Spellerberg Projects

Sara Corley Martinez, Drawing Restraints

Exhibition • October 14–November 4, 2022

Closing reception Friday, November 4, 6–9pm.
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Curated by Raul Rene Gonzalez

About the Artist

Sara Corley Martinez was born in Frederick, Maryland in 1986. She received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 2011. Sara has exhibited around the US with work in Baltimore, New York, Houston, and Cincinnati. After a break to have a child she was inspired to create work about the physical transformation and absurdly wonderful experience of motherhood. Sara was Director and Curator at the now closed Mantle Art Space and is currently a Resident Artist at Clamp Light Studios and Gallery in San Antonio Texas.

Artist’s Statement

This exhibition began with appropriating other artists’ work through the point of view of parenthood. I specifically was interested in Matthew Barney’s “Drawing Restraints” and the idea of art making as parallel to athletic practice. The artworld was interested in the obstacles and physical training he put himself through when compared to athletic practice but what about other forms of restraint? What about the “obstacles” that are children, being a mother, or issues having to do with an aging woman.

I decided to expand on my initial performance about the obstacles of being a mother and an artist, to other issues having to do with mothering and specifically a mother’s identity post baby.  This post baby identity for me manifested as a midlife crisis of the best kind.

Throughout this exhibition you will see references to this second puberty mixed with that of mothering, tending to a home, and a second sexual awakening. All of these feelings manifested in my relationship to the objects surrounding me. This took me on a quest to find an identity not related to others, but grounded in my own autonomy as a matron. I am playing with many ideas of restraints and finding relationships with objects beyond mothering from colorful BDSM rope, to extension cords, to home fitness equipment, to heels, and to girdles. All of these self imposed restraints challenged me to figure out a way to talk about this new experience in my artwork, and overcoming those feelings of not belonging or even being ridiculed in my open sexuality as I become a middle aged mother. All of that confusion and chaos of my own insecurities are restraints for me to overcome as I get comfortable in my artistic practice.