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Story of Mum: Moms Making an Exhibition of Ourselves

We've found the perfect home for our inspirational exhibition tour this December in New York’s The Museum of Motherhood, a unique education and exhibition centre dedicated to the exploration of family. In New York. Did we mention we're going to NEW YORK!!?

Story of Mum's exhibition comes to New York's Museum of Motherhood

In case you don't know already... Story of Mum is a community of creative mamas celebrating the ups and downs of motherhood and sharing our stories here at www.storyofmum.com. Our tour, Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves, visits New York from Thursday 5 December to Sunday 8 December, with M.O.M. hosting an exciting programme of participatory events. 

What's happening when?

Mama Mash-Up by Suzi Banks BaumOn Thursday from 5pm to 7pm, visionary FeMail artist Suzi Banks Baum joins Story of Mum to present an evening of Femail Mama Mash-Up art-making alongside readings from writers Cheryl Paley, Joanne Tombrakos and Lori Landau from Suzi’s powerful book: An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice.

Led by some truly inspiring mothers, this hands-on workshop launches the exhibition and offers a unique chance to get creative (even if you think you’re not), exploring our identity within a global community of mothers.

On Sunday from 1pm to 3pm, Story of Mum joins the Museum of Motherhood’s Family Day for a pop-up Family Make Date. Bring your kids to play and add your own voice to the exhibition...

What's this exhibition thing?

Pat Kelman's photographs of the Story of Mum Make Date at the Photographers' Gallery, LondonStory of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves draws on participatory creative activities to investigate identity:

25 short films from a diverse group of mothers describe the everyday joys and heart-breaking challenges of motherhood, each film connecting the next to a greater mothering narrative.

At each event, a wall of Mama Mash-Up collages are created by mothers to capture different aspects of our identities, inspired by the work of artist-mother Suzi Banks Baum.

The exhibition’s ever-growing communal mum poem has been guest curated by UK poets Hollie McNish, Sally Crabtree and Caroline Davies on the tour so far. Mothers also complete the sentence “I’m a mum and a…” for photographed portraits, including many collected by M.O.M. this year. Multi-taskers and dreamers, entrepreneurs and cleaners, taxi drivers and secret singers. What else are you?

Pat Kelman's photographs of Story of Mum Make Date at The Photographers' GalleryCreativity can connect us deeply to who we are and what we want. And sharing our stories reminds us that all mothers are different, the same, and amazing. 

Visitors to Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves have described the experience as stimulating, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautiful. They felt proud, humbled, exhilarated, joyful, inspired and honoured, their opinion of motherhood changed: ‘I have a new respect and awe for my own mum and mums everywhere’; ‘I’d disconnected with how I felt about motherhood. This event and project reconnected me’.

Join www.storyofmum.com’s community of creative mamas in New York to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood, share your own story, and make an exhibition of yourself on and offline.

If you know any mothers in New York, please let them know we're coming and we'd love to see them there! 


Image credits: Suzi Banks Baum, Pat Kelman

Creative Business-Mamas: Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies

We're starting a new guest post series: Creative Business-Mamas! Our first mama at the front-line of managing a creative business while mothering is the lovely Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies.

What's it like to be wired and inspired at 3am, set up a business from scratch, and manage the feelings that you're not giving enough time to either your business or your kids...?

Creative Business Mamas: Marie Hall of Bloom Remedies

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words? 

Calm.  Pooped.  Inspired.

What's your creative business, and when, why and how did you start it?

My business is alchemy, aromatherapy, tinkering with formulations and creating lovely skincare and bodycare products by hand in a little workshop in beautiful and inspiring West Cornwall.

There wasn't a black and white 'start' moment for the business really, I've loved essential oils for years, pre-kids and relationships even.  

Then after relationships got settled and kids appeared I really got back into them, so took a 2 year part time diploma in essential oil science with Neals Yard Remedies and starting making bespoke balms and blends for private clients.  

They all enthused, and I started to realise that actually making the products appealed to me more than the personal 'therapy/massage' side of my trade so the seed of an idea began to form.  

I set up the company 'properly' shortly after we moved to Cornwall (2 and half years ago) and got the products safety assessed and registered and ticked all the crazy EU paperwork boxes - which all sounds very simple, but in actual fact took forever to get sorted - from sourcing wholesale ingredient providers, to researching bottle companies.  

It all took a lot of time and effort!  In fact it took over a year to sort out, and the company started trading as Bloom Remedies to the public just over a year ago.

