motherhood residency work in progress

making and baby

As we come to the end of 2017 my heart is full of gratitude for all the beautiful moments,friends,family, new life that have blessed my life.

Since the birth of my second daughter in July 2017 I have been exploring ideas and making art related to the “Maternal” and my subjective experience of motherhood. I am part of an international project called – An Artist Residency in Motherhood. It has created focus in life by seeing parenting as inspiration for creative practice, rather than an obstruction to be overcome. Over the last six months I have created one song with farther of my child documented photos, notes, poems and ideas for performance and then something happened that was to focus my work on ceramics again, my grandmothers tea pot from my mothers side was accidentally dropped and shattered in November. I initially was very upset and so was my eight year old daughter from my reaction mainly. To comfort her and my self I have decided to create an art work about it, I am going to learn how to repair the teapot using the kintsugi technique (golden joinery) the philosophy behind kintsugi is beautiful and relevant in my life; treating breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. kintsugi belongs to the zen Buddhist ideals of wabi sabi, the satisfaction and appreciation of simplicity and a deep respect and finding beauty for what is damaged,fragile and imperfect. This wisdom has given me great comfort during the early months of being a mother of a new born again,it has helped to make peace with my transitory imperfect nature.

Over the next few months I will be working towards a project called “finding wabi Sabi in motherhood” with the view to exhibit in October 2018. I will make twelve tea cups each representing the seasons and months of my 2nd child’s first year of life, each tea cup will be slab built in white stone ware and decorated using transfer images collaged together. The images I choose will represent the wabi sabi philosophy,the simple things in life, the mundane but necessary activities that keep a child alive, including emotional and spiritual care and moments of tenderness and love that only a mother/parent would understand. The images will be in black and white, colour will come from the inlay clay, coloured glaze and transfer coloured paper. Then each cup will be broken in some way then repaired using the Kintsugi technique. The philosophy behind Kintsugi speaks to my sense of how it feels to be a mother/parent. Life has a habit of dreaming about one day securing a harmonious relationship, happy family life etc,then life has a habit of dealing us a range of blows. It is these moments of disillusionment and shattered dreams the wisdom of the kintsugi philosophy can be applicable to our own lives, as it is to ceramics. The care and love expended on shattered pieces should also encourage us to respect what is damaged, scared, vulnerable and imperfect in our self. I have found much peace since learning about wapi sapi and kintsugi. I love the way that making art can deepen your understanding and then be able to share it with an audience so you can find your own meaning and deepen your understanding, anyway I hope you found this Japanese wisdom useful. Looking forward to repairing my grandmothers tea pot what ever the new year brings.

Thank you for reading 

sending you all blessings of love and peace for 2018

Joanna x

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