The Institute of Mothering Artists
We are writing a new definition of the word “mother” where the work of caring does not assume the body of women. Therefore the term “mother” becomes a verb; “to mother” means to take care of or to protect someone or something.
The work that women have been doing, isolated and unrecognized, in their kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms, motivates and nourishes our creative work. During the process of merging two seemingly unrelated forms of labor, which are art and care work, we have already arrived at a new way of relating to work.
Therefore we refuse to separate the work of care and art. The time we dedicate to art must coincide with the time dedicated to our children, our community, self-therapy and self-growth. Can art practice be, in fact, a work of relational care? Yes.
We must show up in our work place with all of our relationships and break-ups, emotions and spirituality, aspirations and doubts, maintenance works and biorhythms, our children and parents, burdens of our history and possibilities of our future, and, of course, our questions.
We are aware of the constraints that our paid and unpaid care work imposes on our artistic careers in terms of time and money. We respond with our creativity, gathering as a collective. By forming new networks of artist-mothers, artist-fathers, artist-activists, and artist-caretakers, we create a space where we can test our ideas, have our practices validated, our concerns are heard.