MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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M.A.M.A. 37- Clipping the Church and a Measure of Grace

Art by Tereza Buskova – ‘Clipping the Church’

In many cultures, even today, new mothers and their infants are subject to a period of physical seclusion or confinement from the rest of the world. During this time, the support of relatives and the local community plays a vital role in sustaining the family by caring for the older children, providing food and completing chores typically carried out by the mother herself. It is hard to imagine now that things were not so different for the generation of our own great-grandmothers.

No longer restricted by this custom, women today enjoy the benefits of improved healthcare, education and childcare options, which grant them greater freedom than ever before. Yet the stigma and judgment that come with pregnancy and early motherhood linger, whereas support of the local community has all but disappeared over time. Today’s society too often adopts a patronizing, utilitarian attitude which blinds it to the particular needs of parents and families. As a consequence, many new mothers experience feelings of loneliness and isolation from their social networks, unknown to them before. Some feel actively ostracised and judged when they should be encouraged and cherished.

Clipping the Church is a project based on an old English tradition in which parishioners ‘clip’ their local place of worship with hands and bodies and sing songs of a celebratory nature. The overarching aspect of this custom is inclusiveness and Buskova married it with the representation of motherhood expressed by the act of baking and sharing baked goods with family, friends and anonymous members of the community.

Dressed in traditional Czech outfits, ornate with sensuous red ribbons and elaborate baked accessories, two women lead a procession via Erdington’s High Street. Their white skirts are decorated with flowery patterns and bunched around their hips, emphasizing the connection with nature and its fertility.  The work subtly harks back to the history of Erdington, which remained a rural area until recent times. Accompanied by two young girls and followed by a simple wooden frame made of celestial crust (sugary pastries based on an old Czech recipe) topped by a small figurine of Virgin Mary and carried on men’s shoulders, the procession was joined by a multinational crowd, old and young. All precincts vanished for the duration of the performance and the lively chatting was underscored by accompanying cello music performed by Bela Emerson, resulting in a festive atmosphere that resonated within the surroundings.

One of the most moving and symbolically saturated moments of the procession took place upon its arrival at St Barnabas Church’s gate. There, Frieda Evans, the parish priest and the artist invited the crowd to ‘clip’ the church. Despite its overarching religious connotations, the act of forming a circle around the church added a universal dimension to this Christian custom. The church, decorated all the way around with sourdough bread in elaborate shapes hanging on red ribbons from the building’s façade, echoed the human bonds created around the church. Prepared by Buskova and the community members, this simple bake became a gesture of kindness and generosity. With the act of sharing and consuming the celestial crust, ‘Clipping the Church’ was finalized. The custom was reinvented, becoming not English, not Czech, but an inclusive community act.

Image credits: 

Erdingtonia Series, Tereza Buskova 2016
Image Size 21×15 cm
Archival inkjet print with gold screenprint overlays
Edition number 20 + 4AP’s

More about the artists: 

Tereza Buskova (b.1978, Prague) completed her Fine Art Printmaking MA at the Royal College of Art in 2007. Her intuitive practices capture and renew Czech folk traditions through a combination of film making, screen printing and performance. Buskova’s work has been exhibited at Rituals, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2008);  A Tradition I Do Not Mean To Break, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2009);  Rituals Are Tellers Of Us, Newlyn Art Gallery, UK ( 2013); and Reality Czech: the Czech Avant-Garde, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015. She has exhibited, performed and lectured in a broad range of different spaces including Lincoln’s Chambers Farm Wood (2010), Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2014), and Erdington High Street, UK (2016).

The Mom Egg Review – Words
Measure of Grace
by Caitlin Grace McDonnell

The longest person’s eyelashes were ten inches,
or maybe six. I think 8. She lived in China,
my daughter tells me, who is nine, like the youngest soccer coach, in Barcelona, which,
she says, is the best. The length of your integrity
is directly correlated to your forearm in prayer.
If you want to be seen as a woman, wear a string
of pearls. If you want to be seen as everything,
make yourself scarce. Math is comforting, my
daughter says, because the answers are clear.
Meanwhile, the length of time between school
shootings decreases at a rate comparable
to the disappearance of the words “climate change”
from government documents. Or the disappearance
of ice in the Arctic sea, or honeybees from warm
habitats. Yesterday, Sudan, the last Northern White
Rhino was put down in Kenya. The buds that bloom
beneath my daughter’s breasts are harder than
I remember on my own body, my own breasts,
whose alveoli no longer make milk. If you squint
at two women, they can almost be one.

Caitlin Grace McDonnell was a New York Times Poetry Fellow at NYU, where she received her MFA. She has published a chapbook, Dreaming the Tree (belladonna books, 2003) and a book, Looking for Small Animals (Nauset Press, 2012). Her poems, essays and book reviews have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Salon, Washington Square, Chronogram and more. She teaches writing in Brooklyn, NY, where she lives with daughter, Kaya Hope.

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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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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A Museum of Motherhood – What’s That? [Click]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Martha Joy Rose, Director Museum of Motherhood
207.504.3001
Info@MOMmuseum.org
A Museum of Motherhood – What’s That?

St. Petersburg, Florida January 26, 2018 – When it came time for a move, there were several things motivating artist and founder of the Museum of Motherhood, Martha Joy Rose. She is the mother of Bucs football center Ali Marpet and his older brother, Brody Marpet, who is part of a new startup called Gaspar’s Rum. For Rose, family rules. Since both boys relocated to St. Petersburg, Joy as she is called, decided to follow.

Formerly a rock and roller, concert promoter, and academic, her band, Housewives On Prozac toured the country from 1998 – 2008. In 2002, she started the Mamapalooza Festival, which moved to 25 cities promoting moms who rock internationally. Along with her band, the women of Mamapalooza enjoyed appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, and multiple media outlets including the New York Times and the London Times. Thousands attended events in New York, London, Sydney, and Toronto. In 2010, Rose turned her attention to creating the first ever Museum of Motherhood on the upper east side of Manhattan. Relationships with local universities resulted in internships with students interested in studying the art, science, and history of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. M.O.M. as it is known, became a destination point for twenty thousand travelers during the museum’s 29 months on East 84th St., which was in part sponsored by Gymboree.

“I have an ongoing interest in how mothers contribute to the social and economic fabric of American culture as well as the individual struggles women who are mothers experience,” says Rose. The museum is currently located in Rose’s live/work space in a 1920s bungalow across from St. Pete High School.

Rose is speaking at the Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force Annual Conference on Feb. 9th. More info here [CLICK]

The second annual “I Love MOM” Conference takes place on February 16 & 17th on the USF campus in partnership with the Museum and the USF Women’s and Gender Studies Department. International artists and academics present on a variety of topics. Free and open to the public: RSVP info@MOMmuseum.org.

The museum doors will also be open to participants in the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood’s annual Artist Studio Tour. The free two-day event is on Saturday, March 17 10-5 and Sunday, March 18 12-5. Copies of the edited collection, the Music of Motherhood (Demeter Press 2018), and select pieces of art, by Ms. Rose will be for sale and on display.

The museum is located at 538 28th St. in St. Pete. Tours are by appointment only and can be made online or by calling 207.504.3001. Exhibits feature a pregnancy vest (which tour participants can try on), the laminated cereal box dress worn by Rose when touring with Housewives band, and assorted art, antiques, ephemera, and teaching tools. More information is available at MOMmuseum.org

DOWNLOAD PDF PRESS RELEASE M.O.M.

MOM ONE SHEET PDF