The Lozziwurm, Yvan Pestalozzi, VISUAL Carlow 2017. Photo: Ros Kavanagh
To coincide with the exhibition The Playground Project at Visual, Carlow, The Mothership Project will host a gathering of parenting artists and arts workers living in the Kilkenny/Carlow region. The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers that addresses the particular needs of those with children working in the visual arts. The Spring Gathering will create the space for people to come together to discuss the current situation for parents working in the visual arts and to identify ways to move forward with The Mothership Project network.
The Mothership would specifically like to invite those working in the Kilkenny/Carlow/Wexford/Waterford region to discuss the experience for those in the region (however those from around the country are encouraged to attend too). We will discuss how parenting artists and arts workers might foster greater support and facilities for those with children within the region. If you are a parenting artist or arts worker YOU ARE the Mothership Project. Join in the conversation to see how the established institutions and existing art structures and facilities might better serve your needs!
The meeting will take place on the 11th of April between 11 am and 1pm. As always children are welcome and it is a great opportunity for them to engage with the exhibition. A 1 hour workshop will be facilitate for children of preschool age (4+). All are welcome and feel free to invite others who have not previously been part of Mothership events. Please RSVP to email@example.com with your name, and the age of your child/children so we can prepare for the number who will attend.
The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers, founded in 2013. For more about The Mothership Project go to our about page
Gillian Kenny Shinnors welcomed the new members of the Mothership Project and gave an introductory presentation of the objectives of and background to the group. Everyone introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of their creative practice.
Maria Donoghue reviewed a paper written by Dr Stavros Stavrides entitled Towards the City of Thresholds. She discussed how the paper addresses the idea of transience and identity, and the possible direction the group could take in terms of permanence / temporary meeting spaces. She proposed that the group designs and makes a cabinet or mobile piece of furniture to contain the group belongings. This piece could become the Mothership, moving from meeting space to meeting space, blurring boundaries and always working within the Threshold Spaces. She suggested that this could become strategic, occupying selected spaces that would not normally allow women to participate in them. Pauline Goggins suggested that the furniture piece could be a tent or wigwam, and we become like nomads or travellers.
Jo Slade spoke about her practice and the mental fortitude she developed to maintain her focus. She explained that one must truly want to continue their work throughout all the family commitments, and that we, as mothers, should allow ourselves to “leave down some of the responsibility to give ourselves the psychic space we deserve” to practice. She also proposed that fallow periods are not wrong, and to embrace the change of pace. She suggested we read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, or Ten Guineas, for a view into how important space both physical and psychic, is in the creative process.
Pauline Goggins put forward that women, in general, seem to have bought into invisibility. To work alongside men, women view the achievement of ‘sameness’ as success, rather than being the female ‘other’. She views the Mothership not as Mentorship (a dominant role) but as mothering, offering unconditional support, and suggested we read Italian philosopher, Luisa Muraro’s paper Diotima Verona.
We concluded that the presence of small children at such an intimate meeting ( seven participants) was problematic. My experience of the Summer Dublin Mothership meeting was that the meeting was big enough to absorb the presence of children and there was an assigned person to look after them, a pop up crèche essentially. Upon reflection we felt with our current numbers and member profile perhaps children could be included in every second meeting going forward. I have spoken to a number of mothers informally in the last few weeks, they have expressed that the 6pm
time slot is an issue for them. We will consider looking at a Saturday afternoon meeting in the New Year.
Maria Donoghue & Gillian Kenny Shinnors firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m delighted to an announce that Limerick will now have monthly meetings at the Hub Space, Limerick City Gallery of Art. Our next meeting is on Thursday 27th of October at 6pm. Provisionally our future dates are 17th of Nov and 8th of December.
I will give an overview of the work of the Mothership to date and give a synopsis of our last meeting and research to date. Pauline Goggin and Jo Slade will speak about their experiences of maintaining their practices in the midst of raising children. New members are welcome and in Mothership fashion, children are of course welcome also. Art Materials will be provided for their use.
Please contact Gillian Kenny Shinnors, email@example.com should you require further information
The Mothership Project Summer Gathering
August 5th at 11 am Temple Bar Gallery
As part of a series of events for the exhibition My Brilliant Friend
As part of the exhibition My Brilliant Friend at Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin which considers female solidarity, work, economy, protest and how to negotiate life in Dublin as an artist and a woman in 2016, The Mothership will host a summer gathering for parenting artists and arts workers. The meeting will create the space for people to come together to discuss the current situation for parents working in the visual arts and to identify ways to move forward with The Mothership Project network.
Tara Kennedy will give a short report on her ongoing architectural research project Permanently Temporary undertaken with The Mothership Project to explore the experience of architecture in shared, cultural and co-working spaces for parents with our young children, questioning how the design of these places might better support radical and active citizenship, flexible working practices and exchange of ideas, and therefore contribute to more socially diverse and inclusive living.
Tara Derrington from M.A.M (Mothers Artists Makers) will join us to discuss the founding of a network of parenting theatre practitioners as a result of the hugely influential #Waking The Feminists campaign, while also considering shared issues and objectives between our two groups.
As always children are welcome and art materials will be provided for their use. All are welcome and feel free to invite others who have not previously been part of Mothership events. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can prepare for the number of adults and children who will attend.
The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers, founded in 2013 to consider and address particular issues and challenges for those with children working in the visual arts. For more information on our activities to date go to www.themothershipproject.wordpress.com
Image: Mothership Project meeting in Project Arts Centre, 2015
Date: 21 November 2015
Venue: Project Arts Centre
Discussion: third place, work and informal creative practices, ‘threshold space as common space’ (1) and ideas of ‘leisure’ (2), culture and access in shared spaces with Tara Fitzgerald Kennedy and The Mothership Project (Research funded through the Arts Council Engaging with Architecture Scheme, Strand 1)
On this momentous day #WakingTheFeminists we are pleased to announce our next research meeting
The second in a planned series of architectural research meetings between The Mothership Project and artist / architect Tara Kennedy will take place at Project Arts Centre on Saturday 21st November 11am-1pm. Children are welcome to attend.
This meeting, the second of four, will discuss third place, work and informal creative practices, ‘threshold space as common space’ (1) and ideas of ‘leisure’ (2), culture and access in shared spaces.
Tara’s research explores experience of architecture in shared, cultural and co-working spaces for parents with our young children. It will question how the design of these places might better support radical and active citizenship, flexible working practices and exchange of ideas, and therefore contribute to more socially diverse and inclusive living. Tara is discussing these issues with ‘The Mothership Project’ through a series of meetings directly exploring our experience of architecture in shared spaces.
1. Stavros Stavrides, Towards a city of Thresholds
2. Lina Bo Bardi and the SESC Pompeia
The Mothership Project would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Jason Oakley’s family and friends on his recent death. He had a brave four year battle with cancer and through this period continued to work in VAI supporting and advocating for artists. He was a friend, parent, supporter and fellow feminist and through his research and work helped to make visible and connect The Mothership Project and other artist parenting initiatives. We will miss him terribly
Here is his article from 2013 in the VAI Even in Sweden “In this regard, the Mothership Project was recognised as a valuable tactical and strategic resource in itself, bolstering the reputational ‘capital’ of art-worker mothers and providing an alternative networking space.” Rest in a beautiful and great Peace Jason. Love from all in The Mothership Project. XX