Mini Task 7: A year in pictures

There’s a lot that can be said for documenting, capturing and reflecting on life events through images. 

An image that didn’t feel significant at the time of being taken can signify much more than its original purpose, years down the line. Those loved ones we lose, oh how we wish we had more images of them so we can drink them in and absorb their memory after they’ve gone. 

Apps like ‘time hop’ (as we’re entering a decade of social media) have really started to come into their own recently. Those memories, the nostalgia, all wrapped up in grainy photographs of the younger versions of ourselves and our loved ones. 

One purpose of ’The Mothers’ project is to encourage mothers to document their lives, and that doesn’t just mean the lives of those around us. Make sure you are in the images too. Give the camera to someone else, and say, ‘can you take a photograph of me?’ 

It also means to document and make note of the tough times as well as the good times. Looking back and reflecting on how far you’ve come, on the changes you’ve made, and how you got through those difficult times can be really helpful in processing emotions. 

Today’s task is to look through your camera roll for the last year. Can you select the images you’ve taken that capture how you’ve felt since the pandemic has been in your life? 

Mothers life in Lockdown – ‘Zine’ submissions

According to Bo-Jo we’re just over two months away from having all social restrictions lifted, and we’re tentatively looking forward to a life of ‘normality’ (whatever that really means). By the time the 21st June arrives we’ll have been living in constraints for just under a year and a half. 

Some mothers have given birth in this time and their babies, now toddling around, have only known a world of masked faces and social-distancing. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have had lives flipped completely upside-down, and some of us have found peace in the forced isolation. This huge life event will stay with us all for the rest of our lives for many different reasons.

Since November I’ve been working with a group of mothers all over the UK, via zoom, whatsapp and also through Instagram, and together we’ve been using photographs, words and other mixed-media to create a document of our experiences of motherhood during this time. The act of documenting and discussing has helped us to try and make sense of our experiences.    

Along the way the group of women have tackled created mini-tasks, and collected images and words. As we edge closer to our final self-initiated’ project, our concluding act will be to produce a ‘zine’ of the work which will act as an archive of this time. Any mother can contribute to this zine, and anything can be submitted. As long as it’s something that reflects on #motherslifeinlockdown. 

Submissions to the zine can be any of the work from the mini-tasks so far, or it can be a written piece illustrated with images from the last year, or it can be new images created specifically for the magazine, it can be old images and written reflections/responses, or it can be a collection of images or just one image. 

Or, if you’d like a prompt, you can answer these questions from and submit an image or images to accompany: 

What were your initial thoughts about how lockdown would affect you (back in March last year)?

What was the reality of the first lockdown for you?

Have things changed over time for you as the restrictions have been eased and toughened? 

Have there been easy/positive aspects of lockdown?

Have there been difficult/negative aspects of lockdown? 

(If relevant) Has your work been affected? 

What has helped you get through lockdown? 

Have you learnt anything, during lockdown, that you will want carry forward as it is eased? Are there things that you might even miss?

This zine will act as a document for the future, and a record of what mothers experienced during this time. 

The deadline for submissions is May 31st 2021. All images should be full size and high resolution. Please send submissions or questions to 

Mini-task 8: Self-initiated brief

The #motherslifeinlockdown participatory project is coming to an end in the next couple of months and the last project will be a little more open and explorative than the previous mini-tasks. 

Bearing in mind all of the previous tasks, and all of the skills learned, the next task is to set yourself a brief. 

Will it be related to ‘celebrate the mundane’, collecting patterns, an exploration of #typology, using window light, a collection of self-portraits, re-using old pictures, re-visiting the journey task, a day in the life

It can literally be ANYTHING that explores your experiences of motherhood in lockdown in a purposeful way. Set yourself some rules for your task.

Will you focus on the same place at the same time of day, every day for a week? (See Paul Graham’s ‘Mother’ series)

Will you create a typology of items that your children discard randomly around the house? (See Luke Stevenson’s work)

Will you photograph your children unmade beds everyday? (See Alejandra Regalado)  

Will you photograph the dinner table after every meal for a week? (See Alejandro Cartagena)

Will you document your relationships with your loved ones in a candid and unposed way? (See Cheryle St Onge)

Will you document the beautiful, ordinary moments of everyday motherhood? (See Dawn Yow)

Will you photograph spaces that display signs of human activity? (See Palmer Davis – Here and Now)

Will you construct self-portraits that tell a story? (See Annie Wang  Mother as a creator, and Jocelyn Allen —One is not like the other)

Will you reference old images and introduce illustration or embroidery, or collage? (See Helen Sargeant)

Have fun with your brief, but don’t set anything too open. Set rules and parameters for yourself and make sure it reflects part of your life that is easily accessible.