Of Fall and Fireflies
+March 17, 2020
Marjolein Martinot (@marjolein.martinot) is a Dutch self-taught photographer, based in France. Her photography is personal and poetic, while striving to remain authentic and true at the same time. She aims to evoke sentiments by using and mixing various photographic approaches and different analogue cameras. The prime focus of her work is on everyday life: her family, friends, and the places and things that touch her.
Of Fall and Fireflies (2010-ongoing) is a personal project on which she has been working for the last years, and which evokes her vision and inner feelings as a mother of 6 children, going through a particular stage in a woman's life: middle age. Because she is living with 3 cultures - Dutch by birth, American by marriage, and French by geographic location - her pictures are mostly taken in the Netherlands, the U.S. and France, allowing for varied backdrops, settings and atmospheres.
I have been a mother for more than half my life, and unexpectedly became a mother once more, belatedly, when my older children were already young adults. It frightened me at first. I was facing family issues, and I feared losing time and freedom for personal pursuits. However, I decided to embrace it. All of it. I tried starting to look up, and around me, and to appreciate life’s moments. Through photography, I began to document my feelings, and realized, especially when I looked at my young daughter, how incredibly lucky I was, to have another chance. To see what she sees, knowing what I know, now. Once more.
Of Fall and Fireflies is a personal narrative of the photographer’s life today and yesterday. Of seeking, finding and embracing. All of a sudden life has passed, the acknowledgment of aging comes together with a sense of solitude when you experience orphanhood when your parents die, those moments that you took for granted become glimpses of well-being, moments free to worry. Through the use of her camera Marjolein records the passing of time, the time she has spent loving and caring for her children, mixed with the fear of losing them one day, seeing them growing up and taking their own path in the world. In Of Fall and Fireflies Marjolein exposes motherhood with sharpness and honesty by capturing all those feelings of fear and fragility that come along with the loss of ones freedom. At the same time, she captures the essence of youth and volatility, so pure yet delicate and vulnerable, that can be lost suddenly in an a instant, in a breath of a moment.
Her portraits are intimate, so close to her subjects to touch ones emotions, Of Fall and Fireflies is the story of a woman, a mother, a son and daughter, sister and brother, it’s the story of life from childhood to adulthood, with all the different perspectives towards the future. The use of black and white and color pictures emphasizes the duality of life and death, youth and adulthood, in a suspended rhythm and tempo.