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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Visit M.O.M. Today [CLICK]

VISIT MOM: Eight months after re-opening the Museum of Motherhood in St. Petersburg, Florida, the M.O.M. Art Annex has enjoyed visitors from all over the country. To schedule a visit write us: info@MOMmuseum.org. See just a few of our visitors here:

CONFERENCE: Our first “I ❤ MOM” Conference” titled Mothering from the Margins was a truly inspiring two-day event with a packed house that took place during Valentines’ week in February. We are in the process of editing and uploading content from the conference to the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS), as well as crafting next year’s CFP.
COMMUNITY: The local Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave has been busy organizing of community events, including the Arts Walk last March. Their 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. Dawn continues to manage the M.O.M. space while editing her manuscript and we are grateful for her participation. In October, we will welcome Hannah Brockbank who will be joining 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). Hannah is a PhD student and will be utilizing the Demeter Library onsite among other things. Read more about our residencies here [LINK]

INTERNSHIPS: We currently have several calls out to local college students for internships for the fall of 2017. 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 the fall.

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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Spirited Woman Residency At M.O.M – Introducing Dawn Parker and Nancy Mills

Spirited Woman through The Spirited Woman Foundation has created a program with the Museum of Motherhood to honor one courageous unstoppable mother on the next chapter of her journey. The mission of the Spirited Woman Foundation is to help heal and support women through actions of empowerment. The Spirited Woman Residency offers one spirited mom a chance to speak her voice, walk her path, gain time away for reflection and to flourish and thrive through a guided, intensive experience – all within a sacred space, in a creative environment, with the objective of fulfilling her personal dream-goals. Every woman has the right to be heard. Every woman has a voice. Every woman must help another.

THE SISTERHOOD OF THE SACRED SCARVES

– Nancy Mills, Founder of the Spirited Woman and The Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves – Wearing AWAKENED ENERGY –

A large portion of the Spirited Woman Foundation money continues to be raised through the Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves program. It is by purchasing these “Spirited Woman Prayer Scarves” that a portion of each scarf’s proceeds is donated by Spirited Woman into the Spirited Woman Foundation.

Purchase a scarf. Assorted colors and intentions! (Click photo)

The Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves honors women through scarf and ceremony. The Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf is a symbol of spirit, empowerment, and beauty. To date, there have been 18 scarves each with a different theme. 1000s have been sold worldwide, connecting women together energetically. The scarves themselves have been blessed – each carries sacred energy.

Spiritually and socially conscious sisters proudly wear the prayer scarves as a symbol of support at gatherings, marches, retreats and in spirit around the world.

The latest Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf is AWAKENED ENERGY.

The prayer scarves are a Mother’s Day gift for the entire year – filled with meaning – a gift both can share and help others at the same time. By wearing the scarf you will be making a statement of sacred love – together. What a beautiful message to give our daughters, our sisters, our friends, and our divine sacred selves.

PURCHASE A SCARF / SUPPORT SPIRITED WOMAN [LINK]

ABOUT DAWN PARKER – Recipient of Spirited Woman Residency Scholarship

Dawn Louise Parker

Dawn first visited the new Museum Art Annex, which is the personal live/work space of M. Joy Rose in February 2017. There was an instant connection between Dawn’s bright and curious personality and the spirit of the Museum, which had recently relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida from New York. Museum founder, M. Joy Rose and Dawn brainstormed on ways for Dawn to introduce her work at the upcoming annual MOM Conference. That experience quickly evolved into dual participation at the AEHK Art Tour in which Ms. Rose presented new art-works and Ms. Parker dialogued with interested attendees.

“Dawn impressed me from the moment I met her,” says Rose.” I could perceive that she was thinking deeply about her life and was committed to the next stage of her journey, namely that she had dedicated much of her life to raising her child (who is now a successful filmmaker living in California), and that she was ready to come into her own power. She was very focused on the next steps that would help activate her four years of writing, spiritual evolution, and prepare her to successfully launch her new career as an author and inspirational teacher.”

Ms. Parker is a writer, intuitive problem solver, empathetic public relations expert, thought provoker, outdoor beachy sun lover, wildish nature nurturer, and a fiercely independent self-starter. Her current writing project, “Forty-Seven Days of Love,” journals her soulful search to find self-love as a way to heal emotional wounds and heartbreak, anxiety, low self-esteem, negative self-image and relational dysfunction.

Speaking at The Academic MOM Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida inspired Dawn to enroll in the SHFT Catalyst Coaching Intensive to become a certified life coach. She is currently a contributing author to their blog on SHFT.us.

Dawn wants everyone to know how blessed she feels to receive the Spirited Woman Residency Scholarship! (thespiritedwoman.com). “This gift,” says Dawn, “will allow me to focus on completing my book while remembering my very spiritual connection to not only my life but the lives of women everywhere. I plan on wearing my scarf while I write and on making it part of my daily ritual. I also plan on conducting one workshop focused on women’s issues here at M.O.M over the summer.”

WHY DAWN IS A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

“I am a Spirited Woman because my story is a story of transformation. I have not sugar-coated the raw emotion, love, heartache, and pain that were part of this ongoing healing. I want to share my evolution towards a purer heart, focused on compassion, while seeking forgiveness. I celebrate the glimpses of triumphant peace that I am always arriving at. Telling my story comes directly through an intimate connection with divine love, which is the source of light that runs through every human heart. I know we are not meant to do this life alone. I want to share the knowledge that each of us matters, that our hearts are precious, that each person’s story is important, and that feelings are valid. I want each and every one of us to know that we are capable of living in the light and that we are meant to shine.” ~ DLP INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK

THE MUSEUM OF MOTHERHOOD

The Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M.) is an exhibition and education center dedicated to the exploration of family – past, present, and future with a focus on women, mothers, and families.

M.O.M.’s mission is to start great conversations, feature thought-provoking exhibits, and share information and education about women, mothers, and families.

The Museum of Motherhood is made possible by the Motherhood Foundation Inc. – is a certified nonprofit 501c3 that creates, produces and presents artistic, educational and cultural content that studies and supports mothers and their activities. MFI disseminates information about mothers for broad public consumption while paying tribute to mothers (Moms) free of age, race and socio-economic barriers. MFI cares about and acts upon the status of women while celebrating their courage, fortitude, and ingenuity, and while addressing important issues, creating meaningful content, and providing compelling community experiences

SPIRITED WOMAN

Spirited Woman (www.thespiritedwoman.com) is a leading global women’s empowerment community founded close to 20 years ago by Nancy Mills. It is known for celebrating the every woman visionary, who is inspiring and changing the world one Spirited Woman Step at a time.