Bloom Remedies

What are the best and worst things about being a mother running a creative business?

The absolute worst thing - and something that I'm struggling with a lot lately - is the classic female trait to want it all to be 'perfect' and then struggling with the guilt that comes with the absolute truth - that it never can be!  

I'm always feeling like I'm not giving enough to the kids as I'm flitting between them and the laptop, or that I'm not giving enough to the business as I'm fielding calls while grabbing their swim gear. Sometimes it really sucks and gets me down.  The wake up call this week for me has been accepting that this has to change - so I'm going to work it out in the form of a tighter schedule.  

A bit of a yawn... and not my usual way of working but I am going to HAVE to write down ME time, THEM time (ie kids) US time (ie hubbie) and WORK time on the calender and absolutely stick to it in order to keep my sanity.  Fingers crossed its going to work!

Bloom Remedies bath time

What is the biggest challenge that you've faced and overcome as a creative working mama?

Confidence!  I had such low levels when this started but I've met so many amazing people in the last year, and doing this has helped boost me, my identity and my strength. Whilst simultaneously zapping it with a cattle prod from time to time of course ;) 

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

If you love what you do, believe in it, are passionate about it, and have a bit of support behind you then you can do it!  

Don't think you have to be a martyr and do it all alone, or think that no-one is interested.  There's always someone out there willing to lend a hand if you LET them. 

What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

Calendula and Camomile Baby Eczema Balm, Bloom Remedies

I'm getting all my research underway for the next set of awards I can enter as we have just won in the finalist category for the Beauty Shortlist Best Baby Balm 2013 award, with our Calendula & Chamomile Eczema balm.

I never thought we'd win as we were up against big national companies, but we did!  

So I'm now feeling inspired to go for it and enter some of the big awards that are coming up next Spring.

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy,
what would you wish for?

I always get my 'wired and inspired' head on in the middle of the night.  Thankfully this doesn't happen too regularly (well once a week *sigh*) but it means that I'm up googling and typing at 3am.  

If the fairy could get me in that wired and inspired state at 1pm, before the kids need picking up, instead of 3am when I really should be tucked up in bed - well, I'd really appreciate it!

 

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?
If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

From caring comes courage

Us mothers are a courageous bunch. Our last #somum Make Date had us sharing the stories of our bravest moments, and sharing the fears we'd most like to overcome.

"From caring comes courage" Lao Tzu

Our children inspire us to be brave. As mothers, we're less afraid of what other people think of us. Less afraid of making mistakes. We're less afraid of never finding love and wearing red lipstick, of gaining weight. 

Yes, we're still afraid of social situations, of flying, of rats, spiders and the dark. We're afraid of passing on our fears to our children. Of losing ourselves in motherhood. Most of all, we're afraid of losing those we love.

But everyday we get up. We care and that gives us courage. Getting out of the house, answering back instead of people-pleasing, and saying no even though we're scared of letting people down.

Looking life's big challenges in the face - moving to another country, leaving a marriage, resigning from a job to start a business, speaking up about a sexual assault, admitting to having PND, ending a much-wanted pregnancy, making a commitment to art and creativity, and sometimes, just getting through the year. We are brave.

We made Encouragement Cards to remind other mothers of how brave they are too, and shared them here. We would love you to make one too.

And if you need one, just let me know and I'll send you one. With love.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says 'I'll try again tomorrow'" Mary Ann Radmacher (via lovely @thisiswiss)

I'm off to New York at the start of December to share our exhibition at the Museum of Motherhood, so I'm going to need all the courage I can get. NEW YORK?! If you know anyone there, send them our way and we can be brave together.

You can read a storify of some of the Make Date highlights below.

Win Freya Laughton cut-out-and-make advent calendars

Freya Laughton nativity advent calendarLovely Freya Laughton has given us two stonking pairs of her gorgeous advent calendars to give away to YOU.

They are ADORABLE and she always sells out fast, so don't miss out on a wonderful alternative to kiddies' Christmas chocolate melt-downs.

freya laughton advent calendar

 Hello freya... how are you feeling right now?

Fulloftoomanybiscuits (is that one word?) knackered also, overwhelmed (big to-do-list, not to-done...).

tell us about your creative business - what's your story ?

Freya Laughton calendar sketches

Both my parents have been self-employed for most of my life, so I thought it was normal.

