In my artwork I tell stories about what I see, what I learn and what I think. There is no lack of inspiration being a mother. My son shows me the world anew and I constantly notice my own limited adult views.
In our American culture, mothers and children are marginalized, even though we represent a large consumer market. Our leadership work as mothers is undervalued and unpaid. In our society artists are treated similarly. We have held onto our visions as children do, insist on speaking our minds and do the work we love. Our work is also undervalued and underpaid in comparison to other commercial markets of similar size and scope.
Female art students are often told in art school "if you want to be considered as a serious artist, don't have children." In the traditional model of being an artist, one's life must be consumed by art-making. Raising children is also all consuming. It has changed my life as an artist dramatically. I am more focused, organized, energized, inspired and determined to tell my story of being a professional artist and a "good mom."
I chose diapers as my canvas because of their cultural symbolism. We often speak of raising children as being an endless job of changing diaper after diaper. This care-giving role is a natural part of the life cycle. Using diapers as a primary art material serves to honor our parents and caregivers who changed all our diapers. I paint, draw and write quick sketches of my personal experiences and feelings of being a mother. The artistic style is not as labored as my previous work since so many things are happening quickly and this is an immediate way to document them.
This project was made possible by grants from the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and the Peninsula Community Foundation.
[Back to Life
in a diapers]