Courtney Kessel
Untitled I, II, & IIICaregiver/ BreadwinnerInstallation viewGallery VideoGallery view 1Mother LodeOne Minute HorizonsOne Minute Horizons
Mother Lode (Solo Exhibition), David Brooks Art Gallery, Fairmont State University, September 2 - October 3, 2014
The work in this show is meant to highlight the challenges and negotiations between having time for myself, and the constant need and interruption of an other. It is a body of work that has emerged from having a 40 + hour a week job and being a full-time mom. Instead of having the ability to be in the studio all the time and producing a body of work, the time spent installing becomes a durational performance or studio practice. A heavily conceptualized idea is prepared and then executed at the site-specific location of the gallery.

The “Mother Lode” is the origin of a treasure or vein of ore, something precious. My use of it here indicates both the above meaning and the origin of me as a mother, which is the child. I am also playing with the word “lode” and interchanging it with “load”. The mental and physical space that is devoted to one’s child vastly differs from someone who is not a mother: the breast pumps, diaper bags, extra clothes (both for mother and child), strollers, school bags, lunch boxes, shoes, toys, games, etc. The mental space is consumed with where are they? I hope they are all right? What time do I need to go get them? Am I there enough for them? Do I spend enough time with them? And more. The sheer quantity of “stuff” demonstrates the space taken up by being a mother.
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