It’s a constant struggle to be creative, finding myself pulled in lots of different directions, between my youngest son’s instinctive pleasure with colour and line, a pleasure only recently discovered, since having started Reception and my professional responsibility towards nurturing and encouraging my students creativity.  There seems so little creative energy or space left for me.  (moan moan).

It’s interesting that I feel selfish and petty in making this complaint (or observation) but the struggle to find the time, head space, motivation and justification for my own creative practice is enormous.


Being Creative
Being Creative








About Eti

I am an artist and academic teaching Photography at the University of West London.
My visual art practice is a personal investigation of the limits of maternal subjectivity expressed through photography and video and I also write about the maternal in contemporary art practice.
I am a…Read more


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9 Responses to “Being Creative”

  1. Helen Sargeant

    I identify with your observation Eti. I do not think that it is selfish to want to find the space and time to be creative. I think it is fundamental to a sense of self. When you are a mother and you work too there is so little time and headspace to be creative.

    For me everything is squeezed into fragments of time. Creativity becomes an in-between time. In-between the school run, the school day, the loading of the washing machine, managing bills, pushed to the dawn or the midnight hours when blurry eyed and exhausted.

    I have a box of oil paints waiting to be re-opened, re-explored. Rolled up under my bed paintings lie gathering dust. I want to paint. Painting takes time… this the right time ? If I begin will I ever get through to the end of one painting. Even making a start at something creative is challenging.

    So much of being a mother is doing, acting, responding in the now. It demands so much of us. Why then should we have to justify our own needs within all this. It is perhaps absolutely necessary to find some time for our selves to create.

  2. Mo

    I like the colour and the boldness and the way you take up your space in the mundane landscape, viva Eti!

  3. Eti

    I’ve been enjoying the Home Truths exhibition at the the Photographers Gallery and the little bit of space give to women’s work about motherhood. Despite looking forward to a significant celebration and acknowledgement of maternal subjectivity as a valid place from which to be creative, this important position seems somewhat marginalised within the whole show. I don’t know if making work about maternal subjectivity is a valid way to traverse the difficulty of making work while caring for young children but I suppose I feel it works for me. Maybe also giving me a somewhat politicised standpoint. Not sure where I’m going with this one so I’ll stop here..

  4. Helen Sargeant

    It was disappointing that the article published in The Guardian this week only referenced one artists work, that of Leigh Ledare from the Home Truths exhibition.

  5. Eti

    I feel it’s worse than disappointing, again the maternal is marginalised, even in a show dedicated to it’s visibility.

  6. Helen Sargeant

    I wonder why then even in an exhibition dedicated to the visibility of the maternal that the maternal should be marginalised ? I will be thinking about this when I visit the Home Truths exhibition.

  7. Eti

    See my review of Home Truths. also, let me know when you are in London, maybe we could meet up?

  8. Helen Sargeant

    Very much enjoyed reading your review.

  9. christina

    Won’t make it to the Home Truths exhibition, so thanks Eti for the review. Gave me food for thought, I was inspired by the idea of emotional active passivity as a maternal trait and the way the Antoni had embodied this in her work.


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