As our residency program begins to grow with each new resident, today we would love to highlight previous MOM Art Annex Resident, Psychoanalytic Psychologist Tracy Sidesinger. Tracy also works as a member of the MOM Living Board as our artist residency coordinator.
Those of you who kept up with us regularly on our social media platforms during her residency know about her background as a psychoanalytic psychologist currently practicing virtually from Brooklyn and upstate New York. Her writings and practice focus on gender and sexuality, maternal mental health, spirituality, and the arts. She is also co-founder of The New York Center for Community Psychoanalysis, an emerging nonprofit psychotherapy clinic in Brooklyn which makes psychological care accessible to all as a matter of social justice and equity. If you are interested in her field of study or would like to find out more about her previous work, you can find her writings and publications in Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Journal of Mother Studies, Public Seminar, and Routledge. During her residency, she worked on a collection of essays meant to bridge psychoanalytic insight, interviews, and memoir to bear on the topic of feminine knowing. She confronted topics related to her project, as well as personal feelings on current topics in public discourse that impacted her throughout her residency. As she first acclimated to her stay and mentally prepared herself to write, she felt that having set aside this time to write about the subject of women’s knowing simply caused her to first write about what prevented her from getting to write in the first place. In light of such difficulties, she humorously reflected “why else would one need to write?”
With the additional time, she grew more pensive. As she began to work and write “the feminine,” she reflected that for her it “is knotted even subtly always within the lineage of motherhood “ and “requires some amount of knowing this lineage.” In relation to Sidesinger’s own lineage of motherhood, she reminisced about her maternal grandmother, who lived for nearly 3 decades about an hour’s drive from where she stayed. As she was nearby, and had not returned to the area since her early childhood before her grandmother’s passing, she decided to reconnect and honor her memory by spending a day at her grandmother’s “old haunts.” Memories of their time together came back to Sidesinger, with echoes of her grandmother’s indomitably fierce spirit coming through her memories of their time together, as well as posthumous recognition of her grandmother’s shortcomings as a mother. Despite recognizing such faults, she also recognized that in spite of them, she tried “really fucking hard,”and “survived eight decades when most everyone didn’t care if she lived or died.” Ultimately, through this experience she found strength in the knowledge this new connection provided her regarding her own lineage of motherhood; further assisting her in the research and writing process.
Taking breaks throughout the process to center herself and clear her mind, Sidesinger enjoyed excursions such as kayaking near coastal islands, and found solace in nature between hours of work. She especially focused on the local mangroves, finding they resemble our own growth through the connections we make with others; as we share our stories and grow by doing so, we enter new phases of life. Regardless of how experiences affect us, we continue to form new roots that tangle with those already present. Sidesinger felt this realization allowed her to better write about “the problematic structures of nuclear families” in her manuscript. As the days went by, and her residency drew to a close, she found herself bouncing between 5 different manuscripts and a continuously expanding reading list. However, she felt she had become more in touch with her inner voice, stating she felt she “needed to throw a few things back into the ocean” that would otherwise follow her, like doubt and anger. In this way, like mangroves entangle new roots with the old, she connected her stories to those of others, coming into her own and moving forward into new territory.
To learn more about Tracy, as well her keen insight and work, please check out this link to her personal website: https://nycdepthpsychology.org/
Also be sure to follow her on Instagram: @nycdepthpsychologist
If you are interested in applying for a residency here at MOM, please go to our website HERE: https://bit.ly/3uRgugm to find out more. BE SURE TO HURRY! Spots have been filling FAST! We hope that future tours of the space will be available soon, but they are by appointment only in Artist Enclave Historic Kenwood: “where art lives.”