My maternal experience is central to my practice, in particular the complex and multi-faceted mother/child relationship. Inspired by my evolving relationship with my son, my work is partly autobiographical, whilst at the same time reflecting on common experience.

I am interested in the details and familiarity of everyday events and I focus on unremarkable, personal experiences to articulate both the extraordinary and the momentous. I incorporate collaborative and participatory elements into my art; collecting, gathering and sourcing data from life, others and the world around me.

My fascination with the idealised depiction of motherhood in art, and especially the value-laden concept of ‘the good mother’ was the primary inspiration for my ongoing project, ‘tell me about your mother…’. Underpinned with a theoretical basis – the title is taken from Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis – the project is nurtured by an on-going dialogue between artist and contributors.

Whilst my early work focused mainly on my own relationship with my son, ‘tell me about your mother…takes a less introspective direction, and explores the mother’s position from the perspective of the child.

Using an interactive art installation, collected stories about mothers and maternal relationships have formed the basis of subsequent projects, including my most recent work, ‘Mother Bowls’.

Tracey Kershaw was born in Wales; she currently lives in Nottingham, and works from her studio at Backlit. Tracey graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2011 with a first class BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

She is currently one of six artists selected by East Midlands Contemporary Visual Arts Network to take part in a two year project called DOCUMENT, which tracks and presents the everyday life of an artist.

Kershaw’s long-term project, ‘tell me about your mother…’ has gained national recognition, and in 2015 she was awarded the a-n Re:view Bursary to further develop this work and her practice in general.

Kershaw has exhibited widely, including a solo show ‘tell me about your mother…’ at Bromley House Library, Nottingham; ‘Modern Madonnas’ at St George’s Arts, Surrey; and ‘The Egg, The Womb, The Head and The Moon’ at Artsmill Gallery, Hebden Bridge, a project initiated by Helen Sargeant. Her paper, ’50 things my son doesn’t need me for’ was published in Studies in the Maternal, an international, peer-reviewed, online journal (Autumn 2016).

In 2016, Kershaw both exhibited in, and co-curated, an exhibition and series of accompanying participatory events, Artist as Mother as Artist, exploring the inseparable relationship between being an artist and a mother. She has just completed an AA2A artist’s residency at Derby University, where she further developed her work, creating a series of sculptural works incorporating text from a selection of the ‘tell me about your mother…’ stories.

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