“This is a beautiful, thought provoking and brilliant project.
I’ll keep checking in on it – and send you deepest congratulations on your creativity and humanity (and gorgeous son)”
Alain de Botton, Philosopher, Writer, Founder of the School of Life.
“I’m a middle school math teacher in Chicago. My seventh grade class is working on a math/arts integrated unit with the big idea: How do we measure space? I have challenged them to think of more ways than distance, area, and capacity to measure space. We watched your Distance from My Son videos and talked about what other measurement scales you might be using beyond meters or yards. The students thought maybe a scale of fear/worry for your son. They also thought of a scale based on time – thinking about how much time it would take to run to your son. This led to a scale based on running speed that would have to also factor in your son’s running speed. I liked the scale of bravery that students said could be used to measure your bravery vs. your son’s bravery of the space between you. We didn’t develop these scales, but it was a great conceptual exercise for us. Thanks for the great videos. My students had a lot to think about and they thought the videos were entertaining also.”
Luke Albrecht, Chicago Public School teacher
“I stumbled onto your website through Facebook and just wanted to let you know how inspiring you are! That, and to let you know that last night my husband and I laughed so hard at the series on Otto and distance (mostly laughing with you when you went running after him!). We were expecting to see how far he could be from you from his perspective–how people usually talk about it–and were cheered to see it was how far you could be from him. Anyway, just wanted to say that your art is important to me and to legitimizing motherhood.”
“A friend of mine posted your work to my FB page and I am so grateful for that as I am in a similar situation and love knowing there are other engaged and serious artists/mothers out there. I notice that you suggested one should contact you if interested in a residency and I am very interested. Currently I am working from my home studio as a “stay-at-home-mother” to one 19 month old named Eliot. I would also love to chat with you about your work and experience as an engaged mother. …maybe we could have a skype studio chat… Thank you so much for your time and creativity.”
Crystal Ann Brown
“My little guy just turned six weeks old. I found your ARIM just before he was born and I think I’d like to do one as well. I worried about being able to maintain a practice as well as be a mother and wife and this concept fits well into that. I also notice a lack of discussion about motherhood in ‘fine’ arts as well as a lack of mothers among my artist peers. In some ways this makes me an outsider and I’d like to explore this otherness.
Thanks for the inspiration.”
“I discovered your work from the VVORK blog, I live in Berlin. My wife and I have a 19 month old and I have to say I’m really impressed with your explorations, documentation, and experimentation with Otto. My wife created and runs the atelier in a local kindergarten where she is constantly creating things for other children, and now as our child is just at the age where those very things she creates are relevant, it seems that at the end of the workday of a creative professional, doing the “same thing I did earlier today,” or having the energy to come up with something new for him, is a real challenge. I think your work can be a great resource for us, Otto is a just a few months ahead so until your documented residency is over we’ll have a head start on some ideas to work on with our son. Thanks.“
“I have been a mother for almost 7 years now, definitely an ongoing and increasingly fascinating residency. Your project is quite beautiful, do you ever feel like the analytical interferes with being emotionally present to mothering? I am an artist as well, mostly a photographer which I know can be quite different at time to being an artist. I have felt that my camera can be an interference. That any desire to “frame” my son hinders my presence to the happening. I was just wondering if you ever felt the same?”
“Absolutely love this whole idea. I featured your residency on Design Mom yesterday. Just wanted to make sure you saw the wonderful discussion happening in the comments. Best wishes and can’t wait for every new studio diary post.”
Koseli Cummings (regular contributor to designmom)
I love the idea of this.
And that is without even going any further.
I came across your work via vvork.com which I check often. It is certainly relatable to me having scoured art residencies looking for something that would logistically support my husband and baby and coming up with nothing…renting (ill-advised financially) a small studio nearby (I was so excited I could finally work with the lovely poisonous paints again)…which I can hardly get to, and when i do i feel bad leaving the sweet thing.”
