In my collages and self-portraits I capture the beauty and ugliness, doubts and power, darkness and innocence of motherhood.  

By making portraits I express the lived experiences of being a mother. I’m moved by the way mothers from all over the world experience, express, empower and learn from their mothering.

I explore and research themes as pregnancy & birthing, body politics & sexuality, social reproduction & unpaid labour, maternal mental health and the domestic within a social, cultural and intersectional perspective. This in-depth perspective is necessary to acknowledge, subvert and dismantle oppressive power structures mothers (may) experience. With my art I aim for agency of mothers on mothering their children.


For my collages I combine images from magazines and books, (vintage) photographs and all kinds of paper. To create my self-portraits I use my iPhone, a Polaroid camera and a copy machine. I intertwine my images with symbols, flowers and sometime with cut-up poetry. My collages and photographs are processed on paper, wood or in a themed artzine.


My latest works are about the motherbody in pregnancy, birthing and post-partum. A current theme I’m exploring is the 'Madonna and Child'-motif in photographic (maternal) art.

I am also working on a long-term project of a visual historiography on 'the photographical image of the mother' in visual art.


As an artist-mother-researcher I advocate for women who are mothers and artists/makers. Within the world of art the myth of the childless-artist still haunts female artists who are or want to become a mother/caregiver. This ‘ghost' needs to dissolve for equal and justice positions of mother-artists within the arts.

With glowing love, Isabelle

2016-2020 © Isabelle Zumbrink

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