Paula McCloskey is a doctoral student at the University of Sheffield engaged in trans-disciplinary research. She is interested in thinking and practice that explores subjectivity as an encounter, maternity, art-encounters, maternity and art, and autobiography. She has published papers in Studies in the Maternal, Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Midwifery Matters, among others. She is also a founder member of A Place of Their Own, a practice that explores social inequalities and injustices through critical thinking and creative activities.
My maternal journey, like others’, is complicated. I come from an immediate matrilineage that bears witness to disrupted maternities. Mothers leaving their children, children sent away in the wider context of poverty, loss, abuse and trauma. I was one of six children, the second child born to teenage Irish parents – a Catholic father and Protestant mother in the mid-1970s. My maternal journey started with my own mother, a relationship that, although primary, has been at best consistently fraught, at worst destructive or nonexistent.