The Good and Terrible Mother

The Good and Terrible Mother
2015
Vellum, graphite, handmade paper, board, black thread, hand-carved stamps, red seal paste
4.25 x 6 x 1.5 inches (10 x 15 x 4 centimeters)

“The Good and Terrible Mother” explores the collective, mythic idea of “mother” as a two-dimensional figure, a notion that is amplified by the dos-a-dos structure of the book. The good aspect reflects, according to C.G. Jung, “all that is benign, all that cherishes and sustains, furthers growth and fertility.” The negative aspect “connotes what devours, seduces, and poisons.” When unfolded, the accordion panels showcase graphite drawings by the binder of archetypal representations of mother, including the vessel-shaped lotus (both flowering and gone to seed), a cooking vessel, and our final vessel, the grave. The text is two chapters from Jung’s “Psychology of the Unconscious.” The first addresses the good mother, and the second examines the terrible. Accordion pages and covers bear stamped Chinese-inspired characters representing “good” and “terrible.” The top edge is graphite.