I see a mother with her head bent forward, with one baby in her arms, one in utero, one clinging to her neck. I wasn't thinking about a Mother and Child as I was making this mixed media monoprint, but after it was done it seemed so clear. It is the same orientation, scale and stance as a watercolor Mother and Child given to me many years ago by Alfred Van Loen. I had studied stone carving with him in my late teens & early twenties, and also a little wood carving. His watercolor was representational, with just one baby in the mother's arms. I wish I knew where it is now. But every time I look at my Mother and Child I think of his. Which I guess means I think of him...and our crazy crush that enhanced the sculpture lessons.
My friend Linda Dubin Garfield recently organized this ARTISTS Against Hunger Exhibition. I was very happy to submit Mother and Child to be juried for it, and pleased that it was juried in.
I was told that the juror liked it better horizontal, which I didn't think much about at the time. I didn't make it to the opening or the show. When I went to pick it up the show had already been taken down. I was told that they had changed the wire on the back to hang it horizontally. I was surprised and shocked at such an unheard of and bizarre breach of trust. It is unclear how it happened.
I still don't know. Did it hang this way?
Or this way?
When I got home I looked at it horizontal for a few days, wondering if I had missed something. Then I got a screwdriver and fixed the wire back to its proper spot on the frame.
I'm very happy Mother and Child is home in its spot in my studio. It is not hanging vertically because that is the way it fits in its spot. That is its spot because it is meant to be seen vertically. I like the way it is enclosed by my bookshelf on one side, the doorway on the other, and my old caribou skin mukluks from Vista Volunteer days in Alaska above.
What I really like is that the ARTISTS Against Hunger Exhibition raised a substantial amount of money for The Food Trust! That is the most important moral of this strange tale.