Maternity: Malca Schotten.

Posted: July 6, 2014 in Uncategorized <—– Link to M.Schotten’s personal website.

“You are cordially invited to a double private viewing of Maternity by Malca Schotten on Friday 4th July 4-9pm”

That was the invite i was handed by a friend and trusted mentor last week, It’s not everyday someone as far down the artist ladder gets invited to gallery viewing of this standard, so of course I was excited.  

Maternity is an exhibition of large charcoal drawings, smaller studies and paintings; as yet unseen. Spread over two galleries, this large body of work is a record of Schotten’s third and last pregnancy, from the early weeks in October 1995, right through to the week of labour and beyond into motherhood. The work marks the beginning of Schotten’s large scale pastel and charcoal drawings which is now her trade mark.

She says, “I was pretty upset when I discovered I was pregnant. I was at a point in my life when my work was going well, and although I had always planned to have three children, I had settled on the idea that two children was a good and easy number. I went into my studio, and the obvious way forward struck me; I would draw my pregnancy and make it the soul focus of my work for the nine months.

I would take my children to playgroup, race home, take my clothes off and draw for two hours in front of a large mirror, until it was time to collect them.”

The drawings record, the growing maternal body over nine months, the journey of a mother and a twin, in the maternal state with two young children. Later works in the exhibition also record the complete yet failing family unit. Schotten’s maternity work is inspired by African Art, and Picasso’s inspiration from it. This seeming like a natural way to express the roundness of form that is enhanced in the maternal state with the round stomach and round enlarged breasts, etc.

There are seven main pieces that she wrote about and I have to favorites, They are:

  • Study For Nocturnal. “As the child inside me grows, the final weeks are winding down.. A tired mother of two young children, sleep is what i need, yet lying down is uncomfortable and restricted. I dream of this new arrival and how my little family will embrace this new being.”

Last Drawing: “My first and second pregnancy’s and the births were straight forward, and i felt lucky for that, however, the last nine months have felt more wonderful, more special than ever, perhaps because I know this is the last time I will experience  this magical state. I have wanted to taste and feel every moment. From feeling devastated about the surprise of the third pregnancy, I have spent the time elated and inspired. My pregnancy, My inspiration, and everyday a new development and a new focus for my work, The imminent birth therefor fills me with a strange melancholy at the end of this journey. Will I loose my inspiration?” 

I love her work as its pure and divine, it;s something nature gives you and to be able to draw how you feel and what you see through the states is something i one day wish to do. Its something only a mother will understand and passer by can appreciate.

For any inquiries about the gallery owner and space please feel free to contact:  


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