MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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A Letter From Our Intern – Candace Lecco [LINK]

ABOUT: Candace is a full-time graduate student at the USF College of Public Health. She lives in Connecticut and studies 100% online– when she’s not watching her wonderful (goofy) 2-year-old son because he keeps her super busy. She loves to be in nature hiking and playing in the forest with him during their free time. She is currently wrapping up a poster project for M.O.M. online called “Birth Practices Through the Ages”. We aim to post those shortly here on the Museum of Motherhood website.

A LETTER FROM CANDACE: My academic background in pre-med biology and psychology ignited my fervor for humanistic truth, but hardly gratified my creative temperament, which I tended to with personal literature studies and philosophical musings. I found it difficult to communicate with others as I tried to defend science, because most people view the scientific method as a dusty, dry methodology where bias slips through the cracks, contaminating the entire theory. Few successfully connect the dots that were originally intended in liberal arts education- combining humanities with science to seek the truth and apply it to create a more humane world. Science is a philosophy. It is an art that takes the shape of reasoning. It is a process that only humans are gifted with. We can use the scientific method as a powerful tool but we can notice the cracks. We can see the light shining through them and we can think about what to do about it. We seal them when appropriate and other times it is more appropriate to let nature help reveal knowledge. To believe that science is inherently restrictive and dogmatic is to disempower your incredible capabilities as a human being. As a graduate student at the University of South Florida and a mom, I am proud to intern at the Museum of Motherhood, an organization dedicated to dissolving the systematic barriers of art and science and showcasing the beauty of the motherhood.

After receiving my Bachelor of Science degree from Central Connecticut State University, I desired to look beyond the atomic, molecular, and cellular levels of nature that I had been so focused on in that small campus in that small city, in that small state. I found microbiology so intriguing because it connected the unseen, powerful world of microbes to the superficial human perception of our environment. An elective course on Parasites & Human Disease introduced me to global health disparities and painted an image of health that extended beyond individual existence- public health. I knew that I found infectious disease interesting, I wanted to help people, and I wanted the impact to be big.

I see public health as a beautiful collaboration between humanities and science. That’s exactly what I began studying at the University of South Florida, where I am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in global health, specializing in infection prevention. New insights into the life-course perspective melded with my life experiences more recently to direct my focus to maternal health, which is the foundation of a healthy society. This shift has been informed by my internship at the Museum of Motherhood.

I experienced profound growth and change when I became a mother in 2016 and had a somewhat strange struggle with postpartum depression. It was strange because I had previous knowledge about the condition from the outside-looking-in, and I found that to be valid. But I was also on the inside-looking-out, constantly discerning how I should feel with compassion and anger about what is expected of me, while thwacking myself simultaneously in self-pity and awareness that society and biology have more control over my mental health than I can fix alone. I struggled with breastfeeding until I found help in a local support group. I experienced, firsthand, the benefits of society. These women inspired me, and I found comfort in knowing that when I could log onto Facebook and find help from others who were also up nursing at 3 a.m. I enjoy reading about motherhood in both literature and in psychology and philosophy texts; I ruminate over how I can effectively improve the situation in our society where critique is abundant but action is stonewalled or misguided.

I also found inspiration in global public health leaders, like Hans Rosling, who brilliantly communicated complex data. Rosling used objective data to show that “extreme poverty is the worst health problem in the world today”, and that it should be prioritized over noncommunicable diseases, despite their prominence in numbers. No matter how developed or underdeveloped a country is, the proportion of noncommunicable diseases is ellipsing communicable diseases, yet life expectancies are paradoxically worse; this is an example of science as art- looking at the objective data in the context of our dynamic globe. Disparities associated with maternal and child mortality remains an enormous challenge in nearly all countries, especially the United States, where life-expectancy at birth is the lowest and the maternal and infant mortality rate is the highest of almost all developed countries. Despite non communicable diseases traditionally signaling long-life and high economic status, life expectancies and health outcomes are worse because child mortality rates are increasing due to communicable diseases, malnutrition and lack of maternal services. Maternal health is the foundation of a healthy society.

