Post-Partum Document, Documentation VI: Pre-Writing Alphabet, Exerque and Diary/Experimentum Mentis VI: (On the Insistence of the Letter)

1978

Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly’s Documentation VI is one part of a larger installation, Post-Partum Document, which explores the relationship between the artist and her son over six years. Chronicling the early developmental years of his life and his growing separation from her, Documentation VI consists of eighteen tablets constructed from slate and resin that resemble small Rosetta stones. They show the boy’s earliest inscriptions charting his development as he learnt to form letters and write his own name. Each slate also features the artist's handwritten interpretations and a typed diary-like entry on her emotional state and concerns. By making her son the subject of her work, Kelly proposed that female artists can enter the world of art-making without forsaking the biological activity of creating and rearing a child.
  • Artwork Details: 18 parts, each, 36.5 x 29 x 4cm 36.5 x 850 x 4cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: slate and resin
  • Credit line: Mary Kelly, Post-Partum Document, Documentation VI: Pre-Writing Alphabet, Exerque and Diary/Experimentum Mentis VI: (On the Insistence of the Letter), 1978-79. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Mary Kelly. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Mixed Media
  • Accession number: AC 5000
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