The Maternal in Creative Work examines the interrelation between art, creativity and maternal experience, inviting international artists, theorists and cultural workers to discuss their approaches to the central feminist question of the relation between maternity, generation and creativity.

This edited collection explores various modes and forms of art practice which look at mothers as subjects and as artists of the maternal experience, and how the creative practice is used to accept, negotiate, resist or challenge traditional conceptions of mothering. The book brings together some of the major projects of maternal art from the last two decades and opens up new ways of conceptualizing motherhood as a creative and communicative practice. Chapters include intergenerational discussion of art practices in the 20th and 21st centuries, representations of breastfeeding and infertility in creative projects, the notion of the ‘unfit mother’ and childlessness, together with the experiences of women and men that take on maternal identities through many forms of kinship and social mothering.

The Maternal in Creative Work will be essential reading for interdisciplinary students and scholars in cultural studies, gender studies and art theory and will have wider appeal to audiences interested in maternity, childcare, creativity and psychoanalysis.



chapter 1|9 pages

Maternal art practice

An emerging field of artistic enquiry into motherhood, care and time
Edited ByElena Marchevska

part I|69 pages

Intergenerational maternal discussions

chapter 2|13 pages

Feminist intergenerational inheritance

A conversation
ByNatalie Loveless, Mary Kelly

chapter 3|10 pages

Maternal Metaphors I and II

A labour of motherlove *
ByMyrel Chernick, Jennie Klein

chapter 4|13 pages

A cord that is never done away with

An aesthetic ontology of the pre-birth scene with Francesca Woodman and Bracha L. Ettinger
ByTina Kinsella

chapter 5|10 pages

Prisms of mourning

Gender, justice and hope: Carrie Mae Weems’s Colored People, 1989–1990 * 1
ByAndrea Liss

chapter 6|13 pages

The Mothernists

ByDeirdre M. Donoghue, Lise Haller Baggesen

chapter 7|8 pages

A.M.M.A.A. – The Archive for Mapping Mother Artists in Asia

ByRuchika Wason Singh

part II|69 pages

Encountering the maternal in artistic practice

chapter 8|14 pages

Blueprint for a ghost

ByEleanor Bowen, Laura González

chapter 9|14 pages

Maternal time travel

Epistolary praxis as intergenerational care work
ByRachel Epp Buller

chapter 10|10 pages

A mother’s work

A mother/daughter, seamstress/fibre artist’s merging practice and politics
ByAram Han Sifuentes, Younghye Han

chapter 11|9 pages

The mother artist in the age of performance reproduction

ByElizabeth Philps

chapter 12|8 pages

Returning to ourselves

Medea/Mothers’ Clothes and Patience one decade on
ByLena Šimić, Emily Underwood-Lee

chapter 13|12 pages

Unravelling family fictions

Stories We Tell, Daughter Rite and My Life Without Me
ByLizzie Thynne

part III|59 pages

Maternal future

chapter 14|10 pages

One for Sorrow

The collaborative work of mother and not-yet-mother
ByAlison O’Neill, Jo Paul

chapter 15|11 pages

Identity through injury

Contemporary adoption and the unfit working class mother
BySally Sales

chapter 16|10 pages

The motherhood imperative

Fertility, feminism, art
ByMiriam Schaer

chapter 18|17 pages

Becoming ordinary

Making homosexuality more palatable on TV
ByLulu Le Vay