Open call project ︎


In 2023, INCCA launched a new initiative, Art After Baby, a project supporting artists who are mothers, parents, or have been impacted by pregnancy and/or any associated loss.

To initiate the project, we put out an open call and invited visual artists based in Gauteng to apply. We appealed specifically to those who are trying to juggle art-making with motherhood, parenting, or have been impacted by pregnancy or any associated loss. With this project, we acknowledge that artists are generally “zero-hour workers” with a sporadic and unreliable income, and that many child carers do not have the financial cushion to continue their practice. We also acknowledge that, whether they are caregivers or not, countless women are impacted by pregnancy and associated complications, and that this can have a deep effect on their ability to work.    

Art After Baby is a collaborative project, supported by the National Arts Council South Africa (NAC) Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP 4). 

We hope to establish routes and approaches for others in similar positions.

From the applications, we identified two successful candidates who each received a living wage for two months, as well as an artist fee to participate in a selling two-person exhibition of their work, which took place at Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg in November 2023. They also participated in workshops during this period hosted by arts professionals on practical topics related to motherhood or loss, and the arts industry, and were interviewed by writers who published related editorial on our website.

The overall aim of Art After Baby was to confront a somewhat taboo subject, to find pathways for the accepted applicants to participate in an industry often still dominated by men and/or privilege, and to explore how art-making itself can be a cathartic salve for the many challenges of motherhood, and/or trauma and loss.
In addition we hope to establish routes and approaches for others in similar positions.

We also hope to underscore how art-making and parenting can co-exist under the right circumstances and can allow for an important and cathartic synergy. This project is heavily influenced by the research and work of British writer Hettie Judah, who interviewed around 60 artist mothers about their experiences in 2021, resulting in a manifesto, and ultimately a book titled How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents). It presents a solutions-based approach on the subject, looking at benchmarks all over the world. Ultimately, Judah suggests that what the art industry risks by not taking intersectional contexts into consideration is remaining more homogeneous, precluding “participation by all but the wealthy and carefree”.

The two selected artists were Ditiro Mashigo and Naledi Chai. Writers Christa Dee and Nkosazana Hlalethwa were commissioned to write about each artist respectively. In addition, we invited artist and academic Dee Marco to conduct one of the workshops and subsequently presented Marco’s project The House of Complaints within the space. The exhibitions were produced and organised by INCCA co-founders Londi Modiko, Lara Koseff and Nthabiseng Mokoena, with assistance from Nthabiseng Onthatile Mofokeng.

Explore all the associated projects and text below.

Independent Network for Contemporary Culture & Art
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