This last weekend was the opening night for my first large gallery show. The show featured 17 of my Offspring sets, all grouped together in one of the large showrooms.
My Offspring Vessels have evolved from the idea that the parent and child relationship is complicated. These vessels show two individuals, one small and the other large (and somewhat chubby around the hips--I wonder what this is saying about myself?). The parent pot supports the child which literally cannot stand on its own. However, depending on how you look at the vessels, they are either facing away from each other, beaks held high (everyone tells me they look birdish) and ready to leap away from one another, or looking at one another in rapt attention with crazy hair streaming out behind them. This contrast embodied in the work and peoples competing perception of it explains my feelings about motherhood. My daughter and I support one another. She still needs me for so much of her daily necessities. And I need her in so many ways. We face away from one another towards our separate interests and desires. Sometimes I feel slightly trapped or smothered in a relationship with so much daily demands and long to turn away. I'm sure my daughter feels "trapped" being with me sometimes--especially when i enforce time outs. But at the same time, we mirror one another, and in a very real way complete one another. She is my inspiration and my friend. My companion in good times and bad. Just like these pots, we make a pair that looks incomplete without both pieces.
It was especially enjoyable to see several of these pieces placed together. While creating and selling, I've usually thought of these as individual sculptures. When put together, they look like several moms in conversations while holding their little ones. This larger context of how mothers relate to one another was an unintended result, but one I'd like to explore further.
Here are some pictures from the show.