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Holding Time exhibition puts breastfeeding in the picture

Holding Time exhibition puts breastfeeding in the picture

An art exhibition at the University of Wolverhampton is putting breastfeeding in the picture through an in-depth portrait of mothers nursing their children across multiple cities in the UK. 

The Holding Time exhibition by artist, Lisa Creagh, is taking place in the Millennium City Gallery at City Campus in Wolverhampton and takes an interdisciplinary approach involving photography, storytelling, interviews and animation to celebrate and normalise breastfeeding through an in-depth portrait of mothers engaged in breastfeeding in cities across the UK. 

The portraits in the exhibition are of women in Brighton, Nottingham and Coventry.  Lisa is now in the process of developing a Wolverhampton iteration of the project in collaboration with Dr Lisa Orchard and Dr Wendy Nicholls, Psychology research academics from the University’s Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing. 

The exhibition, which is taking place until Friday 12 August 2022, is an ongoing seven-year participatory project which brings together grassroots community groups, healthcare practitioners and academics to overcome cultural barriers to breastfeeding. 

The Mother Portraits are the foundation of the Holding Time Project. Mothers from Nottingham, Coventry, Brighton and Liverpool were invited to breastfeed in front of the camera, in lighting reminiscent of Renaissance paintings. The range of mothers is deliberately broad in scope, from early twenties to mid-forties, with children aged from a few weeks to up to three and a half. 

Each mother is interviewed by the artist in a process of uncovering the narrative behind the image. Interviews are edited into 8-minute VLOGs distributed on a dedicated project YouTube channel at 

Stop motion animation of breastfeeding mothers are shown in this exhibition, depicting a version of ‘real time’ that feels slowed. Instead of the convention of 24 frames per second, Lisa uses one frame every four seconds to try to capture the sensation of the breastfeeding experience from a mother’s perspective. An original piano composition by British composer Helen Anahita Wilson creates a sense of calm and mindfulness.    

This exhibition is an introduction to Holding Time as Lisa embarks on a Wolverhampton iteration of the project in collaboration with the School of Art and School of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. Co-creation is at the heart of the project and Dr Lisa Orchard & Dr Wendy Nicholls from the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing are working with the project to measure the social impact of the digital and In Real Life (IRL) programme. Please contact: if you would like to find out more about the project or how to get involved.  

About the Artist: 

Lisa Creagh is known for collaborative multi-disciplinary work in the area of health and communities. She employs a variety of photographic instruments to create conceptual pieces that vary in duration from immediate, site-specific works to extended collaborative pieces spanning several years. Lisa has exhibited and published work widely across the UK and internationally. Some recent commissions, exhibitions and awards include Manchester Gallery and Museum (2022), Open Eye Gallery (2022), Liverpool Maternity Services (2021), Warwick University Medical School (2020). For further information visit 

  • For anyone who already has the results of their qualifications, applications can be made through Clearing from Tuesday 5 July 2022. The University’s Clearing webpage provides further information on all the courses available in Clearing. Applications can be made either by calling the Clearing Team on 01902 51 8585 or through the University’s social media channels on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.   
  • For anyone who is awaiting the results of their qualifications, they can register their interest and book a phone call with a Clearing Adviser on results day, Thursday, 18 August 2022.  
  • For more information our next Open Day is on Saturday 20 August 2022. 


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