Louise Bourgeois had based her art works on her personal life. She had problems with her philandering father and her mother provided the love and support she needed. Her most famous works are of these giant spiders that Bourgeois explained depicted her mother, how she protected and supported Bourgeois.
I understand that spiders play a far more beneficial role in our ecosystem than us humans. But the size, material and style of the spiders Bourgeois chose seem to show a darker side to maternal love. Protection is a fine line from sequestration. When you protect, you can keep out as well as keep in. Further, nurture can be a fine line from suffocation. Feeding and giving have nuances depending upon quantity. Too little feeding and giving is to be cruel, too much makes the recipient fight for air, also cruel.
If Bourgeois really wanted to show maternal love, which is comforting and warm, she could've turned to fabric, which she had used to great success. For "Spider" at Modern Museum of Art, she used something as heavy and impenetrable as bronze. And she chose to make the spider large. The spider has thin legs like bars on a jail cell and they surround the center, where a beautiful bird cage like structure sits, housing a chair. Many a great and campy horror film have been made over a mother's love, because it is primeval and raw. I have no doubt Bourgeois' mother loved her and sustained her. But I'm not sure I would've wanted to meet her.