s m o t h e r
image: the artwork absent showing a portrait photograph of a woman wearing a camouflage sleeping mask embroidered with the letters AWOL
image: the artwork purge, showing a portrait photograph of a woman wearing a dripping hood made from brown plasticine, designed to look like a bucket of faeces has been poured over the head

absent 2018 cotton, giclee print on aluminium, 470 x 340 x 12mm print

photography by Tobias Titz

purge  2018 plasticine, plaster, giclee print on aluminium, 260 x 190 x 250mm object

470 x 340 x12mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

brace (an aimage: the artwork brace, a portrait photograph of a woman wearing a collar neck brace made from white crayon with the word 'fragile' etched into it largely in red crayon

brace 2018, cast crayon, giclee print on aluminium, 75 x 165 x 165mm object 470 x 340 x 12mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork fit, a portrait photograph of a woman wearing a navy towelling head band embroidered with the word fit

fit 2018, terry toweling, giclee print on aluminium, 60 x 230 x 15mm object 470 x 430 x 12mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork vacant, a portrait photograph of a woman whose face is entirely covered with fine fake grass, with the excepetion of her eyes, completely masking her identity

vacant  2015, synthetic grass, giclee print on aluminium, 470 x 340 x 12mm photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork gnash, a portrait photograph of a woman with a fixed forced smile wearing smile extender devices made from pink coated sterling silver ('gums') and false teeth. The devices hook into the side of the mouth and hold the teeth in a straight line from the corners of the mouth to the ears

gnash 2018 porcelain teeth, sterling silver, enamel paint, giclee print on aluminium 50 x 125 x 25mm object, 470 x 340 x 12mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork game, a portrait photograph of a woman wearing a mask made from a black and white soccer ball with sterling silver cut outs revealing the eyes

game 2018 soccer ball, sterling silver, cotton, elastic, giclee print on aluminium 215 x 215 x 135mm object, photography by Tobas Titz

image: the artwork nullify, a portrait photograph of a woman with her eyes and mouth concealed by gold rectangular plates to mask her identity

nullify 2015, 22kt gold leaf, thermoplastic, giclee print on aluminium, 470 x 340 x 12mm photography byTobias Titz

image: the artwork structure, an image of children playing in the park on a stainless steel climbing frame being worn by their mother
image: the artwork structure, an image of children playing in the park on a stainless steel climbing frame being worn by their mother
image: the artwork structure, an image of children playing in the park on a stainless steel climbing frame being worn by their mother
image: the artwork structure, an image of a boy playing in the park and jumping from a stainless steel climbing frame being worn by his mother
image: the artwork structure, showing a woman standing in a park wearing a life size wearable playground climbing frame made from stainless steel

structure 2018 stainless steel, giclee prints, 990 x 730 x 730mm object, series of 5 prints, varied print dimensions, metalwork by Daniel Schutt, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork slope, showing a woman in the park wearing a three quarter sized stainless steel slippery dip

slope 2018 stainless steel, giclee prints, 1170 x 390 x 1560mm object, series of 13 prints of the work in situ, varied print dimensions

metalwork by Daniel Schutt. photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork slope, showing children playing in the park on a three quarter sized wearable stainless steel slippery dip worn by their mother
image: the artwork worn, showing a woman whose face is obscured by her hair, dressed completely in black on a black background wearing a necklace made from a battered antique Brentwood chair.  The chair has been deconstructed and parts are held together with a linked chain, the curve of back of the chair rests on her neck and the seat of the chair is flat against her stomach with the front legs dangling down.  The impression created is that she is feeling like part of the furniture

worn 2018, chair, brass, copper giclee print, 780 x 380 x 480mm object, 1000 x 670mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork attached, it shows a mother wearing a dress made from tan coloured loop velcro. She is bending over and supporting the weight of two children who are attached to her by the tan hook velcro clothin they are wearing. A boy is hanging from her back and a girl is attached to the woman's stomach by her stomach and arching backwards

attached 2018, velcro, cotton, giclee print, objects assorted sizes, 1000 x 720mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork hirsute, showing a four month old baby wearing a sleeveless onsie made from long brown hair that hangs past her feet, suspended in front of a black background

hirsute 2015, human hair, net, cotton, giclee print, 970 x 340 x 12mm object, 1000 x 670mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork baggage, showing a side view of a mother carrying a large black shoulder handbag transformed into a baby carrier, with a four month old baby inside. The babys arm and leg are sticking out from metal trimmed large round circles in the side of the handbag

baggage 2015, pvc, satin, foam, galvanized iron, giclee print, 550 x 470 x 170mm bject 1000 x 670mm print, photography by Tobias Titz

image: the artwork fodder, an image on a black background of a pair of floating breasts wearing a black rubber bra attached to irrigation tubing. The clear plastic tubing is feeding breastmilk into the mouth of a reclining and feeding naked four month old infant.

fodder 2015, pvc, plastic, rubber, cotton, aluminIum rivets, digital print, 670 x 1000mm, photography by Tobias Titz

smother proposes a more realistic and pragmatic interpretation of mothering, one that revels in mundanity and demonstrates heightened awareness of the physical and psychological labour of parenting. It seeks to investigate the prevalent frameworks used to depict mothers in the widespread media; the psychological impact on individuals concerned and pervasive influences on socialisation and attitudes towards women in the wider populace.

Within this assertion, smother examines the gap between the visceral reality of motherhood and gamut of unrealistic expectations placed on mothers from external influences. The suggested title refers to smother’s starting point, the saturation of ‘Ideal Mother’ myths permeating western advertising  that promote nurturing perfection and unattainable standards.

This project has been supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund, City of Melbourne Arts Grant Program and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body

© Tiffany Parbs. All images and content are copyright protected, all rights reserved