Tales For Toddlers vs The Patriarchy

Today little girls were made of far more adventurous ingredients than sugar and spice and all things nice!

In Tales for Toddlers today, Polly was sick of putting the kettle on; Little Miss Muffet wasn’t scared of the spider any more; Mary wasn’t quite so contrary and decided to explore the world beyond the garden; the queen had better things to do than sit in the parlour eating bread and honey, and the maid was tired of hanging out the clothes.

Responding to DLWP’s current exhibition Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2, storyteller Kevin Graal introduced five traditional British nursery rhymes which frame girls and women in vulnerable or disempowered roles. Then Tales for Toddlers participants created collages in which those very same nursery rhyme characters were placed in positions of power and authority. Polly took her kettle off and used its contents to put a fire out. Little Miss Muffet became fearless and walked on the moon. Contrary Mary left the garden and took up residence with her nursery rhyme sisters in the Oval Room of the White House, the Queen occupied the counting house and the maid told the king to go and wash his own clothes. Sugar and spice was replaced on the menu by courage and ingenuity.

Kevin says, “I wanted to reinforce the vital role that traditional nursery rhymes can play in the development of children’s language skills but at the same time have some fun with the patriarchal norms which often underpin these rhymes. So I invited our Tales for Toddlers friends to reframe them for the modern world and imagine different, more positive futures for their female characters. It was great fun for toddlers and adults alike!”

Here’s a ‘before and after’ picture created by one of our very talented parents, who brings her daughter to Tales for Toddlers. The children’s ideas were just as clever and adventurous!

To see our upcoming schedule of Tales for Toddlers sessions and other events for children and familes, visit our website.

Bexhill DLWP Tales for Toddlers Kevin Graal Children Families

Debut: The Demos

Debut is the new national programme that supports emerging musicians from the local area to offer them performance and development opportunities, including local studio time to record a track.

Following on from 5 emerging, local artists supporting DJ Yoda at the De La Warr Pavilion and to coincide with celebrating a wealth of emerging talent at Fat Tuesday and throughout #1066musiccity – music month – we’re now very proud to release 10 original demo tracks from some of these artists.

To listen and to share and support, click here.

Recorded around Hastings, UK, by Fingers Push Buttons. View their website here.

Contributing artists:

Debut has been devised by the Hastings & Rother Music City partnership and supported by Rother District Council, Hastings Borough Council, De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, The Joe Strummer Foundation, Eggtooth and Rhythmix.

Tales For Toddlers: Exploring our Exhibitions

Storyteller Ed Boxall tells us how he introduces little ones to art and exhibitions at the DLWP.

I like to base sessions for the pre-schoolers at Tales For Toddlers on coinciding exhibitions at the De La Warr. So, inspired by the Hayv Kahraman exhibition, Tales for Toddlers for February was all about pattern. Pattern appears in all sorts of ways in her work- the fabric of the clothes, the rhythms of the bodies.

The link to the exhibition needs of course to be right for the age group. With toddlers, we’re not ‘educating about art’ but experiencing the fundamental processes involved. In the long run, we might be helping children to get in the habit of delightful artistic processes and perhaps seeing a connection between what they do and things they see in galleries.

We had the space ready for the children by covering the floor with giant paper. You need something for children to do if they arrive early so they started by drawing round bits of their bodies with bright oil crayons on the paper while everyone arrived. They could repeat patterns with hands, fingers, feet and whole body shapes.

When everyone was ready, we moved onto pattern in poetry and enjoyed Brian Moses’ ‘Walking My Iguana’, which has a great chorus to repeat. Next, musical instruments were handed out and we noisily got to know our chosen instrument. We all joined in with my song ‘Yellow Cars’ which has a nice loud/quiet pattern from verse to verse.

We went back to the big paper for the remainder of the session but with some more pattern based processes to use. I brought rubbers to print with, stamp pads, patterned gift wrap and textured wallpaper. The stamp pads are great when you want to print but don’t quite want the full on mess of printing ink.

