I have a penchant for telling stories.

For me, the actual telling is the most enjoyable when the story verges on being fantastic, slips into being sardonic or hovers around being simply ridiculous, all without straying from a core truth. I can unexpectedly launch into one of these tales during simple social conversation where reactions can range from mild amusement to general appreciation. There are also the unfortunate times where I go way too far and people are just speechless.

One place this skill has proven to be advantageous is in crafting the peculiar narratives that have fueled my artistic practice. It is satisfying to whip up a tall tale about the exploits of hunting unicorns when you want to delve into the complexities of being a girl. It is amusing to plunk a young heroine into a prophesied desolation and revel in her struggle to eke out an existence. While a bit sinister, it is a great way to explore issues surrounding subsistence and self-reliance.

Like most people, I also tell myself convenient fictions in an attempt to become more comfortable with my perceived place in the world. Sometimes these stories are true and sometimes they are absolute fantasies. One of my anecdotes has turned out to be ‘not quite spot on’ but is now curiously informing my work, and frankly, the rest of my life.

I told myself that when you have a child at a relatively young age, it shapes who you are. I also told myself that when you have a child when you are significantly older, becoming a mother is just another facet of an already fully formed identity. Artist. Wife. Farmer. Builder. Add on Mother. Turns out I wasn’t exactly right. Seems that the Mother persona, which is the least developed and the least intriguing, pops up unexpectedly and disorients the other constituents of my personality.

I still find the same things fascinating. Uniqueness and stereotypes. Egalitarian structures. Food systems and agriculture. The limits of the built and natural world. Subsistence and sustainability. I have just become intrigued with pinpointing the departures and pursuing the tangents that this unfamiliar and peculiar maternal instinct is interjecting.