Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Working Mother

My mother is staying with the me at the moment. She arrived a few days ago to help get my studio organised.
Its mess is not as bad as
Francis Bacon's but in another month or two, it might have given Bacon's a run for its money. Every shelf is over-burdened and I've been stacking paper, books, and everything else on the floor. Even the tops of my filing cabinets are piled high with folders, waiting to be sorted. I lose immeasurable amounts of time, every day, rifling through the mess to find old drawings, image discs, correspondence, and even misplaced cheques from collectors.
The effect of my mother's presence has been rather like a whirlwind's. She drove my van across town to Ikea several times to buy new shelves, a work table, storage boxes, a mirror for drawing/video work, lamps and countless smaller item. My personal assistant helped her to load and unload the van, clear space, move boxes, and transfer delicate stacks of paper and art materials to my bedroom so they wouldn't be damaged.
Right now, it's after midnight and my mother is still in the storeroom, which she has emptied out. She's assembling shelves that reach to the ceiling and line the longest wall. Framed artworks will be lean against stacks of heavy boxes of books. After that, boxes piled in other rooms will be sorted, repacked and shelved. Then my mother will drive to my storage facility and transfer boxes of archives, materials for installations, and my own collection of artworks from there back to the studio. After unloading and organising those, she'll sort through rolls of negatives, stacks of photographs and artwork then wrap them in glassine paper and archive them.
As one area is tidied, the chaos of another becomes more obvious. Photocopied scraps of reference images, collages and business paperwork still need to be reviewed and filed. I thought it'd take a couple of days to sort through but it will be probably be more than a week.

My work has to go on regardless. After all, there are the rent, salaries and a stack of bills to pay. When I surface for lunch, seeing each newly re-organised space makes my mind feel less cluttered, my spirit less overwhelmed.
I'm 30 years old. It's chastening to think that, sometimes, even a big girl really needs her mum.


Anonymous said...

Hi Haz,
Oh mums are the best!! and being a mum myself I know that I will always be on hand for my children, even if it means doing all those " boring" jobs. In fact we have had a rough time of late and only 6 weeks to go before the new baby arrives, I too have mum booked in for a day of washing baby clothes and setting up the nursey again!
Thinking of you,

Rachel said...

She sounds like an angel. You are so lucky to have someone who will help you out like that!

Septic Monochrome Sue said...

Hi Hazel,
Aren't moms great! I can always count on mine to help keep my head out of it and keep me between the shores. Even though her book of "mommalies" that she has journaled about me through the years (like "Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." and "Your race for quality has no finish line- so technically, it's more like a death march.") are all terms of endearment. I know she really does love me!
Yours does too!

capturedcastle said...

This is the coolest post. Moms are the best.

cat bishop said...

Wow can I borrow your Mom? She sounds like a godsend combined with Ikea. I just listened to your Art and Money interview and wanted to say thank you. I'm an assemblage artist and have been online for a few years with my work and done ok but you gave me a whole new perspective to strive for. So thank you again..

Big Love,

Anonymous said...

Mums are great (sometimes I forget this).... and while you appreciate her help, I'm sure the pleasure is also hers. After being introduced to your website via your mum, I have enjoyed seeing your work and reading your blogs when I get the chance. Send her my love. Catherine