‘This is where I am’ (2013) is part of the M.A.M.A. – Mothers Are Making Art initiative. Read More by Clicking Here.
‘This is where I am’ is based on ideas of Transactional Analysis (TA), a theory of behaviour that emphasiseshow our adult behavioural patterns originate in childhood. The theory describes three ego states (Parent/Adult/Child);
Parent is a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions.
Adult is a state of the ego in which we process information and make predictions absent of major emotions. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.
Child is a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.
The aim of change under TA is to free ourselves from our childhood scripts and move toward constructive problem solving as opposed to avoidance or passivity.
Inspired by observations of my daughter learning to walk and reflections on my personal ego-states led to the performance ‘This is where I am’. This was a durational performance working with two focal points: The Wall (a symbolic anchor for the Parent) and The Floor (a symbolic anchor for The Child). I am slowly walking between both for two hours, falling on the floor and picking myself up again, then trying to hug the wall. Using chalk (favourite childhood material) I carefully outline as much of my body as my position would allow me each time. The physical and emotional difficulty of this performance is unexpected.
About the Artist: Nuša Pavko
Born in 1978 in former Yugoslavia, Nuša graduated in sculpture and ceramics at Famul Stuart school of Applied Arts in Ljubljana in 2005. Also a qualified and practicing social worker, Nuša combined her twin interests in art and society in her Sociology MSc which considered the therapeutic value of postmodern ‘death art’ in 2010.
Primarily interested in performance art and installations, Nuša draws inspiration from a wide range of sources but regardless of the form, her artistic work could be considered as some type of ‘social commentary’ as it is often inspired by people and events in her vicinity.
Nuša has been living and working in London for nearly a decade and has a small ceramics studio in her home. Most recently, she has been producing artworks with her little assistant.
Mirror Mirror by Sandra Ramos Obriant
Originally published in Mom Egg Vol. 10 The Body
My mother told me I was beautiful. She was always saying stuff like that, telling me what a gorgeous baby I was, and how I’d won a Beautiful Baby contest and had my picture printed in a calendar. January was my month. She compared me to movie stars, and in high school tried to draw me out of a nerdy adolescence by telling me that I had sex appeal, an important item in her lexicon of female virtues. She never explained how to use that gift, but encouraged me to date.
One night, we watched an old Ava Gardner movie together — The Barefoot Contessa. I sat on the end of her bed and brushed my long hair, my head tilted to the side. She must have been watching me. “Your neck is the same as Ava Gardner’s,” she said. I looked at Ava, seductive in a gypsy dance, and couldn’t get past the cleft in her chin and the valley between her breasts.
“No, it’s not,” I said, more harshly than I intended.
We watched Jane Fonda in Barbarella together. “You look like Jane Fonda,” she said. My hair was lighter then, and laden with curls, like Jane’s.
“No, I don’t,” I said, and walked out of the room.
Many years later, my son was two years old and I still looked pregnant. “I’m too fat,” I told my mother.
“You’re beautiful,” she said with conviction, and looked at me with appraising eyes from my top to my round bottom. “You look like Jacqueline Bisset, only she’s too skinny.”
“I do?” I said, and studied my profile in the mirror.
My son’s in college now, and I still look pregnant. But I carry an image of myself that defies logic. I pass a mirror in my house, and out of the corner of my eye see a stranger. Who’s that matronly woman, shoulders slouched and with a crease between her eyebrows? I stop to examine my reflection, and a slow morph occurs. Straighten the shoulders, suck in my gut, and smile, and yes, there she is. Yes, tilt my head — yes, I still have it — Ava Gardner’s neck. The same.
About the Author: Sandra Ramos O’Briant’s work has appeared in Café Irreal, Flashquake, riverbabble, In Posse, LiteraryMama, Whistling Shade, La Herencia, latinola.com, and The Copperfield Review. In addition, her short stories have been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories of 2004, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press, Spring 2007), Latinos in Lotus Land: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, (Bilingual Press, 2008), Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (Arte Publico (2009), and The Mom Egg (Half Shell Press, 2010). Read her work at http://www.thesandovalsisters.com and http://www.bloodmother.com.