Richard Ansett

Poster #6, Goddard Avenue, Hull

The project has evolved to a public event from a deeply personal and private attempt to contact my unknown birth mother. When my attempts were unsuccessful, having discovered that she was living in Hull, I chose to travel to the city and exist within the landscape and be as physically close to her as I knew how. On arrival as I walked around the city streets, I became aware of the many women of my mother’s age and realised that anyone one of them could be her. I had not brought a camera so I took  photographs with cheap throw away cameras bought from shops in the area.

These images were a therapeutic act and a document of my feelings at the time that remained deeply private and unseen for many years until the announcement of Hull as city of culture 2017. This inspired their return to Hull in the form of ‘lost cat’ style posters with no information except the statement ‘ARE YOU MY MUM?’ transforming the whole city into a gallery to finally share of my sense of loss and dislocation for a wider discussion on our relationship to ‘not knowing.’

The 100 posters were placed randomly throughout Hull and the surrounding suburbs on Mother’s Day.

The project was made into a film for Hull City of Culture and for CH4 Random Acts broadcast.

FILM: Hull City of Culture: The Artist Behind ARE YOU MY MUM?


Sunday Express Article


Poster #6, end of quayside walk near Corinthian Way

Poster #6, Junction White Friar Gate & Parliament Street, Hull Town Centre

Poster #16

Poster #13, Pearson Park, Hull

Adoption papers, 1966

Poster #15

Adoption papers, 1966

Poster #13, Beverley Road, Hull

Adoption papers, 1966