M.A.M.A. Issue n.35:  Natalie Ramus and Katie Manning

Ph by Beth Chalmers

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 35th edition of  this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

February, 2019 Art by Natalie Ramus, words by Katie Manning

Art by Natalie Ramus

With my exploration of the materiality of the body I attempt to connect with the innately performative body in view of it’s visceral, abject qualities. Through the re-presentation of bodily materials (such as hair or skin), that have universal familiarity through subjective experience, I am interested in how the gap between viewer and artwork or artist can be bridged; the viewer becomes hyper-aware of their own body, therefore having an empathetic, perceived physical experience. I often use my body within my practice as a way of reclaiming space and time. This reclamation is motivated by my desire to challenge, illuminate and confront the expectations of women to exist within a restrictive framework of socially expected behaviour in a patriarchal society. I am fascinated with the public-private and appropriate-inappropriate dichotomy that surrounds discussions in relation to the body. My questioning is driven by assumed acceptable modes of behaviour in society, specifically when discussing the concept of the female in public space.”

Through the juxtaposition of the immediacy of the body as battery of memory, as site and material, and domestic, seemingly nostalgic, memory-imbued objects which often carry immersive qualities through scent, (such as bread, milk or soap) I am interested in how time and memory become elastic; and how meaning is an inherently subjective perspective.

More about Natalie:

Natalie Ramus is a multi disciplinary artist based in the Welsh borders. Using her body as material to explore public/private dichotomies produced by societal conventions of the appropriate and inappropriate, Natalie seeks to dismantle and illuminate, challenge and provoke that which she faces as a female with a performative, visceral, abject body. Natalie’s practice was seeded in a fine art background and as her practice evolved it has become increasingly action based; concerned with the notion of installaction. Natalie has performed in London, Cardiff and Manchester and has exhibited works throughout the UK, most recently at MAC Birmingham. She graduated from Master of Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design with distinction in 2016.

http://natalieramus.com

Mothers Pride

Mothers Pride is a durational performance. It is a space which, like the body itself, is autonomous. Evolving over a period of nine hours it becomes a site of meditation through action. It considers the maternal female within public space. As a mother I feel much conflict between the label of mother- what society perceives that to be, and how I feel as a mother, artist, feminist, etc. The notion of what qualities society thinks makes a ‘good’ mother is problematic and I wonder how the role is performed on a day to day basis. I am asking myself- where does my performance of the label of mother end and my true embodiment of being a mother begin? Using Mothers Pride bread and milk, materials evocative of comfort and a nostalgic memory of happy nuclear families that never really existed, I will reclaim space. I will reclaim my right to define my own borders, my own edges, my own limits and ultimately I will move closer to understanding what these are/where they lie.

Materials: 350 loaves Mothers Pride Bread, 120L Milk, 10m Red Shibari Rope, Mop, Buckets x 5.

9 hour performance.

Performed at Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow, 2017

I made a baby out of bread,

                 Moulding its flesh against my own.

                      Building connections forged through process, through  t i m e.

                        The bread an extension of my flesh,

                        The baby an extension of my body,

                                  (of our bodies)    

    Decomposing [transformational] matter- spread between across surfaces

                                                     my flesh a glue

                                                           b e t

                                                                  w

                                                                      e e n

                        here and there // me and you 

 Ph by Julia Bauer 

Words by Katie Manning

Which Way Do You Want to Go?

I ask this question more than you might think, mustering my best Muppet voice every time. And now my 4-year-old watchesLabyrinth as I did at his age, and I am becoming you: shuffling around the kitchen in the same style of open-toed house slippers that you always wore, baking chocolate rolls or biscuits. Yes, which way? The blue hands insist on an answer. Sometimes I look down at my hands and see yours kneading the dough.

I would choose this if I had a choice.

Originally published in Mom Egg Review vol. 16

Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review and an Associate Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and four chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman. Her poems have appeared in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, Poet Lore, Verse Daily, and many journals and anthologies. Find her online at www.katiemanningpoet.com


M.A.M.A. Issue n.34:  Charlotte Morrison and Kristin Roedell

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 34th edition of  this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

October, 2018 Art by Charlotte Morrison, words by Kristin Roedell

Art by Charlotte Morrison

Years ago, some of my first serious art pieces were about the experiences of giving birth. I was intrigued by what happens when you merge a personal life event with the medical file that accompanied it. Red ink flowed onto thick paper while a crisp pen scribbled medical notes onto a bleached-out body.

Those early pieces are now lost to me – distant both in time and space.

But embodied experiences remain a constant source of inspiration. Yet our perception of the body is far from constant. For our body exists in different realms – shifting between lived experiences and medical observations, defined by culture and dominated by history. And so my visual recordings of the individual flutter and fluctuate – weaving their way across time.

Today, medical quotes and observations of the female body – hammered out on my old type writer – interfere with delicate body parts rendered in glass and porcelain. Tomorrow these pieces may be repositioned and take on new meaning.

Only a short while ago, I collected narratives about menstruation – now I am making work about the menopause. Both were traditionally taboo subjects. And both are decidedly female hormonal experiences. In the private sphere these experiences are often suffered in silence, in the public they are ignored or suppressed – and within the medical community the “unruly” female body continues to cause a dilemma.

Because of this I have taken great pleasure in exhibiting sanitary towels cast in kiln formed glass. With edges sharp as nails and red colours flowing through them, they are the embodiment of lived experiences – at the same time beautiful and disturbing.

