I’ve been working with photography for over 15 years, my practice and way of making ends meet has followed a path that many do in order to maintain creativity and pay the bills. It’s always been a challenge, my creative output has varied and changed over this time, but nothing really prepared me for the impact of becoming a parent. Not being able to follow through a line of enquiry, not having the luxury of time or the energy when I do have the time to create anything that pleases me except perhaps a knitted scarf.
A fellow photographer and friend introduced me to the idea of an ‘Artist Residency in Motherhood’ created by Lenka Clayton, who before having kids, had worked as an interdisciplinary artist for over 15 years.
I’d often attended artist residencies and I was inspired by the unfamiliarity of each new environment and used this as material to make my work with. When I became a parent traveling became tricky, money and time were tight, and the residencies I found couldn’t accommodate artists with families. I wondered how I might instead apply the framework of an artist residency to the wild new world that was unfolding at home, one that I usually felt entirely too tired to notice. I imagined what the perfect residency at this time of my life would look like. It would have time and space to work, peers, mentors, accountability and exposure and would require no traveling.
And so, taking inspiration from Lenka I am going to start my own ‘Artist Residency in Parenthood’ from the end of this month. I shy away from using ‘Motherhood’ as I feel it implies incorrectly that I do all the childcare and I don’t, I am part of a team, an often very tired one, he does not get time to pursue his creativity either…
To hold myself to account I’m going to keep track of my progress via this page, click/open out in your browser and scroll down to view.
Her manifesto has inspired me… I’ll try and write one of my own soon: