MOTHRA was started by Sarah Cullen with the help of Alison Thompson in 2018. We are based in Toronto.
Alison is an artist, craftsperson, and parent. She has many years experience working with children in educational and community based projects. She has always been interested in children and art and how the two can be merged. More about Alison’s work can be found on Instagram @goldiemilks and @the_misspencil.
Sarah Cullen is also an artist, craftsperson, and parent. Her past and present interests include walking as both method and practice explored through art and geography, and most recently co-working and co-learning with children. She has exhibited and held workshops internationally. From 2012-2015 she convened and facilitated a group in Oxford UK for parents who care for young children and who are maintaining a creative practice. The group had a residency at the Pitt Rivers Museum (University of Oxford) where participants and their children worked together on a communal quilt. It is this group in Oxford that planted the seeds for MOTHRA. In 2017 Sarah received Ontario Arts Council funding to collaborate with her then 2 year old son.
MOTHRA is also a collective of artists. Leah Gold, Jacquelyn Hébert, and Emiko Sekiguchi have all been collaborators.
Alison and Sarah both identify with the challenges of artist-parents who don’t necessarily fit into the mainstream systems of childcare, maternity/paternity leave, and for whom attending art openings, lectures, screenings, and other art related events is not always possible or socially acceptable when accompanied by children. MOTHRA is not just about solving a work/life balance issue. We are interested in what is possible when your art practice includes children, and how this can be a positive move for all aspects involved. We would like to be able to continue to build strong and inclusive art practices that will persevere despite giving birth to and raising children. Alison and Sarah are both mums, yes, but MOTHRA is not a “Mum’s Group”, “Mom’s Group, a “Mother’s Group”, it is for any artist-parent or carer of a baby or young child. xo
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