Everyone has a unique experience of being mothered, and all mothers have unique experiences of mothering. When Emily van Lidth de Jeude began interviewing mothers for the MAMA Project, she unearthed a trove of stories. Women told of their fears, failures and regrets, but also of their hopes and the marvellous transformations that accompanied their mothering experiences. It seems that the process of mothering is an opportunity to uncover our histories and futures, and often to heal; to evolve.
Emily interviewed many mothers, and then painted their portraits onto used bed linens, which she says are rich with the history of the people who slept on them. She hangs the portrait-sheets from laundry lines, and broadcasts the voices of the mothers she interviewed into the space, which is at once haunting, serene, challenging and comfortable.
This work has a profound impact on the people who view it. We are so often wrapped up in fear; in trying to strike out from our heritage to forge new paths, or (as parents) to avert danger for our children, that we seldom take opportunity to consider our history, and legacies. Doing this means working consciously toward a brave and strong future for our civilization, and the MAMA Project helps this conscious evolution to occur.
Photos taken by the public at various MAMA Project installations, outside: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mamaproject/ For more photos, please see the MAMA Project blog on this website.
Space: The installation is very flexible. The ideal is
that sheets are exposed to daylight (though not direct sunlight for extended periods of time, as they will fade
and deteriorate), and have some air movement. Quiet fans are a good way to achieve this. The sheets vary in
size, can be partially overlapped or spread out, and can have painted text between them or not. Thus the length
of the total 34 sheets will vary from about 180 to 300 linear feet of clotheslines (which could be strung
across the installation space in various angles and configurations).
About the Artist: I am a multimedia visual and literary
artist living on Bowen Island, in Canada.
I am always looking for new opportunities to exhibit the MAMA Project! To receive a gallery proposal (.pdf or hardcopy), please contact Emily van Lidth de Jeude.