Holding Time

The experience of motherhood has been described as situating women outside the boundaries of linear, modernist time resulting in potentially a loss of agency (being unable to fit into the working world, for example) and being constrained to a ‘nether-land’ or liminal time and space until ‘normal time’ is returned[1].


Holding Time is an exhibition about Motherhood and Time. Featuring portraits of twenty three mothers created over a period of nearly three years, this groundbreaking work is an attempt to capture the experience of breastfeeding from a mothers point of view. With an animation , still images and interviews, this is a celebration of breastfeeding that will encourage debate. Despite accumulated evidence of the physical, emotional and mental health benefits to the child, as well as the environmental and social benefits, in a society preoccupied with economic growth the time saving arguments in favour of bottle-feeding remain a major obstacle to higher rates of breastfeeding.

Each mother is accompanied by a digitally created 'Timepiece' of Creagh's invention. This 'right-brained clock' is based on an ancient Cosmatesque design, found on the floor of the Sistine Chapel. By contextualising breastfeeding mothers within this older decorative tradition, Creagh shows time spent breastfeeding as slower, deeper and fuller than 'normal' time. This work seeks to recontextualise motherhood and breastfeeding in particular as an active, rather than passive activity, one that aligns mother and child with an older, and more universal time system and disrupts dominant western understandings of time.

The range of mothers is deliberately broad in scope. Mothers range in age from early twenties to mid forties, with children aged from a few weeks to up to three and a half. There are tandem feeding mothers (mothers feeding two children simultaneously), single mothers and mothers of sick children. All are shot in the same way: against a neutral dark background in lighting reminiscent of Renaissance paintings.

The exhibition incorporates installation, moving image and animation. It can be shown as a six screen installation, or a set of still images, accompanied by a single screen version of the animation.

The development of the work is promoted using a specially created online Social Enterprise  called The Parlour. Including interviews with the participating mothers, and a blog written by  Sociologist and collaborator, Lucila Newell, The Palour is used to distribute the ideas and themes  of Holding Time  to an international audience.  

With the cooperation of breastfeeding mothers, composer Helen Anahita Wilson, my glass making collaborator Mike Barrett and sociologist Lucila Newell, this project is a large collaboration.
 
Follow this project on my Facebook page and twitter account.

Download current Press release 9.pdf

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  • Mark Aitken examines the relationship between photography and sound. Today’s guests are Lisa Creagh who is known for transferring houses into light boxes and a dialogue between photography, digital imaging and painting along with collaborator and composer Helen Anahita Wilson.
    30/03/2014
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    There Then, Hear Now: Resonance FM, March 2018
    Mark Aitken examines the relationship between photography and sound. Today’s guests are Lisa Creagh who is known for transferring houses into light boxes and a dialogue between photography, digital imaging and painting along with collaborator and composer Helen Anahita Wilson.
  • During the Making Space Residency at Fabrica Gallery in 2018, Lisa Creagh and Christiane Monarchi held a conversation about the ideas behind the Holding Time project.
    30/03/2014
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    In Conversation, Fabrica Gallery, 2018
    During the Making Space Residency at Fabrica Gallery in 2018, Lisa Creagh and Christiane Monarchi held a conversation about the ideas behind the Holding Time project.
  • During the Holding Time exhibition at ONCA Gallery in 2018, Lisa Creagh and Parlour CoFounder Lucilla held a conversation about the ideas behind the Parlour and Holding Time
    30/03/2014
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    In Conversation, ONCA Gallery, 2018
    During the Holding Time exhibition at ONCA Gallery in 2018, Lisa Creagh and Parlour CoFounder Lucilla held a conversation about the ideas behind the Parlour and Holding Time
  • 24/04/2016
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    Holding Time at Royal Brompton Hospital, April 2018
    Holding Time is a multi-screen installation featuring animation, stills and video. Using material created over the past three years of breastfeeding mothers.
  • Holding Time is a multi-screen installation featuring animation, stills and video. Using material created over the past three years of breastfeeding mothers, this one day installation will test a working method of showing stop motion portraits alongside an abstract 'time map' based on Cosmateque designs.
    24/04/2016
    Comments (0)
    Making Space at Fabrica Gallery, January 2018
    Holding Time is a multi-screen installation featuring animation, stills and video. Using material created over the past three years of breastfeeding mothers, this one day installation will test a working method of showing stop motion portraits alongside an abstract 'time map' based on Cosmateque designs.
  • Essentially I see myself as a  feminist practitioner. I'm trying  to answer the question 'where  is women's experience in art?'  Art has always been funded for  public spaces, and breastfeeding  and childbirth are very private,  intimate acts and therefore we  don't see them because they're  behind closed doors...
    19/02/2018
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    VIVA Brighton, February 2018
    Essentially I see myself as a feminist practitioner. I'm trying to answer the question 'where is women's experience in art?' Art has always been funded for public spaces, and breastfeeding and childbirth are very private, intimate acts and therefore we don't see them because they're behind closed doors...
  • This month Lisa Creagh will present her newest project ‘Holding Time’ at Fabrica, Brighton, as a multi-screen installation featuring animation, stills and video. Using material created over the past three years of breastfeeding mothers, this installation will test a working method of showing stop motion portraits alongside an abstract ‘time map’ based on Cosmatesque designs.
    19/02/2018
    Comments (0)
    PhotoMonitor, January 2018
    This month Lisa Creagh will present her newest project ‘Holding Time’ at Fabrica, Brighton, as a multi-screen installation featuring animation, stills and video. Using material created over the past three years of breastfeeding mothers, this installation will test a working method of showing stop motion portraits alongside an abstract ‘time map’ based on Cosmatesque designs.
  • Photography, Motherhood and Time in Lisa Creagh's Holding Time. Urging a new conception of time as experienced by breastfeeding mothers, Creagh's work goes on show at Fabrica on 18 January, then moves to ONCA Gallery and Royal Brompton Hospital, London
    19/02/2018
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    British Journal of Photography, January 2018
    Photography, Motherhood and Time in Lisa Creagh's Holding Time. Urging a new conception of time as experienced by breastfeeding mothers, Creagh's work goes on show at Fabrica on 18 January, then moves to ONCA Gallery and Royal Brompton Hospital, London
  • With the launch of Holding Time in September 2017, podcasts will regularly appear on the Parlour site, along with portraits of breastfeeding mothers, written interviews and a blog. The Parlour is an experimental collaboration designed to permanently break the cultural stigma surrounding breastfeeding. Growing out of ideas formed in the inception of my photography project,  Holding Time, it is a space for women to comfortably discuss breastfeeding. By combining a broad program of documentation and discussion through web streamed talks, social media and a body of shared images it is a political intervention, both real and virtual.
    29/06/2015
    Comments (0)
    The Parlour
    With the launch of Holding Time in September 2017, podcasts will regularly appear on the Parlour site, along with portraits of breastfeeding mothers, written interviews and a blog. The Parlour is an experimental collaboration designed to permanently break the cultural stigma surrounding breastfeeding. Growing out of ideas formed in the inception of my photography project, Holding Time, it is a space for women to comfortably discuss breastfeeding. By combining a broad program of documentation and discussion through web streamed talks, social media and a body of shared images it is a political intervention, both real and virtual.
  • A survey of writing on the subject of Photography and Time
    29/03/2013
    Comments (0)
    Drawing Time: Notes on Time and Photography
    A survey of writing on the subject of Photography and Time
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© Lisa Creagh 2018