Memoirs of a Spacemother: An Astropoetic Sci Fi Essay Film | Irish Artist's Film Index

Memoirs of a Spacemother: An Astropoetic Sci Fi Essay Film

Treasa O'Brien

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Artist's biography

Treasa O'Brien


Treasa O'Brien
Féile Cara Beo O'Brien


Memoirs of a Spacemother: an Astropoetic Sci Fi Essay film explores an alternative society of gender-fluid ‘mothers’ living on Planet Ceres, using newly filmed material by the artist, and images from NASA’s Hubble telescope. Planet Ceres has evolved a society that celebrates the lifegiving, caring, nurturing and pleasurable aspects of mothering. Its citizens value their interdependency on one another and all members of Cerling society identify as mothers whatever their gender (there are at least 9), and whether they have biological children or not. Can we imagine outside of what we already know? When it feels like there is no room for imagination on planet Earth, fantasy is a place to be political. Science Fiction or speculative fiction is a fertile space to imagine, not only how we might live as humans, but how we already do live. Space exploration is a precursor for space colonisation. Climate change on Earth will affect the poor first, while the rich can buy their way out. The question is: will space colonies be for the rich or for the poor to live in?

Concept & Technique

Memoirs of a Spacemother is influenced by, and is made in the spirit of, classic feminist science fiction and philosophy writers including Donna Haraway, Naomi Mitchison, Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler and Ursula le Guin. It was made mostly in the artist’s bedroom during her baby’s naps. Memoirs of a Spacemother was originally made as a video installation while in residency at Galway Arts Centre in collaboration with NUIG Astronomy Dept, and featured as part of a 4–person exhibition Making Space for the Galway Arts Festival Summer 2019. The installation was experienced immersively by the audience suspended in hammocks watching a square and circle ceiling projection with surround sound. In the exterior chamber to the installation was a reading room with classic feminist speculative fiction novels, and plaster casts of the artist's breasts cast from before and after breastfeeding. The nipples and breasts resemble the craters and mountains on Planet Ceres. A linear 14min version of the film essay is also available and has been screened at film festivals and artists' public screening events. Moving Images are artists own and NASA Hubblespace.


2019 - Making Space, Galway Arts Centre, Galway International Arts Festival, 14 July – 30 August

2019 - 51 Zero International Moving Image & Art Festival, Canterbury, UCA Canterbury 9-17 November

2020 - Blackrock Library, 8 March, as part of This Moment: Women Make Films programme



Memoirs of a Spacemother: An Astropoetic Sci Fi Essay Film




Autobiography, Cultural Commentary, Documentary, Expressionist, Narrative, Social Commentary, Surrealist


Arts, Emotions, Environment, Human Relations, Humankind, Politics, Philosophy, Physical Sciences, technology




00:14:00 (looped)

Original formats

Digital HD

Screening formats

Digital HD

Aspect ratio






Supported by Kildare County Council Arts Service, the Arts Council of Ireland and Visual Artists Ireland.
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