A friend sent me a call to join Lenka Claytons project, An Artists Residency in Motherhood, and I decided to undertake the residency over the next year of motherhood, beginning today, on my son Abie’s 1st birthday, 17th June 2016.
Over the past year since Abie was born I have been working as an artist, but it hasn’t been easy to make time and space for making work, and for all the other aspects of being an artist. I currently work from a desk at home and a desk in someone else’s studio. I have 2-3 mornings a week to work on my practice. I have been to a handful of exhibitions in the past year and a handful of private views. I’ve applied for several commissions and got to interview stage, sent off work for exhibitions, and responded to lots of emails.
Since becoming a mum, I’ve made a film, produced a mobile museum artwork, co-designed a website, put on a one-day conference and 2 film screenings, tried to write up my PhD, read a few books and articles, done a few drawings, taken some photographs, and messed about a bit with clay.
I’ve also done a mountain of laundry, had 12 months of (very) broken sleep, made hundreds of meals, changed a lot of nappies, played with a lot of baby toys, spent a lot of time talking to people about babies, argued with my partner (and laughed a lot too), walked hundreds of miles pushing a buggy, drunk a lot of coffee and eaten a lot of cake.
I know lots of other people are parents and artists, and quite a few people are also undertaking the residency. So I am only going to be able to offer my experience, but would love to hear other’s stories of their experiences: what has been difficult, what motherhood has opened up as an artist, what has changed about their practice.
I am holding myself to account to write this blog and to keep practicing as an artist – and a mother.