“My mum’s hangbag” Motherhood, Memory, Identity: 30th March 2012

For the next meeting on the 30th March. Bring along a handbag that best captures a side of your mothers personality or aspects of your own mothering. Spend up to a couple of quid in a charity shop if you do not already own a handbag that fits your mother, or an aspect of your mother’s character, or aspects of your own mothering experiences

Fill this handbag with objects from your own personal history of being “mothered” or “mothering”. Such as a photograph of your new born child, or you as a child or your mother as a baby/child, an item of clothing (baby grow), your mothers clothing, an item of clothing that you gave birth in, a baby identity bracelet, an item of your mothers jewellry, a child’s toy, your toy from childhood, your mothers toy, an item of your mums makeup (I remember my mum using facial wipes in a tin) etc……..Fill it with as few or as many items as you wish.

At the meeting we will work both in groups and individually documenting the handbags and their contents with photography, and writing some poems, prose in response to the objects.

Meeting outcomes

Discussion about handbags, what we keep in them, and what this can  reveal about the way that we mother, our work, interests  and our “emotional” wellbeing. Handbags that we used prior to being mothers and on becoming mothers. Handbags that have grown to be rucksacks brimming with wipes, nappies, toys, snacks lovingly packed and ordered.

We talked about Freudian theory exploring the idea that woman’s
handbags are a signifier of their vaginas.

We also shared these books:

Maternal Encounters The Ethics of Interruption by Lisa Baraitser (2008)

Some Girls’ Mothers edited by Anne Cauldwell ( 2008)

Straight Ahead by Clare Shaw (2006)