JUNE 3- 9:30am-5pm: Royal College of Arts.
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.
The goal of this project was to support ALL mothers, regardless of their family form or personal circumstance. Stories and faces negate stereotypes and disprove assumptions that accumulate as a result of societal reflections. This project has demonstrated that funding and programming are not the only expressions of positive community support. Demand for mental health resources and emotional support exists among the single mother population. Mothers are more than results of their situations they are valuable agents of change and offer perspectives that hold the power to improve the systems that they are assumed to abuse. Governmental programs fulfill material needs, but do not address emotional needs or desires. Classism and racism have ruled over our country and have seeped into the culture of motherhood, shaping how we see mothers who do not “fit the mold”.
The piece featured is a tribute to the identity of mothers. After interviewing several mothers throughout the course of this project, I have uncovered the variety in perceptions between societal views and self-views of single mothers. Traditional family forms have been adopted as societal norms, yet many families do not abide by this societal standard. Despite the diversity of form among my target population, the standards of motherhood were not compromised or diluted. Self-love and positivity transcend boundaries that are socially constructed through identity. Not meeting societal standards does not demonstrate neglect it simply constructs a different setting for the development of family, mother and child. Identities are socially assigned with rigidity. The distinctions between societal, social and true identities are expressed in the following artwork.
Included in this post are two collages that express clashes in expectations between communities and the individual needs of the mothers in those communities. These collages emphasize the centrality and connectivity of social groups in relation to the wellbeing of individual mothers. Additionally, I have included photos of the mothers and children whose stories I have told throughout the past weeks.
NOTE FROM M.O.M. – The Museum of Motherhood sincerely thanks Shauna Ricketts for her dedication and insight during this summer’s internship. Working remotely can present challenges. Yet, Shauna conducted her interviews, created art, and fulfilled her commitment to M.O.M. by submitting interesting and captivating content. Thank you for your great work over the last several weeks. We wish you every ongoing success ~ M. Joy Rose
*SEE ALL OF SHAUNA’S POSTS HERE [LINK}
The Museum of Motherhood and the ProCreate Project are pleased to announce the launch of a new 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 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. #JoinMAMA
GRAVIDUS is a series of works instigated during the artist’s recent pregnancy whilst completing her MA in Art & Design at the School of Art in Birmingham. Inspired by the mould-making process, these works indirectly reference the changing bodily state during pregnancy.
The focus on process and manufacture plays a significant role in both the production of the work and its inherent meaning. Moulds contain both positive and negative forms within a singular, symbiotic unit; as objects of function, they are often overlooked and discarded during the casting process.
In GRAVIDUS I and II, the ‘mould’ captures the action of making within its internal space; whilst its large, solid outer form becomes an almost defensive structure. As the artist’s pregnancy progressed, the work changed in proportion, scale and use of material so that it references rather than simply depicts a stage in the mould-making process. By removing them from a purely functional role, the ‘mould’ is now elevated to the status of the casts they would once create. Utilising plaster and concrete as the main sculptural materials and wood and steel for the work’s display reflects their traditional and continuous usage within construction, architecture and sculpture due to their physical properties of solidity and resilience.
In GRAVIDUS, this enduring presence symbolises the universality of pregnancy, whilst the material strength reflects the personal feelings surrounding the relationship of female artists and the changing roles they come to inhabit.
Please go directly to the Procreate Project for more about the art of Claire Hickey and to celebrate this new international exchange between M.O.M. and the Procreate Project. Go to our M.A.M.A. link to read the featured article each month.
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