A group of embroidered weavings, a cento poem in space, and

a curated lending library by a diverse group of authors on the

subject early child rearing. This work seeks to build empathy

and community as a soft protest against the current societal

crisis that new families are facing.


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A MOTHER’S DISCOURSE
Francesca Capone

As many aspects attributed to femininity, child-rearing and motherhood historically lack the appropriate cultural reverence, despite these jobs being the critical sustenance of the human race. The failure for the paid family leave act, ironically followed by the revocation of the Roe v Wade Abortion Rights is yet another tragic and ironic example of the lack of contemporary acknowledgment for the trans formative sacrifice of birthing & child rearing.

“The U.S. is one of the only developed countries that does not offer any federal paid family or sick leave benefit to new parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows workers to take 12 weeks off without losing their jobs to recover from serious illness or to care for newborns or family members with serious health conditions. But—crucially—it does not guarantee pay, forcing many Americans to face an untenable choice between earning a living and taking the time they desperately need to care for their families.”
—Emma Specter, Vogue, October 28, 2021, Once Again, the U.S. Has Failed Families on Paid Leave

The artist calls attention to this issue by beckoning empathy from the viewer/reader. Through a literary exploration of the maternal genre, the artist curates a syllabus on motherhood, which she then extracts quotations from, abstracting various points of view into a poem. Crafted entirely from borrowed lines of text, the poem unravels over the surface of a series of woven ‘pages’. The exhibition takes the form of an expanded book, each work flows in a direction of relative meaning, and a complex, intimate, and multi-vocal experience of motherhood is slowly revealed. The sequence appears to have no beginning and no end, but rather something that is picked up and put down wherever, a metaphor for the job of caretaking and how it interacts with the work that takes place at its fringes.

There are many metaphors linking textile to feminine and reproductive themes. The origins of cloth are domestic and maternal, created predominantly by women in ancient cultures due to the ease of weaving while managing child rearing. The cloth was purpose-built and functional, intended to provide warmth and comfort for the family. Our cultural associations with textile and femininity are rooted in this historical significance. The softness and pliability of the textile form are a well known metaphor for the feminine. The process of weaving itself, in some cultures, is even viewed as a metaphor for reproduction and genetics, as the flowing weft threads interact with the rigid warp to create a cloth that evenly blends the two.

The gradients depicted in the weavings have several metaphors of their own. They represent the soft transition of hours disconnected from days, as is most often the case with caring for an infant. As the days lack regular rhythms and patterns, and in the gradients of the weavings, one color bleeds into the next. Another metaphor is a
reference to the well-known LA based Colby Poster Printing Co. and their role in printing bold gradients with political messages. The weavings are 18x24”, standard poster size, to represent a soft protest to our current political climate.
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