Banksy has his stencils,
Damien has his spots,
Martha has PowerPoint
and Grayson has his pots
Welcome to Poodlepods – an online exhibition of Pointless Office-Orientated Dynamic Learning Environment podules, PowerPoints, PA’s, pay gaps and Pippa dolls.
My name is Martha Haversham and I’m a UK interdisciplinary artist. I’m mostly known for my found object art on Smallditch, another project, but before that was established, in 2016 the invisibility cloak was becoming far too itchy, the ship of fools was making me queasy and it was time to play with my Pippa doll, dig out the red nose and re-purpose PowerPoint to bring some satirical fun and games into my working day.
After over two decades of juggling secretarial jobs in mainly higher education alongside my own creative projects and exhibitions in both visual and conceptual art, I needed a safe harbour in Narragonia. I also needed a laugh. It was from Poodlepods that I created Smallditch, as Pippa would come with me to work (still does) and I would make her clothes out bits of rubbish we would find in our lunch break and the walk to work.
An element of my practice explores how we value art in the context of an artist’s worth. For many years I supported those in power who demanded curiosity of others, whilst displaying very little themselves. Support staff were kept at a low grade, there was no progression whatsoever and a pay gap for women dwarfed only by the hypocrisy from pointless HR training videos. This is how gender pay gaps develop; an institutional assumption that confuses domestic circumstances with a lack of ambition and an invisibility cloak that hangs heavy after a certain age in low status jobs. I’m fascinated by this and wanted to question why, as both a middle-aged female artist and working secretary, light years away from the glamour of the arts establishment but well-connected with Microsoft Office.
This online exhibition is pretty much finished. There are just a couple of publications and I’m done. Please feel free to explore all the pages, the videos and blog entries – excuse any broken links, there is even an exhibition shop for office supplies. As my art matures, so do my projects with Pippa. I now love to return to this period of my life, it is what gives anchorage to my wider practice which, incidentally, can be found here: www.marthahaversham.com