Untitled 13 from Watermelons Are Not Strawberries

Sandra Bacchi2015

Carlow University Art Gallery

Carlow University Art Gallery
Pittsburgh, United States

Watermelons Are Not Strawberries Photographic Series

"When I couldn't eat strawberries, I pretended watermelons were strawberries." - Said 5 years old Vitória Bacchi to a friend who also had multiple food allergies

"In WATERMELONS ARE NOT STRAWBERRIES I seek to better understand myself and to increase my awareness of how I react to challenges related to my experiences as a mother. The work is a blend of conceptual and documentary photography that reveals the shapes, textures, and shadows of my love for motherhood as it merges with a lifetime of my own personal anxiety. The work grows into a story of resilience, perseverance, hope, and mutual support.

My two daughters were challenged with severe food allergies and learning difficulties in their early years. In helping them to cope with their adversities, I was forced to delve into my own dark places to confront the deeply entrenched fear, shame, and guilt that stem from my then-undiagnosed dyslexia and celiac disease.

Food allergies and learning differences were the starting point of my journey in challenging my fears to be different. Once I let go of the rules and expectations I created for myself, which were not working for my daughters, the whole family dynamic changed. I didn’t want them to feel the constant neurotic need to fit into the social norms, as I did my whole life. We established our own “normal” way to live our lives, creating a sense of complicity, understanding, and empathy among each other, building a stronger relationship. In the beginning, it was a lonely path focused on trying to adapt and adjust my expectations of parenting. It turned into a life journey and artistic inquiry as I traced a connection between my childhood and my daughters' childhood.

Dyslexia, ADHD, food allergies, and celiac disease are all connected through families’ DNA. Therefore, while I was advocating for my girls, I learned how to advocate for myself. While I was trying to understand my daughters, I deeply understood myself." - Sandra Bacchi

© Sandra Bacchi 2018


  • Title: Untitled 13 from Watermelons Are Not Strawberries
  • Creator: Sandra Bacchi
  • Date Created: 2015

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