85: Maternal perseverance, making art about breastfeeding and the multi-media artist journey with Tracy M. Taylor and Katherine Duclos

Artist/Mother Podcast
85: Maternal perseverance, making art about breastfeeding and the multi-media artist journey with Tracy M. Taylor and Katherine Duclos
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In this episode I am joined by two incredible artist/mothers both making work about motherhood and breastfeeding – Tracy M. Taylor and Katherine Duclos. We talk about their breastfeeding struggles, choices of materials, and their desires to amplify themes and concepts over sticking to one material or process.

Both Tracy and Katherine have painting and drawing backgrounds, but have allowed their art practice to meander and stretch into other media like video, sound, sculpture and installation. Katherine describes her interest in collecting items used for feeding – like breast pumps and bottle nipples – and how this has helped her process her own anxiety around her breastfeeding journey. Tracy talks about collecting data related to feedings – whether pumping or bottle-feeding – and, likewise, turns the hard hours of feeding into something tangible and beautiful.

Themes of momentum and perseverance permeate this episode. As they both share about their pregnancy and breastfeeding journeys, we comment collectively on the countless hours of unseen labor and the anxiety it can produce. However, instead of allowing their difficult motherhood journeys to bring them down, these two women dig into the hardship and amplify their voices. Both Tracy and Katherine agree that more art about mothering needs to be a part of the larger art world conversation, and, in making work about their struggles, they find community and support. 
Tracy is a Chicago-based multi-media artist and educator currently teaching at Lake Forest College, where she is also the Art Department Chair. She received her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Katherine Duclos received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from Pratt Institute and currently lives in Vancouver, BC where she maintains a studio practice exploring painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

See more of their work on their websites (Tracy + Katherine) or connect with them on instagram @tracymtaylor and @katherine_duclos_rose

To be a part of Katherine’s Low Supply Project email lowsupplyproject@gmail.com

The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

Final 5 Answers
Biggest art crush: Michelle Grabner (Tracy), Bev Fishman, Ernesto Burgos, Esther Ruiz (Katherine)
Favorite Place to Travel: RV roatrip around the US (Tracy), Scotland & France (Katherine)
Inspiring Book or Film: Shame by Salman Rushdie & Oh What a Slaughter by Larry McMurtry (Tracy), fantasy (Katherine)
Favorite Meal: anything with Hatch green chiles (Tracy), Penne alla vodka and garlic bread (Katherine)
Shout Out: Angela Lopez & Emily Lindskoog & her partner (Tracy), her partner & Caitlin Flynn & Alison Chen & her instagram followers (Katherine)


Katherine’s photos:

Nipple Confusion, cement, pigment, various sizes and configurations
My son, 4.5, loves my art and we engage about it a lot. Here he is with my first painting using breastmilk
Cement nipple tower group, cement and pigment
Katherine Duclos working in kitchen
Work pulled for a “studio visit” at home
Collection, digital print, 11″x17″, 2020

Tracy’s photos:

November 2016, 107 Pump Sessions, 60 Hours, 814 Ounces
 from The Letdown: Data Visualizations of Exclusive Breast Pumping
2019, Flashe Pigment on panel, 21” (diameter)

The Letdown: Data Visualizations of Exclusive Breast Pumping (Installation view)
from Extended Self: Transformations and Connections at the Hyde Park Art Center, 2019
The Space Between Us
Custom-designed fabric, thread, beads, 64” (diameter)
from While I Was Away exhibition at Roman Susan Gallery, 2019
Photo of a studio visit with my son and Angela Lopez of Extended Practice in 2021
Sleep Regression: 2-24-17, Acrylic on panel, 2017, from The Shape of Your Sounds at the Sonnenschein and Albright Galleries, 2018

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