The children were probably unaware that we were ‘exploring pattern’ but I hope had a great time doing so and parents and children left with some easy things to try at home.

More Tales For Toddlers workshops with different storytellers and workshop leaders will take place on March 11, April 8 and May 13. See our full workshop list and sign up here.

Images courtesy of Matthew Harmer

 

Project Art Works 2018

Project Art Works’ Seminar Art People Representation – Reflecting the Lived Experience, took place in November 2018. The Seminar was part of the Explorers Project, a three year programme of inclusive cultural actions and partnerships nationally and internationally. The project will culminate in a year-long programme of exhibitions, installations and new cultural commissioning models that place neurodiverse communities, artists and makers at the heart of civic and cultural life.

The seminar took an innovative approach to discussing art and social care, moving away from didactic presentations and exploring collaboration, non-verbal communication, institutional empathy and arts practice. Extensive contributions from neurodiverse people throughout the building and across the whole day broke down barriers of understanding and gave honest, frank and often moving insights into real experiences.

“It was an amazing event – extremely well hosted, incredibly relevant and very thought provoking. I particularly appreciated the way the art was used to include everyone”

“I found it very interesting and came away with a sense of real inclusive collaboration”

“This was a truly thought provoking and inspiring event”

“A warm, celebratory event with integrity threaded through its core”

Image Credit: EXPLORERS Project Seminar, Project Art Works, 2018

A Tale of Mother’s Bones: An Overview

A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism was an exhibition of over 100 works, combining paintings, drawings and autobiographical ephemera with in-depth psychoanalytic interpretation.

The artists, referred to by Tate ETC as “the oddest couple”, spent decades of their lives researching developing a creative process that combined surrealism with psychoanalysis, bringing artistic and scientific thinking together. At the end of their lives, the couple owned an antiques shop in the nearby village of Battle and lived just outside Bexhill in Ninfield.

Their first UK exhibition for over 20 years, A Tale of Mother’s Bones provoked much response from visitors and critics alike. Many people said they would visit again to take in the works more fully and we had a surprising number of local people telling us that they knew the artists or thought that their parents did.

Here’s some comments on the exhibition that were left with us…

‘Best show for years! This is my third visit!’

‘A wonderfully curated exhibition – it illuminated artists with whom I was unfamiliar. Great!’

‘What a beautiful exhibition. Love it! Perhaps people should just free their mind, follow their feelings and instincts, without judging the exhibition from a scientific point of view.’

‘This is an extraordinary exhibition and I will definitely be coming back. My friend is a psychoanalyst and we will definitely be coming here again.’

‘One of the most interesting exhibitions DLWP has shown. Thought provoking.’

‘I often come to see exhibitions here. The gallery is a fabulous building. There is peace and time to wonder and view at leisure. The exhibitions are well set out. Staff are friendly but not intrusive. Peaceful atmosphere, building is obviously cared for. Light is good for exhibitions.’

We also asked our invigilators to take note of some of the observations made when they talk to visitors in the gallery. Here’s what they found…

A guest came to the exhibition for the second time, she really likes it. She said it was very good to see this dark/controversial show in quiet Bexhill.

Three older ladies came in and spent time on each painting, reading the text and trying to see the same meanings in the paintings. Overheard “oooh gosh, that’s very deep!”

A man came in whose uncle was Reuben Mednikoff and wanted to see his work!

Lots of last-minute visitors in the gallery. To sum up this exhibition we have had nothing but positive feedback and it has been a pleasure to work in.

The press were raving about the exhibition, too. Click the titles to see what they had to say…

Mark Brown, The Guardian: Surrealist exhibition celebrates creators of ‘goofiest’ paintings in London.

Matther Kerr, Apollo Magazine: Psychorealism by the sea with Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff.

