The largest of a series of three steel spider sculptures, “Maman” (1999) was made for the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000. As with the series of etchings entitled “Autobiographical Series”, this sculpture was based on a small ink and charcoal drawing from 1947, a second drawing was produced in 1994 in red ink, gouache and crayon.
It is quite clear from these two examples of Bourgeois’ work, that drawings and sketches are the basis of her work. They are developed to create new work, be it prints or sculpture.
It stresses the importance of keeping all the work you produce, whether you like it or not, because you may draw on it at a later date, as she did with the sculpture “Maman” in 1999, from a sketch made in 1947.
I can relate to the element of nostalgia that is so evident in her “Autobiographical Series”. Nostalgia is a recurring theme in my work.