Fluorescent Motherhood. “Rips” by Amy Hughes Braden

“Woundhead” by Amy Hughes Braden

I’m not sure if it was the bright, fluorescent colors of the images that drew me in or if it was the words Amy Hughes Braden used to describe her latest show at Red Dirt Studio that struck a chord, filled with references to the insane expectations on motherhood. Either way, when the announcement for the opening reception of her latest exhibits, Rips, found it way into my Facebook feed, I knew I wanted to check it out.

Braden describes her latest exhibit this way: “Shitty diapers and mountains of laundry take up space not only in my home but also on my canvases. I’ve hacked paintings apart, sutured pieces back together, and assembled cloth and resin forms as a way to break free of limiting gender roles, and address my internalized disdain for the expectations around motherhood. My work is loud and messy— I’m looking for space to exist that way in the world.”

“Piles” by Amy Hughes Braden

As a working mother with two children who every day/minute wonders whether she’s doing this thing right and when she might actually get around to doing those thank-you cards/dinner or even something as seemingly simple as that pile of laundry, it was significant and meaningful to see an exhibit that seemed to recognize some of the i$h that we go through. I mean, take a look at homegirl above: Pumping away through a LEGO flower, looking all nonchalant as she deftly tends to the leakage situation going on with her other breast. Truth be told, there’s nothing nonchalant about what she’s doing but as with so many of the things mothers do, we grit our teeth and make it look effortless. I should note that I’m totally projecting here, which I get to do as the ladyforce behind this blog. But my point is that I dug and related to this exhibit in a profound way.

From “The Infinite Histories of Mothers” by Amy Hughes Braden
📷 by Krissi Humbard 


Close up of “The Infinite Histories of Mothers” by Amy Hughes Braden
📷 by Krissi Humbard

I also love / appreciate how Amy sprinkles her Instagram feed with pics of her, getting i$h done, all whilst Junior is chillin’ in the corner or right there on her back.

📷 by Amy Hughes Braden

RIPS by Amy Hughes Braden runs until March 10th at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier (4051 34th St, Mt. Rainier). Gallery hours are by appointment, so reach out to Amy here, check out her work & support our local artists, Route One!

The artist as herself. 🙂 

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