Elizabeth Matukutire

Artist Statement

As a woman who has many titles: Mother, Wife, Student, Patient, Daughter, Sister, Aunty, it is a constant struggle to remain centred around me and who I truly am.  My works show a timeline of my seemingly never-ending struggles with my own personal understanding and acceptance of myself, inside and out.  I intend to create work that is inspiring and comforting, to myself as I go through these motions and chapters, and to others as they encounter it.

My recent works are heavily focused on my highest title of ‘Mother’. I chose this title and yearned it for many years yet I became overwhelmed by its potential to consume and dictate my life. Motherhood is a hugely open-ended concept that deserves further exploration, particularly within the arts. As I navigate through my personal experience, I am witnessing the rise and fall of the empowerment motherhood can bring.  Being a mother brings the highest of highs but also the heaviest lows.

My current pieces depict the narrative of birth. How a mother experiences birth can have serious repercussions on the relationship between her and the child.  Birth is magical yet gruesome, painful yet serene and often leaves the mother feeling extremely vulnerable yet powerful, all at the same time.  Each birth is unique.  It can never be re-done or pre-planned and each scenario comes with its own particular set of needs.

I aim to capture the beauty of birth while showing it from various perspectives; avoiding the overly literal or gory, but without depriving it of the realities of the situation.

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