Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves! VIRTUAL TOUR
As mothers, it’s not often that we feel seen, heard and valued. Yet our everyday stories matter, and sharing them can inspire others. Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves is a touring programme of exhibitions and events in galleries and online that aims to put mothers in the spotlight.
The exhibition celebrates motherhood, explores the impact of mothering on our identities, and encourages mums worldwide to share their stories in words, photos, collage and film.
Find out more at www.storyofmum.com/exhibition.
Parallel to the real life events, a virtual exhibition is travelling round the world, stopping for mini exhibitions on blogs – like this one!
Participants are asked to choose one item from the existing exhibition, create one item to add to the exhibition, and share their thoughts on these and their identity in motherhood
After I took part in the Story of Mum “I’m a Mum and a…” photo and sentence for their exhibition I was asked by Pippa of Story of Mum if I would like to contribute by holding my own mini virtual exhibition and of course, I said “Yes”.
As you make your way through my mini expo please click on the images. most of them take you to the website of their origin and show you a little more of the story of mum.
So who am I? This is a question I find myself asking a lot lately. I am a mother, a wife, disabled, an artist and a photographer and one of my children is autistic. I am launching a charity and running a business. I am a lover of animals and of the countryside. I am a woman and yet still childlike in some ways. I am me.
Here are my kids:
Don’t be fooled by the cute faces, they are terrors but they are my terrors.
As mothers we wear so many masks, we rarely have the time or energy to reflect on what it means to be a mother and to admit to ourselves that it is not always wonderful. That despite the many joyous and amazing moments that there are to motherhood, it is also hard, stressful and a lot of the time thankless.
Story of Mum is a place to explore that, for every mother and grandmother to let their inner child escape and run amok in the sweet shop of creativity.
I selected the following images as they say something to me about what it is to be a mother and demonstrate the various sides of motherhood that each one of us encounters at some point to a differing degree.
Firstly we have Hannah Kitchen’s Mum Story, a film that tells us a bit about her experience of motherhood using ten photos and three minutes (please click on the image to view)
Her film appealed to me because like me she has a child with autism. I love her choice of images as although she includes some family photos, many of them are symbolic of the struggles and successes that go hand in hand with being a special needs parent. I particularly love the rolling a ball up hill and then in the next image, the throwing it away, and the letting go that this symbolises.
Being the parent of a child with a disability is always hard, it is particularly tough when other parents cannot necessarily tell that your child is disabled, the thing is to embrace the challenge and who your child is and that is what Hannah demonstrates with her film.
The second emotion and quality a mother must possess is humility. This is demonstrated beautifully and heartbreakingly by Steph Sutcliffe in her contribution to the “Memorable Moment of Mum” section. In it Steph tells us about her baby loss during pregnancy and how, even more tragically they discovered two years after “Ben’s” death that, they had never had a son, but a daughter.
The way she writes about these two moments of tragedy in her life as a mother, with such poise and eloquence reminds us that many mothers do deal with tragic circumstances and yet, life will go on and it is only by accepting and grieving for a life, for a loss that we can carry on and grow as people, as parents.
Finally, after sadness and struggle must come moments of joy and laughter, otherwise how would we all survive? This is demonstrated perfectly by Calendar Girl’s Ninja paper dolls, oh yes this lady obviously means business (but shhh her kids don’t know yet)
I love her Mum Ninjas! They remind us that we all have a playful side and that there should still be time to play when we grow up and not to let the trials and tribulations of adultdom get the best of us….. we are still imaginative beings with personal aspirations and hopes who daydream and can play.
Finally, what of me. I have selected my own film for the Mum’s Story section. In 2005 I became ill and I thought I would give up, I didn’t. I got married, I had a child, I had another child, I became very ill, I lost people, I lost an idea of my son and got a new one when his autism became apparent and every day I struggle to see the best in my life and to constantly improve the lives of my family and try to make this planet a better one for my children and for others.
I hope your enjoy…..
I hope you have enjoyed this quick trip around mumdom with me. It is so vital that we as mothers congratulate ourselves from time to time and remember that above all else, we are still people in our own right, doing a great job (and quite often more than one great job at a time) and we are creating the next generation of leaders, of parents and breeding hope.