The birthday blues


Funnily I’ve been thinking I haven’t written much recently because I feel so good, and didn’t feel that there was much to write about. But just then when I thought I really didn’t feel grief anymore, it comes back and hits me. Today, on what would have been my mum’s 73rd birthday, I feel glum. This morning I thought it was just the shitty weather (first day of Spring ha!), but grey clouds don’t tend to give me a heavy feeling of hopelessness, the feeling like nothing really can help make you feel better. Death is so final, there’s no options,no choices, no way to work it out, just the hard fact that someone is dead and that’s it. The feeling today is no way as heavy at it once was, those days are gone thankfully, but it’s just this fluid feeling that you have no control over. It just comes on and then goes as it likes, it’s rather strange to not have control over your own mind.

I was sitting in my studio this morning, trying to finish a photo job and just feeling a bit dull, a Bob Dylan sound came on the radio and all the memories of mum came back. She loved Dylan, I’m not so much a fan, but his voice took me right back to being a child. It was Just Like a Woman. It was sad, but then kind of happy at the same time. Sad she’s gone, and in such a horrid way, but happy that I’m still here, and that she made me into a strong woman.

I just have to get used to that every anniversary, every birthday, any special occasion, I’m just going to feel a bit strange. It’s just what my new life without her is like now.

Maybe it’s not a complete coincidence that my new exhibition ‘My Mother’s daughter’, a celebration of being a daughter and a woman, where I’m showing my new project about life after my mum, happens to be this month the month that has both Mother’s Day, my mum’s birthday and International Woman’s day in it. She made me a strong woman, and this exhibition makes me feel glad and proud to be one, and glad to be surrounded by fellow strong women who have been through the same experience.

Our show ‘My Mother’s Daughter’ is on till 3rd April if anyone is interested in seeing it.



My Mother’s Daughter exhibition

I’m taking part in this exhibition, with two exceptional artists: Jessa Fairbrother & Paloma Tendero. I’ll be showing my new project ‘A Stranger in My Mother’s Kitchen

Opening next week, come along. Info below.


My Mother’s Daughter  March 9th — April 3rd 2017

My Mother’s Daughter is an exhibition of sensitive photographic works by threeartists examining the loss and legacy of their mothers. In each of the works the artists have found a unique method of retaining the bond between mother and daughter, in an exploration of grief, motherhood, genetic inheritance and their continuing role as daughters.

After her mother’s death and whilst clearing out her home, Celine Marchbank discovered boxes of her mother’s old recipes, a lifetime’s collection of being a head chef. She decided to learn to cook them all as a way to feel closer to her mother. Her work A Stranger in my Mother’s Kitchen is part of her on-going journey through grief and learning about life without her mother.

Paloma Tendero was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disorder inherited from her mother. This genetic flaw has led her to explore the physical and psychological relationships that spring from her inherited determinism. Through photography and sculpture the artist looks for an interpretation of this co-existence between biological determinism and the desire for free will.

Jessa Fairbrother’s work explores the loss of her mother and the artist’s own inability to become one. She uses the camera to record her performance of roleplay in it’s many forms, often stitching and piercing photographs to amplify the relationship between herself and the parts she plays. Here she uses herself-assubject to respond to her simultaneous experience of miscarriage and becoming an adult orphan.

The Free Space Gallery is an arts & well-being charity based within Kentish Town Health Centre providing arts activities, therapies, exhibitions and residencies.

The Free Space Gallery

Kentish Town Health Centre

2 Bartholomew Road

London, NW5 2BX

Mon — Fri (9am — 6.30pm)

Private View 9th March (from 6.30pm)