Domestic Mottoes

 

A series of sculptural installations in a domestic space, Park Avenue, St Ives, 2006 

 

 

Loaded Object bitumized pram, granite egg stones, and slate text.

Layers of bitumen paint on an old pram create a metaphor for the categorisation of mothers who, tarred with the same stick, are either good or bad. The heavy ovoid egg stones make the pram too heavy to push, it becomes a burdened, impractical object. A slate labels and defines load. Mothers are bearers, loaded with the responsibilities and cares of motherhood which physically, mentally and philosophically are impossible weights. Mothers are also burdened with ideal stereotypical representations weigh her down further with guilt.

caged bird sings

The Caged Bird Sings, installation with sound, typewriter, text, kingfisher and cage, (2006).

One mother describes the experience of motherhood as feeling like ‘ a caged bird, sitting loyally singing on its perch’, (from Rosika Parker, Torn in Two: Maternal Ambivalence).

The large parrot cage as been gilded and with the sounds of water, kingfisher calls and a type writer tapping away. Not a typically domestic bird, the kingfisher was used by Jung as a symbol for the process of making unconscious thought, conscious  – just as kingfishers pull fish out of water. The texts spewing from the typewriter are a collage of stories and pleas for escape – from drudgery, expectation and guilt.

add + divideAdd & Divide, found object (old hospital screen, 3.5m x 2.5m), latex, bitumen, muslin, text.

The hospital screen is a metaphor for the liminal moment of birth. Much feted yet under-represented, it is a private/public moment shared here with a detailed personal description of giving birth for the first time. It is an event that is ambivalent and divided. How much healthier Western culture could be if it found ways of representing birth and change?