NOON Projects is honored to present MOTHER, a group exhibition featuring 14 artists exploring the maternal through ceramics, photography, sound, and textiles.
Through an assemblage of disparate techniques, forms, genders, and materials MOTHER explores care and the act of mothering. The artists engage with nature’s unique forms of creation, producing and collaborating intergenerationally, and reflecting on their own experiences with motherhood.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted in Iceland in 2021. First-hand accounts of this exceptional moment describe it as “explosive, volatile, unpredictable.” The sporadic occurrence was an extraordinary opportunity to witness Gaia, our earth’s mother, proclaim itself outside of its inner core. At a temperature of 2,200ºF, lava slowly oozed and formed spikey, igneous rock, as it transformed into new earth. After thousands of years, this dormant volcano raged in eruption, giving way to fresh, fertile soil and new life. Naturally, witnessing the process reminds us to ask: how else do we experience the maternal?
The group of artists presented in MOTHER share their perspectives and knowledge of motherhood, primarily focused on co-collaboration with nature and family both assigned by birth and chosen.
Hertta Kiiski, Maddy Inez Leeser, and Morgan Ritter’s works investigate nature's forms of creation. Kiiski, who became an artist at 33 after giving birth to her two children, has collaborated with her daughters throughout her practice as an artist. For MOTHER, Kiiski presents a bold, photographic image of a Blushing Bromeliad, an epiphyte plant species which attaches itself to a host. Unlike a parasitic plant, the bromeliad does not suck nutrients from its carrier. The plant gives birth to its gooey, young pups only once the mother plant itself dies. Leeser’s practice focuses on the physical and energetic forms of plants and animals. Her work Pipa Pipa references the Mother of Millions/Devil’s Backbone plant, and the Surinam toad, a species that gives birth through hundreds of holes in its back. Ritter's sculptures are created on sea bricks with flotsam integrations—forms that have been pummeled slowly and repeatedly by the ocean waves, and adorned with freshwater pearls and other collected detritus.
Creating work collaboratively with family members, Max Cleary and Fabian Guerrero produced portraits with the matriarchs of their family, applying their elder's traditional hand techniques of fabric leis and ribbon flowers within their works. After the death of her artist father at an early age, Carolina Starrett began exploring ways to heal and collaborate in art from a spiritual approach. This practice strengthened her collaboration with her mother Julie Starrett with whom she created her exhibition piece depicting family histories.
Julianna Barwick and Mary Lattimore each composed and contributed new musical compositions for the exhibition. Lattimore composed a new piece, Drop of Sun, performed and recorded by her mother Lelia Lattimore, a lifelong harpist herself. Barwick contributed an infinite loop of her song Forever, featuring an isolated vocal sample of her mother Julia Ann Barwick. Accompanying the audio scores is a poem by Morgan Ritter, Between mermaid & institutional critique, read by Susan Cianciolo. The audio works are available to listen to on wireless headphones so visitors can enjoy a sense of privacy while taking in the exhibition.
A series of ceramics by Susanne Hoffmann, Sachi Moskowitz, and Laura Rule adorn both rooms of the gallery. Danish artist Susanne Hoffmann whose ceramic practice S.H.Y. Ceramics started in 2017 contributes a Barselspotte, a traditional Danish vessel created so neighboring women can bring food to new mothers. Sachi Moskowitz comes from a family of ceramic artists and creates a retelling of family history with her piece Dear Mother. Laura Rule’s practice is a one-sided intuitive conversation between her and the clay. For MOTHER Rule has created 3 vessels each titled Favourite Child.
Francesca Capone and Susan Cianciolo’s practices involve the reinterpretation of ancestral family and found textiles and materials. Capone, a new mother herself contributes 3 works as part of a series titled A Mother’s Discourse, which includes a lending library of books around the themes of motherhood. Cianciolo created Pray without ceasing, all day, everyday, a tapestry inspired by assemblage and traditional quilting consisting of paintings, prints, found and recycled textiles, papers, and collected objects.
William Moss’ contribution to the exhibition, Offering Hands consists of a carved and hollowed oak tree ring on top of a milk paint-stained pedestal. Typical of Moss’ work, the intricate and complex support structures which make up the interior of his sculptures are only lightly visible to the viewer and appear to support more than the primary object on display.
The exhibition MOTHER also goes by the alternate titles:
Generous Palmstroke (after Björk)
Magnificat (after Arvö Part)
The Real Gaia (after Vanessa)
MOTHAAAA (after Mother Flawless Sabrina, after Ru Paul, after Sasha Colby)