Katarina Janeckova, 'Maternity Vacation'
Katarina describes ‘Maternity Vacation’ in the following way:
In Slovak language maternity leave is translated as “Maternity Vacation” which is very comical-incredibly rude name for the tough mission of raising a solid human being.
My exhibitions (of the past eight years) are about gradually telling my story as a European transplanting myself to Texan environment, learning how to “survive” in the wilderness, embrace the cultural differences and shape the dynamics of Slovak/Texan relationship so we can understand each other.
These series are influenced by the family environment where my child is present in my studio while I paint, while another child is growing inside of my body, and I’m working on maintaining a healthy marriage. None of these factors are widely described or explored in the lives of the well-known artists nor match our romantic imagery of an unrestrained artistic soul. Yet it is a strong source of inspiration, and my energy is constantly shifting from sexual to maternal instincts and vice versa. It’s very common to balance the extreme polarities of feelings in parenthood and I decided to use these forces to create a body of work that boldly marks my daughters presence in my studio - so when I look back, I will know they have been there, together with my husband/the bear, living in Texas.
Alenka’s drawings, brushstrokes and influence might disappear as she grows up and distances herself, but for now she guides my paintings with her spontaneity, explosiveness, and openness for accidents to happen. At the same time, I am embracing this moment as my life’s most important collaboration. I hope this can also be a seed for the important conversation about motherhood-art-career being validated and possible, and to encourage other artists-parents to embrace this magical period while we learn from the true masters of life, ‘our kids’.