Magda Stawarska-Beavan


Magda Stawarska-Beavan


United Kingdom

Artist Statement

In Mother Tongue (2009) traditional printmaking methods (screenprint on paper) connect with new (digital audio) technologies.
I use the recorded sounds of my child’s speech development, from his first noises when he was born, to the words and sentences which he has spoken since; from birth to three years old in three minutes.
My aim is to engage the viewer first with the work visually, by drawing them to the delicate marks on the paper, then to persuade them to try to decipher phonetic bilingual text or to interpret the waveforms. They can then activate the sound connected to the visual. Each sound pieces for each print is three minutes long and not repeated, this allows for a chronological audio experience.
The three prints depict recognizable visual representations of sound such as wave forms and phonetic symbols. These marks are visual artefacts of temporal sounds. Although these particular marks are associated wit the objectivity of technology and linguistics, the refined use of aesthetics; colour tone and scale bring to the work a level of personal account.
I am trying to represent a passage of time and preserve the ephemeral moments in the development of a child’s relationship with language.
This is also essentially an investigation into the parental obsession with passing on our identity through and to our children.




“Magda Stawarska-Beavan,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 19, 2024,

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