In recent weeks, I have reconnected with fellow artists and creatives. I have been granted the opportunity to discuss my ideas and personal goals and I have really been encouraged by inspiring friends to ‘Go for it!’ So here it begins…….
In my work, I explore relationships. More specifically, I focus on the relationship between a parent and child. Pregnancy and becoming a parent, miscarriage and infant loss are of particular interest to me and I wish to consider further; how society explores or ignores child loss.
My artistic project will draw from personal experiences and I am interested in researching how other artists have explored and presented the topic of children within their own work.
Both male and female perspectives are of importance to my research.
I have found it liberating to explore and make sense of my own emotions and relationships through art and I have become more interested in how people use the arts as a way of personal expression and also as therapy.
I aim to create a new body of work that encourages people to have an increased awareness of the diversity of parenthood. I am particularly interested in breaking down barriers of the perceptions of what the relationship between a parent should be in contrast to the reality of what the relationship between a parent and child is.
I will continue to explore personal experiences and I am motivated to continue to create honest and expressive pieces of work.
I have continued to explore memento and artefacts. My interest in the urn has increased and I am currently working with vessels of various shapes and sizes.
I am considering the mother as a vessel and the interchangeability of the womb and vessel.
I am also considering the urn as a representation of human form, as well as looking at the cremation urn in respect of its actual purpose.
The selection of urns is not a random choice, I have scoured the internet, many antiques shops and second hand stores, to find what I am looking for.
Recent sketches explore ideas of placement of the vessels and how they relate to one another or are linked. I have collected and gathered these objects together and begun to paint them white. They may or may not stay white.
I am enjoying the calmness and purity which is beginning to come through. Quite a contrast to the energy and vibrant nature of a 1 year old and a 12 (I’m nearly 13 Mum) year old!
In December I submitted the final drafts to the first two modules on the MA.
I navigated and battled my way through feminist artists in history and women who have presented work relating to the relationships they hold with their children.
I painted and scribbled and found a cross over from my jewellery business, in to my art – something which I had initially kept separate.
I went with it and created a small exhibition with a portfolio of work created in the past few months.
Something which I have distinctly lacked in recording here.
There were numerous overlaps, mother, artist, wife, worker, academic student. At the end of it all, I was really appreciative of the Christmas Break and time for my family.
The effort and hard work at University has been duly credited and I am happy to have passed Art Theory and receive a distinction for my portfolio and work presented.
I had envisaged January being a hive of creative activity.
I met with external examiners and Professors at the University.
I have connected with mother artists.
I attended Derby City Arts Summit.
I have just received further instruction for the next modules of the MA.
I haven’t really spent much time with my paint brushes.
I haven’t read as much as I would have liked.
I am still moving forward.
I started university full of ideas about what I wanted to explore in my creative practise.
I didn’t have preconceived ideas about exactly how I was going to execute my ideas and now I have too many to comprehend.
The facilities available are more than I could have hoped for and some, I didn’t even know existed.
To a certain degree, I am still working within a comfort zone, using techniques which I am familiar with; painting, inking and bleaching photographs and using these to inform paintings.
The subject matter of the images has taken me away from this comfort zone, as I am starting to use images of my own experiences of childbirth and parental experiences.
I am currently building a portfolio of small scale paintings surrounding the theme of parenthood, however, I now have to consider limiting the topics I wish to cover in my MA.
I wish to continue to use personal photographs, which I will reproduce in a variety of ways, to create work about child birth and death.
This week is an organised chaos of who and what belongs where, when.
I would be lying if I said that everything was running smooth as a babies bum.
We’re getting there!
I am officially enrolled on The MA in Fine Art!
My eldest is back at school.
I am settling my youngest in to nursery.
Throughout my 13years of parenthood; I have gathered, collected and squirrelled away mementos. I have experienced extreme highs and extreme lows. I have ebbed and flowed, as if it all comes naturally. I have felt completely lost. I have felt complete.
I am continually discovering Artists and parents who really inspire me, who give me the confidence to enjoy my own journey as Artist and as Parent.
I can’t wait to get back to the canvas!
I had anticipated writing again before now. Such is the nature of working around life and children.
I attended the interview at Derby University. I have been accepted on to the MA in Fine Art and I start next month.
Childcare is pretty much sorted and at present, I am not too anxious at the thought of leaving my baby!
I am continuing to meet with my Creative Mentor, which I find hugely beneficial, especially when I sometimes have conflicting thoughts regarding direction as an artist, juxtaposed with parenthood and the necessity of earning some kind of living wage.
Thankfully, I have an enjoyable part time job, to which I have recently returned.
Maternity leave really is fading quite quickly into the distance and a new kind of real life will evolve.
I’m anticipating a lot of thoughts and emotions being spewed into sketchbooks and onto canvas in abundance over the next few months.
I am really pleased to have been granted this opportunity to develop and progress in my career as an artist.