Mothers, Mothering, Motherhood

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M.A.M.A. – The Riddle, The Interior Vacation, and the Mother House [LINK]

The Riddle (2017)

This stop-motion animation, made from collaged monoprints

The work focusses on the loss of self-identity in early motherhood. What is left of a person’s personality once the numerous responsibilities and anxieties are taken on.

Anna Fennel Hughes is a freelance artist creating monoprints that are often used to form illustrations, animations and textiles. She works from her small printmaking studio in northern Italy, but studied and graduated with first class honours from Duncan of Jordanstone, Scotland.

POETRY WITH THE MOM EGG REVIEW
Elise Gregory
The interior vacation
 
can’t be taken with small ones.
Times are set for such things: bed,
naps, or best “quiet time.”
Before dredging internal lakes,
the child must be watered and set out
or fought into bed.
Moms must wonder if
a brick wall may be more swift—
a long-term vacation.
Though a concussion makes for poor
interiors, chances are your mate
feeds the babes while you sleep
for a month.
I’ve wondered where all the titles,
and two-cent words have gone.
Say I was given a weekend with hiking
boots and head lamp. Perhaps I could find
my misbegotten learning.
The problem remains: I have no
maps and little training—the trail littered
with roots and misplaced anger.
Maybe rethink the bikini….
Slip in the revolver. Call what my mind game is—
an internal bear hunt.
Elise Gregory tends gardens, sheep, goats, chickens, three human children, and one spouse. Her poems have appeared in StoneboatRock & Sling, Sweet: A Literary ConfectionCider Press ReviewWomen Arts Quarterly and elsewhere. Her second chapbook is forthcoming from dancing girl press. All We Can Hold: Poems of Motherhood, which she co-edited with Emily Gwinn was published by Sage Hill Press in 2016. www.allwecanhold.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

Announcing the Mother House Opening in England

 

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MAMA Issue n. 18 with Alex March – Exploring Womanhood [Link]

Artist: Alex March

My work changed focus after the birth of my daughter nearly two years ago, these works are all recent and deal with my concerns about womanhood.

“I am a London based artist originally from the North of England working with drawing, photography, painting and film to produce works which explore memory, representation and identity. Laborious analogue and hand techniques are combined with digital technology to explore the object/image relationships of domestic archives and ephemera.”

Recent works have explored nostalgia and romance as vehicles for interrogating feminine tropes. A current obsession with Hollywood’s golden age was provoked by the process of making my short film Torture The Women (The China Cupid) 2013/14, composed of a series of scenes taken from Hollywood screen tests for Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. These scenes are digitally re-drawn and re-animated, the text edited and spliced to explore the cultural and literary manipulations of woman as romantic object. The phrase ‘torture the women’ was used by Hitchcock when asked for his advice on how to make a thrilling movie; the film seeks to take and yet subvert his advice, using repetition and digital manipulation to isolate the actress and draw attention to the peculiarities of the script and by extension Du Maurier’s novel and the whole genre.

IMAGE: ‘Bonne fête Basket Case’ postcard series, 2015, collage & gouache on postcard
Video Link: http://alexmarchartist.tumblr.com/post/114483500370/a-short-clip-from-torture-the-women

mama issue 18

Artist’s biography

Alex March is a London based artist originally from the North of England working with drawing, film, photography and painting to produce works which explore memory, representation and identity. March uses processes of editing, obscuring or physically removing areas of detail. This draws attention to the audience’ ability to empathise with the clichéd impulse to relive remembered moments and embrace notions of identity derived from personal objects, particularly photography. Laborious analogue and hand techniques are combined with digital technology to explore the object/image relationships of domestic archives, re-valuing personal items of ‘junk’ from the past to the status of artwork.

She is a founder member and director of ArtLacuna Space, an artist-led studio, project and gallery space in Clapham Junction, London. Open since May 2013, the space has hosted screenings, a mini-film festival,group exhibitions, talks, performances, experimental art projects, artist solo projects, workshops and much more. ArtLacuna has also devised a publication series, an online arts research platform and is home to nine working artists.

She graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2011 with a Masters in Fine Art. She featured in the Catlin Guide 2012, a guide to the 40 most promising UK graduates. She was shortlisted for the Jealous Graduate Print Prize 2011 and the Future Map 11 Prize. Previously she gained her BA in Visual Arts from the University of Buckinghamshire and studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Art.

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See issue n. 18 online with Alex March at ProCreate Project [LINK]: http://www.procreateproject.com/m-a-m-a-issue-n-18-alex-march/

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 aboutupdated initiatives. #JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg @TheMotherMag

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Celebrating the Anniversary of M.A.M.A. ~ Mothers Are Making Art [CLICK]

Here at M.A.M.A. we have been pregnant with possibilities all year long. In fact, we’re celebrating the anniversary of our collaboration this month. Read all about exciting changes at M.O.M. in our June Newsletter here [LINK].

WHO: The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are partnering with the MOTHER MAGAZINE for quarterly publications, along with for bi-monthly on-line presentations featuring M.A.M.A. – Mothers are Making Art. CLICK
@ProcreateProj   @MOMmuseum   @TheMomEgg  @TheMotherMag

One_Year

SONOGRAM
by Susan Vespoli

When my daughter was a toddler
she stroked my cheek like it was the silk
edge of a blanket and pressed
the nipple-ends of soft balloons
into the plastic mouths of dolls

and when she grew breasts
boys flocked around her
like birds to our backyard
come to pluck seeds
from the center of a sunflower

and then her hands gained skill
to text friends, flick cigarettes
from the back porch, play Bad Fish
on guitar strings, and flip her middle
finger into the air like a slim bomb

until it finally folded back up, resting
in the cupped palm of the woman
who smiles at me from an exam table
with her eyes as bright as a camera flash
at the blip, blip, blip of a lit star that will be Molly.

(Originally published in Mom Egg Review Vol. 14 “Change”).

Susan Vespoli lives in Phoenix where she teaches English at a downtown
community college, rides her bike along the canals, and walks her 3-legged dog
Jack. Her poetry and prose have been published online and in various print
anthologies and journals.

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A Magnificent Move ~ Featuring Mother The Job [CLICK]

As I settle in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, I can’t help but look around in wonder? After living and working in Manhattan (and nearby Hastings On Hudson) for the last 37 years, Florida is a BIG change! I’ve only been here for a few weeks, but two of my children graduated from Eckerd College so I am fairly savvy to the area.

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to picking a lifestyle here. I have met people who live on Beach Drive in the heart of downtown St Petersburg; friends who make their homes within a few hundred yards of the Gulf of Mexico, and some acquaintances who experience the desperation of having no place at all to call home.

I ask myself, what am I doing here? What is my justification for picking this spot? What do I hope to accomplish? While some of my peers are taking a much-needed sabbatical, and many of my colleagues (who are just a few years ahead of me) are thinking about retirement, I have chosen to create a live/work situation across the street from St. Petersburg High School in the Historic Kenwood Arts District of downtown St. Pete. Most recently, Kenwood won first place in the “Physical Revitalization-Single Neighborhood LINK.”  (continue reading below slide show)….

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This decision honors a commitment made after years of great personal adversity. Bed-ridden from SLE and renal complications in my late thirties, into my mid-forties, I had a lot of time to think about my life– and life in general. Although I had been amply blessed and was grateful for much of what I received in terms of the health of my children and financial well-being, I began to realize that I had not been living up to my potential. I received a very clear spiritual message. Illness was the universe’s way of making me tune into a much larger mission.

This new thirst for knowledge and longing for empowerment led me towards a feminist sociological investigation into the arts, history, and science of motherhood and mothering. From the ridiculous to the sublime I screamed, sang, and shouted from the stage with my band Housewives On Prozac. Slowly, a vision for mothers in the visual and performing arts crystallized. (You can read more about this at Mutha Magazine. LINK is HERE).

Now, sixteen years later (and twenty-seven years after my first child), I am bringing the latest incarnation of the Museum of Motherhood to 538 28th St. N. St. Petersburg, Florida 33713. The Museum has popped up in Dobbs Ferry, NY (2003-2005), 401 E. 84th St. NYC (2011-2014), and now: here. The aim of this newest space is to forge community connections while highlighting exhibitions about mothers, fathers, and families. I am so very thrilled that Alexia Nye Jackson has agreed to share her fantastic work titled “Mother The Job,” an arts-based, economic exploration of motherhood in the U.S.A.