I've always loved to draw and make things, they really encouraged me, and didn't seem to mind that I couldn't spell or understand numbers. I obviously wasn't going to be a hot shot lawyer or doctor!

I suppose I officially became self employed in 2005, but it has felt like a natural path that I started on fairly young.

When I finished an art course at Penwith College, I went to an art centre in America for a few months to work with some artists out there.

I came back and got a part time job with Poppy Treffry, who I still work part-time for now, almost 10 years on - she's a fantastic boss and it's a great company to work for.

With the rest of the week, I've been building up my own business, which started out as very textile-based. I made bags and other accessories, childrens and adults' aprons and cushions...

But in the last couple of years, I've stopped making as much with fabric and started to do more illustration work. 

freya laughton sketches

I illustrated a little Pocket Cornwall book, Cornish Feasts and Festivals, written by Liz Woods, an excellent food blogger, published by Alison Hodge (who also happens to be my mum).

I really enjoyed the illustration process, finding out about what I needed to draw and coming up with characters to tell the story.

I still love textiles, and spend a lot of evenings in my studio making things with my huge collection of fabrics, so I don't think I'll ever abandon the sewing machines.

What's the best bit of your working day?

I love doing rough sketches for something, especially people, they're totally anatomically incorrect. I think I probably pull funny expressions when I do the faces, but I like to scribble. I also like biscuits.

freya laughton nativity advent calendar

Why a cut-out-and-make advent calendar?

When I was little my aunt sent us each (I have an older brother) a traditional advent calendar. It was one of those cardboard ones with doors to open every day.

I loved uncovering a picture. Sometimes it would take ages to find the door, but that was what I liked, having a little activity.

I don't know when chocolate advent calendars really took off, but I know we stopped getting the cardboard ones. 

Freya Laughton advent calendar cottage

I watched children I knew with several chocolate calendars on the shelf - some would be empty a few days into December because the chocolate proved too tempting to wait for. Surely that was missing the whole point!

So I wanted to do something that was all about the activity, and pictures - not just cheap chocolate.

The first calendar I did last year was based on houses round the world. I wanted it to be fun and interesting. There is a different house for every day, with a little bit to read about the building and where you might find one. People live in some amazing structures. I really enjoyed doing the research.

freya laughton shepherd nativity advent calendar

There are islands in Peru that are entirely man-made out of the reeds that naturally grow in the lakes! The islands, houses and boats are all made from these reeds. I didn't know anything about them before last year. (Now everyone knows about them because Stephen Fry mentioned it on QI a few weeks ago...)

People seemed to like the concept of the Where We Live advent calendar, but there was also demand for something more traditional. 

So this year I started earlier, and did the Nativity calendar, which I liked drawing because it's people and animals, so I got to pull a lot of different expressions!

I hope the chocolate won't be missed, but everyone gets plenty on Christmas day anyway. And with one of these calendars they'll have a little model nativity, or world village to enjoy playing with too.

I’m already starting to think what topic I can do next year...

Freya Laughton Where We Live advent calendar

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Come encourage another mama on twitter

Come join us for our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 13 November from 8.30-10pm UK time (find world times here).

This month we're all about sending a little courage to another mama who needs it.

Join us on twitter to make them together and talk about what gives us courage as mothers - how can we support each other? Find out more about what we'll be making and how at Encourage a Mama

I've made a simple template for an Encouragement Card that you can make and send. Send it to yourself, send it to a friend, send it to someone whose courage you see when they may not. 

Sam Osborne notebook and gift cards - make your own encouragement card to enter to win

Not only will you make another mama (or yourself) feel good, you might even win some fabulous prizes...

Lovely Sam Osborne is offering two lucky winners a gorgeous gift-pack of cards and a notebook (like these gorgeous ones here). 

To have a chance to win one of these lovely packs, just upload your encouragement card to our gallery some time this month - we'll draw the winners at the end of November.

Sam is a fantastic designer who makes beautiful useful things. Right now, the wall planners in her etsy shop are going like hot cakes...

Secondly, the wonderful Teika of Mothers' Milk Books is also giving away some goodies from her shop, The Mother's Milk Bookshop, which is chock-full of mothering beauty, in the form of books, cards, art and poetry prints. 

Greetings Cards from Mothers Milk Books - join Story of Mum #somum Make Date to winYou can enter to win a pack of 10 beautiful Mothers' Milk cards simply by joining our #somum Make Date on Weds 13 November and adding #somum to your tweets (choose either those on the left, or another pack which is equally gorgeous). 

