My son has been alive for 797 days and counting. i have been a mother for 797 days and counting. A single stitch is made to mark the passing of another day together and all that that entails.
As mothers, we wait, wait for sleep to come, wait for waking, wait for tears to stop, wait for the next laugh, word, fall, cut, sneeze, wee. Here i wait for spring.
i've often felt the weight of motherhood, the sensation of being held down by the load, the longing, the folding, the caring, the witnessing and the disappearing. Often weight is used to stabilise, to make steady, to counter balance. Is the weight of motherhood one of the forces at play that allows new life to suspend? For new limbs to steady and stabilise? Are we each others counter weight?
an opening on a day where i felt closed.
the gifts of waking before the dawn.
As mothers we hold, sometimes the un-holdable. I was drawn to working with porcelain in the early stages of motherhood. I needed something to press against, that moved, that folded, that yielded to my presence. I could work small, start with nothing but a small round ball of clay and end up with something that could hold, was perceived as functional, gave form to a feeling in me that was largely uncontainable.
My art practice has adjusted to the nature of motherhood, interruptions and time restrains are constant collaborators. There presence altering the way i create, the process and outcome being a direct response to this new and dynamic landscape. I have found that the repetition of my role as a mother over time allowed for these symbols to be realised. The care, activity and exchange of the day being reduced to a key of central actions and emotions.
I have used these symbols to map the movements of a week with my son. Each day is represented by 12 symbols. The number 12 being significant as it makes reference to the 12 months in the year, and the way in which we measure time in two groups of 12.
comfort, crease, wash, wet, dry, fold, repeat.
Mother = the marrying of weight with that which is weightless, hard with that which is soft, clean with that which is real.
This idea is in development. The many stones collected by my son have been gathered. They are tired and suspended at equal intervals, aiming for the stones to be suspended just off the ground. Suggesting the delicacy that is present in the balancing at play within family life, within the role of the mother. The play between the objects and the shadows interest me, the way they replicate, repeating the forms from a different perspective. Rich terrain to explore further.
Housed in a glass top display case, i have worked to fold a bed sheet over and over again. The folds are unbound so to suggest the endlessness of this domestic task, drawing attention to how easily they are undone, exploring the choreography of these movements when done on mass with an emphasis placed again on repetition.
Made from porcelain, i have recreated the blueprint of our family home. Exploring how the spaces relate, the shadows fall, how the space as a whole can feel spacious and at other times limiting. Thinking of boundaries, belonging, safety and familiarity in form.
Here i am looking at the different ways to depict the changing terrains/ground navigated by the mother, internal as well as external. I foresee the potential of bringing various materials explored into play with one another, extending the conversation between materials, continuing the narrative over from previous explorations.
A log from the fire refused to burn. It started me thinking. I took it to my studio to examine, to let its form make its mark. I ground it down, reduced it to ashes. There is something to the ash on my fingers, the finger prints on the white porcelain, the smear, the smudge, the reduction, the remains lift in a pile. More to explore.
Here i bring opposing properties together. Porous, light, texture with smooth, dense, shaped porcelain. There is lots more to explore here. I would like the rock to be free form/ of nature which will sit in contrast to the constructed, ordered form created in the porcelain.
Milkbook is an evolving body of work. Small pencil drawings are made on paper cut to the size of an Iphone 6. The drawings are done in the time spent breastfeeding, with whatever hand is free at the time. They act as a snapshot of me in relation to the moment.
A measure of time.