Feral Mothers

art performance
Iron my hair, performance film Helen Sargeant & Delpha Hudson, 2023

Feral Mothers is a collaborative performance project by Helen Sargeant & Delpha Hudson. Together they create surreal juxtapositions between the maternal body, domestic objects and landscape that utilise the magic of encounter and the material symbolism of nature that aims to transcend domestic ‘bounds’ and promote care and equality.

Living at opposite ends of the UK, both Helen and Delpha have both been making art works about mothers for over 20 years. Their current practice overlaps with other media, including paintings and drawings, in addition to performing together in local landscapes in both Calderdale and Cornwall.  Care is the connective thread that runs through performative actions at significant sites. At the Bridestones this included ironing pools, feeding rocks and swaddling stones. 

artists working in the landscape
Swaddling stones, Feral Mothers at the Bridestones, 2024

Conversations between Calderdale and Cornwall: 

Helen and Delpha are currently creating drawings, and discursive and poetic texts via post, reflecting on their experiences of working together in the landscape and on care. 

Eco-feminism allows for the articulation of an ethic of care. Care is part of how we relate to the other and that ‘other ‘ isn’t just other human beings but any part of the planet. Care is a radical political situating of our selves in relationships to others.

Disavowing discourses that link women specifically to the environment because of their traditional social role as a nurturer and care giver and instead playing with parallels between the oppression of nature and the oppression of women, Helen & I make new myths and correspondences between caring acts and domestic symbolism- outside of domestic enclosures, claiming the mythical affirmation that ‘we are all mothers’; overcoming the over-determination and blanket silencing of the category ‘mother’ -and the word ‘care’.

performance at Men an tol stones
Ironing the sky, film still, 2023

One of the films that we created, Iron my hair, will be on show at Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2024  Who Cares ? Curated by Hannah Bowles

Opening Friday 24th May until 8th June. Venue: Newark Works • BA2 3DZ

Iron my Hair is a performance film by Helen Sargeant and Delpha Hudson that is performed at dusk at the Mên-an-Tol in Cornwall. Delpha irons Helen’s hair on a child’s ironing board and then in the gap in the holed stone. This is an ancient site that involves many myths about women and care and the gestures of the performance are gentle and tender. The spoken text refers to many kinds of care, including mothers, friends, family – and self-care.

More information about other films…

woman in a blue dress ironing the sky
Ironing the sky, film still, 3 mins, 2023

WATCH THIS SPACE: MORE TO COME as Feral Mothers, Helen and Delpha create films, installations, drawings and texts. Find out more on our Instagram pages:

Helen Sargeant (@helensargeantartist) • Instagram photos and videos

delpha hudson (@delphahudson) • Instagram photos and videos