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Mother, Not Martyr: Claiming Identity and Taking Up Space

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Hollie Anderson

The urge to resolve the dichotomy between selflessness in mothering and self identity in taking up space as an artist inspired this arts-based exploration and research. The globally-reaching construct that "good" mothers are selfless and all-sacrificing is one that has been passed down generation to generation and internalized by many who become mothers. As I began to pursue my passion and career as an artist I grappled not only with the patriarchal representation of motherhood "that depicts an ideological, sentimental portrayal of selflessness and self-sacrifice" (Ciciola-Izzo, 2014), but also with a hesitation about my lived experience mothering as subject matter for my visual work. Insistent to separate my selfhood from motherhood, I purposely kept motherhood off the table as content for my pieces. As I grew in my abilities and became more conceptual with my art I learned that my experiences as a mother and my identity as an artist are inseparable. The pieces in this series are the product of allowing my lived experience to be present in my work along with a study of literature on the coexistence of art and motherhood.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Visual Arts
Format: In Person
Presentation #A24
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Arts
Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Giannell