Birth Rites Collection

Content © The Birth Rites Collection. Not for profit company Ltd by guarantee no: 5805902





Sign up

for our


The MOTHERCHILD Machine n.7

Leni Dothan 2019. Photographic Prints.


Must she always be loving, caring, perfect and ideal? Must he always be passive and take the role of the victim? Can a portrait of mother and child depict a spectrum of emotions rather than a singular feeling as the mother-child theme was narrated in classical iconography? What will be the impact on our society, if the mother will be allowed having mixed emotions towards her child and the child will also be allowed to take a


Leni Dothan challenges the iconography of mother and child by creating a confrontational wooden structure for them as two individuals, instead of depicting them both as an inseparable loving unit presented to the viewer. Dothan and her 8 years old son will explore this structure and confront each other in front of the camera.


This work is part of Dohan's ongoing research of the mother's role in Christian iconography and biblical narratives as they were depicted in Renaissance art, creating visual contracts between women and the church, between women and the state, between women and men, and between mothers and their children. These contracts perhaps, were not deliberately made to control women but did have an undeniable effect upon mothers’ psyche and the way they are perceived by others. She examines mother's iconography as ideological and emotional prisons for women and especially mothers. With her new icons, she aims to redefine the roles of mothers, raising questions about the representation of mothers in art throughout history and by doing so, allowing for a new discourse.  


Commissioned by Procreate Project for Oxytocin Mothering the World 2019. The Motherchild Machine n.7 was installed in Guys chapel, King's College, London.




MOTHERCHILD_7_3 copy low res