PLUS you'll win a free entry to the Mothers' Milk writing competition (how's that for inspiration to get a little bit braver!)

Teika also published the inspiring anthology of art and words from mothers, Musings on Mothering. Do take a look if you haven't already...

We'll choose a winner randomly at the end of the Make Date from everyone tweeting using the #somum hashtag.

Then add a photo of your card to the online gallery here and you'll be entered to win the goodies from Sam at the end of the month too...

What is a #somum Make Date?

If you haven't joined us before, you might be wondering what on earth we mean by a Make Date on twitter.

Well, it's a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodlingtaking a photowriting poetrymaking stuff or even squidging plasticine.

We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums. We do it every second Wednesday of the month and we would love you to join us. New friends are always very welcome.

You don't have to be a clever crafter, an artist or wordsmith. We're all about having a go regardless of talent or experience. Most of all, it's about getting together and having fun.

If you just want to chat, that's completely fine. If you just want to make something and lurk and never tell us you're there, that's fine too. We're just happy you're making time for you. 

Be brave and join us to spread some courage! 

How to feel alive, Mama!

Just when I thought our exhibition tour couldn’t get any more amazing, there we all were in London’s Photographers’ Gallery with Hollie McNish reciting her take on our communal Mums’ Poem to an emotional room of wonderful women (and a few wonderful men),

Penny Best, Pippa Best, Story of Mum www.storyofmum.com, Photographers Gallery

And in that moment, I felt truly alive.

I was filled with joy alongside my tears. I felt my body tingle and my eyes shine. I was so proud to be celebrating mothers together with my friends from my youth, friends from twitter, with new friends and strangers. With my own mother.

Where did this huge sense of vitality spring from?

Partly from reminders of loss - of friends, of our grown children, of moments that became memories.

But we also gained bubbles of life from these four wonderful precious things:

From community in celebration. From mothers together, joyfully painfully and in awe, receiving the rare credit we deserve.

From creativity. From seeing an idea, inspired by a special friend, take such beautiful flight. Seeing mums creating side by side.

From authenticity. From being completely engaged in something I deeply believe in. From a room full of honest sharing, the good and the bad, the tears and the laughter. From the mothers standing up for what we believe.

From mothers. Creators of life, holders of joy, givers of love.

Pat’s wonderful photos beautifully capture the event. 

Story of Mum: happy mums at the photographers gallery Make Date

With a glass of wine (or juice) in one hand, and cake in the other, we all somehow managed to make Mama Mash-Ups and edible poetry (care of lovely Sally Crabtree), had our portraits taken by the talented Pat Kelman, and added words to the washing line. I seem to remember eating any cake really fast so I had a free hand for all of this…

Story of Mum: mums making at our Make Date at The Photographers Gallery

The stories shared are all now online. Take a moment out of your day to watch one, or two, or the whole lot! And be reminded of the incredible strength and love of mothers.

Amy shares the challenges of mothering a young child while trying to hold down a job and pursue her dream of writing.

As a public person, Shelina explores how she protects her precious mothering space while simultaneously finding a strong voice and demonstrating the value of public activism to her daughter.

Lorna tells her journey from infertility to premature twins and a third daughter – through the bad news, the celebrations, the incredible support, and the joy in those everyday family moments.

Sue Atkins, Emma Murphy of FACSA, Shelina Janmohamed, Hollie McNish, Lorna Hauff, Amy Beeson sharing their stories for our Story of Mum Make Date at The Photographers Gallery

Emma describes her transformation from self-conscious woman to brave campaigning mother, who now works to raise awareness of FACS (a condition that has affected all of her five children in different ways), facing daily challenges but voicing hope too.

Sue shares her feelings of grief at an empty nest – her daughter has just left for university, her son is already there, and she is currently going through a divorce. She reflects on the joys of bringing up her children, and wonders how she will survive the shift to living their lives second-hand.

You can read Sue’s lovely post on what happened after the Make Date here – the power of the universe bringing you what you need, just as you need it.

Finally, watch this! For here is the fabulous Hollie McNish ‘curating’ the mum poem. I loves her. She’ll be releasing new material very soon, so keep a keen eye on her website.