 

 

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M.A.M.A. Weaving the Past with the Present: Saskia Saunders & Martha Joy Rose

About the Artist:

Saskia Saunders creates minimal constructed artworks, from domestic materials such as parchment paper, string and household linens. These are sensitively woven, wrapped and manipulated, highlighting their simple, functional aesthetic and inherent tactile qualities.

Saunders’ work is strongly linked to a sense of place, the home. Her art is an invitation to experience a calm pause, a moment of contemplation in a world of clutter and noise.

From her travels in Japan, she is inspired by the concepts of negative space (Ma) and embracing imperfections (Wabi-sabi). Creating space in each piece for the mind to focus, notice details and the light between.

Training as a weaver at the University of Brighton has greatly influenced Saunders. The boundaries of art and craft blur as she redefines an ancient craft in contemporary art.

In 2017 Saunders exhibited in London: Leftovers, 198 Gallery and A sense of place, Oxo Gallery, New York: Et tu Arte Brute, Andrew Edlin Gallery and completed a residency in

Buckinghamshire: Evolve, Artist Residency in Motherhood. Saunders is currently working with Four Dots Dubai Art Consultancy. Saunders achieved a First Class degree Woven Textiles at the University of Brighton and has worked with woven textile design companies and social enterprises in New York, China and Cambodia.

 

 

Wither the Leaf

By Martha Joy Rose

Published in the Mom Egg Review Volume 16 April, 2018

They sat together by the pool under the Tuscan sky. One was a fading beauty, the other in the bloom of youth. All eyes were on the youthful one, chatty and charming, while the older woman suffered unaccountable bouts of sadness accompanied by tears.

“Cluck, cluck” her friends fussed. But, there was nothing to do. It was just time wafting in the wind, turning the pages, spinning the wheel. They made jokes and told stories, but the woman hummed softly to herself testing the Italian language. The strange low, slow sounds were a vocal affirmation, a commitment to presence. A moan.

Her daughter, who was approaching the age of twenty-three, tossed her long hair about and dove into the pool where the stone foundations of the fifteenth century house met with the terraced descent of fresh lavender and ancient rock. She was a sleek mermaid, splaying her arms above her head and frolicking. Everything about her tingled and shivered. She was buoyant and light. She played while her mother professed a headache and climbed the long stairs to her room where she was overtaken by a bout of melancholia.

The trip from America to Italy, which had been years in the making, was twofold. The woman’s daughter had recently graduated college. This was a celebratory adventure. The fact that they were staying with the woman’s friend, who had been her lover forty years before when the two of them were in college, was a footnote. Each had married someone else but kept a commitment to remain friends.

While everyone flirted and chatted in the company of weekend guests she wondered where all the time had gone and how little of it she had left. She reflected on her youth, her passions and then how she had become a mother. She recalled the labor of childhood when each was the center of the other’s world. She thought how all her children were grown now, and stared vacantly into the horizon. These thoughts caused her to languish while everyone else drank Campari, toasting the future. She could not help but compare her age to the younger ones among them. She felt spent and exhausted, like every experience had already happened and there was no reason to bother with anything new. The sun did not agree with her and neither did the food. She was pale and bloated, rubbing her swollen ankles by the side of her bed while the others soaked up the afternoon sun. She could hear them laughing and she was jealous.

Falling into a long sleep, she awoke and observed the fading afternoon light turning shades of pink across the distant mountains. She could hear movement in the rest of the house on the floors below and began to dress for another arduous dinner where she would drink more than her share of prosecco before passing out into another dull sleep.

