In Conversation
  • Name
    Maia Ruth Lee Sutherland
  • Title
    Artist, Educator
  • Location
    New York City
  1. How has being a mother changed your definition of projected success or the aspirational version of how you want to “be”?

    Motherhood is about problem-solving on a daily basis. There are days when it feels like that balance is not there, where I wish I could be better at it. But I think that challenge will never go away, which I think is just a part of it. Accepting that I’m never going to be perfect was a huge breakthrough for me. I wanted to be doing everything at once, but you can’t. Giving in to this idea was the first step. Understanding that perfection or completion was not a part of it. It was helpful for me to be ok with that. 

  2. What does it mean to re-interpret the world by reassembling it, rather than making it completely from scratch?

    I think of myself as more of an editor or a collector of ideas than a creator. Nothing is original anyway. Working with what’s already out there, what’s already been said and expressed, is more interesting to me than creating something entirely new. I think a lot of the time that’s where it starts – finding something or researching something and discovering something and the spark of interest happening as a part of that process. 

  3. What does ritual look like to you?

    Growing up, my parents were very religious. I am not. But ironically, the time I would feel most at peace as a kid was at church. It was a time when I wasn’t told to do anything. I was left alone, in a way.

    Ritual, for me, can only happen in a very private space and time. That for me is my studio. My art practice really puts me at ease. My studio is a sacred space for me. 

    I grew up writing a lot. I kept a lot of journals. Every time I go to the studio, I start by writing. I use an electric typewriter to digest ideas and work through what I’m thinking about. It’s very meditative. It’s also a faster way to work through things since there’s no real editing system. As soon as I’m able to get everything down on paper, I get to work.