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. http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/research/arts-in-daily-life-australian-5432524d0f2f0.pdf
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