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My works are autobiographical and speak to the two most profound experiences of my life: a childhood marked by fourteen military transfers, and twenty additional years struggling as a single mother, for a time on Welfare. Looking both inward and outward, my sculptures take a direct and often humorous look at the construct of family and the role of motherhood - reproduction, nurturing and sheltering – as they relate to myself and across the broader Designed natural world.

Created with found and fabricated elements, my works convey the enormous amounts of destabilization and responsibilities I have experienced: the effects of a repeatedly shifting foundation, the often overwhelming demands of single-motherhood, the ratio of giving to receiving, the deep biological urge to nurture and protect one’s child, and the overriding tenacity of life to adapt and flourish, in spite of adverse and ever-changing conditions. Constructed with elements that refer to my experiences such as household appliances, ironing boards, clothing, military paraphernalia, tubes and wigs, my works are anthropomorphic and have a handmade domestic quality.

Through interesting and unusual combinations of materials, my works caused critics to describe my work as… “Fascinating yet repulsive.” I deliberately create disquieting juxtapositions of emotions in order to reveal the complex and often undervalued nature of nurturing.

     All written material and images © Nancy Tobin, 2013