Text: Ligia Popławska, Isa Rus
For Isa Rus, an emerging Belin-based artist, year 2020 was special and difficult at once. Being in the middle of a lockdown, she lost her job and was expecting a baby. As a reaction to all this she started he ongoing project, The ordinary extraordinary, which aims to document the magic and beauty present in these moments of deep change.
Becoming a mother has been the most beautiful and intimate experience of her life, she reveals: Everything feels otherworldly: the kicks inside of my body, the birth pain, the moment I held my baby for the very first time, warm against my chest. Everything is in constant change since the day those two lines appeared on the pregnancy test, becoming the two columns that would be the foundation of my new life.
Rus contemplates on the sensation which new mothers experience, as if they were reborn after giving birth, so called “birth of a mother”. In the language of the Basque Country, Euskera, it is called erditu, which literally means “to split in two”. As your child is born into the world, so are you, Isa states. My body doesn’t feel solely mine anymore, I am home, I am shelter, I nurture my daughter. I aim to capture this intimacy. My work also portrays me in contact with nature after I have been reborn into a mother and I start accepting and understanding my new body.
She adds in her statement: My aesthethic is mostly faceless photography. It started in part to protect children’s identity on the web, but it evolved as a challenge to help the viewer invoke emotions and take the place in the photograph. When I don’t show faces, I give the viewer a chance to focus on the rest of the image and a place to see themselves on it. After all, it doesn’t matter how we look like. That breatsfeeding mother could be any mother, that tired body could be anyone’s. We all live the ordinary extraordinary our own way.