“Just wanting to let you know I’m finding your website inspiring. As the dancer mother of 2 (girls aged 7 and 2) I resonate with so much of what you write and feel heartened by seeing evidence of another artist attempting to make sense of her mothering through her creative practice. So thank you for putting this out there.”
“it was the “quickly” up there on the tab that encouraged me to begin the arduous on the shoulder muscle and on the patience task of typing left-fingered as i breastfeed to sleep my 9 week old small person. i wanted to write and say PREACH IT SISTER! this project is the bomb and has started or rather no, has propelled a really sexy dialogue with some fellow mamartists about the intersection of mamahood and arthood. i feel pretty fucking good reading about what you’re doing and what drives what you do….
soon i will go back into “the studio” (which may be my living room, the kitchen or my bed) to finish working on a solo which i will premiere at a festival here in montreal in may. it’s a biggie for me, but i’m trying to think of it as a smallie to make it not freak me out. freak out possibilities being increased by the baby situation and all. but yes, exactly. what you said. i don’t want it to be “a situation”, i want it to be THE situation. making this boy was goddamn exciting and i just don’t ever want it to boil down to something to just contend with. you know.
but also, ya. very much would like to implement your blueprint when it’s done.”
“I am a mother of a 17 year old (boy) and a 13 year old (girl) and could still benefit from an Artist Residency in Motherhood even though naps, endless loads of wash, hours of inventing curious games, wondrous activities and long walks, have morphed into college applications, rides to and from basketball practice, for my son, and hair make-overs, camping trips, and homeschooling for my daughter. Raising children requires, like art making, a constant stream of creativity and attention and that this still largely carried by mothers, however involved the father may or my not be.
When my second child was born, life in the studio almost ended so, like you I took the studio to my home, installing video cameras at the height of my four year old and capturing the rhythm and beauty of our day-to-day. That work evolved into similar projects as I continued to find infinite richness, constant fatigue, and frustration, in the experience of motherhood.
Next spring is my sabbatical and I’m trying to find a residency that will support time away from my ongoing home-based- artist-in-residency while acknowledging the unique needs of mothers.
but alas, it seems as if those places are still few and far between…”
”…very interesting things you get with your Otto life. Congratulations! I´m a 7 month-mother who totally stopped being able to think about other thing that Chloé. As my artists friends know about my desperate state, another friend and curator Elodie Royer (le plateau) told me about your project. I live in Sao Paulo since a little before of being mother, I didn´t have the opportunity to get into the art world neither here, so I thought it might be the perfect situation to get your advice in order to activate a little my situation at home… Enchanté & hope to get your answer soon.”
“I love this project! As a daughter of two painters and a new mom to a 5-month old, and trying to figure out how to be a full time mom but also a photo editor, trying to figure out how to be more present than my parents were (who are amazing but were distracted by their personal work while I was growing up) and also try to have my own identity and wondering how the hell anybody does it, its great to see this… Brilliant idea. I look forward to seeing the updates.“
“A friend just sent me a link to your site. The concept is brilliant, and the work is amazing. I can’t wait to see more.”
Writer and new mother
“It says in your “about residency’ section that if one is interested to undertake one’s own residency in motherhood to get in touch. I am interested since I have never had the opportunity to do a residency, and now with 2 kids even more so… I am intrigued about my children’s and my own relation to play and especially toys as well as the psychological impact it might have. I would like to add such an adventure to my plans for 2013. Please advise.”
This is absolutely fantastic. A while ago I read about the mysterious letters – that was before the residency in motherhood…. I enjoyed the first, I relate to the latter… In a way it reminds me of Mary Kelly’s Post partum document…but different. Unfortunately I used to fall in the category of one of those who saw motherhood as an obstacle to overcome – luckily that changed. “absurd poetry of time spent with a child” – well said!
I just spend an hour on your website, and I want to tell you how much I find it interesting and clever! It is so hard to find the link between our artist work and mother position.