Skin deep, two mothers

Sandra Hill

Balingup, Australia

  • Available
  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 1

Wall Art

Home Decor



Artist's Description

50cm wide x 90cm high
Oil on Plywood panel

Two mothers, one black and one white.

This work represents and celebrates my two mothers, my white foster mother, Linda Ashby and my Aboriginal birth mother, Doreen (Calgaret) Hill. The scars in the centre depict the pain and hurt of being removed from my birth mother in 1958. The scars reflect the loss of family, siblings, cultural knowledge, kinship links and most significantly, personal and cultural identity.

How does one know what a mothers love is if you are ‘borrowed’ into an artificial environment? With adoption if is finite but with fostering it isn’t. Imagine spending a lifetime in limbo, not knowing who you are, why it happened, what will transpire in the future and the most difficult of all, which mother do you love the most, where should your alliance be, and how do you jettison the guilt for whatever choice you make in this context?

Part of my journey was to explore and lay to rest this dilemma. I did this in 1994 when I moved up to Geraldton for a year. My birth mother had lived there for many years and I wanted to know who she was and how I felt about her as a mother figure. She became my close friend, my confidant, my inspiration and my hero for what she had endured in her difficult life. It was a profound journey and one that afforded me the opportunity to move forward in my life and to finally feel what it was like to truly have a mother in every sense of the word.

She gave me permission to love freely and without reservation the white woman who had taken me into her care all those years before. It was the greatest gift a mother could ever give to their child and I am forever grateful for it.
This ‘gift’ allowed me to move back down south and to spend time loving the mother I grew up with, everything good about me, all of my positive traits were passed down to me by her. She taught me about unconditional love and simply put, she made me a better person.

My two mothers are symbolised by the two red arcs ‘protecting’ my scars, my pain and loss. They stand guard around me and guide me in the right direction.
The central black line is my life’s journey, moving upward to my place in the world depicted by the half circle, my unfinished story. My two mothers own tracks are at the lower end of the work, they are both gone from this world but their legacy will always be visible through me.
A mothers love is never, ever, just ‘skin deep’.

Artwork Comments

  • Wendy  Slee
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.