Moments That Matter is a series of artworks by artist John Conway, created for mothers engaging with LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice. The project was the first of its kind in Ireland to explore the landscape of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition through the voice of the mother.
In 2020, LauraLynn established an artist commission to show the beauty and connection within everyday moments in the lives of the families who attend the hospice. Artist John Conway was selected to collaborate with families in the creation of work, with their experiences as the central focus of the commission.
The entire project took place online due to Covid restrictions. Throughout 2021 the artist met with four mothers for several online workshops. John listened to their stories while they drank tea and sometimes doodled together. This space provided an opportunity for participants to discuss their lived experiences and for the artist to hear about the wonders and challenges in their parenting lives.
LauraLynn provides palliative care for children with limiting conditions – people fear and misunderstand this term. Listening to participants helped me to understand that life and care are the focus within this, and that while the possibility of the end is acknowledged – with dignity, respect, and much anticipated grief – it is this which galvanizes the precious moments of life and care. The word “palliative” comes from the latin word “palliare”, which means to cloak. This resonated with me through our conversations: to cloak; to cover; to mind; to protect. The simple caring gesture of wrapping someone up to feel safe and loved. With this in mind, and based on our conversations, I chose to create a bespoke throw for each mother and child. – Artist John Conway
The works were presented to each mother in January 2022 via courier with a collective online unveiling. The series of work is a tribute to the participants and their remarkable motherhoods, their devotion, and both the multiple roles they fill as mothers in such challenging circumstances and the caring hands of family and healthcare staff which support them in turn.
Moments That Matter was funded by the Creative Ireland Programme with support from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office.