Morgan Ford Willingham

Morgan Ford Willingham stands in front of “Untitled (avocado)” in her solo show “Notions & Impressions” in Eppink Gallery in King Hall. Willingham’s show will last until March 10.

When Morgan Ford Willingham first looked into her daughter’s eyes, she said it was like looking into a mirror. This connection sparked Willingham’s fascination with the connections they share and the diversity between them.

Now, 11 years later, “Notions & Impressions” is her first solo show at Eppink Gallery in King Hall. Willingham, associate art professor, has been teaching at Emporia State for the last eight years. 

The works in “Notions & Impressions” are cyanotype photographs of her daughter, Imogen, on found textiles. The ages of these textiles played an important role in the narrative of her show, Willingham said. 

“They’re so delicate and may feel so thin and light and yet, they have lasted for a hundred years possibly.”

Willingham compares the life of the textiles to her relationship with her daughter and how it has evolved over time. 

Willingham says the show is about her personal experiences as a mother and her connection to her daughter and how her daughter has physically impacted her.

“As she is growing and developing, I see me. But she isn’t doing the things I would expect because she’s not me,” Willingham said. 

After starting to document her daughter's development, Willingham said she found not only how her daughter is evolving as a person, but how she herself is also changing. Although they both enjoy creating art together, Willingham always asks for consent from her daughter so they can both feel safe and comfortable. 

“I always ask her before we take photos, ‘Are you okay with this? Is it okay to photograph you?’”

“Notions & Impressions” will be showing in Eppink Gallery in King Hall until March 10.

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