“Summer turned to autumn turned to winter.
and i turned from morning to mourning to my mother.
turned tough, tortuous, terrible.”‘
This installation is an exploration of the Mother Wound through emotion, transience and temporality, and women’s work: through the lens of the garden, and a reflections of seasons.The motherwound is the burden, the haunting, the hurt that is passed from generation to generation, from mother to child but specifically from mother to daughter. the motherwound is especially perpetuated in patriarchal societies much like South Africa. In my artistic practice, I delve into the intricate and multi-faceted theme of the motherwound and its profound impact on individuals and society as a whole by centering my practice on my personal experience of this wound. This concept encapsulates the emotional, psychological, and cultural scars that stem from the relationship between mothers and their children, often revealing layers of complexity and unspoken narratives.
A central focus of my exploration is the connection between the motherwound and themes of emotion, the transience of time, and temporality. Through various mediums, including video or film, I aim to create visual narratives that capture the essence of these emotions tied to the mother-child dynamic. By delving into the transience of time, I shed light on the shifting dynamics within this relationship, highlighting how the motherwound persists and evolves through different phases and stages of life.
Using the seasons as a reflection of the healing process, I draw upon the cyclical nature of nature’s rhythm—spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Just as seasons transition from one to another, so too does the process of healing. I explore the emotional journey from a place of darkness and pain (winter) to growth and renewal (spring), followed by moments of abundance (summer) and introspection (autumn). This cyclical perspective invites viewers to witness the ebb and flow of healing, emphasizing that it is not a linear path but rather a continuous process.
This exploration of the motherwound extends beyond visual mediums alone. The presence of letter writing plays a pivotal role in my work, offering a deeply personal and intimate connection between myself, my mother, the audience, and the subject matter at hand. Letter writing acts as a therapeutic and healing practice, allowing for the expression of emotions, the articulation of thoughts, and a profound connection between writer and recipient. In this installation the letters manifest in the form of what I am calling ‘flower drawings’.
Within the context of the motherwound, letter writing becomes a powerful tool for self-reflection, introspection, and healing. The act of putting pen to paper creates a safe space to explore emotions that may often be difficult to express verbally. Through the vulnerability of sharing one’s innermost thoughts and experiences, both the writer and the recipient embark on a journey of catharsis and understanding.
The letters themselves become a physical manifestation of emotions, memories, and desires. The written words capture fleeting moments of truth, encapsulating the complexities of the relationship between my mother and I. Whether these letters are delivered or remain unsent, they serve as a tangible testament to the emotional weight carried within, validating and honoring the experiences that shape and define us.
Letter writing as a practice is a testament to the power of communication, offering an opportunity for connection, reconciliation, and growth. It allows for the exploration of unresolved emotions, facilitating the process of healing and creating space for forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance. Through this practice, I seek to illuminate the transformative nature of conversations that may be left unspoken, fostering dialogue and connection in ways that transcend traditional means of communication.
Within the broader context of exploring the motherwound and its interconnected themes, letter writing serves as both a catalyst and a response, engaging viewers on a multidimensional level. By integrating letters within my artistic compositions, I bridge the gap between the written word and visual symbolism, inviting audiences to partake in the intimate and healing journey that this practice facilitates.
Ultimately, the presence of letter writing in my work serves as a reminder of the profound healing and therapeutic nature of connecting through written communication. By embracing the power of language and the intimate act of letter exchange, I champion the importance of conversation, empathy, and understanding in navigating the complexities of the mother-child relationship. It is through the exchange of our truths that we can begin to heal, grow, and forge new narratives rooted in compassion and healing.
The motif of the garden serves as a powerful symbol within my artistic exploration. Gardens, with their vibrant blooms and intricate ecosystems, represent the space where growth and transformation occur. They reflect the potential for beauty and healing, highlighting the nurturing qualities of the mother-child relationship. By incorporating garden imagery into my art, I aim to evoke a sense of serenity, hope, and resilience—qualities that emerge amidst the complexity of the motherwound.
A motif that resonates deeply in my work is the symbolism of the color pink. Pink represents a myriad of emotions associated with the mother-daughter relationship, including love, tenderness, vulnerability, and nurture. It embodies both the gentle and vibrant aspects of this bond, capturing the delicate balance between strength and fragility. Through the exploration of the color pink, I aim to evoke a spectrum of emotions and provoke contemplation on the inherent complexities inherent within maternal connections.
Through the exploration of the motherwound and its interconnectedness with themes of emotion, time, women’s work, and the seasons, my art seeks to evoke introspection, empathy, and conversation. By employing visual metaphors such as gardens and the symbolism of pink, I aim to create a space where viewers can reflect on their own experiences, connect with the universality of the mother-child relationship, and transcend individual narratives to engage in a collective healing journey.
Drawing inspiration from the materiality of flowers, I incorporate them as a symbolic element in my artistic compositions. Just as flowers go through cycles of growth and decay, they reflect the ephemeral nature of life and serve as reminders of the temporal aspects of the mother-child bond. By intertwining floral motifs within my work, I invite viewers to contemplate the fragility and beauty present in these complex relationships.
Furthermore, my artistic practice aims to elevate and celebrate women’s often underappreciated work in areas such as stitching, embroidering, and flower arrangements. These traditionally feminine crafts carry immense creative potential and hold a deep historical significance, often intertwined with the stories of women throughout time. By incorporating these mediums into my artwork, I aim to challenge societal perceptions of women’s work and emphasize its artistic, cultural, and emotional value.
Through the exploration of the motherwound and its interconnectedness with themes of emotion, time, and women’s work, my art seeks to evoke introspection, empathy, and conversation. By creating visually captivating and conceptually engaging works, I aspire to shed light on the complexities surrounding the mother-child relationship, while also celebrating the resilience and strength of those who navigate this deeply transformative bond.