Story of Mum Exhibition


Our Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves programme of exhibition events ran from May to December 2013, visiting the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, The Exchange in Penzance, the Photographers' Gallery London and the Museum of Motherhood in New York. 

We brought mothers together to share our stories and explore how motherhood changes our sense of identity. It was an amazing experience, and we are so grateful to all the mothers who participated, our partners, and all the galleries. 

What was the exhibition all about?

As mothers, it's not often that we feel seen, heard and valued. Our everyday stories matter, and sharing them can inspire others.  

So we put mums into high profile galleries to show everyone (including ourselves) what an important job we do. 

 This blog post, Invisible Mothers, tells you more about why this is so important.

What happened at our exhibition events?

We got together and got creative. We made stuff that became part of the exhibition. We had fun. We shared our stories.

Mums at our events said they felt celebrated and exhilarated, moved and honoured. Some said they finally felt normal and glad it wasn't just them. They felt inspired and wonderful. Better. No longer invisible.

There were family play dates, and mum-only Make Dates to create new material for the exhibition. There was cake, and mess, and sadness, and joy.

What happened online?

You can visit the online exhibition here - featuring photographs, writing, mum- poetry and more. We would love you to add to it too, submissions can still be accepted at any time.

The online exhibition includes six galleries of activities to browse and try. Plus you'll find a fabulous collection of mothering stories shared with us by Proshanti

 Along with material collected from partners around the world, including the Museum of MotherhoodKensington MumsWILD Young Parents Project and many more. 

Follow our online tour

We also inspired 50 mini-exhibitions on blogs around the world from June to August 2013 as part of a virtual exhibition tour.

Visit different websites to find mums curating their own favourite parts of the exhibition and adding their own wonderful contributions.

Events and Timings

You can find out what happened when in the calendar below, and learn more in the press release below that. 


 3 May - 2 June                MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

 Visit the exhibition in the Project Space

10 May

 7-9pm: Story of Mum Make Date (invite only)

11 May  

 12-4pm: Story of Mum Family Make Date:  exhibition/events 

 12 September- 10 October     The Exchange, Penzance


12 September  

 7.30-10pm: Story of Mum Make Date

13 September  

 11 - 12.30, 2-5pm: Story of Mum Family Make Date:  exhibition/events

 18 - 19 October  Photographers' Gallery,  London

 running parallel to: "Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and  Identity" exhibition

18 October

 7 - 9.30: Mums' Make Date - including Hollie McNish

 (and from 6.30, a special reception for BritMums members)

19 October  

 Story of Mum exhibition open all day 10.30am - 1pm, 2-4pm

 Family Make Date from 2-4pm

 5-8 December

 Museum of Motherhood,
 New  York         

 Femail/Story of Mum Mama Mash Up Make Date: Thursday 5 December  5-7pm
 Family Make Date at M.O.M. Family Day on Sunday 8 December 3-5pm
 Visit the exhibition from 6-8 December

#somum MAKE DATES linked to the exhibition:

 8 May                     on twitter (#somum)          

 8.30-10pm: Story of Mum Make Date: I'm a Mum and a

 11 September         on twitter (#somum)         

 8.30-10pm: Story of Mum Make DateMama Mash-Up

 9 October                       on twitter (#somum)                    

 8.30-10pm: Story of Mum Make Date: My Mum-Story - The Big Draw


 May - October 2013                                         

 Join in or browse the online exhibition - Make an  Exhibition of Yourself   

 June - August 2013

 Blogs worldwide

 Virtual exhibition tour - individually curated exhibitions

Supporting events:

 April  Museum of Motherhood,  New York                                    

 Story of M.O.M. (collecting/sharing I'm a Mum and a... photos and stories)    

 7 June                                                             

 Beaufort House, Chelsea

 Kensington Mums Motherhood Exhibition (also  collecting/sharing I'm a Mum  and a... photos and stories in  April/May)


Mums are making an exhibition of themselves from Penzance to New York…

We're all more than 'just' a mum. We're friends, partners, workers, dreamers, taxi drivers, late night dancers, secret rock stars.

How would YOU complete the sentence, "I'm a mum and a..."?

What stories do you tell yourself about your role as mum?

What do your most precious photos capture about what mothering means to you?

What do your doodles tell you?

Prompted by, an inspiring online community and art project founded by mother/daughter team Pippa and Penny Best, mums from around the world are coming together to create and tour a unique collaborative programme of exhibitions and events across England.

The exhibition runs from May to October 2013, culminating at the Museum of Motherhood in New York: Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves.

Focused on creative activities for mums instead of forums or advice, is an alternative mums’ community that fuses real and virtual participatory art.

Mums connect and explore their individuality through simple shared projects like photographing their chaos, doodling the inside of a mums’ head, or baking a pie chart of their day.

Supported by the Arts Council and Feast, Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves combines virtual and physical exhibitions and Mums’ “Make Dates” to explore motherhood and identity.

Online activities feed into pop-up events at the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Exchange in Penzance, The Photographers’ Gallery in London, and the Museum of Motherhood in New York.

On social media and face-to-face, Story of Mum Make Dates offer rare creative me-time (a kind of ‘mums’ night out’ meets unconventional knitting circle!). Chatting while creating exhibition material, mums share mum-stories, shape a curated poem for performance, and feature in portraits capturing their diverse identities.

Daytime gallery events bring families together to get creative, browse the contributions, and explore their mothers’ world.

The exhibition programme will expand as material is created throughout the year.

A wide range of partners are contributing in addition to the core community at from WILD young parents project in Cornwall, Milton Keynes’ multicultural Stay and Play Group, to Kensington Mums in London.

From the collected stories of Bangladeshi charity Proshanti to the Museum of Motherhood in New York, mothers around the globe are making their daily lives into an exhibition.

Story of Mum co-creator Pippa Best explains why she and her mum created the exhibition:

“Motherhood is a wonderful, difficult, contradictory experience that can both expand and diminish our sense of self. 

 We want and Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves to inspire a global community of mums to come together to create and share our stories, valuing our innate creativity and personal knowledge.

The early years of motherhood in particular can be very lonely - once the kids are asleep, the web becomes a vital communication hub. By bringing mums’ experience into contemporary gallery spaces as well as online, we want to show mums of all ages and backgrounds that we are valued, seen and heard – and our experience matters.”

Visit the online galleries or real-life events to share your motherhood story and join the adventure.