The Kitchen Dance, Exhibition 2002
The Kitchen Dance
In this life's journey, I am mother and artist and in these roles I explore the landscapes of my physical and imaginative experiences. The two roles have grown alongside each other, informing and fighting together along the way. It was my first pregnancy that initiated my search for a non-toxic medium and led me to this burgeoning world of fiber. To hold two such powerful callings in one heart has often been a tremendous struggle. It has become my work to explore these places of tension, believing that by touching the places where I am sore, I will find release.
Standing amidst the chaos of my home - the boys moving too fast to track, the dishes, each one waiting to be washed, the bellies, each one waiting to be filled, more things to pick up than places to put them, miles of tasks seem to stretch unending into tomorrow - I asked myself, "How can I address this as an artist, this material of my life?" In this moment I conceived an image, and a journey started in which I began to see the material of my life with the artist's eye, for it is the subject which is forever and inexorably before me. I can speak of nothing else from such depth or with such honesty.
And so beholden to me are the moments of my day, seeming small, ordinary and mundane, stories seemingly too unimportant and sometimes too secret to speak of. All our days are filled with them, moment upon moment, weaving the fabric of our physical existence. In embracing these, my physical experiences, I perceive their beauty, be they sublime in their tenderness or in their chaos. Thus, even the moments of greatest challenge - when I am about to explode with frustration or crumble beneath the weight of tasks unending - are transformed by my movement into the creative mind. I perceive the moment as an image, and in that act of perception I pass through the crisis with a story to tell, to share with others.
I believe that when we tell our stories to one another, we at one and the same time find the meaning of our lives and are healed from our isolation and loneliness. As an artist, I bring these images, these stories, to myself, my children, my friends, and my community in the same manner as one being confides in intimacy with another. The ultimate goal of this confiding and sharing is empowerment for myself and for my audience.