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'Mother' as Love

Updated: Feb 25

Today I went along to a creative community I have recently become a part of. For many years, I made art in isolation. For some reason, it seemed impossible to connect with other people in person about my work; sharing online seemed safer, more contained, controlled and curated. As I venture into this new arena, I can see the reasons why that had to be the case. Sharing and talking about the things we are making and thinking can be uncomfortable and downright embarrassing. It feels a big risk.

Today however, I learned the power of having a group discuss my work. It was so interesting to hear the ways people connected to it (or didn't) and the ways they made sense of it from their own context. There was an energy in the discussion that made me want to respond to the work in new ways that would not have existed without that conversation. There were connections between all of the work and ideas discussed that breathed new life into them all in a mysterious and exciting way.

Key to this for me is a (new found) openness to whatever might be said, and curiosity about my response to their response as much as anything I might learn about the work itself. There was a wealth of information in this too; the way the body contracted at the perception of criticism or indifference and the way the ego puffed up when praised. So useful to see.


Both mine and another piece of work discussed had a strong theme of motherhood, thoughts of which have stayed with me all day. There was something about the experience itself that was 'mothering' in a way. 'Mothering' in the strongest sense where there is room for criticism, doubt and anything else that may arise with a softness to it that supports. Whilst there was tribute to an 'actual' mother in the work, the archetypal 'mother' that holds us all is of course beyond this human construct. For me, like many people, my sense of this 'mothering' is not constant, and much of life is experienced as risk and threat. Somehow though, these ventures into creative collaboration are helping with that. I recommend.

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