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project description



It might sound trite to say that becoming a mother transformed my life immensely. But everything was turned upside down. Like a room in a massive earthquake, I was left with a jumbled mess. The attempts to straighten a lamp, pick up a broken dish, arrange life as it had been before were pathetically futile. Watching the baby/toddler/pre-school gear encroaching on my personal space, I decided to begin a project documenting my maternal practice through the visual representation of the disorder left for me to tidy. In the course of photographing these messes, I began to see clues that revealed my son's developmental process in the various positions of the toys and clothing that he left for me to discover. The following day his play objects would metamorphose into new forms in never-ending transitions. The project initially constituted color prints and was exhibited at Pierce College Art Gallery in March/April 2003. Currently the project exists as a photo blog. Everyday (or so, I do get tied up with things!) I upload an image taken of the daily mess. An archive exists to examine my maternal evolution and labor, my son's development, or perhaps simply how these messes get moved about my house in various forms.

Mothering is a deeply complex practice involving enormous responsibility. Part of the task of mothering is the deciphering of signs imparted by the child who begins life without language but gradually acquires fluency. Like most mothers, I have examined these messes to decode my son's development.