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Episode 3: Kate Hessin: Papier Mache and Motherhood

I’ve followed Kate’s work on Instagram for a while and it was so nice to talk with her! 

Kate Hessin is an emerging multimedia artist, who lives and works in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. Kate’s work moves fluidly from sculpture to works on paper. She is interested in exploring the ways in which society’s deeply held expectations for mothers manifests themselves into the lives of modern parents. Kate playfully uses a folkloric whimsy and humour to create an inviting space for unpacking the darker aspects of motherhood, such as: postpartum depression, breastfeeding struggles, shame, exhaustion and guilt.

Kate is also a middle school art teacher. We talk about teaching this age level and choosing which personal artwork to share with them. She shares some paper mache tips that are super helpful. We also dig into motherhood as it relates both conceptually and practically to Kate’s work. I could talk about these things all day! I hope you enjoy this conversation!

I loved talking with Kate about motherhood and all the challenges within. We strayed quite a bit from teaching and art-making, but it’s all connected and it was so interesting hearing about how she’s been creating work around these topics for basically her entire artistic career. 

I also really like the idea Kate had of artistic bias as something to be aware of as an art teacher, especially a teacher who is also deeply engaged in your own art-making. I do think a lot about kid aesthetic vs. adult aesthetic, but it’s nice to add another layer to that of my own personal aesthetic and preferences and how those impact my teaching.

Go check out Kate’s work and follow her!

Links:

“Two Lips” Paper Mache
“Universal Mother” Paper Mache
“Tied Up”

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