Mother Tongue is a research-led, independent curatorial practice working locally and internationally, formed in 2009 by Tiffany Boyle and Jessica Carden. We have since then collaboratively produced exhibitions, film programmes, discursive events, essays and publications, working with galleries, museums, archives, festivals and national organisations, primarily in Scotland and Sweden. Mother Tongue’s practice in exhibition-making intersects with research interests – including, but not limited to – post-colonialism, language, translation, heritage, race, indigenousness, migration, and movement. We are recent recipients of a grant from the Paul Mellon Centre, London, to undertake archive and collection research into the presence and exhibition histories of artists of colour in Scotland towards a future ‘AfroScots’ exhibition project.
We have undertaken residencies in Scotland, Sweden, Finland and Barbados, and participated on the 2011/12 CuratorLab programme at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. Commissioned by the British Council Scotland, Mother Tongue is a partner within the cohort for the inaugural Tilting Axis Fellowship, a one-year opportunity for a Caribbean-based practitioner to undertake across the region and in Scotland designed in collaboration with the CCA Glasgow, David Dale Gallery and Hospitalfield, as well as our Caribbean partners.
Mother Tongue’s projects are frequently accompanied by writing, from ourselves and writer’s commissions, both critical and creative texts. These have been published in English and Gaelic, and translation has played a prominent role also – from Swedish and Portuguese - as examples into English. We have written for outlets including MAP magazine and Africa is a Country, and published with Palgrave Macmillan.