Devised and commission by SEEN festival, Leicester, 2003

Parodying the stereotypical gendered caring role of the mother and re-siting private and domestic feminine role-play onto a public street, I set up a table and offered tea and a chat to passers-by.

Audiences became active art-makers through dialogue and conversation and were asked to reconsider the expectation that women are assigned and fulfil an all-caring role.

Mimicking stereotypical mothering behaviour made fun of the physical (a cup of tea and a biscuit) and psychological (sympathy and listening) comfort that mothers give their children and families on a day to day basis. The disturbing hospitality and maternal effacement parodied precarious affective labour that is expected of women. It also connected different audiences through conversations about care.

Re-siting private domestic role-playing expected of women into a public space, this masquerade reconsiders domestic tropes that often devour and eliminate possibilities for women’s selfhood and Subjectivity. It questions stereotypes that  relegate women to low paid jobs and to supporting roles that are undervalued and unappreciated in Western societies.

View other work which parodies caring roles.