It Takes A Village – Models for Mother Artists



Sharon Louden in an interview with Hyperallergic said ‘it takes a village for an artist to really sustain their creative practice’. This resonates with the perhaps more widely recognised notion that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.

At this symposium we will present, explore and discuss a range of models for sustaining mother-artists and explore how ‘the village’ can facilitate the role of the woman who seeks to sustain both an art career and children.

We hope that non-mothers, and non-artists, will benefit from exploring these models as well as artist-mothers, and we will draw on models from education, culture, and experimental arts practices.

Starting at 10am. 

Introduction by the WAAS

Emily Joy: Disclaimer

Session 1. The Mother House

with Amy Dignam and Dyana Gravina

“If we do celebrate the work of women artists then we are creating a new language and we are getting people closer to this subject..we can reduce issues in society like birth traumas and post natal depression, the shame around breastfeeding in public”

Session 2. Lenka Clayton’s Artist Residency in Motherhood (ARIM):

with Sharon Bennett, Sarah Dixon

Session 3. Models from Education:

Steiner, Emilio Reggio, Montessori, and others: what we can learn from education systems about adults and children working together

Session 4. Who Is The Village?:

Fathers, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Friends, Childcare Professionals and Everyone Else? What are the challenges of being around mothers and children? What works and what can we learn from each other? How can supporting and nurturing mother-artists benefit society as a whole?

Session 5. Art World:

How is the work of artist-mothers represented in galleries, art fairs, on the market, what barriers are there, what could The Art World be doing and how could it change to allow artist-mothers fair representation?

Closing Event ‘Mother’s Day’ (1948)

An experimental silent film by James Broughton (20 minutes) with live music.

Tickets (£12, bursaries available)

Further information and bookings below:

WAAS are still looking for speakers/panellists for some sessions and also we have a call out for artists to work in the creche, either making work about, for or with the children or exploring the theme in some way.