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L.A. Beat

Local artists explore motherhood at Casa

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New mothers Laura Ajayi and April Matisz drew artistic inspiration from being isolated from the artistic community while raising their children. So they developed “Mommy, Mama, Mother , Mum.”April Matisz and Laura Ajayi set up their exhibit at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery
“We each have a five-year-old and a three-year-old,” said April Matisz.

“ This exhibit is about integrating all of the work of motherhood with being part of a community,” she continued, noting she collaborated with Ajayi on several of the pieces.
“For example I sent her a picture of a child I drew and she added things like gold stars and even pasted sugar on one piece,” Matisz said, adding she started thinking about the exhibit after the birth of her second  child.

 One wall is dominated by Matiisz’s coloured pictures of children.
“ Some of them are pictures of my children, but most of them are composites of my friends‘ photos of their children from social media,” she said.
“They are interesting and different based on the experiences of motherhood,” she said.
Ajayi’s work is mostly textile art including a piece of a umbilical cord.

“ I saved  my families’ dryer lint for a year and made this umbilical cord,”Ajayi said, adding she also has other pieces she created using umbilical clamps she bought on eBay. She even  used a 3-D printer to print a giant umbilical cord clamp for another of her pieces.

 Another of her pieces are textile pieces embroidered with words inspired by  her children interrupting her while being a mother.
“ It’s about balancing being a mother  with being part of an art community,” Ajayi said.

“It’s experiencing isolation while being a mother while being and artist,” Matisz added.

“It’s about embracing  both art and  motherhood,” she continued.
Their exhibit opens in the main gallery of Casa  today, Sept.  8 with  an opening reception from 7-9 p.m . Kasia Sosnowski’s exhibit “Good Grief also opens tonight as does Danin Lawrence’s  “No Guts, No Glory, Crossing the Abyss Towards Inhibition” in the main concourse and  a group exhibit in the Concourse Gallery from  Alberta Society of Artists called the Best of Southwestern Alberta.

—by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
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