MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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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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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

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M.A.M.A. Welcomes the NEW YEAR – 2018 with Melissa Thomas and Megan Merchant

Artist: Melissa Thomas

Last month Melissa Thomas had a piece of reflective non-fiction writing published on the Mom Egg Review website in relation to her salt labyrinths work. Her latest projects some are due to be exhibited at the Shelf gallery in Cambridge, England in January 2018.

The Mother and the Lemon.

As the sun glows, radiantly flowing through the bedroom window, my daughter wakes by the dawns glimmer to ask if I remembered to buy lemons to make lemonade. In the bright morning light, before the displacement of home life, the kitchen is silently prepared with equipment set in place where two bags of lemons rest in the fruit bowl. Lined up on a chopping board like a diagram of the solar system, each lemon is a surface of its own. Displaying an intimate citrus topography, woven together in similarity through the common characteristics of colour, texture and markings, yet, subtly unique in appearance. Reminiscent of a fingerprint, each inimitable indentation is as distinctive as the dots of pores upon skin. Sliced around the plump centre each half is squeezed, extracting its juice for the recipe. Once the liquid is retrieved, I scoop out the remaining flesh, separating it from the dimpled, delicate rind. The scent arising from the anatomised lemons is sharp and sour, permeating the air and nostrils. Cleansing the debris of domestic duty, they become miniature vessels of material gift, bearing ripe nourishment for the senses.

Through the process, the fruit of the lemon is altered into a pile of translucent skin and fragments of flesh. Examining the squashed segments, soft and pulpy in their consistency, the texture induces memories of a placenta. A life sustaining organ, transferring nourishment from one source to another, the placenta is the forgotten phase of birth. Once a baby has arrived, we do not tell stories of the afterbirth, it remains an invisible entity, labelled as medical waste. Alternate meanings and values attached to the symbiotic unit of a baby and its placenta deviate from the codes of accepted social boundaries, rigidly defining normality. The placenta belonging to my youngest child was shaped like a heart, coloured in rich and vivid shades of crimson, sheathed under the loose and wrinkled pinks of membrane, mapped by sprawling thick blue hues of veins. Rooted at the centre, the thick, white umbilical cord, a twisting helix extending like a bridge between mother and child relays communication unheard.

The touch of my skin against the lemon remnants evoked the residue of the experience of birth. The lemons possess a gestational quality that render the juice amniotic, the pips translate as foetal. Attached to the interior, gentle compression enacts effacement as the seeds emerge in continuum. The dried pips are arranged in three lines, neatly spaced one after the other. They become pauses in the dissection of the fruit, punctuation marks to the story, commas dividing a sentence, separating items on a list; peel, pith, flesh, juice. A composition of the inbetween, they highlight negative space, drawing our attention to the blank. How does something emerge from nothing? Categorisation offers a framework to deduce quantitative meaning. Individual components become labelled and isolated from the whole. Mother, daughter, womb, placenta. Where does one begin and the other end? The linear route of experience ruptured the moment she crowned, transpiring from my body, taking with her the comfort of what is known as I exploded into a new realm, reverberating as the hot nebula of a celestial sphere. Reintegration within the symbolic apparatus of language required my children to become gramma within my story, interspersing the concrete with the fluid, subverting boundaries.

Each persistently fruitful contraction acts as a messenger, despatching significance between the body and mind in a language we must decipher. Fluently breathing through each tightening of her muscular uterus she dressed slowly, preparing to relocate to hospital. Shifting through this passage of momentous transfiguration together, we strode down the wide, white corridors side by side, each step asserting strength and fortitude. The labour room is small and square, decorated with attempts to neutralise the clinical atmosphere; colourful painted pictures filtering the bright daylight through the window, fairy lights strung across the wall in celebration. Rather than blending a sense of unity, the differences seem to contrast. Two ideological philosophies jarring against one another, a nexus located in the physicality of birth, unravelling around the mythic quality of experience. A sonogram affirms the elusive positioning of the baby wriggling in her womb; transverse. Validation becomes immediately distinguished, she had known all along. The emotional apprehension dissipates as the course ahead becomes clear and consent for a caesarean is acknowledged.

