Creation Date



image preview


thread and hand dyed fabric


Dimensions: 6 feet 2 inches x 3 feet x 3 feet

Artist Statement

Identity is something everyone tries to figure out and discover about themselves. They go to great lengths in order to construct a certain identity, or to portray the identity they find true to them. The works created capture my own identity and the identity of 30 young students.

Maternal, portrays my own identity as a mother. Using the form and structure of the jellyfish, I created a visual representation of myself and my job as a mother. Having my daughter young, I connected to the jellyfish and its maternal instincts of having children quick due to their short lifespan. The stingers of the jellyfish are my protective instincts towards my daughter to keep her from harm. The colors of the jellyfish represent part of my identity as a mother – pink is the love I have for my daughter and family, marron is my controlled and thoughtful action in decision making, orange is the happiness and joy received from being a mother, and blue is the loyalty, strength, and wisdom acquired since I became a mom.

Ipseity is a collaboration project with Sage International School of Boise’s 7th grade art class. Given the prompt Use photography as a way to capture your identity they were introduced to the concepts of identity and symbolism, along with the basic principles of photography, and then they set out to take their pictures. They each used objects, models, or themselves to create unique identities for themselves through the media of photography. This project emphasizes the process of the students taking the pictures and their growth through photography. What started as a snapshot session turned into them achieving confidence and the skills to be able to explore the photographic world through their own individual lens. The sculptural piece it was created into places 30 identities onto one common figure.

Both projects represent identities that were constructed through the author and given meaning by experience and thoughtful action. Maternal shows how something beautiful can come from an experience thought of as ugly, and Ipseity represents the multiple identities one can have, or ones that others place on someone else as well as to show the lives of 7th grade students and the identities they are discovering of themselves.


© Samantha Karole LaFlam, 2016. Photo Credit: Allison Corona.


identity, fabric, thread, jellyfish