Exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

Read more about the exhiibtion on the gallery website here

Manchester Art Gallery, the Manchester Infant Feeding Team (NHS) and visual artist Lisa Creagh are pleased to announce The Holding Time Project; a moving image exhibition of breastfeeding portraits in The Lion’s Den (Clore Art Studio).

Animated portraits from the Cheshire and Merseyside project of The Holding Time Project will be projected in the Lions Den Gallery. These sequences of images are captured moments and the role of the photographer is passive, meditative, and minimal. The area will be a comfortable space for parents to sit, feed and reflect.

The range of mothers and children is deliberately broad in scope; aged from the early twenties to mid-forties, with children from a few weeks old to up to three and a half.

There are tandem-feeding mothers (feeding two children simultaneously), single mothers and mothers of sick children. They are all shot in the same way: against a neutral dark background in lighting reminiscent of Renaissance paintings.

By working with health professionals, academics, and grassroots networks, The Holding Time Project is intended to dismantle the basis for polarization, and the lack of dialogue and bring meaningful change in UK breastfeeding policy.

Lisa Creagh says: “Breastfeeding is not just invisible in culture, on TV, in the media, it is invisible in our lives, our photo streams, our messages. It is a maternal experience that is widely misunderstood, ignored and sidelined, despite occupying many countless hours, of the mothers who practice it.

These women are at the heart of The Holding Time Project. Their voices and the validity of their experience is the central structure of the project. Their ideas about what needs to change, what should happen and does not, how things could be different and better are the driving force behind the project.”

This project treads carefully the line between promoting breastfeeding whilst attempting to respect and understand the complexity of the experience and circumstance of new mums.

It is research-based with positive imagery at its core.

The exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery is part of a tour of venues across the North, and has been created with mothers across the UK.

If you are a Manchester resident, you can access infant feeding support at Manchester Art Gallery on the first and third Wednesday of the month (term time only) between 10-11:30am.

The Manchester Infant Feeding Team is part of Manchester Local Care Organisation and is made up of Health Visitors, Midwives, Peer Supporters and Dieticians. They work to support the feeding journey for parents and families of Manchester residents, no matter what that looks like.  The team offer home visits, in the early days and weeks with longer term support with access to clinics/phone and video calls. 

Email address: infantfeedingteam@mft.nhs.uk

Tel: 0161 741 2043.

The project includes writing workshops by Rachel New

19, 26 April and 3 May 2023, 13.00 -14.30pm

  1. A multi-screen installation featuring animated portraits of a ‘chorus’ of breastfeeding mothers accompanied by music by composer Helen Anahita Wilson. The viewer is invited to sit and watch the mothers as gestures and features are slowed to ‘maternal time’.
  2. A series of large format portraits will tour local hospitals
  3. Interviews with mothers, health professionals and researchers
  4. Writing and spoken word by local breastfeeding mothers
  5. Performances and live events
  6. An audio tour of podcasts from the series, to follow around Liverpool, St Helens and Birkenhead

Improving Me -Women’s health and Maternity (WHaM)programme -NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Health Care Partnership 

Improving Me is a partnership of 27 NHS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside aiming to improve women’s health and maternity experiences. The associated Women’s Health and Maternity (WHaM) programme is focused on developing a safe, high quality, clinically and financially sustainable whole system model of care for women’s services across Cheshire and Merseyside. WHaM has commissioned the Write On programme in response to feedback from service users and a national evidence base on the value of wiring interventions to boost wellbeing

Participating mothers:

Mothers were recruited via Improving Me and grassroots networks, along with an open call on social media. Once established that they were within the Cheshire and Merseyside area, mothers were invited to participate in a number of activities:

  1. Video Interviews with Lead Artist, Lisa Creagh. Editing by Natalie Argent.
  2. Storytelling workshops run by Rachel New of Creative Lives which were performed at a live launch during Babyweek, November 2021.
  3. A portrait session at Cetra Studios in Birkenhead.
  4. Animated by Serena Mangalini.

See: Marking World Breastfeeding Week 01-07 August 2022

PRESS and PRIVATE RECEPTION: Weds. 14th September 2pm

Get in touch

Contact Lisa Creagh

Mobile :     07816577140                 Email: info@holdingtime.org





Email: info@improvingme.org.uk


Social media tags: #normalisebreastfeeding #holdingtime #WBW2022

An Ecology of Care runs at Open Eye Gallery

15th September – 29th October




Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10-5pm

Admission Free