‘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’

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

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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

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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

The Procreate Project Photozine Archive by Made and Published – an exhibition of work by mother artists

7.spheres
‘Cellular’ – paper pulp, PVA, ink, fired terracotta (2010)
6.ring
‘Ring’ – paper pulp, PVA, fired terracotta (2010)
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‘Untitled’ – airdrying clay, nail varnish (2011)
8.inside-outside
‘Inside, Outside’ – fired airdrying clay (2011)
1.discs
‘Discs’ – fired terracotta (2009)
2.discs detail
detail ‘Discs’ – fired terracotta (2009)

These were pieces made in the first three years of becoming a mother, working in clay and paper pulp, creating simple repetitive forms bearing the marks of my making: finger prints, mistakes, irregularities of size and shape; then ordering, arranging, finding news ways to display, reflecting a new acceptance, a sense of grounding, a desire for simplicity and restraint.

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The photozines  were created by artist Lara Gonzalez through her project Made and Published for The Procreate Project, enabling mother artists to collate and showcase works as part of the archive of works in site-specific installations at The Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths College and Recto/Verso Galleries, London South Bank University. The following are images from these exhibitions, of fellow artists’ work:

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Such personal unique creations, each small booklet an expression, a showing, a voice – encouraged perhaps by the open invitation to submit, to all, with no judgment, no process of selection by unseen others – instead: acceptance. It was an offer that empowered: a mother artist’s Art is important, especially the work that feels new, altered, changed focus and is taking us wandering in new directions; our Art is who we are and who we have become.