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By: Edited by Andrea Francke
Publisher: London, UK: The Showroom, 2012
Pages: 138 pages, + supplement with 18 pages
Dimensions: 8 1/4” x 5 1/2”
Cover: soft
Binding: perfect bound, + supplement that is staple bound
Process: Risograph
Color: color cover, b&w throughout
Edition Size: unknown
ISBN: 978-0-9542362-7-4

Andrea Francke, a London based artist and mother, opened a functioning daycare center (crèche) for her graduate show. Francke, who moved to Britain from Brazil to study, assumed that having a child would be just a matter of adopting some new routines and then back to business as usual with her art work, social life, etc. When the Chelsea College of Art and Design decided to close the nursery where Francke kept her son while she attended classes, the artist realized that daily life with a child would not be going along as planned.

Francke joined with other parents to protest the nursery closing but the school's administration was not moved. The artist set up a functioning daycare in the gallery of her thesis exhibition which created a platform for public discussions of how budget cuts to public services in Britain were affecting small children and families. Many things came out of Francke's functioning daycare installation. She connected with local nurseries and other parents. She broke boundaries between public (gallery/university space) and private (daycare, childhood, etc). She also realized that her fellow students without children were not concerned with her struggle, because they felt it didn't apply to their live—she felt invisible as the parent of a small child in an academic art context.

All of these discoveries led to her work with the Showroom, a gallery in London that works with the intersection of art, research, and participation. They invited Francke as part of Communal Knowledge, a series with artists partnering with local groups and organizations in the Showroom's neighborhood—considered one of the poorest in Great Britain.

Francke put together Invisible Spaces of Parenthood: A collection of pragmatic propositions for a better future, an exhibition that expanded on her thesis show with events, workshops, interviews with childminders and other care workers, activist connections, and a publication. This manual contains eight specially commissioned essays as well as interviews, event excerpts, discussions and documentation from the exhibition. HLP's Brett Bloom has an essay in the book he co-authored with his partner, Bonnie Fortune.

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