The newly painted image transformed the old work into an airy, pastel world, utilizing both party-store finds and fine art materials. This includes such varied materials as horses made of confetti, candy-colored purples and blues made from oils, and birthday party tissue paper; all quietly and joyfully invading the scene. I thought I was simply unable to ever make art about my mom. I instead looked to escapism from all the confusing feelings I had in regards to her.
I look at how my work has been evolving since then, and I am able to develop many reasons why both conceptually and aesthetically the metallic, glittery, and reflective materials are in my art. However, it is not until very recently do I truly see where it all comes from.
As an illustrator and lover of film, my mother created a myriad of drawings, cards, stationary, collages, birthday games, board games, and complete decorations for every kind of holiday imaginable. Each item was usually drawn with graphite, inked, and finally colored and decorated with her hand. Her embellishments went beyond her favorite felt-tipped markers, though. There was always something sparkly. And gold. She loved the color gold! From adhering loose glitter to her illustrated old Hollywood stars, to shimmery puff paint and glitterized glue that was often seen outlining her subject matter. I know now that I have not been entirely failing at honoring my many feelings towards my mother, and nor could I ever try to escape it.
The following works are paintings I had started while becoming a mother as I was losing my own. This body of work also features new images I have been creating, that attempt to explore my feelings of what it has been like for me to be taking care of a happy and inspiring new baby, while dealing with the weirdness of grief. When I'm not feeling able to express myself with words or my voice (often), I choose to communicate through image. Though my mother spoke eloquently, visual art was also a frequent means of her communication. With each new day of motherhood, I increasingly wish that I could talk with my mother. I don't know if she can see what I'm doing or know any of the thoughts in my head that I want her to hear. I do know that I would not be an artist if it weren't for her, and more importantly, I would not have been able to become a mother. It is because of her that I can be an artist, and that I can be a mother, and a being.
With everything I make, I am celebrating her.
"Mother Being Magic Tent For Reading"
The following photographs depict the interactive installation that I presented during the reception for Mother Being. The purpose of the tent was to create an environment that was similar to what my Mom made for me, when I was a child: a handmade, often very detailed, embellished, and personable space where I could read, hide, and daydream. This handmade tent seen within my exhibition was formed with a mixture of fabrics (including some that belonged to my Mother) and an embroidery hoop at the very top, that held all the fabrics & twine& string, which belonged to my Mother's Mother.
Inside the space, a cozy environment was formed, within a handmade & glow-in-the-dark quilt, a book entitled "Mother Being: Volume 1" that features a collection of my Mother's artwork, of which I curated, and finally, my Mother's green lantern, of which to light the way for looking at the Mother Being book.
The following garment is a dress that was made and worn specifically for the Mother Being reception. The holographic material used for the main body of the piece is an extension of the reflective materials used within the show's paintings; meant to interact with light and to slightly change color, depending on the viewer's proximity and position. This creates an environment where the dress is part of both the tangible & the intangible, much like the surreal feelings I have, while navigating through the meaning of motherhood while losing my mother.
The sequins & beads are a mixture of my own, as well as those that belonged to my mother. They were individually adhered with the help of my Grandma Miriam's embroidery hoop, which was later attached to the top of the interactive Mother Being tent.