Dates & Times:
Exhibition runs: SEP 8–OCT 19, 2018

MOMMY, MAMA, MOTHER, MUM—Laura Ajayi & April Matisz


work by Laura Ajayi & April Matisz

Exhibition runs: September 8 - October 19, 2018

In Mama, Mommy, Mother, Mum, the Artists reveal the creative potential within Mothering as a practice, integrating art production with caregiving. By blurring the lines between domestic and studio spaces, they interrogate whether the demands and obligations inherent in mothering could inform rather than limit the creative process. Working while mothering challenges capitalist ideals of efficiency and productivity: studio work is snatched during nap-times, and in brief, unpredictable moments when children are occupied. In seeking an alternative studio model that lives and thrives in the domestic realm, the Artists’ practices give perceptual presence and conceptual attention to the absurdity, intimacy, and complexity of their gendered labour.

APRIL MATISZ (BSc, Biology ‘05, University of Victoria; BFA ‘09, University of Lethbridge) is a mother-artist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. She received the RCA C.D Howe Scholarship for Art and Design for her undergraduate art studio work, and in 2009 was awarded an internship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has exhibited her work throughout Puerto Rico and Alberta, and is the recipient of an AFA individual artist grant.

Matisz’s practice spans drawing, printmaking, and painting. Her work draws on her knowledge of the sciences, exploring ecology, landscape, and phenomenology. Presently, she investigates aspects of Motherhood: the mother’s ambivalence, the suppression of her identity, her relationship to her children, and cultural narratives surrounding motherhood. The influence of the environment on the self, and the intersections of biology and culture, are themes found throughout her work.

LAURA AJAYI (BFA ‘09, University of Lethbridge) is a mother-artist and educator based in Ottawa, Ontario. In addition to the productive work of mothering, Ajayi has exhibited her work nationally and facilitated studio arts programming in Ontario, Alberta and Nunavut. In 2016, her work was selected for exhibition in Voices for the Vote at Borealis Gallery on the Alberta Legislature grounds. She has been featured in publications in New York and the United Kingdom. 

Ajayi has an immersive, home-based practice that is informed by the sensory and intellectual load of domestic life and child-rearing. Rooted in the tradition of self-portraiture, Ajayi works primarily in drawing, fiber arts and photography to explore relationships between sensuality and domesticity, perceptions of feminine identities, and the (abject) maternal.

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