Mother artist 

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I’m a bit late to the game with the ‘what I did in 2016’. I realise some people find these sorts of posts tedious. Not me. I’m afraid I’m one of those annoying list ticky people and I’m also quite a forgetful person so above all else I need this as a reminder of what I did so I can work out what to do next.

So 2016… I really only had one main goal and that was to find a good balance between my new motherhood situation and returning to my practice. I thought because I had spent nine months out of work that everyone would forget me. I had also read some horror stories about maternity and working rights which I discovered was more commonplace than most. 

Well I was pleasantly surprised that I hadn’t been forgotten about and after firing off some emails to past colleagues found myself working straight away. Here are a few things that I did:

  • Found a new studio sharing with a ceramic artist
  • Pleasantly discovered my new Studio mate was a perfect fit and has been a true inspiration to getting back into my work
  • Reignited my passion for Book Apothecary an artist book museum I set up in 2011 – possibly due to sharing a studio floor with two of the artists
  • Made lots of artist book plans
  • Ran a series of workshops with an artist I mentored just before baby came along 
  • Set up a weekly sewing group
  • Proposed and got a new solo exhibition in Macclesfield
  • Gained an artist residency at A garden in Gateshead working with asylum seekers and refugees
  • Learned how to make Korean Bojagi textiles
  • Received A grant from Arts Council to deliver my solo exhibition and residency
  • Received a grant from arts council to travel to South Korea 
  • Went to South Korea and visited the last silk producing town, delivered workshops and collaborated on new work with Korean and British artists 
  • Met my Korean family after 31 years
  • Cried a lot
  • Ate a lot of Korean food
  • Found a great nursery for my daughter
  • Watched her take her first steps
  • Got ill a lot because my daughter was now going to nursery 
  • Went on a train without her and felt like I’d left something at home 
  • Made some brilliant mum friends who helped me get through all the changes 
  • Took part in my first open studio 
  • Reopened my etsy shop and sold some work
  • Got given a really massive table for my studio 
  • Ran my first workshop from massive table
  • Received a commission from New Writing North for Durham Book Festival

And of course there were a few things that didn’t go to plan like applying for opportunities that I didn’t get or an entire batch of 2000 silk worms dying (argh) and that when you have a baby things change – including friendships. 

Friends who don’t have children stop calling you or asking how you’re doing when actually what you’re doing is going through the biggest moment of your life and that as well as it being amazing it’s bloody tough and that even though you are now plus one, you’re still you and more than ever you need your friends around you. Now I am with baby I have made new friends who I believe will be my life friends and perhaps they have been replacing my older friends. It’s not ideal but right now that’s what I need.

This is fast turning into a post about motherhood – but that’s what I am now. A Mother. An Artist. A mother artist.

Let’s see what 2017 brings…

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