A reflection on the impact of the parenting experience on art practice.
Curated by Denielle Johnson
April 6 – May 20, 2017
Featuring Mother Naturalist: Julia Barbee, Camilla Lohren Chmiel and Megan Schvaneveldt
Also artist / mother, Calida Rawles
at the LOFT Gallery in San Pedro
Preview April 6, 6-9 First Thursday San Pedro Art Walk
Reception, Saturday April 8, 4-7
Artist Talk, Sunday May 7, 3-5 (a week before Mother’s day)
We invite artists-mothers (parents) to come and share their experiences of parenting as it affects their art practice. Artists are encouraged to bring a sample of their art as a visual to share in the talk.
Many artists are confronted with the challenge, “What do my identities of both artist and mother mean for my practice?” The birth of a child is like an earthquake that shakes up the status quo. Though destructive to existing conditions, earthquakes can bring forth gold trapped in quartz. Like gold-producing tremors, the emergence of a child can be both a positive and disruptive force upon one’s art practice. The work of artists in Mother Naturalist, Julia Barbee (Portland), Camilla Løhren Chmiel (Norway), Megan Schvaneveldt (Montana) and Calida Rawles (Los Angeles) are a response to this challenge.
Julia Barbee conceived Mother Naturalist as a manifestation of her struggle to create art while balancing the ceaseless demands of mothering an infant. Barbee and Chmiel’s work demonstrate a strong connection to Mary Kelly in their conceptualist use of autobiographical documentation. In the 1970’s, Kelly’s groundbreaking exhibition, PostPartum Document, took an unflinching look at what it meant for herself to be simultaneously an artist and a mother. Her seminal installation has informed the practice of subsequent artists. The exhibit will also include photography, video, sculpture, perfume, and a social media project entitled @portlandplantpropagation. They are joined by Schvaneveldt and Rawles whose identity-based paintings testify to the joys and pressures of motherhood.