Motherhood and Live Art

Full Term small

‘Motherhood and Live Art’ gathering took place on Friday 29 January 2016 from 6pm to 9pm at the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home in Liverpool as a part of the Study Room in Exile series of events in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency. This event gathered an invited group of live art and performance practitioners who are working with/around the maternal in their arts practice. All invited participants were asked to briefly introduce their ‘maternal performance practice’ and reflect on their aesthetics, including their processes and methodologies.

The event was chaired by Lena Simic and Emily Underwood-Lee.

Our mother/artist participants were:

Clare Qualmann
Chloé Déchery (in absentia)
Deej Fabyc
Emily Orley
Grace Surman
Helena Walsh
Helen Sargeant
Jennifer Verson
Katja Hilevaara
Lizzie Philps
Mary Paterson (in absentia)
Miffy Ryan
Sarah Black
Tracy Evans
Zoë Gingell

Discussion revolved around these questions:
* Can we talk about ‘maternal performance aesthetics’? Is it useful? Are there any recurrent patterns in ‘maternal performance aesthetics’?
* What is specific about motherhood being ‘represented’ through live art/performance? What are recurrent themes in such re-presentations/re-enactments/re-figurations? How do the lived and the staged collide?
* What are the politics of ‘maternal performance making’, the politics of making work whilst at the same time looking after the children?
* What are the maternal artists’ processes and methodologies? Are there any networks of support, specifically aimed at mother/artists working in the medium of live art/contemporary performance?

Motherhood and Live Art documentation write-up compiled by Lena Simic and Emily Underwood-Lee is available here:

The Institute had £450 towards traveling expenses and refreshments for Motherhood and Live Art event and this was distributed among everyone who attended and needed it.

In collaboration with Live Art Development Agency, Emily and Lena produced Live Art and Motherhood: Study Room Guide on Live Art and the Maternal.