My child’s eye

Fifteen brave contemporary artists have agreed to collaborate with their children for a unique exhibition at Bath University’s The Edge arts centre.

Opening next month and organised by Bath’s Holburne Museum, My kid could’ve done that! puts to the test whether the offspring of artists can truly challenge their parents with their work.

The idea for the exhibition, which opens on July 26 and runs until October 10, came when the Holburne’s contemporary art curator Will Cooper found himself working from home during lockdown and doing more and more creative work with his own family – to the extent that his five-year-old daughter Astrid (pictured with her own contribution) is his co-curator.

Via zoom studio visits he persuaded fifteen other artists to pitch their talent against their children's.

“The entire making process is an ongoing conversation between the artists and their families, which means that the final content of the show might not be known until the very last minute,” said Cooper. “Much of what will appear in the exhibition will depend on what parents respond to when making with their kids. Every studio visit I’ve made so far has had some version of the same conversation – ‘my kid is into making this at the moment’. That's likely to change between now and when the show opens, so it will be fascinating to see the results.”

They include the sculptor and installation artist Harriet Bowman and her son Len who will be making large scale wallpaper, taking up the entire back wall of the gallery, while painter Dickon Drury and Cosmo are drawing together to create a new large work on canvas. France Lise McGurn and Rita are working on some big collaborative paintings, and Kate Owens and her daughter Trudy are merging Kate’s printmaking practice with Trudy’s love of mazes.

The painters Yu-Chen Sang and Andro Semeiko are collaborating with their ten-year-old daughter Lilly on a large installation incorporating audio and a game.

Other artists participating are Ryan Gander and his children; Emily Speed and Wilbur; Jasleen Kaur and Rai; Kenneth Alme and Heine; Tessa Lynch and Alva; Joanne Masding with Felix;  Lilah Fowler and Reia, Sara Barker and Seb; and  Sean Edwards with his young family.   

Another recurring theme is how artists are approaching collaborating with their children, so the resulting work isn't by one or the other, nor is it too child or parent-led” Cooper said. “You never know, we might have kids visiting the exhibition and exclaiming ‘My mum or dad could’ve done that!’”

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