Maternal Mitochodria

Maternal Mitochodria (United States) Residence: January 2018

“Maternal Mitochodria” is a mother/daughter artistic collaborative team by Miriam Sagan and Isabel Winson-Sagan.

Maternal Mitochodria are currently focused on a site specific installation of suminagashi and text. We creating both the marbled paper and the poetry at the same time. Site specificity will be enhanced by the use of local water—from well, reservoir, watershed, etc.—in the suminagashi. This is part of the ancient Japanese art which we look forward to utilizing. We are also interested in adding embroidery to the pieces, following the flow of ink.

Subject matter will derive from the time, place, and from the ecology of the terrain. Mother/daughter collaborations are rare, although sons have often worked with fathers in the crafts and the arts. We share an interest in “mapping,” particularly as suminagashi can look like a topo map. Our project is a cross generational multimedia feminist derived project.

We spent a very productive week at a residency at Wildacres in North Carolina in October, 2015. In summer of 2017, we spent two weeks in residence at Herekeke Art Center on Lama Mountain, north of Taos, New Mexico. Here we added mono printing to our repertoire.

We are also working on a poetry geo-cache project. After doing some local geo-caching, we designed a poetry installation (written on suminagashi and hidden in egg shaped containers) for a trail at Santa Fe Skies RV Park.

We can’t wait to come to Japan and explore paper, ink, poetry, landscape, water, and more!


Isabel Winson-Sagan holds a B.A. in religious studies from the University of New Mexico where she graduated magna cum laude and received departmental honors for her thesis, “The Sacred in American Art: Shakers and Santeros.” She is currently studying intermedia fine arts and woodworking at Santa Fe Community College, has been in two shows in the campus gallery, and was art editor of the student run SANTA FE LITERARY REVIEW. She is building a “tiny house” and blog. Isabel’s website

Miriam Sagan is the author of over twenty-five books of poetry, memoir, and fiction. Her recent collection SEVEN PLACES IN AMERICA includes residencies in the Everglades National Park, Petrified Forest National Part, Andrews Experimental Forest, THE LAND/an art site, and Stone Quarry Art Park. She has also been in residence in a trailer at the edge of a bombing range in Great Basin with Center for Land Use Interpretation and at Gullkistan in Iceland She has received the Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for excellence in the arts and a Poetry Gratitude award from New Mexico Literary Arts. She founded and ran the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico until her retirement in 2016. She blogs at Miriam’s Well.