Luca, Sacha and Nadia watch studio rehearsals with choreographer mum Jo

We are a bit thrilled to kick off the 4th blog series of the Mother Artist Network with a piece published by Mamamia. Grateful that Mia Freedman, herself a brilliant mother and realiser of unlikely grand dreams, has highlighted a conversation about motherhood and creativity in this current political climate.  Each day until the Mother Artist Forum at the MCA on Sunday we feature some brilliant artists who I know and admire personally. Stephanie Lake is a choreographer who had huge success with her work for Sydney Dance Company, Kelli Mccluskey is the founder of PVI collective and a political powerhouse who recently battled a project with cancer, and Dr Karen Pearlman is the director of Physical TV, lecturer at AFTRS and was my artistic director when I was a company dancer with Tasdance. They are all exceptional women each at different stages of careers and motherhood and we are thrilled they have  been so generous in sharing a glimpse of  their stories with us here. Enjoy!

As our long time readers know, BIG was born from the midnight imaginings of two mother artists and for this reason the conversation is particularly personal. We have had a few questions about it not being a ‘Parent Artist Forum’ and to this we say we are mothers and artists, and it is this particular viewpoint and combination of experiences that we are most curious about right now. We both have many great father artist friends and think is an equally interesting, both similar and also different, conversation. Maybe once we get a little more infrastructure we will think about taking on and managing a larger scale conversation! What say all of you about the Mother Artist Network – is it exclusive?

Lilly and I both continued to make work through each of our pregnancies and when I woke up the day after giving birth to my first child I was surprised to find that, though I was holding a seismic shift literally in my arms, my passion, creative drive and self was still entirely in tact. Amplified if anything. I think I imagined there would be a softening or transference of my creative drive into motherhood. What I learnt to be true over the next 11 years is that creativity and motherhood are deeply connected, and each fuel for the other.

We created the first issue of BIG entirely without speaking or seeing each other –with 4 young children between us we instinctively knew there were already too many voices in the mix! Every creative and business decision was made first via Facebook messaging and then email. Our girls were 10months and 22 months when we began. They are now 4 and 5…continue reading on Mamamia or look back to the early BIG years of 2010 and 2011 in our archives.

The Mother Artist Forum is on this Sunday and we have been told places are fast filling so register to secure your free ticket now and tell your friends – we can’t wait. Scroll down here and click on the rsvp! There are activities for kids (and a grown-up) at the Family Fun Day during the forum and then we would love EVERYONE to join us after the forum for the BIG launch!