Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Finding Inspiration in Motherhood

Janis Mars Wunderlich is an artist who derives inspiration from her role as a mother. I recently read a short article in this month's Ceramics Monthly about her solo exhibition at Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus, Ohio.

I was really impressed by Wunderlich's use of her children as a creative theme.
Of her work, she says, "My recent work explores the idea of 'accessorizing' with children. Sometimes I feel as though my wardrobe consists of kids from head to toe. Instead of artsy or fancy accessories and jewelry, I have children hanging from my ears, neck, and arms! In a sense, the mother figure seems hidden or lost behind all the clingy creatures. But in reality, she is strengthened, clothed and made beautiful by them. They give her layers, textures, identity."

In today's world, where many look down upon women who make the choice to stay at home with their children, I find Wunderlichs unabashed pride at being a mother very encouraging. Instead of "giving up" a career outside of my home, I am gaining "layers, textures, and identity" and can use my experience as a source of insight and inspiration.

Wunderlich describes with almost humorous accuracy through her art what it is to be both a parent and an artist. In her own words, "My children inspire me with both their imaginative minds and animal-like energy. But parenting is physically and emotionally demanding! The tantrums, messy diapers and adolescent "sassiness" are emotionally draining."

Janis Mars Wunderlich, "Six Swans"

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