Topography of Dwelling seeks to make visible the invisible labor of caregiving through intentional record keeping and the collection of domestic detritus. This body of work includes drawings, rubbings, sculpture, fiber works, and video. Tending to one’s home and family takes copious amounts of time dealt out across tedious and repetitive efforts. This work, often done by women, is incalculable and undervalued. Tasks such as laundry, braiding, and lawncare serve as fodder for works exploring the themes of tending, labor, and time. The use of hair is central. The ritual of braiding is a powerful act of care enacted daily on a disinterested beneficiary, my daughter. Using recorded data from these sessions and topographic maps from the Midwest, I make drawings that map both my home and natural landscapes. For Maternal Studies |Material Studies, I collect hair from my children and ancestors in glassine envelopes. Stratums of dyed fiber and rubbings taken from discarded textiles reference sedimentary layers and the state of my laundry pile. Taking an anthropologist’s gaze, I attempt to illustrate my experience as a home[maker]. This is a gaze which includes objects and artworks, similar to exhibitions found in a natural history museum. This body of work is a study in the accretion of the domestic life and a catalogue of its labors. As an artist/mother, my role is that of archivist and field hand. My aim is to show the value of such labors and the futility inherent in pursuing them.
catherine342, “Catherine Reinhart,” Artist Parent Index , accessed May 16, 2021, https://artistparentindex.com/items/show/455.
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