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Fingers on plates - Lesli Robertson


The Mother Load: Dundee

29th February 2016 – 15th April 2016

The Mother Load is a global network of women who have connected through the simple act of passing a name from one person to another, creating an elaborate community of women who are both artists and mothers. The project was founded in 2012 by Texas based artists Lesli Robertson and Natalie Macellaio in an effort to encourage dialogue and connection between women who balance artistic careers and motherhood, recording these connections and finding ways to share, collaborate and support each other in life and in work.

For artists who are carers, and carers who are artists, belonging to a community is often an essential foundation that enables us to develop and maintain both the creative-self and the nurturer-self.  In the broadest sense these caregivers are the ones who nurture the vulnerable members of our society, but who nurtures the nurturers?

Through a series of workshops, performance, screenings and a public exhibition this project seeks to understand how networked communities can be built that are dynamic enough to support personal and public personas, compassionate enough to empathise and encourage, yet challenging enough to stimulate and invigorate.

Within this group show we share artworks that explore these social structures, works which were enabled through community and connection and work which celebrates the individuals and communities that are the very fabric.
The Mother Load: Dundee is a collaborative project which brings together local and international artists and mothers, academics, research scientists, and young people to share experiences, participate in critical discussion and making.

Events Programme

Symposium: 'The Creative Practice & Motherhood: A Global Perspective'
Thursday 18th February, 5.30pm for refreshments. 6pm start (approx end time 7.30pm)

As a part of The Mother Load: Dundee, we are hosting a symposium to bring together artists and ideas around the topic of motherhood and the creative practice. This will be an opportunity to gain further insight in to the creative practice of the exhibiting artists and to discuss the mechanisms that support the balancing act between artistic careers and motherhood. It will also be an opportunity for the audience to share their experience (both their creative practice and how this intertwines with their roles as carers), discussing the challenges, ways of working and supporting. To broaden the conversation, we are also inviting international mothers/artists to join in via video link.
The Mother Load:Dundee artists are participating and we are pleased to also be welcoming Shira Richter (Multi-disciplinary artist, from Israel) and Rachel Power (Author of Motherhood and Creativity: The Divided Heart, from Australia) via video link as well as an online audience from across the globe!
Children are welcome!

The event is free but please book your place:
E: exhibitions@abertay.ac.uk
T: 01382 308324

Performative Workshop
Sunday 28th February 12pm - 3pm

Artist Marina Shterenberg is inviting female participants with long locks to be part of the ‘Hairbonds’ workshop where hair will be braided together, connecting participants through physical bond and through the conversations about identity and relationships. The connected poses will be photographed to become part of a growing series of artworks called Hairbonds.

Short Film & Talk
Tuesday 8th March, 6.30pm
Part of Women in Science Festival

Film: Pram in the Hall – a BBC Documentary as part of Artsnight
Can children be a great spur to creativity? Or can children, with their all-consuming demands, inhibit an artistic life? The programme looks at the life and work of Barbara Hepworth, who juggled bringing up four children with her artistic career and Lionel Shriver delivers an essay on the joys of childlessness.
Runtime: 30 minutes

Talk: 'Mothers: Forever caught in cultural crossfire' By Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk
It seems that women are forever caught in the crossfire of cultural expectations. The anguish that many women feel, in trying to weave a path between that narrative and her own personal needs, frequently remains hidden and private. If we could make that anguish more public, would it help women — or would it just make our society today feel even more troubled? Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk will explore these issues, asking whether the science of attachment might be able to help in resolving women's anguish.

Oral HistoryWorkshop
Monday 14th March & Saturday 19th March, times TBA

Stories and Sounds from Everyday Parenthood with Zoe Irvine.
In the session we will gather and share experiences of parenthood through conversation, recording and composing. Parents and carers of young children will be invited to share their stories both on and off record. Spanning the good and the bad the workshop is a spoken celebration of the intense journey of caring for babies and toddlers and living our own lives, in a non-judgmental setting. There will be hands on opportunities to record each other.

Parent / Child Collaborative Art Activity Workshop
Saturday 2nd April 10am - 12.30pm

The parent/child collaborative art workshop will be a half-day workshop, taking place in the Hannah Maclure Centre, creating a space for parents to make collaborative artworks with their child/children. No previous art making experience required.

Film Screening
Wednesday 13th April 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Lost in Living - a documentary film by Mary Trunk
Filmed over seven years, Lost In Living, confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.
Runtime: 110 minutes

Call for participants.
Anytime throughout exhibition.

Artist Simone O’Callaghan is inviting anyone who is caregiver to contribute to her gallery Installation via Instagram. The work, Sleep while the Baby Sleeps is about those snatched moments of time when parents and carers try to balance the demands of parenthood with professional, social, cultural and emotional expectations that are placed on them. To get involved upload an image of your child sleeping with a sentence starting: “While you were sleeping I was….” and fill in what you were doing at the time. To be shown in the gallery as part of the artwork, please use #tmldundeesleep