Story of Mum at The Photographers Gallery: Dina of Kensington Mums, Angela and her mother, Pippa Best, Gretta Schifano

Thank you to all at the gallery, to the five brilliant mums who shared their stories, to the genius wordsmith that is Hollie Mcnish, to fabulous Pat Kelman Photography and Caroline Smith for their wonderful I'm a mum and a... portraits. To Jen at BritMums, Dina of Kensington Mums, all at the Museum of Motherhood, and all our lovely partners for collecting I'm a mum and a... photos.

Thank you to Takbir for filming, & to every wonderful person who joined us.

We were truly alive.

We wept and we laughed and we hugged and we were heard.

And we went home to our families a little stronger, inspired and strengthened by the reminder that what we all do is amazing.

Because it is. It really is. And together, in that moment, we all knew it. What we are doing here is special.

Thank you from my mothering heart. Thank you for giving life.

 

You can get in touch with Pat at Pat Kelman Photography – if you know anyone looking for a portrait or wedding photographer, send them his way!

Read about our daytime Make Date in "How to Find Out You're a Good Mother".

Find out more about the exhibition. We would love you to join in too. Why not add your own I'm a mum and a... photo like these below - there are lots more in the gallery!

I'm a mum and a... photos from The Photographers' Gallery

PS if you are admiring my rather lovely bling here and in the daytime post, these were a fabulous gift on the night from the delicious Jackie at Nibbling, and the only time I have stopped wearing them since is when my children have wrestled them off me...  

Hollie McNish reinvents your mum poem

exhibition buttonThe amazing Hollie McNish curated our communal Mums' Poem at our Make Date at The Photographers' Gallery in London on Friday.

Hollie chose from all of the lines submitted by mums from all over the world here, adding her own words and bringing her unique style to create a brand new mama poem.

Many thanks to Takbir Uddin at Words By Communications for filming the performance for us. And to Pat Kelman for this lovely photo of Hollie (with imaginary baby...)

Watch the film of Hollie's perfomance below...

You can also visit the previous 'curations' of the poem by Caroline Davies and Sally Crabtree in this post.

 

 

 

 

How to find out you're a good mother

The Photographers Gallery brought a new audience to the exhibition tour: sons and daughters, young and old, reminding mothers, very directly, of just how amazing they are. 

wall of mama mash-up collages from the story of mum exhibition

I'll be posting about our inspirational evening Make Date soon, but this post is all about the stories we encountered on Saturday when the sun was out... and so were the sons!

We're grateful to Jai and Janice at the gallery, to Sharon, Baobab Puppets, and everyone who came along and played (especially our twitter and story of mum friends!), Thank you.

Because we had Sally Crabtree’s wonderful edible poetry, we were able to tempt lots of lovely young women and men to play amongst the creative mothers...

You can see their creations in Caroline Smith’s lovely photographs below.

edible poetry

Every interaction had a story. One young man sat alone, quietly and carefully arranging his words on a biscuit. When he was done, he explained that he had made a poem for his mother, including things he knew she liked.

boys with edible poetry

And he took a picture and he tweeted it to her straight away to show he was thinking of her.

Lucky to have had such a good mother

An adult family of four explored the room together - mum, dad, two grown up sons. They thought of lines for the mums’ poem, browsed the Mama Mash-Ups and the washing lines.

As they left the room, we heard a delighted mama noise and turned to see a huge hug between beaming mother and slightly embarrassed son.

The son had just completed one of these fabulous feedback forms for us - the blue one...!

Puppet-making from Baobab Puppets was so much fun that even a grown-up daughter on a London shopping trip made her way to the kids’ table to get making with her mum and Auntie.

As Baobab’s stories engaged the children, their parents snuck away for some creative me-time. Catherine, a lovely mother who came along on Friday night even came back for more with her happy family in tow.

We met a German-Portuguese couple taking their first holiday away from their children, thrilled to be exploring a gallery in London, but missing their kids.

We met a man who had come to parenthood late in life and found it transformative (and a man who thought our project banal, but stayed for a LONG time to tell us that so it can't have been completely banal...).

We met a great-grandmother, proud nanas and granddads.

We talked to young women feeling broody, and to women exploring how friendships change as our friends have children and we don’t.

And we talked to mothers.

Mothers taking time out to make Mash-Ups, thinking of words for the line, and avoiding photographs.

Mothers sharing their stories as they chose pictures that represented who they really are. Mothers unable to find faces like theirs in the magazines we were using for collage. 

mothers with their mama mash-ups

Mothers feeling lost. Mothers feeling lucky. Mothers who love cuddles. Thigh-slapping mothers. Singing mothers. Mothers who dream. Mothers who love beards.

