Bunbury-based artist Sheree Dohnt interviewed 14 women about becoming Mothers. The intimate conversations which chart the ups and downs of parenting then informed her new body of work depicting personal moments of women with their children.
An interesting and engaging part of Dohnt’s project is her series of one on one chats. You can listen to Dohnt’s podcast ‘Motherhood’ here, where she speaks with an array of Mums about their range of experiences. In their joy and sadness they are honest, heartening and humorous.
The works of art produced though the ‘Motherhood’ project formed an exhibition on view at the Bunbury Regional Gallery in Western Australia, which can now be enjoyed online here.
The artist cites inspiration from the National Gallery of Australia’s recent initiative promoting women artists, Know My Name, as well as American creative Bryce Dallas Howard’s documentary Dads.
Stereotypes and aspirational motherhood imagery that we might encounter on social media as well as the trope of depicting Mother and Child in an art historical context also informed Dohnt’s desire to portray this experience and bond in a way that spoke uniquely for itself, and perhaps truer to life.
In her delicate watercolour style she captures the small but meaningful moments of parenting, such as the first ‘skin to skin’ contact between a mother and her baby. Dohnt visualises the sometimes reality of being crawled all over (by child and animal!), loss in pregnancy, juggling working and play at home, and the other side of it all where parents might feel they have an ‘empty nest’.
You can follow the artist on Instagram here.