• The Mother Load is a global network of women who have connected through the simple act of passing a name from one person to another, creating an elaborate community of women who are both artists and mothers.



    In 2012, US based artists Lesli Robertson and Natalie Macellaio established The Mother Load, in an effort to encourage dialogue and connection between women who balance artistic careers and motherhood. This project is about recording these connections and finding ways to share, collaborate and support each other and our work.


    The Mother Load begins by sending small copper plates to individual artists and asking them to leave their fingerprint and that of their children. The copper plate oxidizes over time, gradually revealing this form of identity - one that changes the moment you become a mother. The second side of the copper plate holds a QR code that points to the artists’ website, tying this project back to the individual artist and the connection their hands have to their practice and their relationships.


    We ask each contributing artist to share about their role as an artist and mother, giving us a small window into their thoughts about their creative practice. These stories are shared below.

  • Artists

    The Mother Load is an ever growing community
    Visit the links below to learn about the amazing work being created from this diverse group of artists.


    We asked our artists to share their experience of being a mother and artist

    HERE are their candid and open responses


    Through The Mother Load, we work to find platforms to engage in conversations that tie our work to others

    in our local and global community.

    Exhibition and Outreach

    February 26th through April 4th, 2016
    Curated by Clare Brennan and in collaboration with Dr. Simone O'Callaghan and Pernille Spence

    Interactive Exhibition

    September 19th through March 31st, 2015

    Curated in partnership with Susan Diachisin, Center for Creative Connections

    Bringing the conversation from The Mother Load to local communities through interactive artwork development

    Amazing women who work with us to share their knowledge and creative practice

  • Listen In

    Over the years we have been privileged to have conversations with artists about their life and work. These conversations serve as bios of their lives and experiences.



    TML: Dundee Symposium

    TML: Dundee Symposium Q&A

  • Resources

    Learn more about what other amazing Artists/Mothers are doing!

  • Map

    We have connected to over 100 artists from 10 countries and counting!




  • Trestle

    In 2012, Trestle Designs launched the collaboration between Natalie and Lesli. Conversations that happened in the studio led to the creation of The Mother Load. 100% of proceeds from these sales supports our project.

    Every few weeks we will add something different, so check back in!

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