Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge


This painting is around A3, mixed media on paper. I called it ‘Mothering’

Its a mixture of a dream, a story, a whole lot of memories and feelings. There were many decades where i didn’t carry a camera or phone, how the world has changed. I saw some crazy amazing sights, many of them with my posse of children in tow. One Glastonbury festival i was working at we got caught in a bottleneck surging to see a wicker man burning, i carried two of them ( another one in belly ) swept along in a dark tide of people, surging towards the dancing flames.

UK society has a really family unfriendly attitude, children are still to be seen and not heard. Mothers too get a raw deal, even middle class, well incomed, married, ones with clean shiny 2.4 children. I was not one of those, as if raising children isn’t hard enough, try doing it alone, with no support network,  add poverty, social exclusion and homelessness to the mix. Even in the most ‘free’ and tolerant social groups, on the road and hanging out with hippies I felt like a threat and outcast. I could fill a book with horrible things that were said, the number of times i was accused of ‘sinning’, how my children were bullied. Our societies expectations of women is still barbaric, we are to be the virgin mary, katie price, career power dressers, yummy mummies, domestic goddesses, laddettes, strong, nurturing, chaste, sexy and completely in control of our wombs at all times, yet still subservient to our males who can treat us how they like & get a slap on the back for doing so. I saw a young mum at an event recently with small children in tow, their little family were in a bubble of their own, alone in the crowd.

When you see a young mother with children on the street, think, do you smile or sneer judgmentally?

That of course is just part of what was in that painting. I hope that it carries other stories? My own stories are only relevant if they resonate with other peoples.  what do you see in it ?

One comment on “‘Mothering’

  1. Lunar Hine
    March 24, 2011

    I see the family excluded in their own little bubble. But I also see the love and joy which is shared in that bubble. In a way, that is the ultimate victory over prejudice.
    Tonight I begin training as a breastfeeding peer supporter, in the hope of doing a little bit towards helping mothers feel more supported whatever their choices and lifestyles. My background's pretty 'mixed', so hopefully I can speak to mums who might not confide in professionals.

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2011 by in Blog and tagged , .

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