Also included are the ProCreate Project Archive and assorted fine art by Anna Rose Bain, Helen Knowles, Vee Malnar, Ronni Komarow, Noa Shay, Norman Gardner, and others. The Museum will open its doors to the public beginning September 2016. Hours will be Thursday & Friday 11-6pm and Saturday 1-4, by appointment only for tours, talks, films, and special activities. Visitors may access our extensive collection of books in the Andrea O’Reilly Library. Call 207.504.3001 (877.711.6667).

We will also launch three new initiatives in addition to Mother Studies courses online, the JourMS (Journal of Mother Studies), and the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference each May in NYC. Those additions include the “I ❤ M.O.M. Conference” in February; featuring Arts, Academics, and Inspiration, and “A Night At The Museum” initiative on Air BnB, whereby guests will be able to spend a night at the Museum, and by summer 2017 we will offer non-profit residencies for writers, artists, and scholars in the area of mother studies.

As the Museum’s founder and director, I am modeling my commitment to this current exhibition space after Eleanor Morse (among others). Eleanor helped to co-found the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg circa 1982 after her (and her husbands’) personal collection of Dali paintings spawned what is now arguably one of the centerpieces of St. Petersburg’s cultural landscape. Let the good work continue. ~ M. Joy Rose (website)

**Read more about my commitment to the Tampa Bay area: Feminism, Football, and Family [Article LINK]

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

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MAMA- Out of the Frying Pan; Into the Physical World [CLICK]

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 17th edition of 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 every day: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN: Beth Grossman -Seven frying pans are hung from men’s belts. Text from The Total Woman, written by Marabel Morgan in 1970 as a response to the feminist movement, is sandblasted into round mirrors stuck in the pan. As viewers read the text, they will see themselves in the mirrors. I ask them to take a look at how much has changed and improved as a result of feminism, and to consider how much remains the same within the male/female relationship. [Link to Procreate Beth Grossman]

ARTIST STATEMENT: In the United States, mothers and children are marginalized, even though we represent a large consumer market. Our leadership work as mothers is undervalued and unpaid. Artists are often are treated similarly. We have held onto our visions as children do, insist on speaking our minds and do the work we love. Our work as artists is often not well compensated in comparison to other commercial markets of similar size and scope.

Female art students are often told in art school “if you want to be considered as a serious artist, don’t have children.” In the traditional model of being an artist, one’s life must be consumed by art making. Raising children is also all-consuming. And yes, it has changed my life as an artist dramatically. I am more focused, organized, energized, inspired and determined to tell my story of being a professional artist and a “good mom.” My son shows me the world anew and I notice my own limited adult views.

My son has now gone off to college and I am entering a next stage of motherhood.  A friend told me that raising my son to be a sensitive, caring, loving young man who wants to contribute and “pay it forward,” was my best creative act.

mama. 17

The Physical World

From MER 14 “Change” Issue

By Nadia Colburn

For nine months
I anticipated,

as the other end
of pain,

a revelation:
a world turned

inside out.
Each inch I grew

marked a promise:
my present physical

certainty, my approaching
release. And, indeed,

torn open,
I gave birth

to the end of ideas:
Beyond pain was born

no understanding,
beyond understanding

was revealed
no new knowing but

another body, robust
which no thought

set screaming,
purple faced,

infuriated at air,
and no thought moved closer

to my breast,
and not thought closed

its thinly lidded
round brown eyes,

so soon worn out
by the unfamiliar light.

Nadia Colburn is the proud mother of two,  lives in Cambridge, MA. Her work has been widely published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, LARB, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. A founding editor at Anchor Magazine: where spirituality and social justice meet, Nadia teaches online and in person creative writing workshops that bring together the head and the heart. See more at www.nadiacolburn.com

mama n . 17

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Of My Body/Of the Land and More…. [CLICK]

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the continuation of  this literary and scholarly discourse which 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

mama n.15Anna Hultin is a wife, mother-to-be and artist who lives in Loveland, Colorado. After receiving her BFA from Colorado State University she opened Gallery Nine-Seventy in Loveland where she a Director and Curator. Always inspired by children and their art, she also creates art curriculum for homeschool students. Anna’s artwork is exhibited locally and nationally, and she is excited to see how her new little one will influence and affect her work.

