Blueprint for a ghost

Research output: Contributions to books, editions, reports or conference proceedingsChapterpeer-review



Our dialogical work suggests a folded or pocketed structure, a mechanism for concealment. Foldedness is key to this piece, expanding and enfolding the conversations we have had about our mothers, and our mothers’ ghosts. We explore the maternal figure through our experience as daughters and in relation to our practice as artists. For us the maternal figure is hard-won and often problematic, a figure rendered incomplete through our attempts to draw her. In order to articulate the hidden unspoken, we imagine this work as a repli (fold or small circuit), that which repeatedly provokes a reply. As a methodological tool, our repli seeks to engage with mothers, and the mothers of mothers. Embraced by this work, the [m]other figure may be indexically linked with the lived body through its trace (mark, shadow, photograph), or drawn through forms of self-disclosure. Writing back and forth, creating a folded structure that recalls the drawing/folding game exquisite corpse, our dialogue initiates a search for whatever is secreted within these folds. The gap left is an outline of the figure sought. The m[other] here is performed, not represented, in an act of retrieval.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The maternal in creative work
Subtitle of host publicationIntergenerational discussions on motherhood and art
EditorsElena Marchevska, Valerie Walkerdine
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon and NY
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-351-20984-7
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-8169-3
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2020

Author keywords

  • motherhood, art, art writing, exquisite corpse, fold, mothers, secrets, cryptophores, Almodovar