I am a second-generation migrant born in Montreal, Canada. I now reside in Melbourne, Australia, where I am currently undertaking a Masters in Fine Arts at the Faculty of Victorian College of Arts and Music, University of Melbourne.
I am an artist/single mother and a nurse. I do not see being an artist and a mother as mutually exclusive; I view that each role informs the other. I consider mothering a discipline just as art is. Mothering involves ‘maternal thinking’, thought processes focused on fulfilling the demands of motherwork characterized as protection, nurturance, and training.
My art practice so far has been based on autobiographical life-changing events that have challenged my sense of self and my sense of control. Using photography, sculpture, performance and installation, I have explored diverse themes such as reproductive issues, gender, femininity, domesticity, and voluntary isolation. Becoming a mother is the most recent catalyst for my current artistic and socio-political endeavours. Having experienced first-hand how the idea of the ‘good mother’ stems from a patriarchal type of motherhood that is disempowering and unrealistic, I have chosen to challenge the current socially and historically constructed Western image of the ideal mother, projected as all-sacrificing, all-loving, and all-forgiving.
As part of my research framework, I have been inspired by a mother-centered type of feminism known as matricentric feminism. Through a multidisciplinary approach, I seek to bring the invisibility of motherhood from the private sphere into the public. I want to shift the conversation around motherhood to broaden its definition from Western paternalistic constructs to a more feminist progressive concept. I am interested in investigating how other artists who are parents manage to fulfil their roles and responsibilities as both artist and parent.
Having recently become a single mother of two children, I needed to reach out for help. This has prompted me to move from an individualistic art practice to a more socially engaged practice in order to create a community of artist-parents who can learn from each other as well as support each other. As a strategy to understand how artist-parents manage their roles, I have been organising public outreach events such as sun printing workshops and have hosted dinners in gallery spaces. These family-friendly events were created to offer an opportunity for artist-parents to get together and share their experiences with like-minded individuals. In conducting these public events, one of my aims is to create a collective of artists/parents who can work together to increase the visibility of artists/parents.
As my experiences in motherhood feed into my art practice, and vice versa, and I am hoping I can contribute to a positive social change regarding the image of the contemporary mother.