The operating room is bright and busy. Her naked skin sits at the centre of bustling bodies veiled in sterile overcoats, manoeuvring between the concentrated landscape of wires and machinery. I observe the surgeon’s fingers tracing the ridges of her spine as the positioning for the needle is located and anaesthetic administered. Sitting by her side, caressing her soft arm, the process is quick and smooth. A green screen draped between her torso and the surgeons work creates the illusion of two halves. A mind and a body divided at the centre, I witness her wholeness through moments of disarticulation. She is the centre of the universe as tears roll down her cheeks like rain falling from the clouds, nourishing the fertile soil, eternally giving and receiving. The baby nestled sideways within her womb, emerges purple and quiet, safely tucked inside her gown, skin to skin. The surgeon begins the process of suturing her abdomen, each layer of flesh dexterously adjusted under the bright overhead spotlight. With nimble hands, a threaded curved needle draws the deep incision together into a rippled seam tracing the contour of her swollen uterus, a threshold on the edge of the fabric of creation.

I returned home in deep exhaustion, my body heavy in a haze. Romantic and visionary ideals of expectation are torn away by the wild, bold autonomy of parturition. There is no personal, there is no political as division dissolves, blurring dreams and nightmares. I awake. Upon the floor, next to my bed there is a single lemon. I stretch my legs to begin the day and I stand upon its oval shape. Beneath the weight of my body, the fruit splits across its ellipsoidal meridian squirting citrus juice onto the soft, beige carpet. I pick up the injured lemon, its form encased within the palm of my hand, bearing resemblance to a tiny body, perhaps of a bird or a small mammal. With flesh and liquid contained beneath its surface, it appears to be breathing. Squeezing the supple, waxy peel between the gentle pressure of my fingertips, the pulp contracts and expands, it’s alive. Transformed into a subject, not solely an object, becoming more than an ingredient for culinary, domestic or medicinal purposes but emerging from its own stories and history.

 

June 2017 Melissa Thomas

Poetry by Megan Merchant

Working the Night Shift

 

String a white sheet

from the body of trees

in the wild,

 

set a lantern

behind its screen

and wait

 

for the flush of

mottled wings

to lisp and net

the light,

 

note how some

are frayed as

edges of a rug

beaten against

wind,

 

how the brightest

markings allow

the most brazen

behavior,

 

a wingspan—that if

crumpled

inside a mouth—

will tart a tongue.

 

Wait as they collect

like silk eyes

twitching,

 

paper darts

that shred rain,

 

and can trace the scent

of a wounded leaf

to know where

to slip their young

safely.

 

Wait long enough

and they will show

you how to be reborn

into night.

From Mom Egg Review Vol. 15 2017

Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, Arizona where she spends her days exploring, drinking too much coffee and avoiding the laundry.

Her poems and translations have appeared in publications including The Atlanta ReviewKennesaw ReviewMargieInternational Poetry Review, Diode  and more.  She holds a MFA degree from UNLV and was the winner of the 2017 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, the 2016-2017 Cog Literary Award and the Las Vegas Poets Prize, She is a multi-year Pushcart Prize nominee.

She is an editor at the Comstock Review, and the author of four chapbooks: Translucent, sealed, (Dancing Girl Press, 2015),Unspeakable Light (Throwback Books, 2016), In the Rooms of a Tiny House (ELJ Publications, 2016), and A Thousand Paper Cranes(Finishing Line Press, 2016).  Her first full-length collection, Gravel Ghosts, is currently available through Glass Lyre Press and was awarded the 2016 Best Book Award.  Her second full-length poetry collection, The Dark’s Humming, won the 2015 Lyrebird Award and is also available with Glass Lyre Press.

