Alternative Maternals

A new exhibition, Alternative Maternals, brings together an international group of female artists to examine motherhood from a variety of angles for an engaging, provocative show at London South Bank University.

The exhibition will be held at the London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, and run from June 1 to June 8, with a private view 1 June 1, 6.30–8.30 P.M. Gallery hours for the show are Wednesday–Friday 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 12pm to 5pm. Dr Laura González, artist and lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, curated the exhibition.

The seven artists of Alternative Maternals use a variety of media, including performance, photography, video, and sculptural objects to investigate the maternal experience from a variety of perspectives. Each artist’s work uniquely challenges, in its own way, the common characteristics by which maternal expressions are known. In doing so, the exhibition raises issues of absence, rejection, memory, legacy, scandal, autonomy, and the physical body.

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The artists challenge the language associated with maternity through intimate, in-depth investigations of this essential bond. Their work questions cultural dismissals of the mother as a valid anchor for artistic expression, while embracing a conceptual artistic framework and rejecting tendencies toward simplifying the meaning of motherhood and mother/child relationships.

Alternative Maternals offers provocative insights into becoming, being and having a mother. The maternal experience emerges as it has rarely been seen before in the work of the exhibit’s artists to reveal what we have too long taken for granted. The artists in Alternative Maternals are:

  • Deborah Dudley (U.S.), who, in collaboration with daughters Isabel Dudley Pecora and Luca Dudley Pecora, created Brain Candy, a photographic series that celebrates identity, self-image and self-representation, while critically examining portraiture and the expression of one’s image.
  • Linda Duvall (Canada), who lies down in Saskatoon’s thick winter snow for her absent son. Her visually arresting film expresses mother-love and mother-loss through ritual, place, and a strong feeling for the landscape.
  • Jeca Rodríguez-Colón (Puerto Rico), whose chaotic, crazy installation also explores mother-son contact. In her installation, the mother (and-woman) is pulled into expressing many different roles that must function separately but make sense together. Rodríguez-Colón’s mother is dependent and autonomous at the same time.
  • Miriam Schaer (U.S.), who addresses motherhood through societal biases against childless women, and “reverse mothering” — her experience caring for her own mother after she had become too aged and ill to care for herself.
  • Valerie Walkerdine (U.K.), who uses screendance, filmic installation and performance to explore a place where a lyrical neuroticism draws the viewer into the depths of a tie marked by the female line.

 

Catalogue for Alternative Maternals exhibition.

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