Various locations, June 2021
Breastfeeding took centre stage in June 2021 when The Holding Time Project opened in Coventry. This inter-disciplinary, multi-channel, multi-media art project was co-created by mothers, as part of a lottery funded initiative by Visual Artist Lisa Creagh.
The Holding Time Project celebrated the diversity of breastfeeding in Coventry, whilst overturning stereotypes, challenging assumptions about breastfeeding and encouraged greater understanding and awareness in the whole community. The project included writing, photography, video and installation shown in various locations across the city as well as online and on social media:
After a series of six weekly workshops, a small group of mothers created finished pieces of writing that formed the basis of a radio program for CWR. The workshops were run by Rachel New, writer and radio producer for at BBC CWR in partnership with Voluntary Arts. The programme aired on April 28th, 2021 as a launch for the Coventry City of Breastfeeding event.
Mothers were asked for their views on breastfeeding, whether positive or negative. These interviews conducted by the artist, were edited and released on social media as five minute VLOGS to accompany the Coventry events: www.youtube.com/c/holdingtime
New work, designed to raise awareness of the diversity and range of mother’s breastfeeding in Coventry was created as part of the project. Mothers were invited to pose for portraits by the artist at a temporary COVID safe studio at Arcadia Gallery. The resulting portraits and animations were shown at University Hospital Coventry and Warwick Labour Ward and a two week exhibition at Arcadia Gallery, City Arcade, Coventry.
This multi-platform campaign during National Breastfeeding Week highlighted the unsung heroes of breastfeeding – the partners, mothers friends and children who offer comfort and support through breastfeeding difficulties. This campaign involved the whole city in a community portrait of all the unseen faces behind breastfeeding mothers.