Mother/Maker

The traditional role of the mother has existed exclusively in the domestic sphere for centuries. Contemporary discourse surrounding motherhood is not detached from those very presumptions and assumptions. This results in a void of critique that could benefit mothers and academics alike, adding a varied perspective challenging the role of mothers, the role of artists and artisans.

The notion of mothers as artists isn’t typically present in academic discourse of feminist theory or art history, despite arts being integral to many of the domestic responsibilities. This explores 1. the role of the mothers as makers and 2. challenges what art has historically been. Art is a category, one that elevates objects and their makers to a certain status in society. Historians and critics have traditionally viewed fine arts with a seperate mystification, presenting makers as genius and talent, eccentric and intellectual. Artisans were viewed as masters of craft more so than a genius type. Whether painter or a weaver, the interaction and level of talent, dedication and understanding of material are all factors relevant to the labeling and catergorization of art/objects and what seperates the two.

I hope to explore the historical role of mothers and their traditional domestic responsibilities while considering a kind of democracy between art and objects. With this understanding all mother/makers and artisans are elevated to a position of artist, procreating and creating, nurturing life, and mastering their craft.

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Found domestic material made into yarn and knitted together (Fall, 2017)

 

 

 

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Artist Residency in Motherhood

The myth of the artist as genius is almost as infamous as the starving artist, a tragic figure so dedicated to their practice, all else is neglected. This image is hardly compatible with motherhood.

The starving and childless artist is not always the reality. More artists are becoming mothers, and more mothers are becoming artists. If we take an honest look at history, mothers were often artisans, and master of their crafts, be it weaving, textile arts, or ceramics. Ultimately, who is an artist really depends on what you think art is, (such concepts and context I intend to touch on in my work and residency).

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Work in Progress, Artist Residency in Motherhood, October 2017

I find myself in the critical role of maintaining all that encompasses the domestic sphere, and I found many of my personal domestic responsibilities can be compatible with making and my practice.

I will acknowledge that every child and baby is different, and I won’t pretend that I have found some perfect balance of making and caretaking. However, I have found that integrating creating and procreating has worked best for me and my daughter.

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Work in Progress, Artist Residency in Motherhood, October 2017

I began this (self-proclaimed) residency in motherhood after realizing the compatibility of creativity and raising my daughter. After finding inspiration from artist Lenka Clayton and her project (http://www.artistresidencyinmotherhood.com/), I began working and maintaining my practice with a few adjustments. In this wonderful community of other mothers that are working and creating, I have seen brilliant conceptual pieces, as well as work that transcends motherhood and speaks to broader human experiences.

I intend to facilitate a sense community and discussion with my practice, for mother/artists, mothers, artists and intrested spectators alike.