Ellen De Wachter, Frieze: Friends, Possibly Loves: Two Shows Journey Through Artistic Collaboration in the Modern Era.

Philomena Epps, Art-Agenda: “A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism” and Lucy Beech’s “Reproductive Exile”.

We invited toddlers to attend early years activities at the De La Warr Pavilion to respond to the exhibition. Listen to their personal responses to A Tale of Mother’s Bones on our Soundcloud.

On 11 January, we held our first symposium of 2019 called Virus of Hate; Responses to Fascism, Psychoanalysis, Surrealism and Modernism  in partnership with the Centre of Modernist Studies at University of Sussex.  Click here for a review .

If you missed this exhibition at the Pavilion, you can see it at Camden Arts Centre, London from 12 April – 23 June 2019.

There will be a catalogue about the exhibitions published in April 2019 and available from our shop. Please email james.cosens@dlwp.com if you would be interested in purchasing a copy and we will send you further details on an email nearer the time.

Click here visit our archive and see how we accompanied the exhibition with different talks, events and workshops.

Image Credits: Installation shots by Rob Harris

The Mother Lode Project 2019

After a successful pilot event last year, The Mother Lode Project announces 14 new workshops for mothers experiencing mental health challenges as a result of motherhood.

Mother lode: a principal vein or zone of gold or silver ore, or colloquially the real/imaginary origin of something valuable or in great abundance.

The aim of this project is to extract the gold from challenging experiences of motherhood by giving opportunities for mothers, who may be experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of motherhood, to work with artist-mothers with lived experience of similar issues. A series of creative writing & photography workshops at the De La Warr Pavilion Studio will be led by writer Antonia Chitty and photographer Vicki Painting for a group of mothers, resulting in a publication of their work & a podcast series. This will raise awareness of the hidden issues surrounding motherhood & mental health focusing on a lifetime of mothering not just pregnancy & birth, exploring expectations versus reality & the resultant impact on their mental health.

Working in partnership with Recovery Partners, who will provide trained peer support within the sessions, each workshop will be held in a safe, confidential space at the DLWP Studio. The project aims to give voice to a diverse group of mothers at all stages of motherhood, whose experiences may not otherwise be heard & connect them with professional women artists exploring motherhood. Women artists are still underrepresented in the art world & those who are mothers face additional barriers to creating work, so we aim to champion their work & increase visibility & confidence.

Childcare bursaries are available for mothers with children aged 0-5 depending on participants’ needs, as well as travel bursaries for low-income mothers. We aim to reach a diverse group of mothers from Rother & Hastings, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+, women of colour, bereaved, adoptive, kinship carers, refugee, migrant, disabled, autistic & mothers of disabled children. Anyone who identifies as a woman with caring responsibilities is welcome.

There will be additional peer support sessions at Egerton Park Children’s Centre in Bexhill and opportunities for mothers to get involved in the podcast series, which will be running throughout the project. The podcasts will consist of conversations, readings & musings about motherhood & mental health by talking to local mothers and those from across the world in collaboration with Spilt Milk Gallery.

The Mother Lode Project was conceived & is coordinated by Xaverine M A Bates, as a means to channelling her experiences as a mother with lived experience of mental health issues, to enable others to express difficult & taboo feelings about motherhood & to help them overcome challenges through the creative process. By enabling mothers who are struggling with mental health issues to tell their stories in ways that have both artistic quality & therapeutic benefit, we hope to raise awareness of the hidden challenges of motherhood, in order to help others understand & empathise with these issues. There is more work to be done in raising awareness of the mental health challenges that many mothers face & we are researching other projects championing artist-mothers including Spilt MilkProcreate ProjectMothers Who Make, An Artist Residency in Motherhood and Mothers Uncovered.

The project is funded by Arts Council England, Mind and Magdalen & Lasher Charity. For more information, see: themotherlodeproject.com.

