Potter sent around a survey to other parents to ask them about their feelings and attitudes towards parenthood, as her own feelings were a sense of guilt and ambivalence and a dread that she might fail her children.
With over 100 people responding, Potter determined that there were two camps, saying, “I found that there are two types of people; Glass Half Full parents and Glass Half Empty parents”. There were parents who were optimistic and those who felt their lives had changed for the worse by having children.
This rich source of material and quotes from the parents and her own strong emotions became the inspiration for a recent exhibition ‘Parent Guilt Yo’, held at the UniSA Business School’s Yungondi Building, City West. Hung in the entrance foyer to the building, this brightly coloured and eclectic mix of jewellery, embroidered objects and a pile of glittery dust is a both a whimsical and sobering response to parenting.
A range of large and small necklaces are made from coloured wooden blocks, found materials, a hula-hoop and macaroni with titles such as ‘it’s not forever [I can’t go to the toilet alone]’ and ‘be a good parent 60% of the time as long as you’re not a bad parent 40% of the time.’
Despite some difficult messages in this exhibition, Potter’s colourful vision, vibrancy and sense of humour shine through. Potter says, “I love involving colour which means lots of paint, powder coating and beads.”