Jason Oakley

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



Mothership Meeting – IMMA September 13th – 11 AM -Architectural Research Project with Tara Kennedy

apollo school herman hertzberger

Apollo School, Amsterdam by Herman Hertzberger. 

The Mothership will meet on Sunday the 13th September to work with artist Tara Kennedy who has been awarded a Architectural Research Project award which will involve collaborative research with The Mothership Project.

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 will discuss these issues with ‘The Mothership Project’ through a series of meetings directly exploring our experience of architecture in shared spaces. This is a great opportunity for the members to build and work toward constructive outputs. This is one of  4 meetings over the next 6 months in a variety of venues.

The first Research meeting will be at IMMA on Sunday 13 September at 11am- 1pm. Children are welcome to attend.

The Mothership Project at Roscommon Arts Centre: A History of Play

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

To coincide with the exhibition “A History of Play” by artist Eamon O’Kane, The Mothership Project hosted this event and meeting:

Artist Parents Addressing What Artist Parents Need 
Wednesday 29 October 2014,
Roscommon Arts Centre
11 – 4 pm

This event, hosted by The Mothership Project, is an opportunity for the group as artist parents to tackle, discuss and respond collectively to issues that you feel have arisen since becoming parents. The meeting will look at ways to take action around your concerns. Artist Áine Ivers will facilitate the day through ‘Open Space Technology’, a self-organizational facilitation technique.

If there is something that you feel passionate about in relation to being an artist parent, this is your chance to tackle it!  Come along and you will garner the mutual support and direction you need to harness our collective energies towards projects that matter to you.

The Mothership Project is a network of Irish parenting visual artists and art workers that was established in 2013.

A creche facility will be available. Please contact the mothershipproject@gmail.com to book a place for your child.

A bus from Dublin will be provided if necessary, so please indicate if you would be interested in traveling from Dublin with a group. Alternatively we can see if car pooling is an option. Do send requests by the 17th of October to allow time to book transport if necessary.

About the Exhibition
Artist Eamon O’Kane has transformed the entire gallery at Roscommon Arts Centre into an interactive installation making direct visual and conceptual reference to educational play objects devised by educator and inventor of Kindergarten Friedrich Fröbel. For the artist, parenthood acted as the catalyst for this enquiry into methods of merging real life with his art practice where his ongoing concerns are the interplay of art, architecture design and education. Fröbel Studio makes direct visual and conceptual reference to the educational play materials known as Fröbel Gifts – the colorful spheres, cylinders, and tubes that were developed in the early 1800s by Friedrich Fröbel, the inventor of Kindergarten. These tools are still instrumental the world over in unlocking creativity at an early age by teaching children about three-dimensional shapes and colours, and their relationship to the environment and nature.

TMP Planning Meeting – Saturday 14 June at The LAB

unnamed-1Venue: The LAB, Foley St. Dublin 1
Date: Saturday 14 June 2014
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm

Following the VAI Get Together at IMMA, The Mothership Project invites you to a special event to plan actions to address the issues that we face as artist-parents.

Those present at the Mothership talk at the VAI Get Together outlined a number of key issues that they felt were important to them as artist-parents.  This event in the LAB is an opportunity to tackle those issues outlined, and to create real constructive plans together through a fun, child-friendly and stimulating event.  So if there is something that you feel passionate about in relation to being an artist-parent, this is your chance to tackle it!  Come along and you will garner the mutual support and direction you need to harness our collective energies towards projects that matter to you.

We will do this through a self-organizational facilitation technique called ‘Open Space Technology’.  A member of Mothership, Áine Ivers, will facilitate.


Lots of food!
We will have a buffet–style food table available for the whole event – so please bring along food and drink to stock the table.

Bring the children!
This event will be open to children to participate in if they wish (if they are old enough and have and interest!)  The space will also have provision for children to play, be comfortable, to sleep and to eat, and we hope to have children’s entertainment present for some of the event.  So please don’t leave your kids at home – bring them, they are very welcome!

We need to know numbers of adults and children so please RSVP by 11th June. Email: seoidin@gmail.com

Commit to the event.
Open Space Technology is an immersive process that has a beginning, middle and an end.  Please make every effort to arrive on time and to stay for as long as you can.  You will find it a rewarding experience.

(To find out more about Open Space Technology, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology)





unnamed-1Artists As Parents At VAI Get Together Irish Museum of Modern Art

Friday MAY 23 2014

For this event The Mothership Project has invited artist Pauline Cummins to give a presentation on WAAG. Pauline was the founding chairperson of the Women Artists Action Group (WAAG), which from 1987–1991 organised exhibitions and conferences in Ireland, and promoted exchange and dialogue internationally. Specifically, Pauline will discuss the actions that WAAG took during its existence to highlight the issues that affected women and parents in the art world at that time.

This will be followed by a 30 minute ‘Open Spaces’ discussion led by artist Aine Ivers where The Mothership Project will decide on steps forward and actions that could be taken to address the difficulties faced by artist parents in Ireland today.

Pauline Cummins‘ performance and video work examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in society.

Aine Ivers is a visual artist based in Dublin. She has facilitated Open Space meetings and workshops in Dublin and Belfast, and is particularly interested in the potential applications of Open Space Technology within visual arts practices and amongst artists. 

Open Space Technology (OST) is a process for facilitating complex meetings. It is people-centred and result-orientated. Participants in Open Space meetings are empowered by being made responsible for their own interests, desires and actions. Based on the philosophy of self-organising systems, OST invests in the concept that people do best when they represent themselves.

The Mothership Project is a network of Irish parenting visual artists and arts workers which aim to open up discussion on the logistics, economics and status associated with being an artist / parent.  Areas of interest include alternative childcare models, support networks, perception of mother / artist, time and money and child friendly residencies. Central to the discussion is the notion that retrograde attitudes and practices in relation to artists and parenthood are an inherent part of the art world.

The Arts in Education Charter – Thoughts?

ARTS IN EDUCATION1Back in June 2013 Practice.ie posted some in depth responses to the ambitious Arts in Education Charter – http://www.practice.ie/interviewarticlepage/51

The charter can be read here: http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Arts-In-Education-Charter.pdf

The charter was launched 4 Jan 2013 by the Department of  Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Dept Education and Skills – and as yet hasn’t been implemented.

The Charter sets out many laudable aims and actions, that are perhaps of special interest to art-worker parents, whom might (but not necessarily) have greater concern that others about the place of the arts within the state administration of education and child development and care services.

A number of the responses gathered by Practice.ie mention the work of Reggio Emilia, in relation to teaching young children – which has been previously cited here on the Mothership Project website.

Item 1 of the charter, might raise some eyebrows – the Public Service Education Dividend (PSED), which is a stipulation that artist and art institutions in receipt of public funding donate a small amount of time to education initiatives).

What do art-worker parents – who might work for organisations or as individuals be occasionally in receipt of public monies – think about this call to volunteer a little of their time and expertise?

Mildreds Lane – A Working-Living-Researching Family Environment

2010-tintype-mildreds-lane-main-house-cropped_1MILDRED’S LANE is a rustic, 96-acre site deep in the woods of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, in the upper Delaware River Valley, which borders New York state. It is an ongoing collaboration between J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion, their son Grey Rabbit Puett, and their friends and colleagues. It is a home and an experiment in living. Mildred’s Lane attempts to  coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy, where a working-living-researching environment has been developed to foster engagement with every aspect of life.