Overview of workshops

Tuesdays 10am – 12.30pm

PHASE ONE: 12th February: introduction to the project

Vicki Painting, photography: 26th February, 12th March, 26th March, 16th April, 30th April

The main theme of the workshops will be that photography can have a protective function, that by placing a camera between ourselves and the subject as a kind of shield and by photographing something we objectify it, this allows a sense of distance from the subject of the picture to create a safe space to discuss/write about it. The workshops will end with self-portraiture. Themes will include:

  • Making visible the invisible. Through the use of photography in the widest sense:  the pictures that people take themselves or use of archival/found photography to voice what might be difficult to put into words.
  • Discussing a photograph that participants find meaningful & introducing the idea of keeping a photo diary
  • To explore self, identity and memories: as a bridge between our conscious and unconscious, internal and external worlds using still life; a genre which includes a portrayal of all kinds of man-made or natural objects
  • Photography as a distraction, people become photographers and control their activity.
  • Photography as a means of creating order: the use of the camera may be a less spontaneous way of working compared to other creative outlets and provides a more structured means of expressing ideas and emotions.

Vicki Painting is a photographer & writer.

Peer support sessions at Egerton Park: 19th February, 5th March, 19th March, 2nd April (at The Work Shop), 23rd April, 7th May

PHASE TWO: Antonia Chitty, creative writing: 21st May, 4th June, 18th June, 2nd July, 23rd July

Overview: to create a story from medical records. Aspects of a person’s story can be found between the pages of a medical record, yet medical records are about the patient, not the person, for the practitioner, owned by the NHS. People can feel that they are being processed by the UK healthcare system, passed along some conveyor belt and dumped out the other side without any sense of control or resolution. People have a fundamental need for perception of narrative within their own lives, a plot with a beginning, middle and end. The workshop would explore how mothers can create their own ‘creative’ medical record that tells their story and gives them the control and resolution that they need in their health care journey. Techniques explored: free writing, an introduction to each topic, a short exercise, discussion/sharing, a reading of an inspiring piece of work, then a longer piece of writing followed by a final discussion/sharing. Ideas for the topics:

  • The referral letter – writing about yourself in the third person & discussion about people’s experiences of being referred, writing the letter we really want to write to someone involved in our healthcare.
  • The consultation – using dialogue on its own – a chance to take control of a conversation with a medical professional in a way that you may not have done in the past.
  • The setting and the senses – using the five senses to explore how participants feel about their medical encounters.
  • Medical imagery – writing from a range of images as a starting point for writing.
  • Medical tests – talking about the experience of being tested. This could cover tests which aim to evaluate your mental health, and/or physical diagnostic tests, depending on people’s interests and experience.
  • Everyone taking part would be supplied with a folder – their own medical record, which they can customise and keep their work in.

Antonia Chitty is an entrepreneur, author & journalist.

Peer support sessions at Egerton Park: 14th May, 28th May, 11th June, 25th June, 9th July, 16th July

30th July: Final session: overview & evaluation of project

30th September: presentation of project at DLWP Studio for participants and arts & mental health professionals

NB: participants can choose to participate in either the photography or creative writing workshops or both, as well as the peer-support drop-in sessions and podcast series depending on interest & availability. Please ensure you are able to commit to all chosen sessions for continuity.

For inquiries and to book a place, contact Project Coordinator Xaverine Bates:

x.m.a.bates@recovery-partners.co.uk 

07736967764

Image Credits
1st: Vicki Painting
2nd: Xaverine MA Bates
3rd: Xaverine MA Bates
Flyer: by Wordsmith Design

Exhibition Programme 2019

Spring

The De La Warr Pavilion’s 2019 exhibition programme begins on February 9 with Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2. Over 50 artists, designers, architects and archives are brought together in conversation across time and space to consider resistance from a gender perspective, spanning the 19th century to the present and beyond. Co-curated with Nottingham Contemporary where Act 1 opened last year, the exhibition is recalibrated for Act 2 to focus on architecture, design and the politics of space.

