In common with all new parents, the birth of my first child in Heath Audre changed many things in my life. One of those changes has been the way I and others think about my work, including as an artist. I also find now that many aspects of the professional and art worlds, separately and together, are closed to all individuals with families, especially mothers, especially artists. For instance, most prestigious artist residencies specifically exclude families from attending. Despite a legacy of public artist/parents and professionally, politically, and personally active mothers, it still seems to be a commonly held belief that being an engaged mother and serious artist or other professional are mutually exclusive endeavors. I don’t believe this, and I actively work to refute this in my actions, conversations, and activism. I like to imagine the artistry, activism, research, and other professional endeavors not as competing with parenting, but to recognize all realms of life impact each other, and to improve my works and my parenting by availing myself of these connections.
I will undergo this self-imposed artist residency in order to fully experience and explore the fragmented focus, nap-length studio time, limited movement and resources and general upheaval that parenthood, especially as a disabled mother, brings and allow it to shape the direction of my work, rather than try to work “despite” it.
Text customized from resources on Artist Residency in Motherhood.