This Artist Talk highlighted Andrea Francke and Kim Dhillon’s research into parenthood, childcare and Early Years Education through their collaborative open-research platform, Invisible Spaces of Parenthood.
Francke and Dhillon discussed their collaborative practice following on from their Changing Play residency at the Portman Early Childhood Centre. Influenced by the DIY culture of the 60s and 70s, Invisible Spaces of Parenthood takes Second Wave Feminist thought as a frame of reference to question the political, pedagogical, social and economic structures around parenting today.
Beginning in Autumn 2014, Andrea and Kim undertook a residency at the Portman Early Childhood Centre, Westminster, as part of The Serpentine Galleries Changing Play programme. Inspired by the pedagogy of early years pioneer Friedrich Froebel and his influence on the Bauhaus movement, they worked with children, parents, carers and staff using Froebel’s ‘Gifts and Occupations’ as an open-ended, non-gendered and inexpensive resource to support intergenerational play. Francke and Dhillon were in the process of producing Shapes, a kit for play based on a reworking of Froebel’s 7th Gift.
Unwritten Handbook was a seasonal series of conversations with artists, commissioned through Education and Projects at the Serpentine Galleries.
Changing Play is the Serpentine Galleries three year project exploring aspects of play through long-term engagement with children aged 0–5, their families and the people who work with them.