           That night they drove to Cortona. After collecting cashmere and leather, they ordered appertivos and toasted their spoils. This was how their time together unfolded, day after day until a week had passed. Then, on one of their trips, the woman caught sight of a tiny shop on the main square in the hilltop village. The store was etched into a cave and was owned by a man whose father and grandfather, were also jewelers. In the window, a beautiful handmade necklace of heavy silver with a gold coin gleamed against a dark velvet display. While the others in her group argued over the quality of leather in the dark bowels of a biker shop she slipped away to try on the necklace. The kindly clerk fussed over the woman describing the style of craftsmanship, it’s age and the story of the coin of Cortona. This was the way she usually fawned over her daughter and the lavished attention felt good.

           She stood looking at herself in the mirror and thanked the girls. Then, she plunked down one hundred and ninety euros for the chain and seventy-seven for the coin. After, the woman stood on the corner holding the coin in her hand. She felt elegant and proud. Her daughter, who was usually loving and attentive was cross on this night and did not approach her as the others waved towards the restaurant where they had planned to meet.

Another dinner of too much wine and heavy meats meant she did not sleep well. This was often the case. She awoke at four A.M. A mixture of emotions lay just below the surface when the time came to say goodbye. They said farewell to her friend’s wife. Goodbye to the large, vertical empty green mountain just beyond the villa’s border. Goodbye to the wild wet fountain, the trees, and the bay leaves. Then, she said goodbye to her friend of forty years, kissing him lightly on the lips. In that moment, they lingered long enough for all the sweetness to come flooding back, transporting her to the place where time stands still– eternally. Taking her daughter’s hand, she bade them hurry so they would not miss their train._

Message from the author: As I share this story with you, the seasons turn from winter, to spring, and soon again to summer. We begin planting now for the productive months to come. This past week, I celebrated my sixty-first birthday. This time has been filled with a sense of vulnerability and awe. It amazes me that I have continued to thrive, even as a LUPUS survivor and renal transplant recipient.  Eighteen years ago, my beautiful girlfriend, Pam Van Hoesen donated her kidney in an act, which literally saved my life. This has allowed me to be here today, writing these words to you. I am blessed with the ability to prioritize time with my family, share love with my friends, as well as to continue the labor of collecting and disseminating knowledge and information about mothers and motherhood at the MOM Art Annex in Florida. I live every day in gratitude, even as a marvel at my body changing through the years. This looks to be an exciting time both personally and professionally. If you are looking for an opportunity for quiet contemplation away from your usual grind and are a scholar, writer, or artist working on material related to women, mothers, or families, please consider applying for a residency opportunity at the Museum of Motherhood in St. Pete. I would love to support your work. [Link]

Bio: Martha Joy Rose is a musician, community organizer, and museum founder. Her work has been published across blogs and academic journals and she has performed with her band Housewives On Prozac on Good Morning America, CNN, and the Oakland Art & Soul Festival to name a few. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” in New York, and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts. She founded the Museum of Motherhood in 2003, created the Motherhood Foundation 501c3 non-profit in 2005, saw it flourish in NYC from 2011-2014, and then pop up at several academic institutions. Her current live/work space in Kenwood St. Petersburg, Florida is devoted to the exploration of mother-labor as performance art. Recent publications include the edited collection, Music of Motherhood with Demeter Press (2018). Exhibitions include the St. Pete Artist Tour (2017, 2018),  M.A.M.A. in collaboration with Procreate Project and The Mom Egg; a monthly digital expression (2016-ongoing), and the “Ima Iyla’a: Art of Motherhood” as part of the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale exhibit.

MarthaJoyRose.com/ Twitter @MarthaJoyRose /Instagram @MarthaJoyRose /Facebook @MarthaJoyRose

Mom Egg Review: Volume 16 Launches in April:

MOTHERS WORK/MOTHERS PLAY in this issue.

Print – Contributors’ Special Rates     1-4 copies – $12 ea.  5+ copies – $10 ea. (plus shipping). Order online or use the order form attached to order by mail.  Note: Contributors’ Rates are for copies ordered by you, which may be sent to yourself or to others.

