Thursday 18 January 2018

Being an Artist and a Mum

For 5 years I haven't blogged,
I haven't completed any new works for Trigger Editions,
I haven't taken work to Artist Book Fairs,
I haven't felt able to contribute.

Should I feel disappointed?

As a woman and mother in the 21st century shouldn't I have been able to nurture my children whilst simultaneously maintaining my 'art practice' in the usual way? So many seem able to.

You can't turn off that part of who you are and, indeed, who would want to? Not producing artworks in the way I would have previously, over these last years has felt so wrong, like a spider not making webs, and yet this, due to many factors, is the choice I was led to make and I don't regret it.

My boys have needed all of my attention, all of my strength. My eyes have been down, fully occupied by these very needy little beings, caring for them and others walking this particular stony track with me. Many others have found the strength, time and space to continue making art and I am in awe. Had circumstances been different, that would have been me.

Thankfully, however, it turns out that ideas don't stop coming; the motivation doesn't disappear and the impulse to respond creatively is wonderfully insatiable. I have been so creative and incredibly productive. I consider myself to have been an artist in residence for 5 years, experiencing, analysing, playing, discussing. Now it is time to respond.

For five years I have shared with other parents and caregivers; I have created crazy, awesome cardboard, Lego and play-dough constructions, adapted toys for creative play, made whole immersive worlds for my boys and their friends, designed creative activities for playgroups and workshops. I have contributed and have loved it. I have grown.

So what exactly is my 'art practice'? My challenge now is to bring together the very messy creative explosion, which is bringing up children, with this world of artist books and art multiples. There is so much of this creative experience that could be collected and packaged into a shareable form. There is so much of the human experience to be exchanged and reflected upon, to be given and received. There are so many ways in which creative expression and creative gift exchange can assist those struggling with this particular life challenge, even if it is just to help provide inspiration for a rainy day.

With all these ideas brewing and the end of my five year 'Art Residency in Motherhood' a few months away, I've decided to launch 'Little Triggs' to share creative ideas, products and art editions with kids and families in mind. Coming soon... Get in touch if you would like to share in this new adventure.

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