Hidden lives and untold stories feature heavily in my work. Displayed on plinths, assembled in cabinets and hung on the wall the silent stories become visual – elevated and treated as objects of beauty; Scars, which were disguised and covered up for years, are now exposed and cast in exquisite pure white porcelain – displayed on plinths. Surgery, health and body image is explored in work about mastectomies. Placed on the wall, it is no longer possible to ignore the body in transition.

The relentless quest to challenge and explore what defines us continues.

Our sense of self – what is it really?

The more private aspects of our lives are often crowded out as culture interferes and medical descriptions intervene – context defines us far more than we realise. And yet throughout time we remain anchored in our body.

But as my body changes so does my body of work.

My journey began with personally experiences of motherhood – interlaced by cultural expectations and medical descriptions. This self-same journey is now taking me towards explorations of ageing. As I am entering another stage in my life I become aware of taboos which are distinctly separate to the ones I stumbled across and fought against as a younger woman. And I am looking forward to exposing some of them – yet again making the unseen visual – and allowing silent voices to be heard.

My work is firmly anchored in physical experiences – of who we are and what we may become. It includes pieces about conception, breastfeeding, surgery, menstruation and the menopause. Medical images become embodied, personal and medical narratives fuse together – text and images collide.
I write text pieces about menstruation and poems about the menopause. I write about body image and make interactive books. All of which informs my visual practice and sits alongside it.

The Ages of Woman

 

More about Charlotte:

Charlotte has a background in both psychology and fine art. She worked as a counsellor/therapist for more than 16 years and this experience echoes through her visual work. She has an MA in printmaking from ARU and has done post-graduate studies in glass at Central Saint Martins.

She exhibits regularly in the UK and showed in an international glass exhibition in Denmark in 2014. In recent years she has undertaken art residencies at local institutions, and she has worked in collaboration with a variety of scientists from Cambridge on short projects combining art and science.

A long-term collaboration with another artist has led to several exhibitions exploring the lives of Everyday Women.

Words by Kristin Roedell

Night Blue

Blood in the bath slips

away from a woman

whose monthly seeping

is bound to the moon

with a crimson ribbon.

Her child, astray,

is a pause, a pearl,

a drop of rain.

Wings whirring,

its soul leaves with a cloud

of dragonflies beyond

the Cedar River.

The cistern alongside the house

is full of rain. She drinks a ladle full

to take back what is

lost. Her husband’s breathing

colors the night blue.

Herself astray, she curls

beneath his sleeping arm.

In the morning she tells him no

more than the eddy at the edge

of the river, or the silent

circling trout.

 

From Mom Egg Review vol. 12 (2014)

Kristin Roedell is the author of Seeing in the Dark (Tomato Can Press), and Girls with Gardenias, (Flutter Press). Her work has been published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Switched on Gutenberg, and CHEST. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web nominee, winner of NISA’s 11th Annual Open Minds Quarterly Poetry Contest, and a finalist in the 2103 Crab Creek Review poetry contest. http://cicadas-sing.ucoz.com/


M.A.M.A. Issue n.33:  Kate Walters and Eve Packer

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 33rd edition of  this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

August, 2018 Art by Kate Walters Words by Eve Packer

Art by Kate Walters 

Kate Walters’s works explore themes around the disembodied uterus, the narcissistic mother, and the connections we have with animals and wilderness.

Kate Walters’ works in watercolour, monotype, and oil are concerned with the interaction of the animal, plant, dream and human worlds; depicting in raw and graphic immediacy a relationship that is both intimate and nurturing.

Walters studied fine art at Brighton University. She spent some time working at her successful teaching career before completing a postgraduate fine art diploma at University College Falmouth. Around 2000 Kate was elected to be a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists. She is currently serving on the NSA Committee.

See more at: http://www.katewalters.co.uk

Words by Eve Packer

“summer flash”

when we were young, younger,

summer finds us in the play-

ground, niall & s.j., jeanne &

eric, sam & me, after a long

day of day care or whatever,

i’m not even sure we stopped

at home, i think, we bring the kids

w/change of clothes direct

to the playground: there is

a sprinkler-fountain, old-school,

up a few steps, a huge sand-

box, center, a huge concrete

ship for scaling, the kids

love, but someone once cracked

open his head–now of course

replaced by a generic safe climbing

structure–as its named–

anyway, the boys, they were all

boys, would play–for hours–

we would pick up sandwiches

at the opera–the deli–named for

nick and dom opera, the owners,

it was filthy and funky and they make

the best heroes and sandwiches, and

the kids play in the fountain–the neighborhood

transvestites stop by to use the bathroom

and one sits atop the sprinkler to cool off

and strut her stuff and get clean–and after

a bit the wise parks department attendant,

rather than make a fuss, just turns off

the water–the transvestite takes her leave, the kids

play til dark or after, maybe it turns

cool

wed., 8/1/18: 8:47 pm

Eve Packer – Bronx-born, poet/performer/actress. Appearing widely with dance, poetry, performance, music, theatre. NEH, NYSCA, NYFA awards. Downtown Poet of the Year awards. Numerous publications. 3 poetry books (Fly by Night Press). 5 poetry/jazz CD’s. Teaches at WCC. Mom, Grandmom, lives downtown, swims daily.