Hester Chillingworth

Hester Chillingworth makes performances and low-key interventionist installations, which often play with language, simplicity, misinterpretation and some things to do with childhood, including confusion, mischief and shame.

Hester was awarded the 2016 Small Spaces Commission from Chisenhale Dance Space and the Marlborough Theatre Brighton. Hester is an Associate Artist at Firstsite gallery in Colchester, Artistic Director of GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN performance company, assistant to Tim Etchells and is a freelance director. Recent collaborations include projects with Marc Almond, Mark Ravenhill, Elmgreen & Dragset, Eva Weinmayr and Bette Bourne.


Mistake, Error, Incorrect, Fail… Each month, for a year, Hester’s barber will shave a word to do with making a mistake into the back of the artist’s head. During the month, the clarity of this image will dissipate as the hair grows, erasing the word in real time. The word will then be replaced by a different one – a synonym – a new way to say the same thing, a new way to make the same mistake.

Headstone speaks into an urgent conversation about history repeating itself, and collective responsibility for the memory of things that have gone wrong, while playfully referencing the high-stakes precision of a barber’s craft. The siting of the work on the artist’s non-binary body, literally behind Hester’s back, additionally raises questions about the violence of terms of aberration, when used in relation to people.

Sunday 26th February, 2-4pm
Hound Dog Barbershop, 513 Hackney Rd, London E2 9ED



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