Give and Take

Stephanie Kantor

Jul 13th - Sep 17th, 2023

‘Give and Take’ explores the monumental and transformative experience of becoming a mother and simultaneously losing my own mother. As I gave birth to my own daughter, and witnessed my mom’s deteriorating health over the past two years I experienced a barrage of dichotomous emotions; joy and sorrow, happiness and anxiety, exhaustion and exhilaration. I now understand the selfishness and selflessness that are critical aspects of being a child and a mother.

Some works in the show are inspired by historic ceramics and art. Mourner/Mom is inspired by Ancient Greek Funerary Vases in which mourning friends and family surround the recently deceased, pulling their hair in agony. In my piece, the cartoon-ish self portrait becomes a layered metaphor for both experiencing my own grief and for the frustrations that a new mother feels. Some works are more intuitive as I lost myself in the process of making them. The candelabras found on the altar in the gallery are based on a form I have been making for years.  Familiarity with a form I have made many times before allows for a more fluid, comfortable, meditative way of working. Presented in this way, the altar becomes an ode to my mom; each vessel is a record of time spent contemplating my relationship with her, motherhood, and the cycle of birth and death.

Creating the work for this exhibition has been therapeutic. It has allowed me to process these recent experiences while also feeling connected to my past, and to the years I spent making art before becoming a mom. Those years of independence and unbridled creativity may at times feel like a distant memory, but this body of work reflects my ongoing attempt to strike a new balance between making art and raising a child.


img 5553
img 5554
img 5555
img 5556
img 5557
img 5552