feel goes largely unacknowledged in today’s world. To reassure women that childbirth is ok; yes it’s painful but it is a positive pain, one that has purpose and is just part of the journey, a rite of passage into motherhood. To make visible other emotions that are far more powerful: the joy, the overwhelming love and the triumphant victory every new mother feels. In my mind this is the supportive message we should be passing on to future generations rather than paralysing them with fear.'
In the first of her four photo postcards (the other three to be revealed soon) she depicts mother Nicola with her new born Jemima. The composition alludes to traditional historic and religious depictions of the mother holding their child. Dressed in a blue robe similar to that of Mary's, Nicola looks down at the miracle she has just created. However, different from the more traditional depictions, this mother and child share a moment of genuine intimacy. The soft, what looks like morning, light illuminates them symbolic of a new beginning, the first light of the rest of their lives together. These pieces cause us to think about our own mothers, how we were once that baby, unaware of the lifetime of unconditional love we were about to receive. This moment is so unaffected by the blood and violence played out across the mother's body less than 24 hours earlier, as though a mother's love really can cure all pain, even their own. Amazing.
We are so happy Jenny Lewis will be exhibiting with us in October. Her postcard pieces are absolutely beautiful and we can't wait for you all to see them in real life. To find out more or for the chance to have your work alongside Jenny's go to http://bit.ly/2r0MUE4.