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These images come from my interest in what happens to a woman when she becomes a mother. How does motherhood alter the self? How do those alterations affect our relationships with ourselves and our children? Mothers and children are often overlooked. People don’t want to see breastfeeding mothers; they don’t want to sit next to small children on airplanes or be disturbed by their noise in public spaces. As a culture we aren’t primed to listen to mothers’ stories or to remediate their loneliness.
If nothing else, becoming a mother focuses your attention on other mothers and on everyone’s children. Anne Enright, in her book, Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood, wrote: “I see children everywhere, and they are everywhere surrounded by hazards or pleasures that I check for, even though it is none of my business… After which, I look up and check their mothers. I measure them against myself for age, sudden fat and despair…” As a mother, I see what Anne Enright as a mother sees, what all mothers see, and I have used it to make images for others to see.
Michelle Templeton holds an MFA in Fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. She works as a writer and visual artist in Seattle. In the studio she paints and makes woodblock prints. At the keyboard she writes fiction and is at work on a novel. She has exhibited work in a variety of Seattle venues in both group and solo exhibits. Her literary work has appeared in Firefly Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Helen: A Literary Magazine (forthcoming). To see more of Michelle’s art work, please visit www.michelletempleton.com.