Mother Love, completed

Hanne's contribution to the book M(Other) Love

Last I left off, I wrote that I had mailed off the artist book collaboration to Hanne Matthiesen to continue on the topic I chose for the book titled M(Other) Love. Hanne and I had decided that we would work on top of each other’s pages, if the muse so wished us to. Hanne was so kind to post photos of her contribution to the book on her flickr site so that I could view them and I made a nifty flickr mosaic to share here. These are images of Hanne’s contribution and I need to figure out a way to share the pages of the full book. I was so excited to see her beautiful work in there as I won’t be seeing my book for a long while. Hanne will be taking it with her to take part in the 6th International Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius 2012.

From my understanding our books will be traveling on this schedule:
2 February – 3 March 2012, “Scuola Internazionale di Grafica”, Venice, Italy;
15 March – 18 March 2012, Leipzig Book Fair, Germany;
April 2012, Gallery “Titanikas”, Vilnius, Lithuania;
22 September – 22 October 2012, Kloster Bentlage, Rheine, Germany;
It is tentatively planned to show:
2012-2013 in France, in Bengladesh, in China.

“Wha..?!” was my first response. Then “Woohoo!” I am just beyond thrilled. And am so grateful to Hanne for inviting me to collaborate with her.

But beyond the exhibition opportunity, it was a wonderful experience collaborating with her on so many different levels. On the creative level, I just love Hanne’s work and it was such a treat to have her very tactile work in my very own hands. In her own book, which I hope to share soon, I would turn the pages, over and over, smoothing my fingers over the surface, relishing in the texture that she created.

Our format and the “rules” we laid down challenged me as well. Thinking about structure + meaning of content is always a welcome challenge and one of the reasons why I enjoy working in the artist book format.

Then on a personal level, Hanne is a mother as well, of children now grown, and our emails back and forth regarding my subject matter were enlightening to me. I am always hungry to hear other women’s and other mother’s experiences. And Hanne, from our interactions, I found to be a woman who gave me such great advice and words that lifted me and inspired me in regards to being a mother and how to fit my art in.

Making art that is meaningful to me, that makes meaning of me, that makes me answer the questions that flood my brain and spirit, that helps me to find peace in issues that arise- this is why I do what I do. Why I come up to my studio to create.

I think this is one of my favorite spreads she made
She wrote: this is a love letter for next generation and all mothers

In one of our email exchanges I wrote to her about recent issues with time and scheduling conflicts, she wrote me something that I just love. Hope she won’t mind that I share it here, but it’s such good advice.

“Sometimes we have to accept to do less than we WOULD have loved to do. Actually I think it’s an important lesson for mothers! We have all these big and beautiful ideals. But sometimes life just happens to be not-so-ideal. But don’t give up! Never give away! In less-than-best/ideal-situations your real task – the ART of living – is to get the BEST out of the mess you’re facing, the life you actually LIVE in – not just the life you DREAM of living in …”

Thank you Hanne.


  1. Dear Bridgette.

    It has been such a pleasure to collaborate with you on this project. I’m totally satisfied with both process and result -and happy to see you share your reflections here.

    You’re such a wonderful openminded person and artist!

  2. I love this, thank you for sharing this with us. Your ethereal, thoughtful work touches me on so many levels and I am glad the universe has found a way to bring us together, as mothers and artists.

  3. The way you put together this collage is amazing, and and all of the pieces alone are beautiful, love the paleness, the hidden thoughts and letters. That this book will be traveling around the world is truly awesome!!!! roxanne

  4. Oh Bridgette! You are such an inspiration. This post helped me get past a block I was having on my latest project.
    Your collaboration looks so lush. I wish I could page through it and feel the textures the way you described it.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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