The Double Producers: Makers & Motherhood — Runway

Zoe Young, A Very Domestic Day in the Studio.jpg

I recently had the pleasure of writing for Runway magazine’s special edition on ‘RE/Production,’ published November 2016.

In my article, I interview 3 Australian artists who are mothers on the complexities of juggling their artistic practices and their children. What is lost through motherhood? But more importantly, what is gained? Should we re-phrase the way we see motherhood for artists in the 21st century…

Start reading the taster below, and click on the link at the bottom of the page for the full article.

It is perhaps no coincidence that so many of the words we use to describe our working lives find parallel usage in descriptions of motherhood. ‘Labour’, ‘reproduction’ and ‘creation’ take on new resonance for first time mothers as they navigate the juggle of a work/life balance. For artists with the impulse to make, there is the added complexity of an itchy-fingered need to be producing, coupled with a desire for the required mental space to work through ideas.

To produce and to be productive do not sound like concepts which can be mutually exclusive, yet often women artists continue to navigate a fraught social segregation of their children and their work. This builds on an historical web of assumptions which have told us that artists who are mothers cannot sustain the same serious, passionate engagement with their work as childless artists, and that a woman must be childless to be a successful artist. Do these perspectives ring true today? What are the expectations and lived experiences of the Double Producers?