‘The Nest’ and ‘Shadow (Nest)’ at The Mother House, I’Klectic, London


Nest - Amanthi Harris
Nest, 2016, sticks, glue. tissue paper, PVA (44x43x78 cm)
Shadow (Nest), 2016,  ochre, ink, Chinese ink, gouache, PVA on paper, 111x56 cm
Shadow (Nest), 2016, ochre, ink, Chinese ink, gouache, PVA on paper, 111×56 cm
The Mother House - Amy Dignam
Photo: Amy Dignam

I exhibited ‘Nest’ and ‘Shadow(Nest)’ at I’Klectic, London in October 2016, the culmination of a month’s residency with The Mother House, a wonderful project to provide space and time for artist mothers to work and meet and support each other and their children.

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The Mother House - Dyana Gravina
Photo: Dyana Gravina

“The dream house must be a cottage… a nest, a chrysalis.”

Gaston Bachelard, ‘The Poetics of Space’

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“…when we examine a nest, we place ourselves at the origin of confidence in the world… Our house… in its dream potentiality, becomes a nest… [it] knows nothing of the hostility of the world.”

Gaston Bachelard, ‘The Poetics of Space’


With ‘Nest’ I continued my exploration of spaces and structures of security and nurture; the experience of the interiority of buildings.


For the drawing I used earth pigments that I made in the mountains of the Alpujarras in Spain this summer. Once the Moors used these same pigments to paint the interiors of their stone houses built into the mountains – a practice still followed today.

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Interior of the home of architect Donald Gray



In the nest you are contained; you sit held, secure, high in the world, able to dream. Dreaming, remembering; voices, lives, new beginnings. A Mother House is a shelter that all artists should be able to fly into, especially those who care for little children, work so demanding, so rewarding, so exhausting. As artist-mothers we too need to be nurtured and to support each other as we care for our babies and our own secret precious desire to create.

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Nest and Shadow (Nest) at The Mother House, I’Klektic, London, October 2016