As it is Spring time now, I decided to incorporate this theme into the crafts I will be making with the parents and toddlers. I wanted to make something that they could take home and look after, a plant, almost like a mother looks after her child, the child will look after the plant.
I am hoping to get the children to decorate a plant pot using foam shapes, stickers, card, etc. I don’t think I will use paint for this activity as I will have to think of things like cleaning up or if they get messy. I want the activity to be one they can do with their parents. I will supply the plant pots, seeds, soil and the materials to decorate the plant pot with.
I understand that people go to Cardiff Arcade/ St Davids shopping centre to shop, and they might not have enough time to get messy and wait for things to dry. I am also concerned that they won’t want to participate as the soil can get messy if they are taking it around while they shop, I will offer to keep the plant pot in Arcade Cardiff until 2:30 and they can collect it after they shop.
I think this activity will be suitable for all ages. The younger toddlers can rely on their parents to decorate the plant pot and can participate in adding the seed into the soil. The older children will enjoy the activity as they are getting to decorate a plant pot, add the seed and add soil, it’s quite hands on which I am hoping they will enjoy and want to participate in.
I have been influenced by Maria Bartuszova’s, ‘Untitled’, 1973. Bartuszova’s work has maternal associations, this has inspired me to explore the relationship I have with my mother. I have made artwork in response to Bartuszova’s, ‘Untitled’. I have been mark making from the observations of the artwork and making mono prints, the mark making symbolises myself and my mother. It is common for me to turn to acrylic paints in my work, however, making this artwork has encouraged me to try different mediums, such as working with clay, sewing machines and screen printing. I feel my work has come a long way since the beginning of Second year, I feel so much more connected to my artwork I am creating. My project tries to capture what my mother means to me and the experiences we share together.
At the start of second year, I decided to base my work on Maria Bartuszovà, Untitled, 1973. I was drawn to the human body like art, as I have always been fascinated by the body. When I researched the piece of artwork, it had maternal associations, suggests breasts and phalluses, and also fruits arranged on a plate.
I tried to explore the work and connect it with transgender people as the piece of work suggests both a male and female. However, I wasn’t connecting with the work as even though I feel strongly about equality for the LGBT society, I am not affected by any of the issues transgender people face.
I then started to work with the maternal associations within the work. I could connect to this better as I was looking at the maternal bonds between me and my mother. I have been creating mark makings with acrylic paint and mono printing. I also created screen prints and small clay figures. I am using breast like shapes, which can also be found in the original artwork. The ‘breasts’ in the work represent my mother and me. The colours are quite feminine, which was important.
The clay figures represent my mother, me, my sister and my brother. All painted with similar colours to the larger figure which indicates my mother.
The work I want to make will be a representation of the relationship myself and my mother have. I want to now move on from working in 2D and make more soft sculptures.
At the beginning of the year, I was looking at artwork and exploring transgender people to show the troubles transgender people have, this idea wasn’t working as I didn’t connect with the work and decided to make it more about myself.
I then started to explore maternal bonds and continued mark making from observation of the piece of art, and then used mono printing to create artwork. I decided to make clay figures to inspire something, as I felt very stuck with my subject work.
The clay figures are meant to represent myself, brother, sister and my mother. I used the same colours from my subject work, and slightly changed the colour of each figure, like an offspring of colour from my mother.
I wanted to screen print to inspire myself to make artwork again after field, I decided to screen print the mark making that represents myself and my mother. From my screen prints I made collages, the collage represents the important women in my life. The shapes all connect through a line, which indicates how close we are as a family.
LaToya Ruby Frazier hides behind her mother in this photograph, like a shadow. The work is part of a series and brings attention to marginalised individuals and communities such as her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. When speaking about this portrait, Frazier said, “We made a portrait of our bodies overlapping as one, unified in sickness, death, and our struggle to survive. The light cast a shadow that for me foreshadows the loss of Grandma Ruby; she passed away six months later from pancreatic cancer“. Frazier’s mother is affected by cancer, her grandmother passed away from cancer and Frazier has lupus. The three generations of Frazier women are affected by illnesses related to Braddock’s industrial past. LaToya Ruby Frazier said, “On the micro-level, we are three women from an abandoned community, but on the macro-level, I see us as a symbolic state of oppression and neglect”.
The photograph of LaToya Ruby Frazier and her mother seemed very dramatic to me but showed me how a contemporary artist uses her mother as the subject of work. I can relate to this piece of art as my mother is very ill at the moment with chronic pain in her body above her waist. Her mother stares out at the viewer, capturing her pain.
Another image from the ‘Momme Portrait series, 2008’ is shown below.
Mary Cassatt was an American painter and printer. Mary Cassatt chose to use women and children as her subjects in the later part of her life and painting career. She captured the bond between a mother and her child. She didn’t have any children of her own, which seems odd that she would choose to paint a mother and child.
Perhaps painting a mother and child was a way to express her yearning for motherhood. Maybe it was a therapy for her to deal with the fact she would never have children of her own. Cassatt had not physically experienced being a mother, but it seems she experienced motherhood by living through her artwork, and also loving through her artwork.
It is interesting to see how other artists portrait a mother and child bond. Mary Cassatt paints a very realistic image of a mother and child, I feel my work is quite abstract compared to Cassatt’s, but I still recognise my work as myself and my mother.
Meta-Monumental Garage sale is a large-scale version of the classic American garage sale. The artwork is by Martha Rosler. The visitors can browse and buy the items in the sale, which are second-hand, strange, everyday items donated by Rosler, MoMA staff and the general public.
The artist organized, displayed, and sold the objects in the Marron Atrium at MoMA. The work created a lively space, where customers haggled over the prices with Rosler. I like the idea of having the busy atmosphere of a shop, but in the art setting of a gallery. The public interaction and business is what I am hoping for when I take part in my SHOP! project. Children and their parents can come to the SHOP! and make crafts which they can take home with them.
Martha Rosler’s, Meta-Monumental Garage Sale had a newspaper and an active website. This is something to think about to get the SHOP! project known about and for the public to attend. The project I am participating in focuses on working with toddlers and their parents, I think posting on social media is the best thing to do to get people involved, especially if I target local parent groups to get the word out.