Our inspiration: Ugne Henriko
This website is inspired by the photography of Ugne Henriko. Ugne is a professional photographer from Lithuania, who spent three years at Cambridge School of Arts
improving her photography skills and became involved with projects such as Secret Cinema presents Laura Marling during her residency in London.
Unge is famous for her mirror-image photography tribute to her mother that caught the attention of international media in 2013. This series of black-and-white photographs called ‘Mother and Daughter’ came about because Ugne wanted to explore the relationship between them. This led Unge to recreate images taken 37 years earlier, when her mother was an 18-year-old photography student in the Soviet Union. She not only wanted to explore the idea of being a “copy” of someone else, but also to observe the generational differences between them.
The images on the left each each photograph is a picture of Unge’s mother. Unge is on the right. At the time her mothers photographs were taken, she was studying art at college with her husband. Unge grew up with several boxes of photographs around the house and as a child used to spend time going through the happy photos of her parents.
Unge did not realise how closely she resembled her mother until she was a teenager. At this time she would sometimes scan the images and use them as her own photograph on social media.
When considering her major project for her final year at university in Cambridge, Unge knew she wanted to recreate some of her mother’s pictures. The pair have always been close since Unge is the only daughter and has four brothers. Unge asked her mother in Lithuania to send over all the photographs in which they look similar.
The photos Unge selected to recreate were dictated by the clothes she managed to find as she scoured charity shops for clothes similar to those worn by her mother in the photographs. Her favourite photograph from the set is the one where she mirrors her mother gazing out of the window.
The reflected portraits of herself in 2012 and her mother’s portraits taken around 1975 show the genetic and characteristic similarities between the pair. All the images on the left side are her mother and those on the right are Ugne, reflecting with incredible accuracy her mother’s original photography that at first glance you don’t realise these are separate photographs of different subjects.
Trying to pay tribute to a mother is a difficult task, but through her incredible photos, Ugne Henriko was able to translate her love into print. Her mother Laimute Vasyliene, laughed and cried at the same time when she saw the photographs and that’s what beautifully artistic portraits of people you love can do, create deep emotion and pride.
Much of Henriko’s other portrait work, including wedding photography, uses the backdrop of wild nature including windswept beaches and deserted woodlands. Yet she remains fascinated, as we are on this site, by the idea of intimacy and the relationships between people whether friends, lovers, sisters or other.