September 26, 2013

Image seeds

Moving slowly, learning and thinking more about the politics of childbearing and motherhood, feminism in art, women's meager inclusion in some cultural elites, the shaping of children's sexuality, socialisation of girls and boys. I know so little. 

But progress! My mind is keeping pace. For the first time I'm seeing how all these things could become pictures. I wanted to collect together references, a big pile of images, made up or found, that could grow into painting ideas. Yet already, yesterday, I thought of coat hangers -- tools of unsafe abortion, modelling industry. Crude, but the first concrete thing so far. Something you could draw. 

Today I imagined a little girl peering into a heart-shaped purse. She's standing up to her thighs in a pool of water. What is in the purse? What is underwater? 

My hope is that through this work I will be able to lay to rest some of the jarring conflicts I feel about my own person- and womanhood. I also want to give to my daughter a world less circumscribed by random customs, as my mother did for me, and this work could be a vehicle for sharing these thoughts with her. I don't know. So little has been worked out yet, and I know my technical abilities don't match my ambitions at this time.

Reading: Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood, by Naomi Wolf.

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