Modernism: Making, Place, & Protest

3 Nov 2018

Event times

9:30 - 6:45

Cost of entry


Queen Mary University

England, United Kingdom


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A one-day symposium bringing together academics, art practitioners and curators to discuss the intersection of feminism, craft, and activism in modernist and contemporary art, with a particular focus on site-specific work and art that challenges the boundaries between the domestic and the gallery.


Speakers will explore the links between historic and contemporary decorative/craft practices to reassess their value in the worlds of art, design and literature. The symposium will look at site-specific works and identity to explore how decorative craft-makers might engage with protest in the artworld and beyond…

The symposium will ask questions such as: What does it mean to make artworks that challenge concepts of ‘place’? Can the decorative be political? How might craft disrupt the gallery and museum space? What might a feminist genealogy of decorative art and craft look like?

Provisional titles for talks on the day include:

Enam Gbewonyo (artist/curator): Yarn, power and patriarchy: a painstaking exercise in unravelling the seams of oppression
Claire Mead (curator): Disruption and Collaboration: collectively queering the museum and archive through craft
Dr. Hope Wolf (Sussex): ‘Womb Life’: Portraits of Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff at Home
Priya Khanchandani (writer/curator): Decolonising Culture
Dr. Megha Rajguru (Brighton): 'Constructing modernity: The Indian home in the Vistara exhibition'.
Professor Sanja Bahun (Essex): Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, and the Female Artist as Producer of Reality
Dr. Rosemary Shirley (Manchester): Festive Landscapes: Well-dressing and place in contemporary rural Derbyshire
Madi Acharya-Baskerville (artist): ‘Walking through the forest, Searching for the sea’: Finding, Collecting and Making
Dr. Louise Purbrick (Brighton): Rags and Resistance: everyday protests around the twentieth century
Kasia Jezowska (Oxford): 'Too tentative.’ On the reception of Polish exhibitions at the Milan Triennali during the Cold War.
Nicole Morris & Maria de Lima (artists): INGEST / DIGEST / EXCRETE 

The day will end with a screening of “The Famous Women Dinner Service”: In Conversation with Contemporary Art, followed by a Q&A with Dr. Hana Leaper led by Jenni Råback. 



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