The egg, the womb, the head and the moon is an online, interdisciplinary, collaborative arts project that that will last for nine months (42 weeks)–a time frame that purposefully mirrors that of the duration of pregnancy. The site contains moving and powerful art and texts by artists, performers, photographers, academics and poets exploring a diverse range of subjects about the maternal.
At the end of the 42 weeks (May 2014) a celebratory exhibition will be held at The Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge. The exhibition will be born out of the communications and interactions made visible through this space.
The site includes documentation of visual art work, video, sound, performance and texts including contextual dialogue and blog posts that have arisen through the creative process. It is our aim to share our collective research and reveal the cross-disciplinary and collaborative nature of our practice in order to connect and exchange ideas with a wider audience.
The following themes are explored through out this site:
- Changing Models of Motherhood
- Motherhood and Fertility
- Motherhood and Loss
- Motherhood and the Media
- Motherhood and Memory
- Motherhood and Mental Health
- Motherhood and Place
- Motherhood and Sexuality
- Motherhood and Technology
- Motherhood and the Visual Arts
- Motherhood and Work
- Motherhood and Writing
Contributors to the project were invited by the curator Helen Sargeant to write posts in response to both the title and the project themes and to engage with an online dialogue with others in relation to their work. The duration of a pregnancy offers up a space in which to reflect upon existing working processes and to create new research-driven work through an engagement with this site.
At the end of the first trimester MeWe exhibited and presented this site at the AHRC Motherhood in Post-1968 Women’s Writing: Cross Cultural and Interdisciplinary Dialogues conference at the University of London’s Senate House. In the second trimester this site was presented as part of the Arts, Health and Social Care Symposia: Starts and Ends of Life at The University of Salford. In the third trimester a lecture about this project and site will be held at the Centre for Womens Studies Centre at The University of York.
The project aims to give voice and representation to a diverse range of experience’s about motherhood expressed through art, and it comes about from the work of the MeWe arts collective. MeWe meets on a monthly basis to discuss the maternal and support each other’s creative practice. MeWe seeks to demystify the often idealised position of the mother in art, society and culture by looking at the more complex lived reality. MeWe explores truthfulness in relation to the artist as subject and how their work engages emotionally and critically with an audience.
The personal and the public, embodiment and the relationship between the mother and child’s body recur as central motif’s throughout. Posts included within this site explore intimate personal narratives and the relationship between art, work and life. The space that the maternal body inhabits; domestic space, work space, imaginative space, dream space, cultural, political and social space collide, mix together and assimilate to create a collective soup of ideas, threads of thinking, thoughts, feelings and experience worked through as inspiration and material for making.
Frances Earnshaw states:
This little place, here in the egg is a studio, an online chat, a glimpse of other women working on ideas, and it is available without a bus ride, without arrangements to go away somewhere, and it is marvellous.
If you would be interested in finding out more about this project, or contributing to it in any way then please contact Helen Sargeant by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to:
Gill Rye, Victoria Browne and the AHRC Motherhood and Post 1968 European Literature Network at the School of Advanced Study, The University of London for the small grant rewarded to setup and maintain this site.
All the contributors to the project and members of the MeWe arts collective.
A special thank you to Jenny McKay of MeWe for her encouragement and support throughout this project.
My mum and children for their constant love and inspiration.
Patrick Ward for his help, assistance and support with the site development.
Linden Art Studio