Monday, January 19, 2009

Who does she think she is??

Saturday I watched the documentary “Who does she think she is ” directed by Pamela Tanner Boll ~ a movie that explores the relationship of mothering and women artists. I believe I went to this movie looking for some answers to how to balance this mothering/artist act. As I watched I was riveted to my seat. But when the movie ended and I started to digest it I started getting agitated. I realized that it had feed some of my critics. As time has past I have wondered if instead of being an empowering movie it is a cautionary tale.

I knew a lot of the background of women artists and their plight. I have studied many women artists ~ their letters, diaries and works. I have seen Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (awesome), studied the supporting material and read many of her writings as well as working through her autobiographies. I am know the Guerilla Girls’ work and the different Women’s Artists’ movement. So I knew the back-story (although I did learn that the version of my art history text, History of Art by H.W.Janson, didn’t have any women artists represented in its hundreds of examples of art. I knew there had not been a lot but I just assumed that either Mary Cassatt or Georgia O’Keefe had made the cut.)

The stories of the featured women artists I found interesting as I find the stories of any creative person. But I was hoping to find the key to how to be the artist I need and want to be and be a mom and wife too. Ok I went hoping for the Holy Grail, but I came out with stories of talented women who followed their passion, have kids but many didn’t have their spouse. And the artist, Janis Mars Wunderlich who did have 5 kids, a successful art career and was still married just feed my critic, making wonder what I doing wrong – she has FIVE kids!!! Well insecurity is something I am working on. But watching the movie I so connected to these women and they reinforced one of my fears – can one follow one’s passion can keep the family/ kids and husband? I guess I am looking for the movie “She can have it all”!!

Would I recommend this movie?? Yes – anything that makes me think and push myself creatively I am all for. In fact looking at Wunderlich’s work made me realize that I do NOT put my true feeling out in my work ~ I am too afraid of hurting people’s feelings. So this movie had made me aware of how I am still influenced by more fear than I had realized ~ more personal work to do!!! It was also exciting to be in an auditorium full of mostly women – many knitting – and being part of a communal experience and struggle. I also realized that I am not going to get an answer to my struggle from anyone or anything – each of us are traveling on our own path, my life is not going to be like anyone else’s. Funny how obvious this thought is but it is a lesson that I need to keep learning over and over again.


No comments:

Post a Comment

thank you for visiting my blog and for taking the time to comment ~ it is always a gift to get feedback!! so thx and peace ~