Kerfuffle Collective,
South Fremantle, Australia

THE MOTHERS unfolded over a month-long residency at my neighbourhood cafe. I spent each morning there, often with my one-year-old son, meeting and drawing the faces of the mothers that frequented the cafe. The walls of the cafe were slowly populated with images of the mothers as they were drawn, amassing to nearly 100 portraits at the end of the month.

The cafe was an environment that interested me as a new mother and an artist — an environment that has been historically lively for artists, but also an important space for mothers — often the only contact they may have in a day with other adults. The cafe provides a casual setting in which incidental yet significant interactions with the community take place.
The motivation for the project was simply to let mothers feel seen and heard, to give them my presence (sitting to draw them), and a presence in the space (quietly populating the walls). It was also a way of seeing myself — reconciling some of my own challenges as an artist and a mother — mirrored in the framework of the project and the community of mothers around me.

The work grew to become a subtle, evolving social portrait; an offering to our collective consciousness of who a mother is, the stories she holds, and the ideals we hold her to.

The drawings are what remains of the more intangible process of connection, healing and exchange that occured during the month.