Mikayla Herring

All of the Letters I Wrote to "Mom" but Never Sent

Class of: 2027

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Mixed Media

Faculty: Maya Samat

Prompt: We were told to work with a selected theme (displacement, migration, land rights, ecology/climate, or theme of our choice) to construct a "shrine". We continued to build on or pull from the work we've done this semester, summoning what we learned from our ancestral stories, rituals, symbols, and home-bodies. Building on the ideas we had been generating to reach out more broadly to consider communities, the earth.

My shrine is dedicated to everyone who cannot make clear sense of what a mother is to them. Memories that are so broken and unclear they defy coherence. The shrine is an encapsulation of letters addressed to anonymous mothers that were never sent and memories that flicker in faces that have no clear meaning. It is a collection of broken memories joining together as we try to make sense of what it is to be a mother. The letters and pictures attached to a sheet fly in the wind within a cycle of clarity and obscurity; memory and unknowing; home and placelessness. A tapestry woven by the complexities of maternal bonds in threads of love, longing, and loss.