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© The Artist

Mother (Motherhood), 1977

Mandy Havers (b. 1953)

Embodying the threshold

  • Medium:
    Leather, kapok and glass
  • Dimensions:
    108 × 52.5 × 38 cm
  • Collection:
    Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
  • Coll. No:
    AC 2035

Click here to watch a short film about the sculptures by Rachel Whiteread, Mandy Havers and Barbara Hepworth in the Arts Council’s storage facility at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, presented by co-curators Tamsin Golding Yee and Alice Acland

Mother (Motherhood) depicts a pregnant woman with a baby that sits very literally on the threshold between the womb and the outside world. The artist Mandy Havers looks beyond the barrier of skin to visualise a foetus floating in its mother’s body – a sculptural interpretation of an ultrasound scan. Stitched together from panels of leather, Mother highlights the malleability of the pregnant body as it accommodates the growth of new life. Pregnancy is shown as a liminal period, and the work records a space of creation and the threshold that we all cross at the beginning of our lives. 

To read an essay written by co-curator Alice Acland on ‘Mother’, visit pages 29-31 of the Catalogue.