These drawings are all of me feeding my baby. While I was on maternity leave, and the domestic routine of feeding and changing and caring for my baby way playing out, I was thinking about what this rhythm of our daily activities might look like.
The pattern on each of the carpets changes from the top of the carpet to the bottom, presenting in the image both the practicalities and logic of disrupting the system a pattern follows, and the metaphorical parallels this has with adapting my life after the arrival of my children.
While I made these drawings I was thinking a lot about time in the process of drawing. I am marking the time of my maternity leave with baby Rowan, but also the change that that time brought with it. The change to my life, the change to my family, the change to the way we experience daily things.
My experience of spending lots of time at home with the children during the coronavirus lockdown feels like a new kind of maternity leave. One in which all of our routines have been disrupted, and one where we are having to fit much more to each others’ patterns.
I have always made these kind of repetitive marks in my drawings. They have associations with both scientific diagrams and with embroidered stitches. They also contain something of the time of making the drawing too, and the passing of time while drawing. There is something about the endeavour of making such a detailed pattern that appeals to me, and how it reminds me of the effort of keeping the family together and content.
I think it’s interesting to think about these marks as a kind of tally in the context of the lockdown, and how we are all in a domestic confinement – much like maternity leave.
These are drawings made as time-lapse films (more to be added).
Here is a film – research and planning for drawings, and animated drawings, of walking.