Motherhood, Poured Out by Yvette Rock

April 9, 2024

To be a mother is to be a home. The mother meets the viewer's gaze, acknowledging the physical space between the two worlds. In the foreground lies an open book, and from that book sprouts life. Motherhood is to give your whole self, your being, your identity, and your life to another person. Rock states that “It expresses my personal experience as a mother pouring into the lives of my children in hopes that the love, knowledge, and faith will one day bloom into something beautiful and vibrant, such as a sunflower. At the same time, a flower also symbolizes the transiency of life and how moments in our lives - however concrete and tangible - will one day fade and enter into the heavenly and intangible.” Rock’s statement perfectly encapsulates the unyielding and unrelenting love a mother has for her children.

The print is a linocut print, which allows the viewer to see the process taken in this work of art. Every mark carved into the lino block is seen, which unfolds the intricate design and purpose of each mark made. This print is part of a series titled On Press. Artists were invited to make prints by Signal-Return, a non-profit letterpress printshop in Detroit, that would benefit non-profit organizations. Honorariums were paid to each artist for their works, and the artists chose the non-profit they wanted to support. The proceeds from the sale of this print went to support “Neighbors Building Brightmoor”. This print, along with the entire series, is part of the permanent collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Yvette Rock is a multidisciplinary artist who connects themes of nature, motherhood, racism, time, and much more in her work. Rock earned her BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in 1997 and an MFA from the University of Michigan in 1999. Rock is currently pursuing a K-12 Certificate in Visual Arts Education from the College of Creative Studies. They reside in Detroit with her husband and five children.

Written by Colleen Sikorski

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