Built from the inside
Oil on board
40 x 50
In my studio practice and research over the last decade I have been exploring the creation of alternative images of the mother, based on lived experience, and in opposition to the current narrow models of motherhood. My paintings and drawings focus on the physical reality of everyday life as I perform the many roles of mothering, both demanding and rewarding.
These works take into account my domestic surroundings, the home and other motherspaces, places where care for children occurs. This leads me to often focus on the small, poetic details that are easily overlooked. This work, Built from the inside, 2019, gives attention and value to an everyday domestic scene, the kitchen sink piled with dishes and other messy but homely paraphernalia. Painting images of my home, at home, amongst the demands and stressors of raising children and running a household, has allowed me to look differently at my domestic environment.
Gaston Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space, 1957, describes how the work of maintaining and caring for a home has its own value, continually building the home from within. While this notion is of comfort, the view of the world from the window suggests an ambivalence around the constancy of mother work.