Maternity Leaves

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.

You can read more about this project here:

Philps, E (2017) In: Study Room Guide to walking women, London, Live Art Development Agency (contributing artist).  Https://

Philps, E (2016) In: Study Room Guide to Live Art and motherhood, London, Live Art Development Agency (contributing artist).

Philps, E (2015) In: Ways to wander, Qualmann, C, and Hind, C., Triarchy Press, Devon, September 2015 (contributing artist).

And in writing by other artists here:


 Nine pacesDSC00621Forty-one paces and a gate
DSC00733Twenty five paces4. Eighteen paces (traffic dependent).Eighteen paces (traffic dependent)