Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mother Tree Project - Day 6

There seemed to be a theme today: several people asked me why I made The Mother Tree. One guy walked up admiringly and after I told him the history (read on) he said he liked the piece even more.

The inspiration for the project comes from this experience: Nine years ago, a father walked by me as I was nursing my newborn son at the Portland Japanese Garden and pointed me out to his children, stating: “That is one of the most beautiful things in the world.” As a first-time mother, it meant a lot to me—that he could see beauty in something I took for granted and even hesitated doing in public. The Mother Tree seeks to visually portray my subsequent reflections about that chance encounter. It serves as a symbol of the vulnerability, strength and sense of community I feel as a mother.

When I was a new mother, I was also new to Portland with no family around, which was quite an isolating experience. It has been so rewarding to sit with the sculpture for the past six days and see it as a living network. I am connecting with people daily - old friends and new. People are coming to visit from near and far. They are spreading the word to others. We had seven crocheters at a time today and several other visitors. I can't wait to go back tomorrow and see what will happen next.

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