We are excited to announce our newest Guest Artist in Residence, Marin Sardy! Marin is a critically acclaimed author who is currently working on her second novel.
Q: What is your connection to m/otherhood as an artist?
A: I love the way this question is phrased, with the word that highlights both “motherhood” and “other-hood.” I’m a writer of memoir, personal essays, and other forms of creative nonfiction, and my connection to both of the above concepts centers on my explorations of mental health, caregiving, and disability justice. As the daughter and sister of two people who struggled with serious, chronic mental illness, I wrote my first memoir, The Edge of Every Day, to examine the ways that I have strived to understand their experiences, worked to help them, and been shaped by loss. My current work is more focused on dismantling the deeply ingrained cultural attitudes that continue to prevent people from seeking and receiving effective, respectful mental health care. I’d like to add too that, while I haven’t written about it, I am also a stepmother. In both of these roles, I am and have been “mother-adjacent” in ways that I believe ought to be honored and valued in the face of the too-narrow box that motherhood has often been confined to.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your residency?
A: I plan to make as much progress as I can on my second book, which folds together stories from the lives of two very different women who lived with long-term psychosis: an art photographer whose work I admire, and my mother. I am currently focused on completing a full draft of the portions that relate to my mother, and my role as a daughter who was pushed into, and later embraced, acting as a caregiver for her. I’m interested in questions such as: What does it mean to be a caregiver in a mental health context, when the work involved is so often intangible? What kind of support might have helped both of us to live our lives more fully and safely? And what does this mean for me, as a daughter who spent so much time mothering a mother who had, in my youth, so dramatically failed to mother me? What (if anything) did my mother owe me, and what was it fair or unfair to ask of her?
Q: What led you to MoM and the residency program here?
A: I discovered Mom when I saw former MoM resident Tracy Sidesinger’s post on Instagram announcing that she had been accepted for the residency! Having never heard of the organization, I did a bit of research and quickly decided to apply myself. I was inspired by the museum’s desire to promote community and to both explore and support motherhood in all its facets. It just felt like it made sense for me to try to connect with the organization. Tracy in fact had been a student in an online nonfiction writing course I taught through Catapult a few years ago, and I’m grateful that I stayed in touch with her through social media—partly because her fascinating, thoughtful Instagram account is so full of wisdom and depth, and partly because she led me to reach out to MoM.
Continue reading to find out more about Marin.
Marin Sardy is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Edge of Every Day: Sketches of Schizophrenia (2019). Sardy’s essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, Guernica, the Paris Review Daily, the Missouri Review, and many other journals, as well as in two award-winning photography books. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Sardy has three times had her work listed as “notable” in the Best American series, and she has been awarded residency fellowships at Hawthornden Castle and Catwalk Institute. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and teaches nonfiction writing for Pace University and Authors Publish.
If you are interested in applying for a guest 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.”