ANNOUNCEMENT: AN ARTIST IN RESIDENCY IN RESIDENCE 2020
For 30 days beginning April 1, 2020 the boundaries of my home, yard, socially distant walks and outdoor exercises (as well as time spent with my family) will be the container of my artist in residency in residence.
I will explore the day-to-day in this isolation and create a series of photographic work to be called "the new familiar."
Inspired by my work in Alyson Aliano’s Photographing the Familiar class at UCLA. I will share select pieces of my work from her class as they relate to re-familiarizing myself with my place of residence and create new work that explores this unique time capsule of isolation.
Today, my county in Missouri begins a stay at home order. My family has been living that way already for a couple of weeks in preparation for these rules as the pandemic started reaching around the United States. And I am blessed to have a job that could send most of the employees home and I can do all of my work remotely. It is a massive shift for me to be at home so much -- I have worked a full time+ job since my son was six months old. Time is full now for sure! While it is profound and meaningful to be at home, dedicated more intensely and acutely to the protection of and provision for my family, community and world, let's all agree that it comes with another, exhausting emotional layer. I have family in Italy. Dear friends in New York, California, Illinois and so many places. Every day somewhere, someone is affected. Each of us connected wherever we are.
We are all going through so much right now, individually and together as a world. In so many cases, Stay at home moms (SAHM) and dads are inundated with new routines, homeschooling set-ups, cooking/sleep schedules and remote working partners now that so, so many of us have been given the stay at home orders. It's overwhelming and it's a challenge.
I am thinking about what I can do from my home to reach out and extend my love, support and energy to us all. motherwork is about knowing, sharing and telling - our experiences, ideas, lessons learned and resources. I didn’t know what this “project” would become when I started it, I just knew that I needed to start it.
Just this month I found some footing with researching artists and projects and started building up relationships and opportunities to put together some community screenings of documentary films related to motherwork. Those events are on hold of course, but the reconnecting and reinvigorating of motherwork.org as a potential resource hub is still in the works. I have started updating the site and will be continuously adding to it, with posts, ideas, calls for entry and other ways for us to connect, create and share.
Please visit the Resources page and send any comments or information that you feel could be added. I’m spending quite a bit of time on Instagram these days: find me @mother.work.
Stay home, be well and love each other.
p.s. If you have a sewing machine and skills, make some masks with this handy pattern from STATE the label
I was recently gifted this art book by my mother, an artist herself who thought it would be relevant to my motherwork exploration. I dived right in and found Meinrad Craidhead to be a deep and amazing artist. I researched more and found a documentary was produced about her and her artworks. I'm in talks with the filmmaker, Amy Kellum about setting up community screening here in Columbia, Missouri. This event planning will have to wait a bit until we're through this virus crisis, but in the meantime I will be happily posting more here about this project and other motherwork offerings. Stay tuned and stay healthy!
motherwork.org grew out of a need for me to connect to my own experience of motherhood and examine how and why I was not necessarily embracing the possibilities for my creative practice within the new limitations of parenthood. I felt there were connections to be made with an external community that I had yet to find and that that might help me with the process of reconnecting with my self.
My identity, like I’m sure so many other mothers experience, shifted dramatically with my first pregnancy that ended in a late term miscarriage and then the birth of my son. Whether you intend to get pregnant or not, carry to term or not, or are at the beginning trying to conceive, your self and your body are already changed and will never be the same. You are actualizing new cells and selves and shedding old selves all at once. Becoming a mother is so disruptive and real. I wasn’t sure when to stop and assess what I was experiencing.
I’m doing that now with motherwork.org. My son is 3 years old and after years in a career telling stories for a living I find myself stuck, challenged to find my own expression for my experience.Life circumstances have forced me to look beyond my own ideas for support and advice. You don’t always find what you need when and where you need it.
I’m making new connections and finding new resources. I’m doing the work of raising a son and becoming and being myself. Here I will share what I learn and find.
October 15th is observed annually around the world as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The day is observed with candle-lighting vigils including the Lights of Love International Wave of Light, a worldwide lighting of candles that encompasses and spans the globe at 7:00 pm (local time). There is also a Hearts Release event that takes place on October 20th for families anywhere in the world to contribute their beloved babies’ names to be handwritten onto tiny, recyclable paper hearts that will later grow into flowers.
I, like many women have suffered miscarriage and wanted to take this opportunity to share some resources and thoughts:
If you are currently suffering a loss please reach out for support. If you feel like you aren't getting all the answers from your healthcare provider, find a doula or birth support who is trained in caring for women going through pregnancy loss. While miscarriage is a common and natural occurrence, not everyone knows what to expect from the process and what their choices may be.
StillBirthDay.com has many resources for all stages of loss including advice on how loved ones can support and express sympathy for those experiencing loss: https://stillbirthday.com/familyfriends/
The photo in this post is one my own from a series called "Little One". Even though the artichoke flower is dry and done blooming, the little one remains part of the plant. Today I am remembering my little one who passed and holding a place in my heart for all those going through pregnancy and infant loss.
I am excited to share that Mary Trunk's film, Lost In Living, which follows four women who are artists and mothers will be screening in Brooklyn, NY starting this Friday. You can see the trailer and more information about the film here: https://maandpafilms.com/media/
The screenings take place at the Spectacle Theate and more info can be found here: www.spectacletheater.com/lost-in-living/
The film was produced over 7 years and in and of itself is the work of an artist/mother. It is a fascinating view into the lives of new mothers and grandmothers, each finding and re-finding her own path and navigating the enormous changes of life with children. If you are unable to see the film in New York, I recommend picking up a DVD here, or viewing the film on a streaming service like Kanopy (if available from your local library). Seek out this film and share it with others!
I came across this opinion piece, 38 Days That Made Us Dads in the NY Times and it made me think about my own process of becoming a mother. This story struck a chord with me as I recalled when I watched my own son live the first couple of weeks of his life in the NICU, after being born five weeks prematurely. He is a healthy and happy two year old now, but the delay to bringing him home still sticks with me at times.
As the author, Corvette Hunt says, "the roles of parenthood don't fall into neat categories." Nothing about birth or finding your way through parenting is neat and tidy. Fathers, mothers, step-parents, adoptive parents, even aunts and uncles finding their way. There's so much to say about this work and process - and that's what we'll explore here on MOTHERWORK
We don't know what becoming a parent will be like. Or how it will change us once it happens. Planned or unplanned. Biological or adoptive. Single, widowed, or partnered. No one is ever prepared and it takes everything you've got. For now, I'll say a huge thank you and wish love to fathers everywhere doing the work.
An Artist Residency in Motherhood was initiated by Lenka Clayton in 2012. It provides "a self-directed, open-source artist residency to empower and inspire artists who are also mothers".
MOTHERWORK announces a ten-month Artist in Residency in Motherhood, and for the launch of the MOTHERWORK site in January 2019.
Sign up for my newsletter for updates on the MOTHERWORK Lab Residency progress and to learn more about the Launch!