Spilt Milk is a social enterprise based in Scotland whose mission is to promote the work of artists who are mothers and to empower mothers in the local community through artist-led activities. 


over 90% of new mothers in the uk admit to feeling isolated after having children.



We create opportunities for motherhood to become more visible within the arts, which in turn allows mothers everywhere to feel more visible in their own communities. We achieve this through our online platform, pop-up exhibitions, events and workshops, as well as our supportive membership network. We understand the challenges faced by mothers and are committed to developing strategies to remove the social and cultural  barriers which can often hinder their participation.


Aims & Objectives

  • To understand the specific needs and challenges faced by mothers in the arts.
  • To actively promote the work of artists who are mothers allowing their experiences to become an equal voice in contemporary art discourse.
  • To remove the childcare barriers which can hinder the participation of mothers in the arts.
  • To facilitate and encourage engagement, dialogue and participation between mothers in the arts and the wider community. 

arts graduates


  • To deliver creative workshops and childcare for vulnerable mothers living in Scotland in order to tackle social and cultural isolation, improve confidence and provide a safe space for self expression.
  • To provide training and paid teaching opportunities for professional mother-artists to deliver creative workshops to local families.
  • To develop and sustain links and relationships with partner organisations working locally and internationally towards a similar goal.

gallery representation

Still from Alison O'Neil's video piece  'Nothing Gets Through'.

Still from Alison O'Neil's video piece  'Nothing Gets Through'.


"There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall" 

- Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise, 1938


Why Mothers?

Female artists have been continually faced with preconceptions that they can't be great artists and great mothers, that the two roles are mutually exclusive and to succeed at one means to sacrifice the other.  As recently as 2016, prominent female artists have publicly stated that they believe they could not be the great artists they are, if they had 


children. Male artists have never faced these preconceptions and both inside and outside the home, mothers are still shamed where fathers are celebrated. Female artists are less valued in our contemporary culture and mothers are less valued in the home, so where does this leave the mother-artist? 


Of the top 100 artworks sold at auction in 2017, only 13 were by women.


how to get involved

Spilt Milk membership is open to all professional artists who identify as mothers, living anywhere in the world. We curate regular exhibitions and events as well as our annual members show. 


We curate regular exhibitions which focus on the role of mothers. We also host a number of events and workshops throughout Edinburgh and aim to provide creche facilities at most events. Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed of events near you!

Lauren McLaughlin 'A Conflict of Interests' 2016

Lauren McLaughlin 'A Conflict of Interests' 2016


View Lauren's work on her artist page or read more about her journey in Making Motherhood Visible, the first blog post.


Spilt Milk was founded in 2018 by Lauren McLaughlin, a Scottish artist, curator, art educator and single mother. Inspired by her own experience of facing constant barriers in accessing art education, affordable childcare and opportunities to advance her career as a young mother, Lauren's aim was to create a platform of support for mothers in Scotland regardless of age, income or familial circumstances. 



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