Announcing the Mothers Who Make Commissions....

Mothers Who Make is delighted to announce our exciting commissioning initiative.

Emerging out of the National Theatre R&D group that Matilda ran last year, 7 London-based artists who are mothers have taken on a micro-commission to make a piece of work.

So without further ado, we are delighted to introduce these 7 artists and their projects. DRUMROLL please……..

The List of Mundanity - a show in the making

By Rachael Spence, actor and theatre maker.

Rachael has become preoccupied with the divvying up of everyday tasks within her home. She wants it to be fair. It isn’t. She has started to make a list of everything that needs to be done. The problem is that the list keeps growing – and growing. Will she ever reach the end of it? Might some algorithms and data analysis help her in her quest for domestic equality? If she turns her list into a show, who will carry out all the tasks at home while she is on stage……?

Unstoppered – a podcast

By Gemma Kerr, theatre maker and director.

Gemma is curious about women’s experiences of ‘leaks’ in their lives, from getting your period at an inopportune moment, having night sweats during the menopause, to lying in puddles of breastmilk and wee. So Gemma is sending out a message in a bottle - through an open invitation, she would like women to write her an anonymous, leaky letter. These stories and confessions will be used to create a podcast to celebrate female ‘leaks’ and help break the taboos about the things that women’s bodies do.

Story Works – a story workshop

By Julia Gwynne, actress, storyteller and writer.

Julia loves stories.  She loves telling them, hearing them and writing them.  She loves the way stories connect us, inspire us, excite us and are part of us.  She loves the way they can help us cope with tricky times and the way they communicate with children (and adults!).  Julia will write a small collection of stories for her son (and anyone else who would like to share them) and will run a series of gentle workshops in a local school that offer a step by step guide for mothers on how to write, create, act or draw a story for their child/ren.  Some images and excerpts from the group’s stories will appear on the MWM website in the autumn.

The Sounds of Motherhood: a graphic score

By Delea Shand, singer, music educator, performer.

Delea has been composing with her children, focusing on the daily practice of mothering and the creativity involved. They haven’t been writing down fixed pitches and durations, as in conventional musical notation, but instead they’ve been making graphic scores, with images, pictures and symbols. This technique is a great way of engaging children and empowering adult ‘non-musicians’ to compose together. Delea will share her approach through a community workshop, on the MWM website, and will perform her finished score in the autumn.

Mother Record Book – a DIY book

By Zoe Gardner, writer and performer.

Why do we only track the baby’s development? What about the mother’s no less momentous change? Born of a desire to mimic, deface and remodel the Baby Record book format, Zoe’s Mother Record Book is an intimate object and a sociable project: a book recording Zoe’s personal experience of motherhood (poems mainly written in the dark while breastfeeding,) with extending/retracting tabs: prompts and invitations for mothers to respond with their own creations. Through workshops at her local community centre and other child-friendly venues, Zoe is making a living installation, piecing and stitching it together while engaging in conversation and mutual support of the process.

Picturing Mother Makers and Making Mothers – a photographic exhibition

By Miriam Nabarro, artist and theatre designer.

Miriam wants to record the often silent, uncelebrated histories of artist mothers and mother artists. She will turn the camera on their creativity, resilience, endless juggling and survival. She will highlight the intergenerational knowledge and wisdom that as yet has had no place to be gathered. This mother artist archive project will involve a series of interviews on creative practice and mothering, alongside photographic portraitures.

This Year Will Turn – a novel

By Matilda Leyser, theatre-maker, writer.

Matllda has been writing a novel for six years. She knows it has been this long because she began it when her son was born, and he is now six and a half. She wants to finish it before he turns seven. It is a novel about motherhood, inspired by the great mythical mother, Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of the harvest, and the story of love and loss that surrounds her and her daughter, Persephone. Alongside finishing the book, Matilda will interview other mother-writers about their experiences and aims to hold a family-friendly writing retreat.

Each of these artworks will act as a resource and participative invitation to other mothers, through workshops, digital engagement and a live sharing at an event in London this autumn.

Mothers Who Make will share news of public workshops, showings, blogs, resources and other ways in which you can get involved over the coming months on Twitter and our national Facebook group. The whole project will be archived on our new website which will launch in autumn 2018.

We want these mirco-commissions to set a precedent for future commissions that will be open to mothers and makers based anywhere within the UK MWM network.