The images that show the many sides to being a mum

How many bowls of cereal have you poured for your children during their lives so far? Do you embrace the routine or feel buried by it? This photo of a mum camouflaged on the floor of her kitchen in cornflakes and Weetbix, challenges the polished persona given to mums in advertisements.

The work, by artist Ilona Nelson, titled In-sanitarium, 2015 is part of an exhibition exploring motherhood that opens in regional Victoria this weekend.

“You get up you give the kids breakfast, it’s part of that routine, and it’s everyday, you have to have set routines and everything like that,” Ilona told the ABC.

“So it seemed natural to have her camouflaged into the kitchen that way.

“There are really tough things about being a mum, but there are really great things as well; it’s about being honest about all the different layers of motherhood.”

Ilona is one of nine contemporary women artists exploring their experiences of motherhood in an exhibition titled MUM.

Curator Clare Needham says the exhibition explores the light and shade of motherhood.

“The show was really about giving women a space to explore their own personal experiences, ruminating around this idea of motherhood,” Clare says.


Artist Erika Gofton explores the anxiety parents face when dealing with fears that certain things may happen to their children – the “what if” phenomenon.

Her work Liminal, 2015 is a photograph of two 10-year-olds with a bag over their heads.

“I am trying to convey that in an image so that as someone looks at the work they actually kind of feel that sucking in of breath and the anxiety that that image hopefully kind of conveys,” Erika says.


Artist Clare Rae looks at the physical and mental changes a pregnant woman faces as well as the way she is perceived by others.

Her top is pulled over her head, exposing her pregnant belly, as she stands in the corner of a bare room in one of six images, 1C06 from the series 20+9+5.

Clare says the works express how she felt objectified as her baby bump grew, which made her want to hide.

“It can be really confronting to have people touch your body and comment on your body without invitation,” she says.

“Pregnancy is its own billboard; you can’t hide it, because it’s all out in front.”

The exhibition MUM will open at the Stockroom in Kyneton, in central Victoria, from June 11 to July 3, 2016.

(via ABC)

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