I’ve now had a little time to reflect on the busy and enjoyable week of my babywearing exhibition.
On Saturday the exhibition opened with some delicious lemon drizzle cupcakes from Anne of Toast & Butter. By lunchtime most of the people in the photos had come to see themselves and it was lovely for me to see how much some of the children had grown since I photographed them. Maria Yasnova from La Leche League brought a large selection of books and leaflets and gave advice on breastfeeding, while Virginia Carrington led an informal discussion on “good enough” parenting, which developed into a very interesting dialogue on different approaches to schooling.
Sunday was horribly wet and I was concerned that no one would come to the talks, but many people braved the rain and we had a great turnout. Clare Caro of Nature Play gave a really interesting talk about infant brain development, offering a biological and scientific view of attachment parenting. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to sit and listen to all of it, as I was busy making lots of cups of tea to warm everyone up from the cold. This was followed by John Graves, who gave a passionate and persuasive psychological perspective on attachment parenting including how it can help your children develop emotional intelligence (and even managed to mention Marx). By this point many of the toddlers had been there for two hours with only minor levels of escaping, so unfortunately not everyone was able to stay for our last minute addition of Katrin Bain discussing realistic ways for mothers to integrate “me time” into their lives. Those of us remaining had an interesting conversation.
After a busy and successful weekend I was happy to relax in the gallery for a few quieter days. My son kept me company with his many toy busses; Emily Williamson from South London Sling Library brought a suitcase full of carriers down for her roving sling surgery and the exhibition closed on Wednesday with the most fabulous Victoria sponge cake I have ever tasted, courtesy of one of the babywearers from the photographs.
It was wonderful to meet and share ideas with so many inspiring people. Many thanks to everyone involved and to The Portico Gallery for having us.