The Mother The Other

KFox_2_RitualForLiminalIMG_6082 -2

The Mother, The Other Installation and a selection of close -up details



The Installation is made of blankets, the concept taken from the empty blanket I was handed as I handed my son to medics aged 2 days old. The work is a personal journey as a mother carer, my sons health and care documents sewn into the underside, seepage and redactions bleed through the documents and the black, bronze blankets hardened like armour. The outside, strength and protection with the paint seeping underneath like bruises, the knocks the despair of battles to ensure needs are met. The Journey is not unique it echoes the journeys of parent carers from fighting through the courts, faceless bureaucracy and drowning in paperwork.  I specifically chose to focus only on the mother carer and not parent carer as the discourses surrounding the mother are different to the male, the gendered role of mother in western culture is still one of the primary care giver, although not exclusively as many fathers are primary care givers but the power dynamic and reactions to the female gender have a significant bearing on experiences. The use of words such as ‘Agitator’,  ‘Difficult Parent’ and ‘Warrior Mum’ started as derogatory statements referring to the mother carers who fought against the system. Edward Timpson (2017) the then Children’s and Families Minister referred to mother carers, in his address to a national conference as agitators, many mother carers report being labelled the difficult parent . they are the outspoken, those fighting the bureaucratic systems to ensure their child’s needs are met, in another century like Mary Bliss Parsons 1674, they would probably be labelled witch, they are ‘the grand daughters of the witches they could not burn’ (Tish Thawer 2015) While the artwork is a personal journey it is also a nod to the women who fought before, are still fighting and will continue to speak out until change occurs, these are the ‘Ties that bind us’ together.

Mother Carer.

I am mother, the every woman, the every mother, the universal mother
I am the other, the mother, the carer, battle hardened, the dark side, the seepage of knocks, each bruise bleeds through on the underside
I am the blanket, the warmth, the protective cover against the cold, illness, protect and hold, to swaddle, to nurse, to make do and mend,
Fate woven
In a blanketKerry_Fox_Ties_That_Bind
The mother the other
The mother of the in between
Take the narrative
Lay it bare
Reposition mothers
All mothers
Take the fraught
The fragile
The broken
The bruised
Give it voice
The fight
The battle
The shitty
The officious
The bureaucracy
Our motherhood
Not apart
Not separateKerry _Fox_Ties_That_Bind x2
Not occupying the
The voice

The Ties That Bind’