Friends and Family –Please feel free to announce your participation in the issue to colleagues, fans, friends and family.  MER Community Rate (friends and family) Print – $15 (reg.  $18)  (plus shipping). Enter code COMMUNITY for a discounted rate.

MAMA_Logo_2015

The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a bi-monthly international exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg

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M.A.M.A. Left Overs – no more with Rajaa Paixão and Oz with Gwen North Reiss

Statement:

Rajaa Paixão’s art practice tackles a conceptual and multidisciplinary approach, mainly encompassing sculpture and painting, turned into assemblages.

Having an overly dreamy and idealist nature, her thoughts tend to be too erratic and therefore overlapping, resulting in the abstraction and blurry perception of events, contrasted with the urge to reorder physical objects neatly, and naturally, the need to examine divergent themes.

Rajaa’s work process resembles a reverse visual digression, exploring the limits of her memory and imagination, and sharpening indistinct feelings through a dissected analysis of the subject; with the purpose of demystifying the complexity of an event and minimalising thematic narratives by stripping it to its essentials.

The choice of unconventional and diverse materials results from the study of the topic and the inspiration behind it. The role of a base/structure to hold or present the work is as essential to her as the artwork itself; and she only feels that the work is finished when both elements merge into one sculpture, with a clear correlation between all the displayed pieces.

“Becoming a mother was a massive challenge to reconcile my art process with my new status and responsibilities, and reintegrate creation in my daily life. It also changed the way I look at life and respond to change, something I’m happy to embrace and translate in my future work. I am currently exploring safe materials further, and implementing new techniques, which will allow me to maintain my practice in the presence of my son.”

Selected Projects:

– Left Overs no more

The body of work consists of an installation of 3 pieces encompassing painting (at times using one hand while holding a baby or rocking a pram with the other), and sculpture, using contrasted materials and techniques to create organic and industrial shapes.

Bringing together unfinished works and what seems to be an eternal work in progress, the artworks respond to the theme of Sanity and Motherhood, or what’s left of it.

The result involves a long process of what resembles an artistic therapy, in an attempt to extrude trapped emotions on canvas, morphing unconscious thoughts into a colourful interpretation, repetitive and identical gestures; assembled to create inner order, achieved in short saccadic intervals of interrupted time.

Echoing a prolonged chaotic mental and physical metamorphosis, the pieces reach a state of being almost finished, on the verge of being made sense of, figured out, endorsed; only to be soon hit by a triggered, sudden and uncontrollable wave of irrational fear backed with fury, spreading “like” fire, consuming every bit of vulnerable order recently restored.

The end result betrays an illusory freedom being brutally stripped off, the lie of being a separate and defined entity, provoking a loss of control and irreversible frustration, transferred onto the work.

What seems to be a hanging promise of accomplishment, just like the postpartum body and mind, displays signs of visible damages and cracks, hinting to the extent of the invisible ones.

In the end, each imperfect left over from an unfinished work manages to find balance and a purpose in filling a supporting role in the birth of a new coherent and complete entity.

– Berlin 78 Days Backwards

3 pieces tackling an impossible hypothetical yet actual attempt of a trip, using the power of physics and surrounding forces such as black holes, time and the speed of light.

A story about missing an art trip to Berlin, and deciding to travel virtually. The work result consists of a time machine (with hints to a torture tool from all the waiting and stressing), light and sand incubators, ‘theoretically’ meant to catch the light through a mirror and make the sand level rise, allowing the powers of physics to do their magic, and a black hole sound piece with a distorted recording of the unlimited calls made to the German Embassy.

M.A.M.A. 28

More about Rajaa:

Rajaa took part in several group exhibitions across England, and was an artist-in-residence at They Eat Culture in Preston, UK, in addition to attending evening classes, Psychoanalysis after Freud, at the Freud Museum, London. She studied a Master of Arts with emphasis on European Art Practice at Kingston School of Art, London, and has received 4 years tuition in Neoclassical Sculpture.

