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Help the Mother House Studios

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Hi, we are the Mother House Studios, a collective of artist-parents based in Catford, Lewisham. We have lost the space that has been our home for the last two years, where we have been nurturing our professional, creative and parenting practices together as fellow artists and parents. So we are asking for your support to help us find a new space in Lewisham and allow the community to survive and grow with more artists.

Founded as part of Procreate Project in 2016, the Mother House Studios is a pioneering model of affordable artists studios with integrated childcare. In its fourth iteration, the Mother House Studios and its collective of artist-parents are urgently looking for a new home after two years of activity in Catford.

On 30th October, while the organisers of Mother House Studios were requesting rent re-negotiations and reparations, twenty-five London-based artists and their children were locked out of their studios in Catford, South London without notice. After regaining temporary access we now have to leave on the 6th of December.

Not only has the initiative provided a vital space for mutual support among the artists, but additionally it allows their children to witness and experience the making of a rare culture where their parents work alongside them and other incredible artists.

The model is based on integration offering a working space, a dedicated and open-plan laboratory for artists to work, and an interconnected, inspiring space, dedicated to children who have the freedom to move between the two rooms. The responsibility is shared between childcare facilitators and mothers/parents, all jointly responsible for hands-on care work. The working space is open and a communal kitchen allows time for aggregation and space to find group strategies and inspiration to further maintain a sustainable integration of life and work practices.

“The studios support a diverse range of parents and carers with a radical integrated childcare facilities. With many childcare costs for pre-school children being unaffordable or forcing women out of work and during a cost of living crisis, taking away this unique childcare model for flexible workers at this time will have significantly negative effects on both studio residents and the community.” - Studio resident 2021-2023

In order to be able to continue to serve the community of mothers and parents in Lewisham, we need a new home from the beginning of December as well as financial support to be able to guarantee the longevity of the project.

More about the studios:

Mother House’s approach was built on observations regarding childcare provision:
1. Childcare remains under-funded and scarce
2. Childcare models are invariably based on separating child from mother; mother from care and child from the workplace
3. Childcare is costly and not suited to families and women with flexible work and/or low incomes

We set out to solve these issues by:
1. Providing affordable childcare, reducing costs by integrating childcare and the workplace
2. Focusing on high need groups in the creative community
3. Specifically focusing on artists, due to their specific needs and cultural influence
4. Opening out the model to the wider community

Over 60 artists took part in our 3 pilot projects, engaging passionately with the concept of a shared working environment with their children.

Now more than ever, under the current crisis and urgent need for women, mothers, and primary carers to re-occupy spaces in the community. We want to offer a radical model that re-imagine the way we re-organise space and opportunities, the private and public.

What we are asking:

We need a new home asap so please if you know of any empty space or you have one and want to share it with us please connect with us on social media @motherhousestudios and via email.

The space we are looking for is ideally 3000 sqft large with two connected spaces or the potential to create them. Ground floor spaces or venues accessible by lift would be ideal but we are open to consider other options. Access to natural light would be preferred.

You donation will support us with issues incurred during this displacement process and the next steps while we look for a new home. Items include:

- Technical support for de-install
- Storage space
- Staff to continue activities in pop-up spaces
- Removal
- Dilapidation touch ups
- Legal costs

No donation is too small and we really appreciate your support!

Visit www.motherhousestudios.com and get in touch with any questions.


Quote from the Founder Dyana Gravina:

The Mother House Studios model has instigated systemic change and life-changing support for artists working at the studios since its inception in 2016 at IKLECTIK in Waterloo - which is also currently facing eviction. The way that our studios, together with many other grassroots and community organisations, are being erased in London proves how patriarchal capitalist development is still shaping systems and policies and is contributing to the collapse of community oriented projects. It reveals a process of appropriation of activism and feminist agendas only to serve commercial and financial interests of corporations and institutions.

The MHS model responds to a universally shared need and duty of care towards underrepresented artists with caring responsibilities. The aim, if we will survive this crisis in Lewisham, is to make a replicable Tool-Kit and a model adaptable in scale, creating a bridge between communities and blurring the division between local and global, care work and creative work, the private and the public. If we don’t heal the way systems care for carers and at the roots of this experience, we will have broken spirals all the way to any other area of interest, including the public and the creative sector. "
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Donations 

  • Kelly Zarth
    • £20 
    • 2 mos
  • irene marino
    • £10 
    • 4 mos
  • Simon J Chinn
    • £50 
    • 4 mos
  • Shweta Bist
    • £20 
    • 4 mos
  • Abigail MacDougall
    • £20 
    • 4 mos
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Organizer

Procreate Project
Organizer
England

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