Chelsea Cafe Project #14

Display #14

Cry Over Spilt Milk

Hollie McNish Holding Image

Cry Over Spilt Milk is a mixed media display guest curated by Grace Acton Roberts showing works related to the prevalence and prominence of breastfeeding in Western society. The display includes items from Grace Acton Roberts personal collection of breast milk and breastfeeding paraphernalia, as well as spoken word poet, Hollie McNish’s YouTube video, Embarrassed, which went viral on its release back in 2013 and has been viewed over a million times online. Especially commissioned for Cry Over Spilt Milk is artist and curator, Sinéad Bligh’s sound piece 60 mls.

The topic of breastfeeding in public regularly crops up in the media, just last December, when Louise Burns was breastfeeding in Claridges, she was asked by the establishment to cover up and be more discreet. She then tweeted what had happened and a frenzy of discussion was whipped up in social media and the news, even politicians were asked to give comment. In protest, a group of about 25 mothers decided to breastfeed their babies outside of Claridges.

Cry Over Spilt Milk questions what society deems appropriate and acceptable in the public and private domains. The display opens up discussion about the visibility and normality of breastfeeding and explores how society views the female body and the relationship of mother and child.

About the curator

Grace Acton Roberts has a background in visual arts having trained as a visual artist at Keele University. In 2006 she co-curated the first international Romany/Gypsy/Traveller art exhibition, Second Site at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich. She subsequently worked for a number of multidisciplinary arts organisations including Metal providing project, events and finance management. In 2011, whilst at Metal, she organised Showflat, a series of site-specific exhibitions in artists’ homes and its accompanying publication. Since 2011 she has been the coordinator for the visual arts programme at Greenbelt Festival, exhibiting artists such as Willie Williams, Anthony Green RA, Simone Lia, Michael Leunig, Nicola Green, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE and Guler Ates. She currently works for Applecart, a Storytelling, film and theatre production company based in East London and is studying for an MA in Curating and Collections at Chelsea School of Art, UAL.

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 About the project

The Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Art and Design. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated, in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Sinead Bligh at or in person at CHELSEA space.