And mothers who had just heard how much their son loves them.

Join our Make Dates in London!

Come and join us on 18 and 19 October for Make Date events at The Photographers Gallery as part of our Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves tour.

On Friday 18 October, we'll be hosting an evening Mums' Make Date from 7pm - 9.30pm.

If you're a parenting blogger, come along early - as we'll also have an extra BritMums networking get-together from 6.30pm. We've loved having BritMums as hosts of our regular round-ups of the 50 virtual exhibition stops curated by mums worldwide - you can read some of those here.

Why should you come along?

Our evening Make Dates are a unique chance to connect with other mothers, get creative and to share our stories. An opportunity to value all that we do, share our struggles and successes, and be inspired to get through the darker days of mothering.

Plus, this Make Date includes a very special performance by Hollie McNish. As this is the only time we'll be in London, we are so very excited to have Hollie with us, curating our communal Mums' Poem and performing some of her own.

We're equally thrilled to have five brave mums coming along to talk us through their own My Mum Story films.

As part of the evening Make Date, we'll be hearing the honest truth from the wonderful Sue Atkins, Amy Beeson, Lorna Hauff, Shelina Janmohamed and Emma Murphy.

Events are free, but places are limited for the evening Make Date, so you'll need to book here straight away. 

What about some daytime fun on Saturday?

On Saturday 19 October, we'll be at The Photographers' Gallery all day. So you can pop in and visit us from 10.30am - 1pm and 2pm to 4pm for a chat about Story of Mum and a bit of mash-up making if you fancy having a go.

On Saturday, we'll also have a Family Make Date: with storytelling and creative fun for families from 2pm to 4pm, including Story of Mum exhibition activities and puppet-making with Baobab Puppets.

Have you booked yet?

Call that babysitter, and then come right back here and book. Because you deserve a night out to celebrate the amazing things YOU do every day.

And if the babysitter says no, don't worry, you can come and see us on Saturday instead and we can tell you that you're amazing there too.

We would so love you to come and play with us!

Drawing on our stories

This months #somum Make Date partnered with The Big Draw to get us drawing moments from our mothering stories. Who knew we were so dang talented...?

Read some of our chat about the mothering moments we remember most in the storify below and visit the gallery to view all the drawings shared so far and add your own! Go on, if we can do it, so can you.

I love it when you sleep - robot days

We reconnected with our inner children - who used to like drawing...! And started to get into it, eventually braving sharing our scribbles and sketches. There were speed-doodles and beautiful pencil drawings, and abstract pieces like this lovely one from Robot Days: I Love It When You Sleep.

Every single image contained something insightful, all were beautiful, and visiting the online gallery is really moving. 

Some interesting themes are also emerging as more mums add their images to the gallery. (Go on, you can do it, we'd love to see yours... have a go and add it here).

Many of us drew the night time. Those long nights as we sleep, are woken up, feed, comfort, and watch our children dream. Such a huge part of mothering and yet we rarely see images of this. 

There were stunning drawings of breastfeeding too, each more tangible than a photograph. Below are 3am Feed from Not Nice Laura, In Love X by Jenson, and Feed Me by est.

three drawings of breastfeeding

This activity has been a pretty transformative creative adventure for me - I've found myself continuing to draw since I started with my two test images. It's such a powerful and contemplatice way to explore a memory .

Not only did we delight in drawing, but some lucky winners won goodies from The Big Draw for joining in - including these lovely sketchbooks. Doesn't that make you want to start drawing straight away?

You can find other goodies like these in their shop - it's a great way to support what they do. 

Visit here to find out more about The Big Draw. 

The 2013 Big Draw runs from 1 October to 3 November in fifteen countries, with more than 200,000 people expected to take part.  

Hundreds of drawing activities connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists - and each other. We loved being a part of it.

What do the pictures in the gallery say to you so far about motherhood?

What would you draw if you could? (PS did I mention that you can...?)


We'd  love you to join us in London for our next real-life Make Dates at The Photographers Gallery this week. We won't be drawing though - unless of course you've got the bug by then...

Join us on 18 October for a Mums' Make Date with poetry from Hollie McNish, five mums sharing their stories, creative stuff to do, and add to the exhibition, and a special pre-reception with BritMums. We'll be there all day on 19 October and will have a Family Make Date from 2pm to 4pm with puppet-making and storytelling to distract the kids so you can get creative with us. Hope to see you online and in London!

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