Forgotten Fruit  2009-13

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I worked on this project between 2009-10 whilst I was on maternity leave. At the time I had a fairly loose approach to the subject matter and when I returned from maternity leave to write up my PhD, the work sat in a sketchbook for another year, it was only when I returned to the work that I began to connect it with the process of becoming a parent. I exhibited it at Washington Arts Centre as part of a festival of photography 'The Social: Encountering Photography' organised by the North East Photography Network, supported by Arts Council England. The exhibition text is featured below.

 

I also discussed this work at the conference Landscape Wilderness and the Wild at Newcastle University in March 2015, the related paper can be found here.

 

Exhibition text

This new photographic series, documenting fruit growing in urban locations close to where the artist lives, was produced over the course of a year whilst Michele Allen was pregnant and when her son was a small baby. A reflection on how the world shrinks during early motherhood and also an exploration of new perspectives and ways of looking that emerge, Michele created a large collection of images over the year, revisiting trees or particular locations with her son as the seasons changed. The underlying theme was also perhaps an anxiety about where our food comes from and how we might survive on what is to hand.

Such attentive and close inspection of the world on her doorstep reflected something of the shifting perspectives and experiences of place the artist had encountered as a new parent.  With this in mind she approached another new mother and asked her to create maps of her daily walks and routines. These maps (made using the application ‘map my walk’) are exhibited here as short video animations alongside Michele’s photographs.

Video link

The exhibition is supported by NEPN and Arts Council England through Grants for the arts.