Squish invites you to an unconventinal exhibition with queer reading café and extanded programmes from 15th of June till 24th of June.
From June 15th, the doors of the exhibition **Creating Homes **will be open for you, offering an intimate space to enjoy artworks and local zines presenting and questioning how to make or belong to alternative and chosen families, sharing queer perspectives on intimate affinities. Our programme is full of surprises, cuteness, and various activities such as workshops, performances, movies, dance, and beauty care. Bring your loved ones, humans and non-humans, for a coffee, a haircut, a reading moment, or a sun bath in our mini garden.
Exchange a picture with you, a kid’s drawing, or anything to put on our family wall for tea or coffee.
Let’s redefine family together as people who love and trust you, the ones who are a part of your life and have a positive impact on you, the ones who make you grow, think, and feel safe, but also the ones you enjoy fighting with and fighting for.
14:00 Door Open
14:00-19:00 exhibition w Madeline Swainhart, Sirah Artist, Grazia Gallo, Jessie Tam, graphic designer by Geo Baracan
14:00-17:00 Beauty Salon by Grazia Gallo and Gabi Dao
18:00-20:00 Radio session and interview with Leon Clowes
Remember when you were a kid, building homes with anything you could find, making huts with blankets and chairs, and being protected from the outside world? Then imagine being back in such an intimate and safe space, with an uncanny yet warm twist. Now you have a blurry idea of the exhibition built by Grazia Gallo, Jessie Tam, Sirah Artist, and Madeline Swainhart. These four artists organically merged their installations—a hair salon, trash babies, befriending geese, and alternative nuclear family representations—to bring you with love and tenderness into claiming space and enjoying queered chosen families.
As family means community care and love to us, we propose you spend time in our very special queer beauty salon, where artists bring craft skills to make you feel wonderful. Grazia Gallo will cut your hair, Gabi Dao will make personalised perfume, S.O.Y.INK will tattoo your skin, and Aubane Berthommé Martinez will massage your hands and face.
We can make our planning flexible if you want to join, you can walk in, go spontaneously, or book an appointment
Grazia Gallo (hairdresser) – email@example.com
IG of Grazia
Gabi Dao (fragrance artist) – firstname.lastname@example.org
IG of Gabi
S.O.Y INK (tattoo artist)
IG of S.O.Y INK
Aubane Berthommé Martinez (masseuse) – email@example.com
IG of Aubane
About the makers
Biography: Madeline Swainhart is a USA born (1997) visual artist and writer. Currently based in The Hague, Netherlands. Madeline explores representations of queer families through self
portraiture, moving image, and installation. Their most recent publication Nuking the Nuclear Family can be found in bookstores throughout the Netherlands and New York City. Madeline’s work utilizes the combination of text, image, sound, and textiles to examine the act of nurturing and its role within gender and the home.
Statement: For young Maddie, who had so much care to give but couldn’t see any caring characters who looked like them.
You are my muse.
Biography: I am Sirah Haris (He/They) an illustrator based in Rotterdam (NL) and Luxemburg. I am queer, Bosnian-Montenegrin, and was born and raised in Luxembourg.
Statement: Currently, I am exploring the medium of poetry comics as a way to express aspects of my experience as a human, but specifically as a queer Balkan diaspora kid that is trying their best to navigate through this confusing web of identities. The theme of identity and the struggles of fitting in spans across my illustrations, zines, and sculptures.
Biography: Grazia Gallo was born in the south of Italy in 1991. She grew up in one of the largest prefabricated building complexes in the city of Salerno. She has been raised by a working-class family that is still paying the consequences for the Italian politicians’ failures to deliver on their promises. For this reason, at the age of nineteen, she migrated to the Netherlands, hoping to find a better and brighter future.
Her practice focuses on collecting and assembling mostly abandoned objects and materials, transforming them into new sculpture-installations.
She is interested in the idea behind Home " a space of negotiation between the multiple subjects who inhabit it, therefore called to find new constant equilibriums in existing as individuals and coexisting as a collective".
Biography: Jessie graduated from Frank Mohr Institute in 2021 and received a BA in Fine Art from CUHK in 2018. She is an interdisciplinary artist and co-founder of Struggling Art Space. By cutting herself into many many little parts, she is somewhere here, somewhere there. If working a part-time job is to make space for things to come, she learns how not to let funding applications steal her creative time. Jessie moved on to know what she wanted to attain, but she kept a place for her creative practice, so as to give place to unwanted objects, unspoken experiences, and small whispers.
Artist statement: Jessie listens to the unheard voice of unwanted materials and works with inanimate objects or beings in search of relationships that do not live out in a conventional social pattern. Her work is a game of intimacy, wherein everything is carefree, humorous, child-like, low-brow, easy-to-make, and not meant to last. She hopes to deal with all kinds of power relations that lie not only in social and political systems but also in intimate and personal relationships.
Biography: Leon Clowes (he/they) is an older disabled white working-class queer transdisciplinary artist navigating lived grief and loss in self-compassionate ways.
Notes on family and belonging: ‘Family’ is a complex thing for me. I was born into, and out of, birth-family trauma. My grandparents carers, some say for good reason, gaslighted me all my life. They never wanted me to know who my father was. I’m just about getting over that at age 52.
Squish is a queer and feminist cultural platform supporting culture-makers belonging to gender and sexual minorities. Through the use of multidisciplinary events, mainly exhibitions and movie nights, the organisation questions identity politics by applying an intersectional approach. Therefore, attempting to redefine and question contemporary proletariat, the organisation shares perspectives from queer folks, working class makers, non-Dutch and non-white people, and gender minorities, emphasising self-representation. Combining research-based and nonacademic approaches, the organisation mixes entertainment, arts, and community support.
Director: Aubane Berthommé Martinez
Production assistant + music programmer: Georgie Hazelgove
Resident graphic designer: Geo Barcan
Graphic design assistant: Yassin Niemandsdochter