Today is the first day of my artist residence in Motherhood. After I signed up with Lenka Clayton at ARIM I now feel I am officially doing what I have wanted to do for several years. Having felt locked into my PhD, committed to a practice which wasn't really in sync with my life, since I changed my way of working I now feel free to explore new ideas that arise from my daily experience as a mother. This new way of working has taken on an original approach in that my children are now my assistants and contribute to the ideas, creation and production of the artworks.
'A Mother's Verb List' is already in production with Photographer David Wilson-Clarke. The next shoot is scheduled for half term holidays.
I am going to catalogue some of the other pending ideas here. Some will come to fruition, others will remain simply as ideas.
1. Absent Dad
A sculpture/performance work in which the children make/attach/carve/paint/draw/cut/wrap/write onto a sculpture I have made and which I have told them stands in for their absent father.
2. Private View: Where we should be
A performance protest staged in a gallery where myself and the children 'perform' bedtime in a tent in a gallery. Performed during the period when most mother artists are unable to attend due to childcare duties the Private View becomes synchronised with this intimate experience. The children and myself having eaten, washed, toileted and changed into our pyjamas are snuggled together zipped up inside the tent reading stories. As they enter the viewers are able to hear our voices on speakers in the gallery and see the shadows inside the tent as we read and settle down for bed. The performance begins at 7pm and ends at 9pm.
3. Verb List Sculptures:
Mobius Strip Series - these sculptures are made with flexible steel marine wire that is
To Squeeze/To Crush - these sculptures are made with my children who cut, squeeze and crush foam, fabric, and lumps of dried paint with jesmonite in pre-made bags.
To scrape/ to poke/ to push/to sprinkle - A rectangular frame is filled with margarine and the children use their fingers to push and poke it into a form. They then use sugar to sprinkle over the surface before it is cast into jesmonite.
To tear/to crumple/to mix/to dribble. Coloured sugar paper is torn by the children into large strips and crumpled up. Paint is then mixed with plaster and dribbled over the entire length of the crumpled paper form. 5 jugs of different coloured plaster are slowly dribbled onto the forms, one at a time.
4. 7am - 8am watercolour paintings
This series of paintings is made in response to an audio recording made in our house between the hours of 7am and 8am. This time when the family is getting to leave the house is often the most stressful time when there is alot of interaction between myself and the children. Using a different colour for myself and each child the watercolour paintings are then made in response to the recordings creating abstract shapes which interact with each other following the emotions of the sound recording.