Act 2 includes: Fanny Adams, Jane Addams/Hull-House, Amina Ahmed, Alice Constance Austin, Xenobia Bailey, Glenn Belverio (Glennda Orgasm), Micha Cárdenas, CARYATIDS (Chicks in Architecture Refuse to Yield to Atavistic Thinking in Design and Society), Carolina Caycedo, Judy Chicago, Phyllis Christopher, Jackie Collins and Pat Garrett, Jamie Crewe, Blondell Cummings, Dyke Action Machine!, Feminist Land Art Retreat, Guo Fengyi, Carl Gent, Eduardo Gil, Kaveh Golestan, Gran Fury, Rachael House, Charlotte Johannesson, Jesse Jones, Corita Kent, Donna Kukama, Suzanne Lacy, Ellen Lesperance, Zoe Leonard, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Mary Lowndes, Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative, Louise Michel, Ad Minoliti, Okwui Okpokwasili, 0rphan Drift, Lucy Orta, Brenda Prince, Tabita Rezaire, Lala Rukh, Zorka Ságlová, See Red Women’s Workshop, Tai Shani, Terence Smith (Joan Jett Blakk), Linda Stupart, Ramaya Tegegne, Gille de Vlieg, VNS Matrix, Jala Wahid, Faith Wilding, Zadie Xa, Osías Yanov.

Opening the same day, Hayv Kahraman’s solo exhibition Displaced Choreographies brings together painting, drawing, sculpture and performance in an exploration of migrant consciousness. A recurrent female figure evokes shared histories between women, particularly women of colour, combining the artist’s personal history with “stolen” references including European Renaissance imagery, Iranian and Japanese miniature traditions.

The De La Warr Pavilion is the lead partner in OUTLANDS, the new national touring experimental music network; it will present a new commission, Ecstatic Material, by Keith Harrison and Beatrice Dillon on February 15.
Visit OUTLANDS Network for information.

Summer

The Chicago Imagists influenced some of the most important artists of the 20th century. Their first UK show in almost 40 years, How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & ’70s opens on June 15 and features paintings, objects, drawings, prints and ephemera, highlighting the artists’ individual styles, shared references and moments of connection. The show features 14 artists: Roger Brown, Sarah Canright, James Falconer, Ed Flood, Art Green, Philip Hanson, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida. Organised by Hayward Gallery Touring in collaboration with the De La Warr Pavilion and Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art.

Our summer programme celebrates and interrogates the legacies of the Bauhaus in our First Floor Gallery. Events, workshops, performances and conversations will explore Bauhaus methodologies of “thinking through making,” and how these might continue to be useful. The programme is underpinned by a new commission by Lauren Godfrey, whose sculptures often take the form of domestic scaled objects, quasi-furniture and the almost-useful. In partnership with UCL.

Autumn

The autumn season begins on September 28 with a major new commission by Mikhail Karikis. It emerges from a year-long residency at Project Art Works, working with people who have complex support needs. Continuing his ongoing enquiry into social and political agency and the power of nonverbal communication, Karikis’ commission will respond to Project Art Works’ charter of rights for those with complex needs. Part of Project Art Works’ Explorers 2019 co-commission programme.

Occupying the First Floor Gallery will be an exhibition of new ceramic and tapestry works by Renee So, created during a residency at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation organised as an open call celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus. So’s work often contains fictional personas, borrowed from ancient ritual masks, military and aristocratic portraiture. During her residency she will be paying particular attention to women of the Bauhaus.

Our exhibitions are accompanied by Learning and Participation activities for all ages. See the latest exhibition events, talks and workshops on our What’s On page.

Please visit dlwp.com/support/membership to join our mailing list.

Image credits:
Hayv Kahraman, Hussein Pasha, 2013, Oil on wood. Courtesy Defares Collection
Gladys Nilsson, A Cold Mouth, 1968 © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York