Instagram @rajaapaixao

OZ

By Gwen North Reiss

Like Dorothy you imagine
that someone will give you,
will have the power to
grant, I think was the word,
what you most want,
one thing that was so clear
when you started out
before you met all of these others,
before the dog met all of these others
who also searched for one thing.
You know the list, a heart,
courage, a nervous system etc.,
a way to get back to Point A.
The shoes were key—
the ones worn for a while
by an evil one and now irreversibly
yours because of the violent way you came
into this world, with feet,
fully formed. You were a bit rumpled,
and so serious, staring—
What an entrance! —
while others giggled and cooed
and asked who must you be.
You knew all along, but you had
to tell them in so many words,
reminding them at every turn
when you started walking,
when you reached the city,
and discovered the truth
about the great one.
By then they knew you well
enough to help you explain.
And you knew what they wanted
and knew what you would miss
about each one of them
when you left—or got back
whichever it was.
The day wishes were handed out like prizes
the great and powerful disappeared
in an instant, waving and yelling97

MAMA_Logo_2015

The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a bi-monthly international exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg

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Cooperative Residencies at M.O.M. Make a BIG Impact

Based on our successful and impactful residency opportunities at the MOM Art Annex in St. Petersburg, Florida, we will be offering ongoing live/work situations throughout the 2018 season.

Scholars, artists, poets, and International travelers, are you looking for a supportive environment where you can research and study women and mothers?

Stay at the bungalow in your own private room with workspace onsite. This affordable opportunity is based on the belief that we learn through interaction and discover through play.

Our collaborative environment allows for ample private work time with plenty of options to use our inspiring facility with exhibits on hand, while discovering beautiful St. Pete.

Some planned activities, but mostly make of it what you will! Two bedrooms with a shared bath, kitchen, and porched area, plus ample gardens and painting shed make this the place for your project to blossom. This is a very low-rent donation based-system for maintaining our library and exhibit space.

PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION: M. Joy Rose, Director: (207) 504-3001 or write: info@MOMmuseum.org

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The Fence Project in Kenwood

M.O.M. wants to share in the spirit of the community by celebrating “where art lives.”

Help us design and paint our fence with beautiful art about women, mothers, and children. How do mothers inhabit the world? What does motherhood mean to you?

We will be taking submissions for ideas from Kenwood artists from February 12- 26, 2018.

The fenced area comprises approximately 90 feet. We are looking for THREE different artists to cover approximately 30 feet each. *Images ONLY. No WORDS.

Total budget is $500 per section, payable to three different artists for a total of $1,500. Receipts for paint may be submitted separately.

THE MOM ART ANNEX IS LOCATED AT 538 28th ST. NORTH ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA. SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MOMmuseum or SEND JPG IMAGES TO MOMmuseum@gmail.com (Don’t forget to include your contact information!) MOMmuseum.org

3 designs will be chosen. Notifications will be circulated Feb. 28. Painting begins MARCH 1 to be completed by March 20, 2018

PLEASE SHARE THIS OPPORTUNITY!

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M.A.M.A. The Muteness and the Scream & When You Were Wild [Click]

The Muteness and the Scream
Carolina Brunelli

I have always believed in Art with a purpose. I have always believed that I needed a motive, a driving force of social change for my creative process to make sense. When I saw myself pregnant that feeling had simply gone. Perhaps by irony, the patriarchal oppression that I have never acknowledged in my own life, paralyzed me and the torrent of the classical dual feelings of motherhood threw me in a black hole. I no longer saw myself as an individual, a woman, an artist, nor could I see myself as an autonomous being.

This process of turning back to my old self took me three years. It was three years of creative labour to get through the cowardice of patriarchy that oppress women, creating an invisible work force for the perpetuation of the human life, shutting up feminine strength and independence. However, in my situation there is no specific villain, there is no false dichotomy of good and evil, only the branding print in the collective subconscious that women are responsible for raising their children.

