Motherhood and Creative Practice

18 07 2015

The highlight of early summer was the opportunity to participate in not one, but two, conferences on motherhood and creative practice. The first, organized by Elena Marchevska and Valerie Walkerdine at London South Bank University, brought together practitioners from many parts of the world for two full days of non-stop, concurrent sessions of presentations and discussions. The days were full, and I didn’t get to hear nearly all of the presentations that I wanted to hear, but the energy and excitement were palpable; Cultural ReProducers published a good recap here. And the best conversations often happened after hours – at cafes, or restaurants, or on a hotel rooftop:

Meeting of the maternal minds

Meeting of the maternal minds

A few days following the London conference, a smaller group of us convened in Rotterdam for an amazing weekend organized by the remarkable Deirdre Donoghue and m/other voices. The Mothernists coalesced around the idea of Mothernism (a riff on Modernism) articulated by Lise Haller Baggesen in her recent Master’s thesis, book project, and exhibition. The opportunity to share work in a more intimate, workshop type of setting led to stronger connections and more brainstorming about possible next steps. In both venues, it was thrilling to see such a critical mass developing around art and the maternal, which only a few years ago felt so on the margins. Or maybe my eyes are only now opening. Or both. Deirdre has very kindly uploaded the videotaped presentations from the weekend, accessible here.

The Mothernists in Rotterdam

The Mothernists in Rotterdam

For me, one of the most rewarding parts of the experience was that my 11-year old daughter joined me for the weekend in Rotterdam. She is at a formative age and I wanted her to be surrounded by these strong feminists, scholars, artists, and mothers, and to get a sense of what it is that I do. She was patient and interested and engaging with these strangers-turned-friends and I was proud to have her along.

(thanks to Courtney Kessel for the photo)

(thanks to Courtney Kessel for the photo)

As for what will come from all of this, who knows? Lots to consider.





A Woman In Her Place exhibition

12 04 2015

A Woman In Her Place, an invitational exhibition curated by Amanda Pfister and Manda Remmen, was on display at the E.B. White Gallery at Butler Community College, El Dorado campus, March 3 – April 10, 2015. Created around the theme of women’s identity and place, the curators invited female artists from the United States and Europe to create new works of art using a traditional slip (undergarment) as a unifying symbol for woman. The curators’ photographs showcase the wide range of work that resulted, from prints and paintings to installations, videos, and sculptures. Mine are the three handmade books in the case, each of which includes bits of a slip in different ways. The curators plan to travel the exhibition in the coming year.

installation shot 1 installation shot 2 installation shot 3 panorama installation shot

installation view of Slipping Away, 2015, handmade book

installation view of Slipping Away, 2015, handmade book





Recent reviews of Reconciling Art and Mothering

26 11 2014

Two years and still going strong! The past few months have seen a couple of stellar reviews of Reconciling Art and Mothering.

Many thanks to Niku Kashef for her lovely review in the new issue of Woman’s Art Journal. Their content is not online but one of the editors very kindly sent me a PDF of the review, which I’ll link to here:

Kashef Mothering review for WAJ

Art Journal published a complimentary piece by Joanne Heath, jointly reviewing our book and The M Word. Also not online, so here it is:

Art journal review





Prints and Paper, Fall 2014

23 11 2014
Cyan Arbor 14

Cyan Arbor 14

A summer printmaking intensive with my dear friend Gail helped me to get ready for the fall faculty exhibition with my colleague, David Long. Our exhibition, 10.14 , was on display in the newly renovated and renamed Robert W. Regier Art Gallery at Bethel College from September 26 – October 24.

 

It always  feels like a relief to have the work matted, framed, and hung on the walls, but I also feel a real sense of energy that these are not complete – that they are the first stages in a larger project. Particularly as I think about some of the found imagery from Berlin flea markets, I am excited to consider possible next steps.

Cyan Arbor 4

Cyan Arbor 4

 

The more I work with paper, the more I am reminded of how viscerally powerful I find paper-cutting, -folding, -stitching… Looking back, I see that working with paper has been a lifelong love and I am thrilled to be able to make this part of my creative practice as an adult.

Lost Family 1

Lost Family 1

 

Thanks very much to the many friends, family members, and gallery patrons who have supported my work this fall, and to juror Stephen Gleissner for awarding one of my Cyan Arbor prints a cash prize in the recent Arts Council exhibition.

Sharing about my love of paper, books, and boxes for the recent Art Chatter at the Wichita Art Museum - a pecha kucha format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each

Sharing about my love of paper, books, and boxes for the recent Art Chatter at the Wichita Art Museum – a pecha kucha format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each





Summer printing

19 07 2014

In the midst of a summer printmaking flurry of activity, a hint of what’s going on:

print





Have Milk – here, there, and everywhere

9 07 2014

It’s been a joy and a privilege these past few months to travel and participate in readings, book presentations, and conversations related to Have Milk, Will Travel. When I first thought of the project, I envisioned mothers from all walks of life supporting each other by sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly about breastfeeding – and that is exactly what has happened at each and every event. It is powerful to witness mothers teaching each other, even when (especially when!) they didn’t know they had anything to teach. And seeing young moms come to events and admit that they have no support in their life for their breastfeeding struggles, then leave with phone numbers and new friends for playdates and support? Well, it warms a person’s heart, to say the least. Here are a few photos that represent our recent events in Chicago, San Francisco, Ontario, and more.

The Women's Building in San Francisco - what a perfect location for our gathering!

The Women’s Building in San Francisco – what a perfect location for our gathering!

blog2

blog3

 





Mothering Synergy: CAA / WCA / TFAP

5 03 2014

While the maternal body has been largely absent from art historical discussions on the national stage, Chicago 2014 was a welcome change: College Art Association, Women’s Caucus for Art, ARTspace, and The Feminist Art Project all hosted panels, presentations, discussions, exhibitions, and performances related to art and the maternal. The level of excitement around the topic was astounding to me, as were the emotional reactions of attendees who were so deeply touched, never having heard this topic engaged in a scholarly setting. I am thrilled to have participated, to have forged and solidified friendships, and to have met many virtual colleagues for the first time. CAA 2014 and its affiliated societies made for the best conference I’ve attended in years.

Panel discussion at the Korean Cultural Center, for the "Through the Eyes of the Mother" exhibition, curated by Hye-Seong Tak Lee (center).

Panel discussion at the Korean Cultural Center, for the “Through the Eyes of the Mother” exhibition, curated by Hye-Seong Tak Lee (center).

Niku and baby Nova, Christen, and my print in the background, at "Through the Eyes of the Mother"

Niku and baby Nova, Christen, and my print in the background, at “Through the Eyes of the Mother”

CAA gave us a grand (and enormous!) ballroom for the WCA-sponsored panel on "The Maternal Body Exposed." Many thanks to my very well-spoken panelists Melissa Gwyn, Anna Hennessey, Christina Stahr, and Tom Nys.

CAA gave us a grand (and enormous!) ballroom for the WCA-sponsored panel on “The Maternal Body Exposed.” Many thanks to my very well-spoken panelists Melissa Gwyn, Anna Hennessey, Christina Stahr, and Tom Nys.

Apparently I took no photos at the day of Feminist Art Project panels, but this link shows the truly amazing line-up that Jennie Klein and Myrel Chernick were able to pull together.

It will be hard for next year to match this one, but I’m looking forward already. On to New York in February 2015.








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