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.
Holding Time is my most ambitious work to date, combining moving image,
animation, still photography, still life and portraiture. Combining
designs from Cosmatesque floors found in Byzantium Roman
churches, I hope to create Time Maps for each mother that describe in
geometry, the cyclical nature of a specific period of duration. Mothers
are filmed and photographed along with their child. The still images
will be animated and combined with still life photography of cast poured
With the cooperation of
breastfeeding mothers, studio technicians at City College Brighton and Hove, my glass making collaborator Mike Barrett
and sociologist Lucila Newell, this project is a large collaboration.
This work aims to challenge the dominance of linear time through the use
of older, pattern-based representations of time and the assertion of
non-action (sitting still) as containing potentially radical agency. The
work seeks to re-contextualise motherhood and breastfeeding in
particular as an active, rather than passive activity, one aligning
mother and child with an older, more universal time system.
The work has an accompanying participatory web project called The
Parlour. The Parlour is a place for discussions around breastfeeding and
will feature images from the project, along with interviews with the
mothers and others. Watch this space for a launch in the early summer.
I will also be posting regular updates on my Facebook page
and twitter account