MC Gallery Exhibition Wolverhampton, 2022

1st July- 12th September 2022

Works from the first two Holding Time Projects are on show at MC Gallery in Wolverhampton over the summer as academics from Wolverhampton University study the impact of the project on attitudes to breastfeeding.

Holding Time is an ongoing seven-year participatory project by artist Lisa Creagh. It brings together grassroots community groups, health practitioners and academics to overcome cultural barriers to breastfeeding. Through an inter-disciplinary approach involving photography, storytelling, interviews and animation, Holding Time aims to celebrate and normalise breastfeeding through an in-depth portrait of mothers engaged in breastfeeding across multiple cities in the UK.  

The Mother Portraits are the foundation of the Holding Time Project. Mothers from Nottingham, Coventry, Brighton and Liverpool were invited to breastfeed in front of the camera, in lighting reminiscent of Renaissance paintings. The range of mothers is deliberately broad in scope, from early twenties to mid-forties, with children aged from a few weeks to up to three and a half. Each mother is interviewed by the artist in a process of uncovering the narrative behind the image. Interviews are edited into 8-minute VLOGs distributed on a dedicated project YouTube channel at 

Stop motion animation of breastfeeding mothers are shown in this exhibition, depicting a version of ‘real time’ that feels slowed. Instead of the convention of 24 frames per second, Lisa uses one frame every four seconds to try to capture the sensation of the breastfeeding experience from a mother’s perspective. An original piano composition by British composer Helen Anahita Wilson creates a sense of calm and mindfulness.   

This exhibition is an introduction to Holding Time as Lisa embarks on a Wolverhampton iteration of the project in collaboration with the School of Art and School of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. Co-creation is at the heart of the project and Dr Lisa Orchard & Dr Wendy Nicholls from the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing are working with the project to measure the social impact of the digital and In Real Life (IRL) programme.”

The Project with Wolverhampton University is ongoing and further exhibitions and events are planned for 2023-24. Read Dr Lisa O’Connor’s BLOG post here.

We would really appreciate hearing your thoughts about this exhibition and about breastfeeding more generally. Please consider completing our short survey before and/or after visiting the exhibition by using the QR code below:

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