A full heart and a patchwork quilt

Role Play (woman with cushion)

Earlier this week we had our opening for My Mothers Daughter – a group show with Celine Marchbank and Paloma Tendero about what it means to be a daughter when the maternal line behind you has been fractured. Each of us in the exhibition have lost our mothers and we all explore different aspects of what this means for us as adult women.

For me, it was very emotional. It was the first time I had shown this particular set of work. Although I had taken the pictures during the same time as I was making Conversations with my mother I did not know what to do with them. They made me very sad, because I was right in the middle of treatments for fertility. It was all a bit – well, raw.

When I got the email from Celine about making a show together, I didn’t know I was going to show them. It kind of just happened, and I didn’t have time to think about it too deeply. That was a good thing. Sometimes you just have to almost “not think” about it, because if you did maybe you wouldn’t do it.

It was immediately apparent after our first group Skype that we had a deep understanding of showing together, and were sensitive to the subject beyond just saying so. When we hung the work it looked so right together.

I love sewing. I love sewing photographs. I love paint and making things. My mother taught me to knit when I was about 6 years old – it’s just plain and purl, and that’s it. I probably learned sewing about the same time – I can’t actually remember. But I do remember making my own clothes a lot – from the age of around 8 or 9. So I must have been sewing before then.

My mother made a patchwork quilt that she really loved when I was a teenager, but about 8 years ago she took it to the dry cleaners and lost the ticket and it disappeared, sadly. I have another one she made, but the first one definitely has gone. Even now when I walk past the dry cleaners I look hopefully through the window, despite knowing it went to a charity shop and will belong to someone else. I have been making a patchwork quilt of my own since I was about 19, thanks to inspiration from a friend at university who even made patchwork shower caps! It’s got fabric in the middle which I bought from Dingles (anyone remember that department store?) when I was –  well, about 9 or 10 I think. So that’s the back story to this work: Role Play (woman with cushion). I hope you can see the show – it’s on weekdays, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm upstairs in the Health Centre on Bartholemew Road, Kentish Town, London NW5. More info about Free Space Gallery here.

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A full heart and a patchwork quilt