Instigating Regional Collaboration: using a mother/artist methodology to facilitate creative practice, engagement and exchange

Ms. Linda Clark (USQ)
2016 Conference

Mother/artists as practice-led researchers who live in regional areas experience dual regionalisms.  Perceived regionalism from the mother/artist perspective stems from the problem that female artists were previously reluctant to use motherhood as their subject matter for fear of not being perceived as a ‘serious’ artist. As creative communities in Australia predominantly operate in metropolitan centres, artists situated in regional settings are often separated from creative critical inquiry.

New methodologies reveal insights about problematic practices of the past, and potential ways to strengthen the field of visual art research in the future. Social and cultural ‘problems’ concerning the periphery can actually become the nexus of the solution if used intentionally within a methodology.

This paper will discuss how an innovative visual arts practice-led research methodology titled Mother/Artist Model can connect practices through collaborative research, nationally and internationally. Within the Mother/Artist Model, artists can manipulate the boundary between motherhood and art practice to create alternative roles within a mother/artist identity, located within the very act of mothering. Experiences between mother and child can be reinterpreted to produce artworks that convey narrative with new meanings. This methodology can be used within a collaborative research exchange, thereby facilitating ongoing critical engagement and consistent practice within a ‘landscape of practice’. In doing so, the model subverts ‘problems’ of regional and patriarchal periphery experienced by mother/artists.

Lippard, LR 2012, ‘The Pains and Pleasures of Rebirth: Women’s Body Art’, Art In America, vol. 100, no.11, Humanities International Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 March 2016, p.81.

Australia council for the Arts 2014, Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts Report May 2014, Instinct and Reason, viewed 12 March 2016.

Sullivan, G 2010, Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts, 2nd edn, Sage Publications Inc, Los Angeles, p.163.

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About the author


Linda Clark is an emerging installation artist exhibiting nationally and internationally. Her work has been included in key exhibitions such as Antipods: Magical Creatures with Backward Feet at University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Down the Rabbit Hole at the Queensland College of Art. She has recently engaged in curatorial projects such as Mother at USQ Artworx. In 2015, Clark won the Queensland Regional Art Awards Gray Puksand Digital Award, was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship. Clark is beginning a practice led research project within the Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Southern Queensland.