invention_mother (*all images taken from the web, periodicals, or generously shared by artists)
Women who have created ambitious work and careers for themselves while choosing to be mothers.
For some artists, being a mother and having a family finds its way into their work like Carrie Mae Weems, Mary Kelly, Carlee Fernandez, Sylvia Fine, or Janine Antoni. Their lives are not separate from their art. For others, like Louise Nevelson, the two worlds never collided. Historically, some artists have felt the need to separate motherhood from their art making because it was a burden or the two lives just had no relationship – living two separate lives. Unless your muse is fed by motherhood, then it is understandable that motherhood might not permeate your work. The reality is that children are time consuming, hard work, and a distraction from productivity.
Having children, parenting, and all that accompanies it like creating a home and lifestyle that supports it are also normative and mainstream. This is at odds with an art culture that exists in a liminal space where normal social contracts are inverted and the non normative is celebrated. Ironically, taking a path labeled as normative makes mothers outsiders in an art world that applauds the odd.
Our vision is that through the gathering of images, stories (interviews with artists), and research of visual artists, we will uncover many diverse experiences of motherhood and invention.