Birth Rites Collection

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Birth Rites Collection Summer School: Tutors and Speakers



Helen Knowles (b.1975) is an artist and curator of the Birth Rites Collection. She has a BA Hons from Glasgow School of Art and MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths University. A former British Council, Young Creative Entrepreneur, she has curated and commissioned work for internationally renowned projects which include; Oxytocin in collaboration with Procreate Projects, 7 site specific installations across Guys Campus, 2019, BRC Bi-annual competition for New Work at Media CityUK, The Whitworth Art Gallery and Kings College in 2013/15/17, ‘Birth Rites’, Manchester Museum / Glasgow Science Centre, 2008, ‘Don’t Cross the line’, ‘Agitate’ and ‘Radio Halo’ 2000, a show of eleven site-specific installations at Jodrell Bank Science Centre and Arboretum. Knowles has secured grants from ACE, The Amateurs Trust, Awards for All and Millenium UnLtd amongst others.


She lectures widely around the UK and abroad. Recent shows include; The Ministry of Justice and Consumer Affairs, Berlin, 'Artistic intelligence' Hannover Kunstverein (2019) ‘Impakt Festival, ‘Los Algorithmos Suaves’, Centro del Carme, Valenica, Potsdam Film Museum (2018) ‘Zero Recoil Damage’,FolkestoneTriennial, ‘OpenCodes’, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, ‘Codex’ D21, Leipzig, The Trial of Superdebthunterbot, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2017) Gender Generation, Royal College of Art,  Between the Lines, GRAD,London, Under Construction,Moscow (2016), Collaborate, Oriel Sycarth, (2015), PrivateView:PublicBirth, GV Art, London (2013), Goldsmiths Women’s Library (2013), Life Is Beautiful, Galerie Deadfly, Berlin (2012); Digital Romantics, Dean Clough Gallery (2012) and Walls are Talking, Whitworth Art Gallery (2010). Her work is held in private and public collections including The Whitworth Art Gallery, Gallery Oldham, Tate Library and Archive, The National Art Library, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Museum of Motherhood, NY, Birth Rites Collection and MMU Special Collection. Residencies include; Trelex Residency, Switzerland (2019), Fault Lines, Future Everything (2017-2019), HMP Altcourse, Liverpool, (2017) Moscow ICA, (2015)  Santa Fe Arts Institute, New Mexico (2013 Jodrell Bank Science Centre and Arboretum (1999-2001). A recipient of awards from Arts Council England international Development Fund and The Amateurs Trust, in 2012 she won the Neo Art Prize, Great Art Prize for two works form the Youtube Portraits Series.



Carmen Winant is an artist, writer, former Dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Roy Lichtenstein Endowed Chair of Studio Art at The Ohio State University. She received her BA from UCLA and master’s degrees in Critical Studies and Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts in 2011. Winant's recent projects have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Center, The Columbus Museum of Art, and The Wexner Center of the Arts; her artist books -- My Life as a Man and My Birth -- were published by Horses Think Press, SPBH Editions, and ITI press. Her work utilizes installation and collage strategies to examine feminist modes of survival and revolt.

Winant headshot



Although Hermoine Wiltshire was originally trained in Sculpture, she positions her work between the object and the image – a physical presence in the world as well as an imaginary one in the mind itself subject to cultural conditioning. The subjects of her work include the politics of representation, the Maternal, Feminism and sexuality. She has produced sculpture, photographs, an animated film, collaborated with both architects, choreographers and has exhibited extensively.


Hermione Wiltshire lectures widely in museums and at academic conferences and has been the recipient of many awards including Arts Council, British Council, G.L.A., a major award from The Arts Foundation and is a Rome Scholar and a Momart Fellow at Tate Gallery Liverpool. Her work is in major national and international public collections including the Arts Council, the Walker Arts collection, The Birth Rites Collection, the Weltkunst Collection at IMMA and private collections in Italy and Austria.


Along with Claire Pajaczkowska and Elena Marchevska she convened a conference called Gender Generation at the Royal College of Art in 2016, another in 2017 with Procreate called Oxytocin.  She currently regularly contributes to the Birth Rites Collection Public events programme at Kings College, London.  Her work ‘My Touch’ is currently on a national tour in an exhibition called In My Shoes: Art and the Self in the 1990’s while ‘Fantasy’ will be exhibited at The New Art Gallery, Walsall in 2019.

