Madonnahood

Madonnahood plays with the contradiction between idealized motherhood and the real, lived experiences of modern mothers. Referencing the visual language of Madonna paintings, I use props to symbolize experiences and roles common to mothers. The handmade elements and textile backgrounds draw upon the sewing, quilting, and knitting skills my mother taught me.

I am a mother of three. With the birth of each child, I attuned myself to another’s unspoken needs, but I have discovered that when I do not speak my own needs, they go unmet. Seen as essential to the everyday rhythm of the family, I am invisible at Christmas when my stocking hangs forlorn. How do I enjoy moments when my time and efforts are fractured as I juggle competing responsibilities? These portraits reflect the confusing jumble of conscious and unconscious, internal and external, personal and cultural, messages and expectations about motherhood that I sort through in my messy reality.