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An Artist-Parent Residency opportunity in Toronto, CA to create a body of work that documents the maternal and postpartum experience.
49 backers pledged $2,786 to help bring this project to life.
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Lee Nowell-Wilson: Spilt Milk, a project project video thumbnail
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Hi Everyone!

My name is Lee Nowell-Wilson and I am a visual artist living and working in Baltimore, MD. I have the opportunity to participate in a week long artist residency with MOTHRA: Artist-Parent Residency in Toronto, Canada this summer! At this residency, I will be creating a series of drawings that document the postpartum body and experience. I would love for you to be a part in making this adventure possible! Please watch my video here on Kickstarter to hear more about my heart for the project - and you can read below the "artsy nice way" I proposed it and talk about it when sitting down to write (who else feels better in writing sometimes? And then other times written words fail - yea, weird.)

Here we are!..

..Through large scale drawings, paintings and installation, Nowell-Wilson’s work explores weight, movement and the wrestling complexities within the maternal relationship. Using a combination of realistically rendered figures and abstract mark making, her work incorporates humor and universal benign experiences as a way to investigate the often unspoken emotional undertones of maternity; she often interacts with average objects, such as laundry and fabric to portray metaphors of anxiety, physical stretching and one's mental capacity. Nowell-Wilson’s process also often involves abstracting and deconstructing line within each piece in an effort to grapple with the formless, occasionally incoherent navigation of these metaphors. All of this is done with hopes to pull back the curtain of her own experience and invite raw conversation around maternal realities.

For her time at Mothra Artist Parent Residency, Nowell-Wilson will expand upon a photo project created at the beginning of January 2019. This photo project investigated movement and stretching within the pregnant body. Using straightforward methods of documentation, it was meant to record pregnancy the second time around: more stretching, more aches, more letdown, heavier weight. Since the Mothra Artist Parent Residency will occur after giving birth, Nowell-Wilson aims to use the residency as a chance to document the postpartum body - a physical reality left undocumented after her first birth experience. This project, tentatively titled "Spilt Milk", will take the form of photography and large scale drawings on both paper and silk, in an effort to use the nature of each medium to capture a specific sensitivity. Movement, flux, transparency, the tangible, soft and aggressive mark making, all being the elements Nowell-Wilson wants to play with.

The final goal of this project is to present a new body of work that continues to openly divulge topics often un-discussed in the art world: relationship, growing pains, identity and movement within the realms of motherhood. The concurrent creation of art and child is vital to the success of “Spilt Milk”. The nature of the materials Nowell-Wilson intends to use is also reflective of the demands of her current state of navigating early motherhood within the arts industry. That is why Mothra Artist Parent Residency is an ideal set-up for the creation of this work. To create the work while situated next to her children, while discussing the creative maternal instinct with others in the community, and literally capturing the demands of flexibility while experiencing it.

Our studio life
Our studio life
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Temuco, Chile
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Temuco, Chile
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Northern Ireland
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Northern Ireland
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Annapolis, MD
11"x17" available print of this mural, painted in Annapolis, MD
Example of completed family portrait commission
Example of completed family portrait commission
Example of completed family portrait commission
Example of completed family portrait commission

Risks and challenges

Some risks and challenges include the overall tension of pushing a career forward while raising children. In all honesty, Christian and I can't sacrifice me doing this without your support. And it feels weird, guilt inducing almost, to raise money to create art projects while there is always demands of practical life-expenses (the "worth it" platform is hard to stand on sometimes). But it is worth it, because life isn't all about bills. Art creates culture. Doing this as a community (the "this" being to have conversation that revolves around combining art and motherhood, rather than the two existing combatively) is vital. So important. So, please join me and dubbing this "worth it".

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Postcard from Toronto!

    A fun postcard from Toronto, plus my biggest Thank You for supporting me!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard + Souvenir from Toronto!

    A fun postcards from Toronto, plus a souvenir we find on our adventures!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Souvenir + 11" x 17" signed print

    A Souvenir from Toronto, plus a signed 11" x 17" print of either mural I painted while traveling internationally with Christian. (See images of the murals available for print on this page to the left.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    11"x17" print + original 6"x6" drawing

    A signed print of any mural I've painted (see images of the murals available for print to the left.)
    PLUS an original 6" x 6" drawing (this drawing will be a surprise, yay!, and will be ready to hang).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    12"x12" drawing

    An original 12"x12" surprise (yay!) drawing - ready to hang in your home.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    18"x24" drawing + studio visit!

    An original 18" x 24" drawing, plus a studio visit (either in person or via skype if you are not local!) Come say hello and see the work I create during this residency in person :)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    30" x 40" drawing + studio visit!

    An original 30" x 40" surprise (yay!) drawing, PLUS a studio visit with me in person - I'll bring lunch and mimosas :)

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    18"x24" Custom family portrait

    An 18" x 24", framed, custom family portrait (no more than 4 members). See to the left of this page for examples of past family portrait commissions I have done. I will send you an email that explains my whole process of how I complete each commission :)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Custom family portrait, size negotiable

    A custom family portrait, size and number of family members is up to you (!!) I will send you an email with all the details of how I would collaborate with you on this portrait.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Custom mural OR pick your own bundle!

    I will collaborate with you to design a custom home mural OR you can create your own bundle out of my rewards and choose WHICHEVER 4 items you want because you funded my whole project and I am deeply, deeply grateful!! :)

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Funding period

- (30 days)