Mothers in Arts is a small initiative founded by Csilla Klenyanszki, who lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The idea of this project came from my own experiences, which were based on the first year of motherhood, the social and the daycare situation in the Netherlands & my particular situation as an emigrant artist, without a family network.
The inspiration for this project came from a “self-directed, open-source artist in residency”, called ARIM. An
Artist in Residency in Motherhood (http://www.artistresidencyinmotherhood.com/) was founded by Lenka Clyton and wants to “empower and inspire artists who are also mothers”. I’ve worked on a series, called “Pillars of home” during ARIM.
The trial Residency was supported from Stipendium Program for Emerging Artist, awarded by the Mondriaan Foundation, based in the Netherlands.
The Residency had invited 3 emerging women artists to work in the studio when their child were between 3 months to 2 years old. The Residency was designed around the childcare policies of the Netherlands: 3 months is the given maternity leave and 2 years is the minimum age, when children are provided with 2 days a week subsidized daycare. This “in between” period is crucial for an artist-parent: through the strict schedule and the constant attention which a baby requires, critical practice becomes limited.
The trial residency took place between March - May 2017 and was finished with its final exhibition - Re: Production - in July 2017. The trial residency was really important to obtain further funding, which would make possible extending the Residency and making it permanent, which is our goal.
Mothers in Arts and the trial residency were created with the hope that it could help artists to combine their artistic practice with early parenthood. Through the project I wanted to put forward a discussion about a problem that affects many emerging artist women when they become parents;
Even though, many artists have children, parenthood remains stigmatized in the art world. Therefore, besides the physical and mental challenges of childbearing - which are consuming enough - an added feeling of isolation can be felt by many mothers.
This situation isn’t exclusive for artists of course, it is a common dilemma for most working mothers. After becoming a parent maintaining a professional life becomes difficult.
Mothers in Arts is geared to mother artists and by drawing attention to this hidden segment of the art world I wish to stimulate mothers in general. By showing and promoting their existence, I hope that the professional and also the general public realizes and confirms their importance as a matter of public health.