Hermione Wiltshire portrait



Laura Godfrey-Isaacs spent over twenty years in the arts, training in visual arts at Kingston University, Brighton University, University College London and The Pratt Institute New York. She worked as a feminist academic, an educator in gallery & museum education, and as a creative producer founding the radical live art and performance company, home live art 


In 2016 she graduated as a midwife from King’s College London and works as a community midwife at King’s College Hospital, London. She is currently Research Associate with The Digital Institute for Early Parenthood Ambassador for Proceate Projects Co-Chair of the Health Policy Committee for The Women’s Equality Party and a member of the NMC’s Thought Leadership Group on Education Standards for Midwifery Education.


She aspires to bring her knowledge and experience in the arts, together with midwifery, to bring fresh interdisciplinary perspectives to inform education, practice and research and regularly presents at conferences and writes for midwifery publications, including the regular blog ‘Birth, Art & Culture’ on In 2017 she ran two projects, Maternal Journal and Creative Birth that specifically explored an holistic antenatal programme using art, midwifery and movement practices to promote positive wellbeing and support for pregnant women and new mothers.


Twitter: @godfrey_isaacs 

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs 2017



Joey Holder (b. 1979) lives and works in London and Nottingham. Holder’s work raises philosophical questions of our universe and things yet unknown, regarding the future of science, medicine, biology and human-machine interactions. Working with scientific and technical experts she makes immersive, multimedia installations that explore the limits of the human and how we experience non-human, natural and technological forms. Mixing elements of biology, nanotechnology and natural history against computer programme interfaces, screensavers and measuring devices, she suggests the impermanence and interchangeability of these apparently contrasting and oppositional worlds: ‘everything is a mutant and a hybrid’. Connecting forms which have emerged through our human taste, culture and industrial processes she investigates complex systems that dissolve notions of the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’. GM products, virtual biology and aquatic creatures are incorporated into an extended web; challenging our perception of evolution, adaptation and change.

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Dr. Catherine McCormack is  a writer, lecturer and curator. She is the course leader and founder of the Women and Art summer study programme at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London, and previously taught at University College London as a Teaching Fellow in the Art History department. Her current projects include a book, Women in the Picture, a feminist polemic about historical female archetypes and their reflection and persistence in contemporary visual culture (published by Icon Books 2020) and a series of exhibitions she is curating for Richard Saltoun Gallery in London  around maternal themes in contemporary and late twentieth-century art.



Kate Davis (b.1977, New Zealand) lives and works in Glasgow. Her work in drawing, moving image, printmaking, installation and bookworks questions how to bear witness to the complexities of the past. Reconsidering what certain histories could look, sound and feel like, this has often involved responding to the aesthetic and political ambiguities of historical art works and their reception. Solo exhibitions include: Charity, LUX, London; Nudes Never Wear Glasses, Stills, Edinburgh; The Unswept Floor, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, NZ; Not Just the Perfect Moments, The Drawing Room, London; Eight Blocks or a Field, Temporary Gallery, Cologne; Peace at last!, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Ranziges Fett, Galerie Kamm, Berlin; ¿Qué tenemos que hacer con una habitación propia?, Museo de la Ciudad and La Galeria de Comercio, Mexico; The Long Loch: How Do We Go On From Here?, CCA, Glasgow (with Faith Wilding); Your Body is a Battleground Still, Tate Britain, London; Stop! Stop! Stop!, Kunsthalle Basel and Outsider, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow. Awards include: The Margaret Tait Award 2016/17; LUX/ BBC Artists and Archive commission; Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; Camden Arts Centre Artist in Residence. Select group exhibitions/ screenings include: 35th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival; Class Reunion, MUMOK, Vienna; A Slice Through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings, Modern Art Oxford; The Driver’s Seat, Cubitt Gallery, London; Cinenova Presents Now Showing, LUX Cornwall, St Ives; GENERATIONexhibition, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; HOUSE WORK CASTLE MILK WOMAN HOUSE, Glasgow Women's Library; Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm, Tate Britain; For Each Gesture Another Character, Art Stations Foundation, Poznan, Poland; eva International 2012, Limerick, Ireland; Olinka or Where Movement is Created, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City.

