The M Word: Desperate Artwives


Curated by Amy Dignam

The M Word brings together artists working with concepts that revolve around the maternal experience, motherhood and maternal mental health.  Including photography, painting, sculpture and etching, all the works actively challenge society’s attitudes toward maternal subjectivity and position the mother in the foreground, clearly stating that they shouldn’t be afraid of being seen or being judged. They impart a strong sense of the horror, humour, love and hate, and express those ambivalent feelings that are often experienced but not really acknowledged or accepted, during motherhood.

During the exhibition, Desperate Artwives will also be launching The M Wall. The M Wall is a new DAW initiative that will bring together a collection of works dedicated to the subject of perinatal mental health and its interconnection with Art. The works will not only be a visual depiction of the artists’ struggles, ways of coping and coming to terms with their personal maternal experiences, they will also raise the question of how art can support, reinforce and promote good mental health. This collection will tour across the country with the intention of raising awareness and opening up a conversation. 

The M Wall artists: Helen Sargeant, Rachel Fallon, Caroline Kelley, Lauren Mclaughlin, Laura Fooks, Katy Howe, Amy Dignam, Public Takeover, Debbie Lee, Tracey Kershaw.

Desperate Artwives was established in 2011 by Amy Dignam. Initially conceived as a platform for women artists who are also mothers, Desperate Artwives quickly grew into a strong collective of female artists with caring responsibilities who wanted to bring together reactive and proactive art to challenge stereotypes, call up social issues and create a visible international platform from which to do this. DAW has become a space for activism and motherhood.

Includes artists’ talk: Sat 4 May 2.30 pm. Free.  All welcome.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full programme of workshops. See our website for details.