Crit Group Crew: Helen & Dyana

Mentor: Helen Sergeant

Location: Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK, GMT

Mother to a grown child


IG: @sargeanthelen & @maternalart

Mentorship style: “Nurturing, open minded, supportive, friendly, kind and encouraging. I like to foster community and collaborative thinking through sharing knowledge, value and care about arts practice. I think that deep listening is really important, being positive, critical, and self reflective. Contextualising practice is also key as I think that this helps an artist to understand their practice, gain confidence and develop their creative work.”

Bio: “I have been working as an artist for 26 years, I currently have a studio in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK. I support my practice through selling art work and professional services including teaching and mentoring. I have produced and curated international projects such as The Egg The Womb The Head & The Moon and Maternal Art. In 2020 I published the first edition of Maternal Art Magazine. I have worked as an academic, lecturing in visual arts in higher education. I exhibit nationally and internationally and my work has been published in books and journals.”

Boob Flower, Digital Drawing, 2021

Originating in autobiography my work explores the female body and themes of pregnancy, mothering and sexuality. Paintings depict the body in fragments, the pregnant torso, the breasts and the vulva. The work is both personal and universal and explores my vulnerability as an artist and a mother. I enjoy pattern, colour and embellishment. Recent work has involved drawing with stitch onto familiar domestic textiles, sheets, pillows and towels.

Through my work I aim to explore how the body is transformed through pregnancy and mothering and more recently I have been looking at its deterioration. Artists that inspire my practice include Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel, Alina Spzpazokowitz, Maria Lassnig and Loie Holloway.

Visiting Artist: Dyana Gravina

Website & IG: @dygravina + @procreateproject + @motherhousestudios

Bio: Dyana Gravina (She /They) is a curator, birth doula, activist and community builder, a mover, and performance artist. 

She is the founder and creative director of Procreate Project, a pioneering arts organisation dedicated to womxn and non-binary artists who are (m)others. 

Over the past eight years, they created an ever-growing network of artists and supporters, demonstrating the need for new approaches and infrastructures both for artists and the cultural industries. She has been providing new references for models that can inspire a sea-change across sectors; integrate ways we perceive and balance the private, the domestic, and the public as part of the cultural and social landscape.

In this framework, they have been developing her own artistic practice with an interest in feminism, migration, body politics, social constructions/deconstruction of the female, and sexualities. Using both autobiographical materials as well as collective stories she produces a transdisciplinary body of work that combines photography, video, text, movement, and live actions.