Of My Body/Of the Land

There is a profound beauty in the correlation between the way my body grows and sustains life and the way our land does the same. This intertwining of land, body and life is the topic of the landscape drawings that make up the project, Of the Land. Each drawing focuses on different ways that the cycles of our land cultivate connection and relationship. Every cycle in our landscape lives in relationship to another process. New growth is birthed through wildfire. The dead sleep of winter breeds new life in the spring. No cycle or growth can exist without relationship to another process or being, just as my child only can grow and exist within my own body full of its own processes and cycles during his first months of life. From this interdependence a deep ineffable relationship is formed. These drawings seek to put an image around something unnamable and intangible; the bond of mother and child.

On new routes, new life, new lines
the build is
life from me
life sustained by my body
life without me–being of its own
You are built from me but you will grow out of me
The beauty I want to see is no longer my own
I am the soil, you the tree

mama 15

Blind Date   

by Samina Najmi

At twenty-one, my mother has striking eyebrows—expansive, dark, and gently converging.  Lush like Lalmonirhat’s hills that cradle the white colonial building she calls home.  My father sees her for the first time during the wedding ceremony, reflected in a mirror.  His heart beats easier at the sight of her light-skinned face, her downcast eyes, and still lips which have never been painted before this night.  But the fine hair that rims those lips, and especially those eyebrows, so bold, so black, and sharply angled make him unsure of his ability to keep her.  Throughout their 23-year-old marriage, my father will have a recurring nightmare in which another man carries his wife away.  (Until one does.) His howls will awaken the sleeping children.

A good Pakistani bride of the sixties, my mother doesn’t open her eyes to look upon her groom’s face until the throng of geet–singing women in brilliantly hued, silk saris have ushered her to the bridal chamber.  They sit her down on a bed strewn with roses and gardenia, scooping the emerald silk of her flamboyantly flared pajama after her.  A paisley print of solid silver splashes across both the pajama and red tunic in provincial Bihari fashion—much to the bride’s dismay, who had hoped for something trendier from the stores of the big city where, she hears, the groom and his sister live together.  The singing women help her cross her left leg and bend the right one, resting her chin upon her knee.  They place her hennaed hands in a clasp around the knee–artfully, so that the bejeweled fingers of her right hand cover the shriveled left one that doesn’t open.  Adjusting her vermilion-and-gold dupatta over her head one last time, they exit, still singing of maiden temptresses and the fast-beating hearts of their suitors, satisfied to have staged just the right degree of bridal modesty and mystery.

When the groom and bride are finally alone, he lifts her veil of garlands as gently as he can.  A teeka with a single ruby at its center glimmers on her forehead, its tiny white pearls brushing against those startling eyebrows.  A fine hoop of gold, the bridal nose-ring she will never wear again.  The groom’s shapely hand reaches for her chin and tips it up from the knee, ever so slightly.  As if on cue, the bride opens her eyes.  She sees the slim, dark man her parents have chosen for her, an assistant professor of physics in faraway Karachi.  Her eyes take in the crisp white shervani collar that encircles his neck, the wedding turban he will never wear again.  The severe, pencil-thin moustache that restrains the generosity of his full lips.  She looks into his big, dark eyes and wonders at their melancholy.  And what she feels for him is not the heady passion of the romances she has secretly been writing.

The man seems kind, if remote, as virginal as she is, and they spend the night telling the stories on which their forevers will depend.  At twenty-nine, he already feels his life ebbing.  The bride doesn’t know yet how greedily death claimed his young parents.

In the bathroom she prays for love to grow in her heart.

About the Author:Samina Najmi

Samina Najmi is associate professor of English at California State University, Fresno. A scholar of race, gender, and war in American literature, she discovered the rewards of more personal kinds of writing in a 2011 CSU Summer Arts course. Her creative nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Progressive, Pilgrimage, The Rumpus, Gargoyle, Chautauqua, and other publications. Her essay “Abdul” won Map Literary’s 2012 nonfiction prize. Samina grew up in Pakistan and England, and now lives with her family in California’s San Joaquin Valley.