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 


Top 100 artworks sold at auction in 2017


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? 


single parents in Scotland

 Paula Chambers; Domestic Front.

Paula Chambers; Domestic Front.



Spilt Milk is based in Edinburgh and the majority of our pop up events and exhibitions take place here and throughout the rest of Scotland. Although our current focus is on reaching communities throughout Scotland, we understand that the experience of the artist-mother is one that transcends geographical locations  


therefore our online activity engages with artists working both locally as well as internationally. Our hope is that through communication and collaboration, artists throughout the world can connect, inspire and learn from one another. 


how to get involved

Are you an artist and a mother?  Do you feel you would benefit from promotion of your work, a supportive online community as well increased opportunities to exhibit your work? Perhaps you would like to connect with others in your area to discuss your work, share your inspirations and challenges, or even collaborate? If this sounds like you, then head over to our membership page to find out more.


Do you have a space that could facilitate one of our members events?  We are looking for family friendly venues that could host a meet up, perhaps a small cafe, community space, soft play or local business. If this sounds like you then please get in touch with us!


 Lauren McLaughlin 'A Conflict of Interests' 2016

Lauren McLaughlin 'A Conflict of Interests' 2016



Spilt Milk was founded in 2018 by Lauren McLaughlin, a Scottish artist, curator and single mum who felt that there has been a real lack of support for artists with children in the artistic community around her. Over the years Lauren struggled to see contemporary work that reflected her own lived experiences making her feel isolated and invisible in the big bubble of the contemporary art world. Through researching and connecting with fellow



artist-mothers and organisations around the world, she began to recognise that she wasn't alone and that there was a huge need for action both in Scotland and further afield, so began working towards what was to become Spilt Milk.    

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


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