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Brighton Journal | 26th May 2020

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Lisa Creagh: Holding Time – Exhibition at ONCA Gallery

Lisa Creagh: Holding Time – Exhibition at ONCA Gallery
Hannah Midgley
  • On 26th February 2018

The ONCA gallery, a charity art space that hosts audiences and artists striving to create environmental and social change, will be exhibiting the work of photographic artist Lisa Creagh. The exhibition will take place from 22nd February to 4th March. It features what the organisers call a ‘breastfeeding sit in’, in which mothers are invited to breastfeed in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit, from 12pm-6pm Monday to Saturday.

It is argued that the work rejects the concept of baby formula, a time-saving alternative to breast-feeding in ‘a society preoccupied with economic growth’. Creagh’s work floats the idea of breastfeeding as a free, immeasurable resource that refuses to be bound by economic values. The ponderous way in which the photographs change reflects a slower, more universal time that exists outside the jurisdiction of human consumerism.

‘The mothers featured are presented alongside a ‘reimagined ‘Timepeice’ digitally reconfigured from ancient Cosmatesque design. Rather than animated at 24 frames per second, each mother is presented in an emptier time of only twelve frames per minute. The effect is to slow time down, an emptying out of time that is strangely calming.’

Time might also be felt here as a physical object, the children that are held measure time through their physical growth. The mothers hold in their arms a certain moment in their children’s lives, a physical representation of that moment in history. Perhaps this reflects the human tendency to attempt to slow time down and cling to specific moments.

Time’s broad, all encompassing nature is visually represented in the photograph’s constant dark backdrops, ‘reminiscent of Renaissance paintings’. On top of this a broad range of subjects of different ages are presented. Time is alluded to as a constant presence, representing the backdrop on top of which we all must exist.

‘The development of the work is promoted using a specially created online Social Enterprise called The Parlour. Creagh describes this as ‘preparing the ground’ for the work by engaging with a diverse audience of passionate breastfeeding mothers on social media and the web. Through interviews with the participating mothers, and a blog written by Sociologist and collaborator, Lucila Newell, the ideas and themes of Holding Time are explored more broadly and the Parlour will be hosting a workshop on 24 February exploring the themes of Motherhood and Space/Time.’

More details can be found here or on the ONCA website

ONCA Gallery, 14 St George’s Place, Brighton, BN1 4GB, United Kingdom

22 Feb 2018 – 4 Mar 2018

Monday – Friday: 12pm-6pm

Sunday: 12pm-4pm

Featured image by Jerry Lai


  1. Hello

    Thanks for featuring my show! I’m a little confused by the images though: would you like to use some form the exhibition instead?

    All the best


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