Spilt Milk Gallery, CIC 
Monday, October 17, 2022
Friday, October 21, 2022
3rd Floor Galleries, Edinburgh Palette  151 London Road Edinburgh, Scotland, EH7 6AE 
Kara Thorndike and Spilt Milk Gallery

This is about (m)others?

Artist Kara Thorndike kicks off a Do-it-yourself (DIY) Ph.D. durational performance this October with a mini durational performance of the hidden costs of university. this is not a manifesto. this is life. confronts head on the experience of having constraints imposed on artist mothers that – at best – ignore the needs, responsibilities, and logistics of mothering. In this thought provoking performance, the artist will make do with the space and time constraints as defined by the Institution and the building the Institution operates within to perform work. The absurdity of and thoughtlessness of policies and operating procedures, that exclude and diminish an other experience will be laid bare. this is not a manifesto. this is life. marks the start of a longer durational performance of a DIY Ph.D., Prefiguring Learning for the Ecocene.

Yes, and…

The DIY Ph.D. is a 2-year serialized performance and mixed methods research project in which artist Kara Thorndike will research locally with(in) ancestral lands while part of Do It Ourselves (DIO) global, independent arts research communities. Looking at Why the Academic Pipeline Leaks, van Anders (van Anders, 2004) found that – “Instead, women self-select away from academia because of issues related to parenting and mobility.” (van Anders, 2004, p. 518) – “…the perception of academia as less appropriate for individuals with children significantly predicts women’s, but not men’s, plans to enter the professoriate.” (van Anders, 2004, p. 519) – “On the basis of the evidence from the present study, it is reasonable to propose that the lack of quality childcare, unequal/ uncertain access to paid parental leaves, and geographic hypermobility are institutional barriers specific to women.” (van Anders, 2004, p. 519)

These barriers likely explain why although Ph.D. mothers are now faring better after graduate school, mostly in social sciences, it’s still rare to find many in graduate school. (Kulp, 2016) For mothers who do go on to successful careers, flexible working lives makes all the difference between thriving successfully and dropping out of the workforce. (Hewlett, 2007) Unfortunately, universities and art schools have yet to catch up to the words they claim to live by. This DIY Ph.D. is a step toward changing that as a performance of protest, and example to prefigure the future. This opening performance to the DIY Ph.D. is also a part of the Cartographies of Care exhibition at Spilt Milk Gallery.

See you there…

Cartography of Care is an exhibition curated in response to the idea of an emotional atlas. The exhibition considers the relationships between geographies, maps and emotions and traces the physical and interior journeys and landscapes of these artists: Artworks which explore how the experience of care can be physically mapped on the maternal body, in domestic space, in our relationships with ourselves, and in how we care for others in times of crisis.

Come to the family-friendly preview on October 8th 2-5pm. Or catch the show the 8th-29th October, Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm.

Research Referenced
Hewlett, S.A. (2007) Off-Ramps and On-Ramps. Keeping talented women on the road to success. Harvard Business School Press.

Kulp, A.M. (2016) “The Effects of Parenthood During Graduate School on PhD Recipients’ Paths to the Professoriate: A Focus on Motherhood”. New Directions for Higher Education, no. 107, Winter.

van Anders, S.M. (2004) “Why the Academic Pipeline Leaks: Fewer Men than Women Perceive Barriers to Becoming Professors” Sex Roles, 51:9/10, November. 3.