Motherhood uncovered

A bold, uncompromising and thought-provoking exhibition exploring an unfiltered and often unseen side of motherhood is coming to Warrington Museum and Art Gallery next month.

Lāsma Poiša’s I Became A Mother will be showcased at the historic venue between 8 March and 19 May.

The solo exhibition follows the photographic artist’s award-winning entry into Warrington Arts Festival’s Open Exhibition in 2022.

Lāsma, a British Latvian who lives in Todmorden, won First Prize for a bold image of herself with her baby daughter Esme – described by judges as ‘powerful, honest and confronting’.

Her new work will continue to explore the themes and challenges of becoming a parent and the ‘metamorphosis, evolution and recovery’ involved in the journey from womanhood to motherhood.

Lāsma feared that her emerging career in photography would be hindered when she became a mum in 2022.

Instead, she found challenging the ways motherhood has been traditionally portrayed and exposing the hidden realities of becoming a mum a ripe subject matter and one that continues to resonate with others.

Lāsma said: “I am incredibly grateful to return to Warrington Museum for my first ever solo show after winning the Warrington Contemporary Festival prize.

“This is a very significant opportunity and a huge milestone in my life as an artist and a mum.”

As well as winning Warrington Arts Festival Open Exhibition 2022, Lāsma was awarded an arts commission from the Manchester hub of ‘Mothers Who Make’ and was shortlisted for the British Journal of Photography ‘Portrait of Britain’ 2023. Her work was also featured in the globally distributed Eye Mama book, Poetic Truths of Home and Motherhood.

Other highlights include working with Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography and Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery as part of the Collective Matters exhibition as well as completing a residency at Outlandia in Scotland.

Lāsma also works as an educator. She is currently based at the University of Salford and was previously Arts Outreach Coordinator at LOCWS International in Wales.

Paulette Brien, from Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, is the exhibition’s guest curator.

She added: “I feel something when I look at the work of Lāsma Poiša. Some of what I feel, I can put into words – challenged, charmed, confronted.

“However, some of what I feel resists being described – it hovers somewhere between a thought and a sensation, and stays with me long after I have left the images behind.”

I Became A Mother opens at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery 8 March and is free to view