Commissioned Artworks and Texts

At each Hen Weekend, four of the participating artists are commissioned to document the event in some way, either visually or by writing a text in response to their experiences. The commissions are published on this website and can be viewed by clicking on the links below.

The commissions aim to allude to, but not overtly describe the experience of attending a Hen Weekend. An aspect of the event may be used by the commissioned artists as a point of departure for exploring the wider issues arising from participation in an all female network or the context the British seaside resort provides for proceedings. Artists may observe and glean information over the course of the weekend, investigating areas of common ground or focusing on a specific area of interest to explore with the participation of the other hens.

The resulting artworks and texts are therefore not simply documentation; they have the potential to engage with a much broader audience. The commissions form the public face of Hen Weekend and, archived on this website, are a growing resource of unique, significant works by female artists, writers and curators.

Different For Girls
Jeanie Finlay


Jeanie Finlay chose to focus on the one uniting characteristic of the 16 Hen Weekend participants - the fact that they are all women. She posed a question to each of them about whether they considered their gender to have any effect on their work. Through a series of intimate video portraits filmed on the De La Warr Pavilion balcony, each of the hens describes their reaction to this question. Collectively the responses form a unique survey of female artists' perceptions of themselves and the effects they believe this may or may not have on their position within the art world, and society in general.
Different For Girls

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Relationships With Work
Jeannie Driver

Over the course of the weekend, Jeannie Driver undertook an investigation into the differing relationships each of the participants has with the work that they do. The focal point for this was a photo session inspired by Bruce McLean's Pose Work for Plinths. A large white plinth representing 'work' was installed on the top floor of the De La Warr Pavilion. Hens were asked to participate by posing with the plinth to visualise their relationship with 'work'. The poses have been compiled into a fast-paced Flash animation which aims to explore the fluctuating nature of these relationships.
Relationships With Work

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Karen Magazine does Bexhill on Sea
Karen Lubbock

Karen Lubbock, creator of the award winning Karen Magazine, was commissioned to make a 'Karen style' mini-mag documenting the Hen Weekend in Bexhill on Sea. Karen has combined her trademark snippets of dialogue with anonymous sound bites of hens describing their reactions to the weekend, and images and observations capturing the 'ordinariness' of the British seaside resort. The result is a publication which takes you on a roller-coaster adventure over the intense three day period that was the pilot event. The magazine is available as a 10 page downloadable PDF.
Karen Magazine does Bexhill on Sea

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Today on Woman's Hour...
Sally O'Reilly

Sally O'Reilly has created a script for a radio play; a pastiche of the institution that is BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Renowned for the diverse range of features in each programme, it is perhaps the perfect analogy for exploring what happens when a group of women, with very different interests, are thrown together for one weekend. During Sally's show, a series of oddball characters debate issues ranging from selling one's soul to the devil to the most fashionable length for a skirt. Underlying the banter is a reoccurring theme of individuality, and the tensions that can arise when individuals are forced to assume a group identity.
Today on Woman's Hour

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