Her first children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You, is now available with Penguin Random House

http://meganmerchant.wixsite.com/poet/about

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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Schedule Your Visit to MOM in January 2018 [Click]

VISIT MOM: Help us celebrate ONE YEAR at our new location in St. Pete! The M.O.M. Art Annex has enjoyed visitors from all over the country. To schedule a visit with us in January 2018 sign up online here or write us: info@MOMmuseum.org

By checking the above box, I agree that I am participating in a tour offered by Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex at 538 28th St. N. in St. Petersburg, Florida during which I receive information and instruction about mothers, fathers, and families from an interdisciplinary perspective. I recognize that with any activity, unexpected physical injury can occur, and I am fully aware of these kinds of risks and hazards. I agree to assume full responsibility for any risks, injuries or damages, known or unknown, which I might incur as a result of participating on the premises of MOM. I knowingly, voluntarily and expressly waive any claim I may have against owners, volunteers, other participants, and the non-profit Motherhood Foundation Inc. for injury or damages that I may sustain as a result of participating in activities at MOM. I agree that Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex and its agents may use any image, photograph, voice or likeness, in its promotional materials and publicity efforts without additional compensation. I further understand that by participating in the photography or filming, I release Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex and its representatives, licensees, employees, photographers, and their designees from any and all liability for any violation of any privacy or proprietary rights. I have read the above release waiver of liability and fully understand its contents. I voluntarily agree to its contents. I voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions stated above.

CONFERENCE: Our second “I ❤ MOM” Conference” takes place on February 16-17th in collaboration with the USF Women’s and Gender Studies Dept. and made possible by a ResearchOne grant. We hope you’ll join us. The event is open to the public through pre-registration. We are excited to feature keynote speaker Andrea O’Reilly and a book launch of the new edited collection, Music of Motherhood by M. Joy Rose, Lynda Ross, and Jennifer Hartman on Friday evening Feb. 16th. Write us at info@MOMmuseum.org.

COMMUNITY: The local Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave has been busy organizing community events, including the Arts Walk coming in March. The new enclave motto “where art lives” is particularly salient considering we really do live and work at the museum.

RESIDENCIES: Thus far, M.O.M. has hosted three residencies. In January, artist and activist, Christen Clifford arrived as our first guest and spent two weeks editing her latest work. She returned again in July. Also, we saw the first summer Spirited Woman Residency with Dawn Louise Parker who has been hard at work on her manuscript titled Forty-Seven Days of Love. In October, we welcomed Hannah Brockbank who joined us for a two week residency. Hannah is a poet hailing from Sussex, England. Her pamphlet Bloodlines will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2017 and she is a Kate Bett’s Award winner (2016). Read more about our residencies here [LINK]

LIBRARY: MOM is proud to announce that it now has the complete Demeter Library onsite!!

EXHIBITS: Try on a pregnancy vest, view anatomically correct dolls, see art from around the world, and experience a new historical display about women’s work in the home.

INTERNSHIPS: We currently have several calls out to local college students for internships for the spring of 2018. Our high school intern, Andres’ has been with us since the spring and is a St. Pete High School senior. He is hard at work cataloging our library and creating a new student exhibit for January 2018. We welcome one new intern in January as well. We’re looking forward to introducing you to her.

ONLINE: In July of 2017, according to our google report 4,239 conducted searches and found us online. We are happy and proud that people are thinking about us. We hope that we can continue to expand in our new location. If you have ideas or want to get on board, please write Museum Director: Martha Joy Rose at MarthaJoyRose@gmail.com Introduction to Mother Studies classes will re-launch with a new partnership sometime within the next six months – stay tuned.

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Raising Awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum [LINK]

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy-related illness impacting two percent (underreported) of pregnant women globally. HG often begins by week six of pregnancy and includes malnutrition, rapid weight loss, dehydration, limited mobility and psychological trauma due to unrelenting nausea and vomiting with potentially adverse consequences for moms and babies. HG significantly disrupts women’s daily life. Yet, no standard medical definition exists nor adequate medical care for most of us.

