Portfolio

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, 2017

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We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, Kim Dhillon, 2017, plywood, books, and cushions, dimensions variable, installation view: Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow. Photography by Alan Dimmick.

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We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, 2017, plywood, books, and cushions, dimensions variable (detail: selection of titles from Lollipop Power, circa 1970s).

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live is an installation which explores the legacy of DIY, feminist children’s book publishing in the US and Europe in the 1970s as a collective action. Within the gallery space, the installation invites the audience to read, touch, or otherwise engage with a library of the 1970s children’s books. As a quiet, museum-like homage to the once noisy, messy, bustling collective activity, it questions the legacies of the Second Wave feminist collectives, and whether their work has been incorporated into the main, or forgotten. The wall shelf is hung at a low height, in a child’s line of sight. Low seating invites children and adult audience members to sit and read.

The project makes a library for a space of feminist collective action. It questions the child and the parent as political subjects and readers of radical literature. Joan Didion writes that: ‘We tell ourselves stories in order to live’ suggesting that texts become a place where ideas are frozen from the ‘phantasmagoria which is our actual experience’ (The White Album, 1979). This project questions what those stories are, where they come from, and how the stories we read as children, and to children, effects the way we end up living as adults and political subjects.

Coleen the Question Girl, 2016

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Coleen the Question Girl, by Arlie Hochschild, 2016, published by ISP with Andrea Francke

Andrea Francke and I have re-published an updated 2016 edition of Coleen the Question Girl, by the distinguished sociologist Arlie Hochschild. Revised in collaboration with Hochschild, the book was initially written in 1973 when Hochschild’s own sons were young. Along with the new text it features full colour, new illustrations by Rhiannon Williams. The book is available for sale on Amazon and Blurb.

Shapes, 2014-16

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Shapes, (Changing Play commission), The Serpentine Galleries, 2014-16, with Andrea Francke

Commissioned by the Serpentine Galleries, London, I devised and ran (with Andrea Francke) a series of workshops with nursery children and their parents and carers at the Portman Early Childhood Centre in London NW8 which focus on the re-write of Bauhaus history to erase its internal community of children/families and the influence of Froebel’s Kindergarten ideas at the Bauhaus. The second stage of the project culminates in a commissioned object – a toy, called Shapes – which is produced and distributed by the Serpentine Galleries.

Radical Pragmatics, 2015

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Radical Pragmatics, Royal College of Art, 2015, seminar and workshop

Creche Course, 2014

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Creche Course, 2014, The Showroom, 1 day conference, with Andrea Francke

I co-organised a one-day conference (with Andrea Francke), at the Showroom, London to debate the possibilities of art schools if the labour of care (particularly child care) was considered an essential provision. Keynotes included: Dr Catherine Grant, Richard Wentworth. 11 January 2014.

Crib Notes, 2010-

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Crib Notes, 2010, The Whitechapel, Public Talks and Events Series

In 2010, I initiated and devised a talks and tours programme at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, for parents and carers of children under 5. The project is on-going.