A woman’s journey becomes lost and mystified when she enters into motherhood as her identity gets tested when she is no longer just her own, but instead becomes “somebody” to someone else. Stories of her own must be put away somewhere deep in her old wardrobe, but the secret is that her stories go on under all the new costumes she has to acquire, never being told nor shared. As a storyteller all my life, I have been interested in what people don’t tell more than what they willingly share; now that I am a mother, I understand more than ever the reason why the story of a mother is often a mystery as if she has lived two completely different lives right in front of our eyes.
At quite a young age I understood that a mother hides many of her emotions and her true colors, so it has inevitably become my quest in this body of work to depict and reveal what is hidden. In this series of work, I am showing her alternate life, a secret world behind all the new clothes and shower curtains, where she is naked but with wide wings that will carry her away if needed. In this narrative she is a grounded and sacred helper and lover of a bull as she cultivates her desires and a different life she might never have. In these ink drawings I purposefully omitted all the colors and used only black indian ink to portray this mysterious female figure with wings. I wanted to explore how painstakingly detailed lines could bring out the intensity of motherhood. I also wanted to know if revealing each and every vane of a feather of her wings in such meticulous detail could bring forth her untold stories.
Through these drawings, I would like to challenge you to see a mother on the street as if she is the winged woman who can carry so many emotions and secrets and still tend to the loved ones around her with such tenderness and love. My hope for this body of work is to provide you with wise eyes to see these mysterious creatures called “mothers” differently, to understand they have gone through transformation and changes, whether alone or with a bull.
In addition to my ink drawing I am showing my still life painting, “Through the dusty load I lost myself to find myself again.” This work is an homage to Georgia O’keeffe, who wanted to have a child but never became a mother, though she is known as The Mother of Modern America. In her 40’s she found herself in the dry and dusty land of New Mexico for the quest of her self-identity. The bull I have been drawing in ink now turns into a mere skull in this painting as a symbolism of change, variation, and mystery, suggesting that being a mother, whether as a bearer of a child or of a culture, is to become a holder of so many narratives yet to be discovered.