HG is often medically misdiagnosed as extreme “morning sickness” and medical personnel (from physicians to midwives and doulas) often believe HG will resolve by week twelve. However, each pregnancy is unique and while for some women HG dissipates by week twenty, for others (between ten to twenty percent in the U.S.), we experience HG until the end of the pregnancy. HG is NOT morning sickness; it is “beyond morning sickness” as Ashli Foshee McCall (Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum, 2006, www.beyondmorningsickness.com) puts it. My own experiences with three HG pregnancies over the past fifteen years (with one live, healthy birth) along with my mother studies scholarship (“The Yonic Myths of Motherhood: An Autoethnography”, 2008 (10.1,57-65), Journal of the Motherhood Initiative of Research and Community Involvement & “New Maternalisms”: Tales of Motherwork (Dislodging the Unthinkable), 2016, Demeter Press) calls into question normative stories of pregnancy and birth and motherhood, mothering and motherwork.

At the heels of May 15, 2017 – HG Awareness Day – and October 15, 2017 – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I write to bring attention to the pregnancy and birth traumas around HG, including one in three women do not come home with their babies. I simultaneously draw attention to some of the supportive voices of HG: Hyperemesis Education & Research (HER) Foundation, HER Foundation Facebook, Beyond Morning Sickness, and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG): Sufferers, Survivors, Supporters Facebook. Dr. Marlena Schoenberg Fejzo, Ph.D. of UCLA has partnered with HER, conducting a study entitled, “Genetics of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)” (if you live in the United States, have suffered from HG and had treatment that includes i.v. hydration, TPN and/or other form of non-oral feeding and are interested in being part of the study, then please contact Dr. Fejzo at nvpstudy@usc.edu or 310-210-0802). And, Dr. Chandler Marrs, Ph.D. has recently published an article, Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Severe Morning Sickness: Are Mitochondria Involved?, outlining a potential nutritional intervention that may help to navigate HG better (see also the often unacknowledged work of Dr. John B. Irwin, M.D., author of The Natural Way to a Trouble-Free Pregnancy: The Toxemia/Thiamin Connection, 2008, Aslan Publishing).

Finally, I center my work not only in producing HG scholarship in the field of mother studies but I also practically assist women to plan HG pregnancies and develop strategies for managing HG. (I contain in my work a therapeutic shamanic healing component, grounding my work in motherwork, pregnancy and birth traumas for HG suffers and survivors, which embraces experiences of HG-related therapeutic terminations.) We are not alone! I can be contacted via email at drrokbad@gmail.com – Dr. Roksana Badruddoja, Ph.D.

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The Museum of Motherhood Welcomes Hannah Brockbank to MOM Residency [Click]

The Museum of Motherhood Art Annex in St. Petersburg, Florida welcomes Hannah Brockbank in October, 2017.

Hannah Brockbank

Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award. Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology(Binsted Arts)Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal. Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival. She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum. Her first pamphlet, Bloodlines, is due for publication by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2017. She is studying for a Ph.D at the University of Chichester.

During her residency at M.O.M, Hannah will have access to the Andrea O’Reilly Library and Reading Room, the complete works of Demeter Press, and the latest publications on mothering and motherhood. She will respond creatively to M.O.M’s varied galleries and exhibits which incorporate a range of mothering concepts, and will inspire her to embody her own mothering experience through poetry. Creative work written as a result of her residency at M.O.M, will form part of her Ph.D, which includes writing a publishable book length collection of new matrifocal poems. We welcome Hannah for two weeks beginning the third week of October.

Twitter @hannahbrockbank

Website www.hannahbrockbank.com

Instagram @hannahbrockbankwriter

If you are interested in learning more about the MOM Residency Program or you know someone who would benefit from focused time away, working in a supportive environment, and whose concentration is on the maternal, please find out more here. [LINK].

2017 Residencies:
January – Christen Clifford
Summer – Dawn Parker
July – Christen Clifford
October – Hannah Brockbank