Sarah Dolan


Sarah Dolan


Sarah Dolan



Artist Statement

In the second year following the birth of my daughter I began an artist residency in motherhood. For one year I made work during my daughter’s naptime. I created many bodies of work during my residency, using a variety of materials and processes. My works explore multiple aspects of motherhood including birth, the postpartum body, breastfeeding, and objects used for caretaking and play.

The Tender Objects series consists of small, pink, soft sculptures. These works are assembled from cut up pieces of a raincoat, which is meant to shield the body, but rendered useless to protect the body once severed. These pieces contemplate the defenselessness and many unknowns of the insides of our bodies.

Through the Motherbody series, I use materials from clothing that no longer fits my postpartum body. Each soft sculpture imagines some part of me, not unlike my daughters many stuffed animals, as a created comfort item. Filled with stuffing from a pregnancy pillow, they imitate plush objects that would soothe a child while simultaneously examining the immense changes and vulnerability of the body during and after pregnancy.

In the Motherbody Drawings series I draw the motherbody pieces, turning them into something diverging from the comfort item the mother body is perceived to be in our culture. While the drawings are still perceived as soft, they transform the physicality of the sculptures to sensuous and blossoming unknowns. These drawings examine the dichotomy of the mother figure, finding the tender with the intimate, and not separating the two.

The Nursing Pad series explores the enormous amounts of time and labor that are given to feeding an infant. Through the repetitive, labored motion of the embroidery process, I recall the repetition of the breastfeeding process and the sucking motion of the infant. Each piece is labored over. Some carry smaller amounts of embroidery, a recollection of the earliest days when my milk was meager and some are saturated with embroidery, a reconstruction of the soaking of the very same pads with my own milk.



Anonymous, “Sarah Dolan,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 19, 2024,

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