Mothering Gardens

Kathy Temin (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formCommissioned or Visual ArtworkResearch


Research Background
Motherings Garden continues Kathy Temin’s on-going engagement with remembrance and legacy and her research into challenging the forms memorials and monuments may take. Created while the artist simultaneously mothered her young child and cared for her dying mother, the sculptures reflect the artist’s acute absorption of ‘the dualities of life’. The work embodies the time that caring requires and the social and psychological aloneness often encountered while navigating these spaces.

Research Contribution
Resembling a large, non-functional playground, Mothering Gardens is a commemoration of childhood, care, hope, family, and happiness. Rendered in the artist’s signature material of synthetic fur, the thirty-seven components are white, a colour Temin uses to represent loss and the presence of absence. Each of the large sculptural forms is handmade, speaking to, and monumentalising, the repetitive loving labour involved in providing care. The work conflates concepts of interior and exterior; visitors can walk around the tight-knit ‘family of softness’ and view the topiary-style trees, stacked spheres and welcoming child-size seating presented together on a stage, but the work cannot be entered. The pieces are ‘on display’ reflecting the exteriority of what we present to the world and an onlooker’s inaccessibility to another’s experience of mothering and grief. In addition to the central work, discreet sculptures line adjacent gallery walls; a lone tree and grounded and inverted rainbows invoke a singular yet hopeful sentiment.

Research Significance
In her accompanying exhibition text, highly esteemed curator Natalie King describes Mothering Gardens as a ‘psychological and intimate world of wonder’. The work was subsequently exhibited in the 2021 group exhibition 'Art Mixtape' at HOTA, Home of the Arts, Brisbane, and in 'AMPLIFY', the curated section of Sydney Contemporary 2022 where Temin was invited to present a public in-conversation talk with Sydney-based curator Sebastian Goldspink.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPaddington, NSW, Australia
PublisherRoslyn Oxley9 Gallery
Size2.7 x 3.5m x 7m
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventMothering Gardens - Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, Australia
Duration: 12 May 202112 Jun 2021

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