Kate Davis, 'The Clear stark vision is getting lost again V', 2007 More speakers

Caroline Hunter is a registered midwife and midwifery educator with a special interest in the role of the arts in promoting reflection, wellbeing and emotional competence in midwifery students. She teaches Arts and Humanities in Midwifery Practice at King's College London and is currently developing research on the relationship between arts and wellbeing in both students and staff.

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Becky Reed has been a midwife for over 25 years. She believes passionately in the importance of continuity in midwifery care, as well as in keeping birth normal, home birth and water birth. Becky helped to set up the well-known, much-loved and influential Albany Midwifery Practice (AMP) in Peckham, South London, and has spoken widely about the AMP both nationally and internationally. Throughout her midwifery career Becky has documented births in photos, and used these when preparing women and families for birth. She believes strongly in the power of the image in education, particularly at a time when students are increasingly ‘learning’ via television and the internet, and midwifery skills are at risk of being lost. Her book ‘Birth in Focus - Stories and photos to inform, educate and inspire’ was published in 2016.

Helen Kaplinsky is a London based independent curator and writer currently working on an exhibition concerning gender as a technological experience for the new Science Gallery London. An aspect of this is extended through a Visiting Scholar position at Liverpool John Moores University, Exhibition Research Lab where she is running a hyperfiction reading group. In 2015 she co-founded Res., a mutable curatorial organisation in Deptford South-East London. Their recent project ‘Alembic’ discussed digital and alchemical transmutation in response to a Cyberfeminist archive at University of Goldsmiths.


Matthew Stock is artist/educator He teaches fine art practice 4D on the foundation course at Central St.Martins UAL and documentary film making at Goldsmiths UOL in the Visual Anthropology Department.


His arts practice is concerned with problematising different modes of artistic production and deployment via critiquing alternative futures and realities. He is a a founding member of the collaborative artists project The Modern Language Experiment which is engaged in the development, discussion, contemplation and execution of the changing language of art today that manifests as art exhibitions, collaborations, talks, seminars and screenings.

Lucy Beech (b. 1985, Hull, UK) lives in London, UK. Beech’s video and performance works explore ideas around emotional capitalism, interrogating forms of emotional labour that place a premium on interpersonal interaction whilst blurring the boundaries between work and play. Often focused on female group dynamics, her practice uses choreography and disrupted narrative structure in order to explore public intimacy and competitive vulnerability.


Recent solo exhibitions include James Fuentes, New York, USA (2015); The Tetley, Leed, UK (2015); and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK (2015). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Lisson Gallery, London, UK (2015); and ICA, London, UK (2014). Her work has been screened at Tate Britain, London, UK (2015); CCA, Glasgow, UK (2015); and GAK, Bremen, Germany (2013). She will be the artist in residence alongside her collaborator Edward Thomasson at Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2016); other recent collaborative performance work include: Frieze Live, London, UK (2015); and Tent Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014).

Julia Wookey is an Associate Solicitor in Howard Kennedy's dispute resolution team. Her practice encompasses a broad variety of disputes acting for corporate bodies and individuals alike. Julia is particularly interested in arts and entertainment disputes and also has experience working on matters with a public law element. Recent highlights include: acting for an art dealer in respect of an authenticity dispute; advising a reggae artist in a claim against a record label; and advising a model agency in respect of a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.


Julia is a founding member of her firm's pro bono programme which she co-manages and participates in regularly. Her pro bono cases have included assisting with strategic litigation in the battle to decriminalise homosexuality in overseas jurisdictions and acting for charity trustees in respect of various matters to protect the best interests of their respective charities. She also advised Birth Rites Collection in respect of an unlawful censorship and freedom of expression issue. She volunteers regularly at Toynbee Hall's Free Legal Advice Centre and at their Women Only Legal Advice Clinic on a Saturday. She was Highly Commended in the Junior Lawyers Division of The Law Society's Pro Bono awards 2017.


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