One of the most influential visits of our trip to Europe has been the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The building itself is remarkable. Together with the incredible artworks associated with it I began to understand the relationship between perception and art. Here Bourgeois uses the spider (9m tall) as a metaphor for her mother, who was a weaver.
Bourgeois must have had quite a relationship with her mother to depict her as a spider – the eggs in the pouch fiercely protected. Here the contradiction is quite astounding – a spider as an emblem of maternity is frightening – protector and predator at the same time. A knowledge of the artists relationship with her mother is important to understand this sculpture. In the museum a whole floor is dedicated to her work and we get a strong understanding of her life and how her memories are turned into cells in which a 3D documentation of her memories are created. Her childhood was full of pain, yet the videos of her talking about her work were vibrant, passionate and she seemed so full of life, positive, humorous, passionate, fun. I learned so much and hope my work can evolve based on what I saw here.