A trio of out-of-town artists is tackling the issue of motherhood in a new exhibition coming to the Fort Gallery later this month.
The show, entitled “Comforter,” is part of a four-part series being hosted by the gallery cooperative.
The bigger series is called “Making Home,” which invites guests to reflect on the changing relationship to the “domestic sphere,” explained gallery manager Margaret Campbell.
Throughout the pandemic, society has seen women’s careers disproportionately affected – in part because of limited childcare options and the fact that child-rearing roles still routinely fall to women.
“Comforter explores how this ethic of care and nurturing might transcend the domestic sphere (and the temporal limits of the pandemic) to penetrate public life,” Campbell said.
The three artists bring diverse perspectives, as well as material and aesthetic qualities to their inquiry into motherhood.
De Fleuriot’s work is concerned with the maternal body and domestic labour, referencing the intimate connection between mother and child through soft sculptures.
Rosengren’s drawings and paintings examine the rituals and rhythms of motherhood, attesting to the state of constant interruption that characterizes life with young children.
Van Sloten’s work presents a playful and abstracted yet intimately familiar narrative, drawing on the iconography of childhood. Gendered materials and processes associated with domesticity are used to challenge patriarchal notions of work and to articulate the difference between visible and invisible labour.
In addition, the exhibition will open with a virtual Philosopher’s Cafe featuring the artists in a conversation with TWU English and gender studies professor Holly Nelsonon.
The Philosopher’s Cafés are held online via Zoom, a format the gallery switched to last year due to COVID.
“The format varies a bit, but usually involves the exhibiting artist/s giving a presentation about their work in the gallery, followed by a moderated conversation with an invited guest, and ends with an audience Q & A. It’s a chance for the community to still be involved with and learn more about the exhibit without needing to gather in person,” said Campbell.
“The hope is that participants will then be able to have a more in-depth experience in the gallery space when they view the exhibition.”
The upcoming Philosopher’s Cafe is set for Friday, April 16, from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Guests need to RSVP for the Zoom event.
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