In my aim to bring The Holding Time Project to areas where breastfeeding is lowest, I came to appreciate the work of psychologist Dr Vicky Fallon.
Dr Fallon is a young researcher in the field of maternal mental health but her collaborative approach, deep insight and experimental methodologies give her unique insight into the confusing and often misunderstood connection between breastfeeding and mental health.
In January Dr Fallon invited me to present the Holding Time Project to Liverpool’s Infant Feeding Collaborative Research Group. The very fact that Liverpool have such a group is in itself quite remarkable.
My project involves forging relationships between grassroots networks, academics, infant feeding teams and art spaces within one city. This method was first trialed in Brighton and still serves as a best-case scenario for any location for The Holding Time Project as it is only with this multi-stakeholder approach that the project can truly work within a community.
As an artist, working often times unfunded, the lengthy and at times, frustrating process of contacting and building relationships with each group is to say the very least, laborious! In Liverpool, all these people were happily sat around a table, ready to listen to my presentation, alongside representatives from Public Health England, Paediatricians from Alder Hey and Jo Ward, the Social Prescribing Lead for Merseyside and Cheshire. It was something of a glorious moment to be able to talk to such a well positioned and well informed party about my radical plans for a city-wide intervention using art and research alongside mother’s own voices.
Below is the slideshow.