Sonia Kan: First Step
23 September – 23 December 2010
Sonia Kan’s, The Mother and her Untamed Entity is an exploration of the relationship between a mother and her daughter. The installation takes the form of two large crochet nets, hanging dubiously around one another. These nets represent the two female figures fighting for their position within the space but who are also reliant on each other for support and stability.
The materials used in this piece represent two distinct characters in their texture, strength and colour. The first of the two nets that hangs above the second is crocheted from yellow string, which is soft but strong. Sonia describes the string as difficult to work with, but as an essential component in the delineation of the intended message, and is in texture as well as positioning, representative of her mother – one of two characters in this piece, the other being a young version of herself. To create the ‘mother net’ she crocheted single lines hooked together: the stitches are small and the net does not expand too much, giving the appearance of solidity and decisiveness. The second net is made from cream paper string, which can be either strong or weak depending on the direction one attempts to tear it. Again in contrast, Sonia’s find this material very easy to work with – it is, in a sense, an extension of herself.
The overall intention of the piece is to highlight the bond shared by mother and daughter and the support provided by one to the other: the mother is ordered and unbreakable and is elevated above the daughter in age, experience and veneration. But beneath the mother, the unruly daughter, who is prone to erraticism and many vulnerabilities acts as a subtle foundation to the mother’s existence – without her charge the mother’s role – her very identity – would cease to exist.