Laura Felice is a first generation Peruvian-Japanese American born and raised in New Jersey. As an interdisciplinary artist, Laura’s work includes illustration, sculpture, and papermaking. They are particularly attracted to labor-intensive artmaking because of the space they provide to ruminate whilst creating work. This along with their studies in clinical psychology has caused them to merge their interests in creating art about the psychopathology that arises from interpersonal relationships between child and caregiver, specifically matrilineal relationships. After investigating their past, Laura wishes to move forward to create a space of healing through artmaking and invites others to participate in this work to reflect upon their own identity.
You Are Not Your Mother began as a personal mantra but has transformed into a gentle reminder to those dealing with the emotional and relational repercussions of growing up with a narcissistic maternal figure. The formal investigation came after confronting the incongruencies I came across when processing my traumatic experiences. Examples of these are the inherent need to acknowledge my mother’s hardships of being an immigrant woman while still realizing this idealized heroine from my girlhood does not excuse the trauma inflicted upon her children. The need to revel in the moments where we can sit down and laugh and reminisce about the past while the shadow of fragmented memory looms over us; confronting the fact we do not conform to the expectation of a loving symbiotic relationship between mother and daughter. Why does making work with the intention to heal hurt so much? It felt necessary at first, but eventually I felt lost as to who I was as an artist, or even as a person outside of this relationship. You Are Not Your Mother is a culmination of years of rumination within my art practice. It is an object that represents finding agency through the concealed and revealed. It embeds fragmented conversations and showcases the genesis of one relationship and how that affects others. The object invites you to do the same, to hurt and heal, see and attempt to understand who you are and who she is.