Middle Age at Sea | Joanie Kneppers

Through these photographs, I pay tribute to my mother and therefore to all women.

My mother bought an apartment located between the sea and a pond. Following her divorce, through the sale of the family home, she fulfilled her dream for her retirement: getting her own space by the water.

I visited her last summer. She was so radiant that I photographed her and her “paradise”. I photographed my mother’s body like the landscape.

My mother is in her element, she immerses herself in this place. The wind, the sun and the water envelop her, the sand, the salt and the rock cover her skin.The physical and emotional print of this environment appears through her features.


My mother is 64 years old and she had three children. Her body is not the one we are used to see in magazines. This portrait demonstrates the reality of the woman’s body, its natural appearance, its hollows and its flaws hidden and rectified in the mass media.

A fragility shared with the seaside landscape disfigured by the aesthetic operations of the tourism business.

Making a parallel between my mother and nature is also a way to draw an allegory of Mother Nature and to elevate women to the status of goddesses. Each one is different, unique and their original body is not smooth, uniform and hairless.

By photographing my mother, I immortalize her image and keep every detail in memory. Her body is like an illustrated book: her hands remind me of my childhood, her tanned skin and her scars evoke the years she lived.

On the other side, I photograph the absence, emptiness revealing my apprehension of loss. Even in her seaside paradise, my mother will not live forever.

These pictures show that after a difficult sentimental and professional life, my mother finally found a way to happiness and freedom.

Images and words by : Joanie Kneppers

All the images are belong to the photographer, You can explore his work at Behance