Mother as curator: performance, family and ethics

Black, Sarah (2018) Mother as curator: performance, family and ethics. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This thesis attends to the mother-artist developing a performance-based practice with her family in the home. This is a practice-as-research exploration which integrates areas of maternal ethics and the mother-artist, family and narrative enquiry, the home and sited practices. It consists of a written dissertation, three full (larger) scale installations set within the family home, Trace (2013), Reclaiming the Ritual (2014), 31 Days Old (2016), and a series of smaller works Bed Bound (2014) and Children’s Practice (2014-17), plus digital documentation.

The main argument focuses on the role of the mother-artist who initiates an art making practice with her family and considers the personal, professional and ethical questions that can arise. Furthermore, weaving throughout the thesis is the development of what I call, ‘Mother Ethics’ - emphasising a sensitive approach to art-making with children and family, and considering practices and implications of exploring the home as a site for the dissemination of an art practice.

The methodology is developed from the position of the mother and uses practice-as research creative methodologies alongside narrative enquiry, and memory work. It employs sensitive approaches to documentation, and anecdotal writing modes. This thesis is situated and contextualised within theoretical fields of maternal studies, maternal ethics, narrative studies, and site-specific dance practices. The key arguments have been developed through engaging with Sara Ruddick, Lisa Baraitser, Iris Marion Young, Llangellier and Peterson, Jerome Bruner, and Mike Pearson. For the purpose of situating my own work and drawing upon the practices of others in the related worlds of maternal, family and home, I have drawn upon current practices and discourses in particular Mary Kelly, Lena Simic, Grace Surman, Lenka Clayon, Jo Spence, and The Institute for Art and Practice of Dissent at Home.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Practice/film work accompanying the thesis is not deposited on the repository. Please contact the author if you require access to these materials.
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
B. > Theses
Item ID: 25913
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2019 14:43
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:26

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