Decorating Dissidence is an interdisciplinary project exploring the political, aesthetic & conceptual qualities of craft from modernism to the contemporary.
The project brings together art practitioners, makers, curators, activists and academics to break down disciplinary boundaries and find new ways to critically engage with feminist art history. It opens up a space for intergenerational dialogue between contemporary and modernist makers, in order to reveal the lasting legacies of marginalised women artists who worked at the dissident intersections between established mediums and modes of modern art.
2020 saw us pivot our month-long residency ‘Take Dada Seriously! It’s Worth It?‘ online, as part of Guest Projects digital residency. We designed a new website, commissioned new work from four artists, hosted three salons on the topics of digital dada, writing dada and deconstructing dada, featuring artists, writers, poets, makers and activists from the UK and US. The journal had two guest editors for the first time – Daniel Fountain, who edited Issue 8: Queer(ing) Craft and Polly Hember, who edited ‘Issue 12: Backstage Craft‘. We also began to record our new series of podcasts…
In 2019, we launched our blog, with each issue themed around a specific topic. We also hosted an exhibition inspired by the Bauhaus women’s weaving workshop. ‘WEAVE IT! 100 Years of Bauhaus’ at Stour Space brought together community groups, crafters, makers and artists to explore the concept of ‘weaving’ through textile, sound and structure…
In 2018, we also partnered with Being Human Festival and the V&A Museum of Childhood to host Motherhood & Making, a day of talks and workshops exploring creativity and motherhood. We also hosted a symposium – ‘Modernism: Making, Place, and Protest‘ – took place at QMUL in November 2018. Keying in to East London’s radical history as a site where creativity, feminism, and activism meet, it addressed questions such as: how might craft disrupt the gallery space? How can we make space for a feminist genealogy of art and craft, and what might that look like?
In 2017, we hosted ‘Decorating Dissidence: Feminism, Modernism and the Arts‘ and ‘Craft Protest‘ an exhibition, conference, and series of workshops at Mile End Arts Pavilion and Queen Mary University of London. These events intervened in contemporary, interdisciplinary debates concerning the boundaries of modernism and the direction of feminist modernist studies.
Our logo was designed by the brilliant Olivia Domingos, go commission her here.