Witnessed by unwitting suburbanites, and documented on a phone camera, Maternity Leaves documents a series of short performative walks within a mile radius of my home, exploring the time and space of motherhood. Drifting around my own locality, my newly myopic attention to the patterns, demographics, and waymarkers I discovered paralleled that which is given to newborns.
These (not quite) solitary walks offered me precious time for reverie, but also to reflect on my choice to become a mother. In addition to the themes of ambivalence and abandonment, these images document a performer interrogating her own performance in this new role, as I dared myself to take a few more steps away from my subject/audience/co-performer than was emotionally comfortable. This exploration of distance was subtly affected by the real and imagined reactions of passers by, and so the titles, detailing the number of steps taken, are a plaintiff acknowledgement of this responsibility. The difference between ‘ahh, look – a mother taking a photo of her baby’ and ‘what the hell is she doing?’ is only a few paces.
Exhibition/Publication of this project includes:
Live Art and Motherhood Studyroom Guide -Live Art Development Agency (2016)
Walking Women – Somerset House, London (2016)
Ways to Wander – Hind, C & Qualmann, C. Triarchy Press (2015)
What Next For Walking? – Falmouth University (2015)
The Walking Encyclopaedia – Stoke on Trent (2013)
The Egg, The Womb, The Head, The Moon Hebdon Bridge (2013)