Tag Archives: Martha Joy Rose



Mothering and music are complex and universal events, the structure and function of each show remarkable variability across social domains and different cultures. Although mother studies and studies in music are each recognized as important areas of research, the blending of the two topics is a recent innovation. Continue reading


Trip of a Lifetime

(A letter to my friend upon the completion of our travels)

Dear Karin- I hope this note finds you great.

I am just now winding up forty-five days (and counting) of life changing travels. Zena and I left St. Pete, Fla. on May 27th and I am back here in the Tampa airport heading to Ohio. It is July 16th. If you add all that up it equals fifty days on the road with most of the time spent abroad.

Our trip brought us to NYC for MaMaPaLooZa and a visit with family and friends. From there, we headed to London for a week. It was so wonderful to see you there and spend time. High tea and the boat ride around the Thames were real highlights!

Then, my dear old friend Terry and his wife Michelle whisked us off to their recently restored villa in Tuscany. The trip to Perugia airport was uneventful, but the van transport into the mountains was a real hair-raiser. Their estate was magnificent-ten rooms in total-unearthed ancient stone ruins recently restored and finished with modern amenities. We swam in their pool, practiced yoga, and ate and drank all nite, every night. Friends floated in and out of their expansive kitchen throughout the afternoons and in the evenings we explored hidden mountaintop villages including the more popular destinations like Cortona. In Cortona I purchased a beautiful gold and silver necklace from a third generation jeweler. I think it gives me super powers, but more about that later.I have blogged about most of the trip online at MarthaJoyRose.com if you want to hear more about Florence, Rome, and our visit to the Amalfi Coast.

The second portion of our visit took us to Scotland to meet up with nephew Harry, all my kids, brother Dart and his wife Jennifer as well as two of their children. My Dear departed brother Dave was the catalyst for this portion of the adventure. We were looking for ways to process his untimely passing and honor his life. In lieu of a Viking burial at Venice Beach in California (we would never have gotten the permits), we determined that Findhorn Beach in Scotland might be a great second option.

The day we traveled to Findhorn was cold and blustery, about fifty Fahrenheit with misty rain. Brody took the lead in gathering sticks and ferns to build a rudimentary mini-raft the size of a 11 by 8 piece of paper. We all contributed: twine, feathers, flowers, shells. Finally, we wrapped a bit of his ashes in medical gauze, courtesy of Zena who carries a Red Cross kit the size of a small suitcase with her everywhere.

Together we carried this raft down to the edge of the sea procession style with one of the kids playing bagpipe music on their cell phone. At the water’s edge, Harry took the raft, accompanied by his cousins, and swam it out beyond the breakers. Needless to say, it was a very moving time for all of us.

The second week in Scotland, a close family friend Michelle joined us with her daughter Rily. She too came with candle lanterns which we released over the water on a calm night just outside of Glasgow. All of these ceremonies have helped me process Dave’s passing and allowed each of us to move forward in our own ways.

Back to the “super powers”. This trip in its entirety has reinvigorated me in ways I never could have imagined. First of all, love of family; we all got along so well, everyone was so fun and loving that my heart is absolutely full and I think this feeling is going to last for awhile. Next, appreciation of adventure. Europe is not that far away! I must remember this. I NEED to return to Italy to see my friends before another twenty years pass and also to procure truffles. And, I MUST get back to Scotland as it is absolutely one of my favorite places on the planet. Finally, three cheers for my sense of accomplishment both in planning such a magnificent trip and for surviving the Highlands on single lane roads in a nine person van, white-knuckling it, with a left-handed standard shift while driving on the wrong side of the road. SUPER POWER!

All in all, this was indeed the trip of a lifetime. I’m back on the farm in Ohio feeling incredibly blessed.

Send photos from tea time if you can….

Love, Love, Love,

Joy xo

Artist Tour of Historic Kenwood 2017

“Disruptions, Extrusions, and Other Chaotic Consequences”



This project started after I moved to the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood –

MOM Art Annex 538 28th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33713 March 18-19, 2017 10am-5pm

Art_Tour_CollageI’ve spent the better part of the last ten years championing other women’s work. Prior to that, I focused musically on “performance” art. During years of songwriting and concert-making ideas are projected outward in a noisy fashion. In work I’m engaging in now is very intimate and is more of a reflection than a projection.

I am interested in exploring my body is a site of production and reproduction. It is (and has been) a site of concept making and conception-formation. Through the years it has belonged to many people, including, children, partners, governments, societies, country, state, church, and home. Some of these places are unique, and some are not. However, this basic premise is clear – my body has been a site of production and “making.”

As I began editing my thoughts for this project I realized that I never said my body belongs to me. So, more than ever this fact becomes a justification for this work, which in so many ways, mirrors what so many women have been taught to feel about themselves –namely, that our body belongs to others more than it belongs to us. Now, in the era of the new Trump administration, this may be true more than ever. It is especially important to share the truth of what it is to bring forth another human, to nurture them, and to make my body a site of visible production and labor. I want to disrupt the “nice,” “perfectly groomed,” woman-mother-persona. Here she is. Stripped down: naked, chaotic, messy, smart, bloody, imperfect, and old but still a work of art.

Martha Joy Rose, January 29, 2017

The exhibit utilizes photos, paint, fur, fabric prints, and mixed media with emerging dolls.

Background from MoMA: The human body is central to how we understand facets of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. People alter their bodies, hair, and clothing to align with or rebel against social conventions and to express messages to others around them. Many artists explore gender through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their creative process.

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of social upheavals in the United States and Europe, significant among them the fight for equality for women with regards to sexuality, reproductive rights, the family, and the workplace. Artists and art historians began to investigate how images in Western art and the media—more often than not produced by men—perpetuated idealizations of the female form. Feminist artists reclaimed the female body and depicted it through a variety of lenses.

Around this time, the body took on another important role as a medium with which artists created their work. In performance art, a term coined in the early 1960s as the genre was starting to take hold, the actions an artist performs are central to the work of art. For many artists, using their bodies in performances became a way to both claim control over their own bodies and to question issues of gender.




The representation of the female body in the feminist art as the body politics:


INSPIRATION: Inspiration borrowed, adored, cherished, and enacted for this show from the following sources: Virginia Fitzgerald, Charlotte Ghiorse & House of Choclet, Christen Clifford, Alana Ruben Free, Barbara Katz Rothman, Adam Horkavy, Lauren McIntosh, my children, the women of Mamapalooza and the Museum of Motherhood, Procreate Project, the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood, and others too numerous to mention but all admired and appreciated.