There is No "I" in Mother

Catherine Haley Epstein
From wondering if one can retain an identity independent of their children, to feeling adrift when children grow older and need their mothers less, Catherine Haley Epstein’s paintings touch on the many ways women’s identities shift and change as mothers.
Wore & Piece: Poupee Abandonee


There are shades of identities we navigate throughout our lives as daughter and mother. We are conditioned by cultural norms, family, our peers and media. The identity that comes from and qualities that define motherhood are always changing. How do we identify with our mothers once we are mothers? How do we remove certain identities to become a mother? How do we choose to identify with others?

At times, women may resist the label of “mother,” and try to retain independence from their children and resist the domesticity that is entrenched with motherhood. Or, as children grow older, a mother can lose her identity a bit as the child becomes more independent. This shift can provide a great sense of respect and pride in the parent, or it could present a great sense of anxiety and disillusion.

About The Artist 

A full-time artist and curator, Catherine was an Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center in Sausalito, California from 2006-2008, and a resident at Vermont Studio Center in 2010. She has been a student of the arts for over 15 years, most recently participating in workshops in Montespertoli, Italy and Santa Ana, California. She is currently collaborating on a number of projects with local and international artists that challenge audiences to consider new and different perspectives. Catherine's projects and work can be found at