Holly Stevenson

What does it mean to ‘Mother’?

Through the process of art making, and informed by the collective responses gathered from a group of mothers and artists with materially driven practices, Holly investigates ‘what does it mean to mother?’  

 

 

 A

ABSORBED

ACCEPTING

ADAPTATION

ALLOWING

ANGER

AMBIVALENCE 

ANXIETY

 B

BEGINNING

BEING

BINARY

BOREDOM

BORROW

C

CARE

CARING

CARESSING

CHALLENGE

CRYING

CLOSENESS

COACHING

COLD

COLLAPSE

COMPLICATED

COMPROMISE

CONTAINING

CURLY

CYCLICAL

D

DISTANCE

E

ENDING

EFFERVESCENCE

EXHAUSTION

EMPATHY

EMPATHISING

ENJOYING

F

FASCINATION

FEAR

FEAR

FEEDING

FLOWERS

FREEING

FRETTING

FROM BONE

G

GAINING

GOOD ENOUGH

GROWTH

GUIDE

MOTHERING/ARTWORKING WORDS

 

H

HANDS

HOLDING

PHYSICAL HOLDING AND HOLDING IN MIND

HATE

I

IGNORE

INFURIATE

J

K

KEEPING

KEEPING SAFE

L

LAUGHING

LETTING GO

LIFE- LONG ROLE

LIMITS

LONELINESS 

LOOKING 

LOSING

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

LOVE

LOVING, LOVING

M

MERGING

MISSING

MOULD

N

NEEDING

NURTURE

NURTURING

O

OBSERVATION

OBSERVING

OBSESSING

OBSESSION

OPEN

OWNERSHIP

P

PATIENT

PITY

PLAYING

PRIDE

PRIORITY

PROTECTING

PULLING

PUSHING 

Q

R

REFLECTION

REPLAY

RESPECTING

RELEASE

ROLE MODEL

ROSE

 

S

SEISMIC 

SEPARATENESS AND SYMBIOSIS

SCULPTURE

SELF-SACRIFICE

SIGHING

SITTING (ON HANDS)

SHAME

SHAPE

SHARP

SHARING

SHARING

SHOEING

SIMPLE

SKIN TO SKIN

SMILING

SMOOTH

SMOTHERING

SMOTHER

SOOTHING

SORROW

SPLITTING

SPENDING TIME WITH

SOCIALIZATION

SQUEEZE

STRUGGLE

STUDYING

SUBMERGED

SUBMISSION

SURPRISED BY

SUPPRESSION

SUPPORTING

T

TRUSTING

U

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

UNDERSTANDING

UNKNOWN

V

W

WAKEFUL

WANTING

WARM

WATCHFUL

WATCHING

WEIGHT

WHATTHEFUKKERY

WONDER FOODS

WORRYING

X Y Z

With a profound interest in psychoanalysis, the artist aims to offer interpretations and a view on the different experiences of mothering considering and questioning the idea of the ‘good enough mother’, first coined in 1953 by paediatrician and psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott. 

Resulting in a series of ceramic sculptures, Holly gleans language and forms that relate art making to mothering and mothering to art making, choosing the material of ‘clay’ as meaning for nurturing, labour intensive and unpredictable practices.

Visit the artist website

The Nocturnals’ are a series in which I thought directly about the feedback I was given in the task ‘What Does it Mean to Mother’? I thought about splitting, watching, gazing, superfoods, care and so on. I’ve used a mirror glaze and considered interrelationship between forms as the sort of maneuver around a yellow circle of glaze that loosely represents the moon.

The work is part of the Procreate Project commission 2020 round supported by Arts Council Emergency Response funds.