MOTHERING THE WORLD
This project started after I moved to the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood.
I’ve spent the better part of the last ten years championing other women’s work. Prior to that, I focused musically on “performance” art. During years of songwriting and concert-making ideas are projected outward in a noisy fashion. The work I’m engaging in now is very intimate and is more of a reflection than a projection.
I am interested in exploring my body is a site of production and reproduction. It is (and has been) a site of concept making and conception-formation. Through the years it has belonged to many people, including children, partners, governments, societies, country, state, church, and home. Some of these places are unique, and some are not. However, this basic premise is clear – my body has been a site of production and “making.”
As I began editing my thoughts for this project, I realized that I never said my body belongs to me. So, more than ever this fact becomes a justification for this work, which in so many ways, mirrors what so many women have been taught to feel –namely, that women’s bodies belong to others more than they belong to themselves. Now, in the era of the new Trump administration, this may be true more than ever. It is especially important to share the truth of what it is to bring forth another human, to nurture them, and to make my body a site of visible production and labor. I want to disrupt the “nice,” “perfectly groomed,” woman-mother-persona. Here she is. Stripped down: naked, bloody, imperfect, and old but still a work of art.
Martha Joy Rose, January 29, 2017
Joy Rose is part of the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood. Sheis a musician, concert promoter, museum founder, and fine artist. 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.
Art Show in March: Rose’s current live/work space in Kenwood St. Petersburg, Florida is devoted to the exploration of mother-labor as performance art.The upcoming date for the next Kenwood Artist Tour is March 18th and 19th, 2017 noon-5pm. See map and find out more and to tour the studios of participating St. Pete, Fla craftspeople: [LINK]
The Disruptions, Extrusions, and Other Chaotic Consequences exhibit begins with an enhanced chest of drawers. Says Rose, “we are always trying to put everything in a box….Make it neat. Or, hide things away. Here is your chance to pick a secret or leave a secret behind.” There are also photographs of body parts, paintings, and mixed media with emerging dolls. You can visit the MOM Art Annex during the Kenwood Artist Tour.
Poem for Canvas Squat
I went out to the studio and sat on a canvas
I don’t know why except that everything that has sprung from my loins is fantastic.
Four amazing kids- now adults: Brody, Blaze, Ali, Zena.
Before that, lots of painful blood. Since them – ART!
If art is like giving birth, then let the creations be fantastic too. This is my pop squat.
Everything truly great has come from between my legs. Occasionally my throat, but, mostly from between my legs…. What have you got down there? Show the world.
The human body is central to how we understand facets of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. People alter their bodies, hair, and clothing to align with or rebel against social conventions and to express messages to others around them. Many artists explore gender through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their creative process.
The 1960s and 1970s were a time of social upheavals in the United States and Europe, significant among them the fight for equality for women with regards to sexuality, reproductive rights, the family, and the workplace. Artists and art historians began to investigate how images in Western art and the media—more often than not produced by men—perpetuated idealizations of the female form. Feminist artists reclaimed the female body and depicted it through a variety of lenses.
Around this time, the body took on another important role as a medium with which artists created their work. In performance art, a term coined in the early 1960s as the genre was starting to take hold, the actions an artist performs are central to the work of art. For many artists, using their bodies in performances became a way to both claim control over their own bodies and to question issues of gender.