Lizzie Philps


Lizzie Philps (UK, Bristol)
Maternity Leaves (2013)
Film/Walking Performance


“Maternity Leaves records my exploration of the visceral and performative intersections between walking documentation and maternal ambivalence during the first year of my daughter’s life. These (not quite) solitary suburban walks offered time to not only think about but also to perform my new role, and what began as a personal dare to take a few more steps away from my ‘co-performer’ than was emotionally comfortable became intentional acts of provocation to unwitting passers-by.

The titles, detailing the number of steps taken on each walk away from the buggy, are a plaintiff acknowledgement of responsibility, but in querying proxemics through transgressive behaviour I hoped to trouble definitions of “good” mothering, and challenge the viewers’ right to tell me in one moment what that means. The difference between “ah, look, a mother photographing her baby” and “what the hell is she doing?!” is only a few paces.”

Lizzie Philps makes theatre, installations as well as site-based and walking events. She is Course Leader of the BA in Drama and Performance at SGS College, Bristol, and a practice-based PhD candidate at Exeter University exploring the performed maternal through the lens of walking practice; re-evaluating the sublime, the suburban, and the sentimental. She particularly considers how forms of walking documentation can be used to create unexpected encounters and conversations amongst members of the public.