Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Tracey Emin in Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood

9 March—2 June 2024
Group Exhibition at Arnolfini, Bristol, UK

External link

Launching in March 2024 at Arnolfini, Hayward Gallery Touring’s major group exhibition Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood will plunge into the joys and heartaches, mess, myths and mishaps of motherhood through over 100 artworks, from the feminist avant-garde to the present day.

While the Madonna and Child is one of the great subjects of European art, we rarely see art about motherhood as a lived experience, in all its complexity. Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood will address this blind spot in art history, asserting the artist mother as an important – if rarely visible – cultural figure.

Featuring the work of more than sixty modern and contemporary artists, this exhibition will approach motherhood as a creative enterprise, albeit one at times tempered by ambivalence, exhaustion or grief. Acts of Creation will explore lived experience of motherhood, offering a complex account that engages with contemporary concerns about gender, caregiving and reproductive rights. The exhibition will address diverse experiences of motherhood across three themes: Creation, which looks at conception, pregnancy, birth and nursing; Maintenance which explores motherhood and caregiving in the day-to-day; and Loss, which touches on miscarriage and involuntary childlessness, as well as reproductive rights. The heart of the exhibition is a series of revelatory self-portraits – a celebration of the artist as mother.

Featuring painting, photography, sculpture, sound and film, artists in the exhibition include: Felicity Allen; Janine Antoni; Cassie Arnold; Bobby Baker; Elina Brotherus; Liesel Burisch; Cathy Cade; Lea Cetera; Jai Chuhan; Eileen Cooper; Renee Cox; Dorothy Cross; Rineke Dijkstra; Natalie Djurberg and Hans Berg; Leni Dothan; Marlene Dumas; Catherine Elwes; Tracey Emin; Jessa Fairbrother; Feministo; Fenix; Maeve Gilmore; Anna Grevenitis; Camille Henrot; Susan Hiller; Ghislaine Howard; Elsa James; Chantal Joffe; Claudette Johnson; Mary Kelly; Liss LaFleur; Tala Madani; Sally Mann; MATERNAL FANTASIES; Mother Art; Wangechi Mutu; Ishbel Myerscough; Everlyn Nicodemus; Catherine Opie; Fani Parali; Celia Paul; Cathie Pilkington; Laure Prouvost; Paula Rego; Su Richardson; Sister Seven; Monica Sjöö; Annegret Soltau; Tabitha Soren; Heather Spears; Nancy Spero; Hannah Starkey; Emma Talbot; Mierle Laderman Ukeles; VALIE EXPORT; Christine Voge; Del LaGrace Volcano; Barbara Walker; Caroline Walker; Carrie Mae Weems; Nancy Willis; Hermione Wiltshire; Hermione Wiltshire and Clare Bottomley; Carmen Winant; Daphne Wright; Billie Zangewa.