The Journey Into Motherhood
If you landed here, you are probably curious about the Battle Scars Exhibition, and I am more than happy to tell you all about it.
As a new artist, I wanted to ensure that my debut was in line with my desire to build a community of women that believe in and promote realistic beauty standards. In my opinion, there was no better way to start than with Mothers, since we wouldn't be here without them.
The idea for Battle Scars first came to me when I realized dressing up for happy hour was gone and shopping online for baby clothes and parenting tips was the new norm. Steadily I watched women who had the most confidence in the world second guess themselves when faced with the daunting life of motherhood. Trying to do their best while doing their best was no longer second nature when trying to create and raise a new person without generational trauma. Once the pregnancy was over and the parenting began, I saw them lose themselves in anxiety, endless to-do lists, and mom jeans; despite the joy of this fascinating new person they created.
I have also seen women who were so happy to have their new little ones, but couldn't connect emotionally; understanding that they needed to provide but were depressed that the infamous "maternal instinct" was missing. I realized that the socialized concept of motherhood was a farce. This is not a ONE-SIZE FITS-ALL situation, it's not all smiles, baby cooing, first steps, and first words; even if those moments are included. It's painful, depressing, stressful, sleep-depriving, fear-ridden, anxiety-inducing, and just plain hard; anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.
About the Exhibition
Battle Scars intends to provide the unfiltered experience of transitioning into motherhood. I want to dive into the physical, psychological, and social changes a woman experiences when she becomes a mother. This exhibit has the goal of giving mothers the voice to set the record straight on what they experience; their frustrations, their fears, their high moments as well as their lows. Battle Scars will act as an educational event for the community to take a peek into the looking glass of a new mother going through a unique experience.
The exhibit will flow through 5 phases:
Phase 1: Woman, Intended to cover the multifaceted single woman experiencing life on her own, with friends, and finding a partner. This phase shows a woman taking care of herself, and all the priorities a single or nonparent, woman would have.
Phase 2: Pregnancy, This phase showcases a pregnant woman. From vomiting, chronic fatigue, and unknown cravings, to endless research about her and her growing baby bump. These telltale stages; swollen feet, food restrictions, prenatal vitamins, as well as miscarriage, and more highlight life for a pregnant woman.
Phase 3: Birth/Postnatal/Postpartum, Here we witness birth, the body in recovery, breastfeeding, healing, after-birth body, stretch marks, hair shedding, postpartum depression, stillbirth, sick children, premature births etc.
Phase 4: Motherhood, We continue the journey started at pregnancy and behold a woman juggling motherhood, work, and taking care of the home. This will also capture personal neglect of self to focus on the child. Slowly trying to get back a sense of identity outside of being a mother. The struggle with being back in the workforce having to sacrifice bonding time with the child. Struggles with feeling inadequate in mothering and undesirable.
Phase 5: Woman Still, Reclamation! The struggles persist, she learns something new about herself, her child, and the world around her each day. She accepts the obligation and the duties but reframes societal standards of normalcy for the discovery of her own truth. This is where she finds peace and ease as a woman still.
This project will include acrylic paintings, mixed media art pieces, and provided video testimonials of new and veteran mothers sharing their experiences of transitioning into motherhood. Interesting facts and statistics on each of the 5 phases in the Battle Scars series will be scattered in between along with an interactive piece. If you are interested in submitting your testimonial click here.
We See Your Scars Award
As a way of showing the women of our community, that we see them, I wanted to have a component of the exhibition that would raise funds for up to three single mothers who have been going through a hard time (loss of job, housing hikes, loss of affordability). Follow me on Instagram "@artbysades" to stay in the loop on the application, the final award amount, and the submission dates.
Two ways to help with this initiative:
Purchase Art At the Event, I am going to donate 20% of the earnings toward the award.
Donate directly to the fund by clicking the button below.