Whatchu talkin bout Erin??

I really love the reactions I get to my project, “MAMA”. Some people resonate with it immediately with a smile and “Woooow!”, others raise their eyebrows, or grimace, possibly in shock, disapproval, or confusion. I get a lot of questions about what the sculptures “mean”. I understand people want to apply some meaning to everything; this is human nature. However, I encourage people to look at them, initially, with quiet, open mind, not working so hard to “figure it out” but instead letting the image speak to you; listening for its quiet voice. This is part of what I practiced, simultaneously while making them, at each stage of the process, to an extent, then more thoroughly once the sculpture was finished. I would sit with my journal and let the image speak to me. A lot of people are confused by that, because they have the assumption that art begins with an intended message. This may be true for some artists and for some forms of art, but not for me, not for my art. I begin with an emotion which I do not try and label, and this emotion leads to a vision. The vision may be vague, but i start with the parts that are clear, and let it evolve from there, organically, on its own and through my own internal process. A lot of what you see evolves from mistakes! Mistakes and limitations. Limitations of “talent”, knowledge, time, money…. etc. Sometimes I break through my limitations, sometimes I have to accept them. Such is the dance of art, and the dance of life; sometimes we need to strive, sometimes we need to surrender, and wisdom comes from those moments when we are forced to make that choice. This ended up being the thesis behind MAMA, which I turned into a 40 page paper as part of the project (for my MA in Health and Healing).

IMG_2116compressedAnyhow, it wasn’t until I sat down to write the paper that I was able to reflect on the whole process and the whole body of work, and was finally able to hear what Mama really had to say. Yes, these are mother archetypes, they each hold a unique perspective, a unique experience, but cumulatively they are in one accord. If they had a leader, I’d have to imagine it would be the last one I made; Dream Child. She is the hopeful mother, the purposeful mother, the clairvoyant. She advocates for the rest, and what she has to say is; “We have the ability to create our reality. Anything is possible, and it is our purpose to discover possibility. Dig into your roots, revisit and pay homage to your “Mother” and you will discover the key to your brilliant future.” I think the first step is true equality. Lets start (just START) with abolishing cultural paradigms which label, limit, marginalize and otherwise discriminate against women. We are HALF the population and we gave birth to the ENTIRE population. We will not consciously evolve as a species until the gifts and powers of women are fully embraced instead of treated like a threat. Some people may feel threatened just reading this, you may not be fully aware of it, but maybe you feel a change in your body, somewhere. Maybe you feel a bit defensive, maybe you are smirking and laughing it off. These destructive cultural mindsets are deep-rooted, pervasive, insidious, and most importantly, masked. I’m not entirely sure how we weed them out. I’d like to think my images are a way of confronting these paradigms; provoking thought, stirring emotions. I’m not a politician, a business woman or public figure whatsoever. I am just a woman, a mother, who wants a better future for my children, and knows the only way I can contribute to that is through living my passion with self acceptance, perseverance, and faith. That’s what I’m talkin about.

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