Other Mothers set out to explore non-biological maternality, the mothering of a child who is not the mother’s own, whether through birth or adoption.
The project’s epicentre was intended to be shared and divergent memories, told visually through photography, with text and by audio. As I look over the work now, I feel the intention has largely been met whilst picking up much more along the way.
I look at the cast of the book and see a cast of beautiful, but broken, figures, (inability to conceive, less than perfect mothering, bi-polar disorder, eating disorder) brought together along a continuum of care for an equally damaged child.
In making this work I am enormously grateful to Colin Pantall, Laura Hynd and Cemre Yesil for acting as sounding boards throughout its development and for all their wit, wisdom and encouragement during the past two years. And of course for the work of evolutionary anthropologists such as Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, whose insights into alloparenting and communal child rearing underpinned this work.
While this website offers a public-facing version of Other Mothers, it works best in book form. A dummy book bound in plywood has been made and production should begin shortly.