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