LOVE & FEAR
REBECCA SCOTT & CLAYTON WOODS
A collaboration of Mother and Son paintings
24 June to 21 July 2023
Love & Fear, a collaboration between Mother and Son. Painter Rebecca Scott and son Clayton Woods have come together to produce a series of paintings forged from the struggles of Woods’ alcoholism and how amour has pushed through the fear of the unknown to the road of recovery.
Thoughts on Motherhood and the conflict with being an artist.
There is an endless conflict between life inside the studio and life outside. The feeling of going into the studio and working on a piece is similar to reading a book, the warm feeling which can remain with you throughout the day. When ensconced within the studio, there is a necessary focus of thought, your attention is solely on the work in front of you – it becomes a concentration of self. There is no distracting thoughts about the food shopping that needs doing or the everyday chores of cooking, cleaning, and washing, even the running of the gallery or studio practice. Once you get into the studio and into that ‘zone’, everything can wait.
I had Clayton when I was 40 years old. I had spent the previous 20 years, mainly in my studio forming my practice and my identity as an artist, and also as a feminist artist.
Once Clayton was born, I decided that I was not going to compete being an artist with being a mother. My art was to take second place and the domestic life as a mother was going to take priority. However, being a mother is difficult: children need a lot of your time, I came to the conclusion that the time you put into caring and nurturing would be rewarded – but it is a calculated risk.
At the school gates it became clear that the ‘Mum’ was a secondary person to the child, I was taken aback by the idea, for years my art was my main focus, the thing that drove me in the day-to-day, – it is a sobering jolt to the needy ego of an artist, the one who craves the desires, attention, and affirmation through their work.
On Love & Fear
I slowly became aware of Clayton’s drinking, and it came to a head with two years of lockdown during Covid, in university halls of residence and student living with very little college activity or in-person interaction. During his time at home, he would eventually go to bed at 4am and not get up again until 4pm the next day, this routine was starting to make me anxious. I truly didn’t know the extent of his drinking, but I started to suspect that this was the cause of problems with his health, both mentally and physically.
After he came to me and asked for help, Clayton spent some time in rehab, working on his alcoholism. Through this time, he started writing and recording poems on his phone, after a while he let me listen. I wanted to encourage him to pursue this, and I thought writing them down and then painting onto a canvas would be an interesting combination. The canvases contain my oil paintings, one is a portrait of Clayton as a baby and the rest are ones that I have painted within the last year purposely for him to work over the top.
Seeing Clayton find himself again, has been a relief and a joy. These paintings began before and will continue long after.
– Rebecca Scott
Installation shots by Mark Woods. All works copyright the artists.