Carolina Brunelli

During those three years, I had lost my identity and did not know where to start to get it back. That is until I came across “an Artist Residency in Motherhood”. This residency helped me uncover that I could unglue myself from the symbiosis that is to be a mother and retrieve my identity. My driving force of creation was slowly coming back. It has shown me that Motherhood is a fertile ground for social change and I could finally see that I was not the only one feeling this particular way. Through different readings from other artist mothers, I realised that what I was actually searching for was not an excuse to work, but a good enough excuse. It was not about the patriarchal oppression of feminine exclusivity in raising the children, nor the unfair share of the children´s care, even less the lack of the State support in the form of day-care and schools. It was finally clear to me, that I muted myself because of the lack of recognition of the artistic labour as a worthy enough labour for me to outsource the daily care of my son.

I´m an artist and I´m a woman. I believe in Art as a living force of change. For me, being a mother was not only to yield to all the patriarchal conjecture but to disbelieve in all those special values that made me who I was before, nullifying my own self. Using Art as an instrument and the Residency as catapult, I could see myself as a woman again, independent and above all as a capable individual.

I believe now that I should share this overwhelming experience of imprisonment and freedom. I should go out of my cocoon and show, through everything that I lived the importance of dealing with the Motherhood thematic in Arts. Motherhood needs to cease to be a taboo, to be unwelcome and shameful and can finally reach femininity´s real symbolism of ancestry strength.

Thayná Bonin, a special old friend, who is such a sensible photographer, suggested that her and I could co-create a project to deal with all these issues. Therefore, we have created a photographic manifesto to expose Motherhood in its deepest rawness and awkwardness, but also beauty.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MANIFESTO ART AND MOTHERHOOD

We open the door and invite you to see the shadows, shadows from the story of a woman surviving motherhood on a patriarchal society.
We recover what mother-being has of most human and instinctive, we search for the access to our lost ancestry.

Surviving motherhood on a patriarchal society is painful.
In this society, being a mother means always feeling guilty and tired, to do the job of a whole of society alone.

But beyond the oppressions being a mother is also being able to fight, to survive, to reinvent oneself and to reconnect to our inner nature and strength.
These photos are a manifest, they invite you to look at mothers with compassion, humanity and love.

They are an instrument used to seek a new identity, they deny the bourgeois myth of the all-loving, all-forgiving and all-sacrificing mother and try to reach that touching point of two distinct beings with their own dreams and wishes, passions and fears.
They bring humanity back to the women-mothers, putting them back in focus, the place where they belong in life.

We believe photography can transform and empower the way women see themselves as a woman and as a human being. We hope that through this personal experience of patriarchal oppression we can reach other women and mothers, and that together we can be stronger. Art can be powerful.

Let us rise.

Carolina Brunelli
Thayná Coimbra

L.B. Williams

WHEN YOU WERE WILD   

(after Louise Erdrich)

When you were far away

snow fell green

Where trees were white hoary mountains

When three hundred year old men

could sleep beneath eagles

and become boys again

When I called to you

my voice at first a whisper

When all the mandrake roots were

taken from the earth

When a wind sighing chant

brought you to me.

Originally published in Mom Egg Review Vol. 13

L.B. Williams is the author of, Letters to Virginia Woolf, (Hamilton Books, 2005). Her poetry has appeared in such publications as Washington Square, Mom Egg Review, Sunrise from Blue Thunder (A Pirene’s Fountain Anthology). She has also published two poetry chapbooks, Sky Studies, (Finishing Line Press Fall 2014), and The Eighth Phrase (Porkbelly Press, October 2014). A new poetry chapbook, In the Early Morning Calling, is forthcoming this year from Finishing Line Press. She is Professor of Literature at Ramapo College of New

Jersey. Www.letterstovirginiawoolf.com

MAMA_Logo_2015

The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a bi-monthly international exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg