Programme

Hush lil baby – Shae Myles Solo Exhibition  —
Shae Myles

23.11→16.12.2023

Exhibition

EXHIBITION DATES:
23RD NOV – 16TH DEC

WHERE:

Strange Field, 105 French Street, G40 4EH

VISITING HOURS:

Thurs – Fri: 12.00 – 19.00
Sat – Sun: 12.00 – 18.00

OPENING NIGHT: THURS 23/11, 19.00 – 00.00
Featuring Performance by Femme Castratrice with Shae Myles and after-party with DJ collective Mojxmma

16NSt is delighted to present Shae Myles’ first solo exhibition ‘Hush lil baby…’, inspired by the world of the 1990s Polly Pocket compacts. Myles investigates play theories, femme culture, secrets, obsession, and consumer culture, using an immersive installation to position you at the intersection of these themes.

Please feel free to touch the sculpture and the objects inside (with care) but do not climb into it!

“The pocket-sized playmate you can take anywhere” was the tagline for these toys, obsessively collected by the then-children-now-adults from millennials to Generation Z.  Subverting their original form, Myles’ central sculpture by the same name reproduces Polly Pocket’s charming domestic space and characteristic compact shape, but distorts its scale to instead depict a fantastical, fetishised representation of childhood play memories, asking how they impact us in adulthood. 

‘Hush lil baby…’ invites you to think about the queerness of the dollhouse dynamics of control. Polly’s key attributes are secrets and surprises, hinging the line between revealing and obscuring, and taught us as children a lot about the adult world. Drawing from this, Myles’ work and the commissioned companion performance by Femme Castratrice play with scale and facilitate moments of voyeurism, examining aspects of soft femme culture, submissiveness and dominance that are inherent to the coming-of-age narrative. The exhibition aims to create a safe and exploratory space to straddle the blurred boundary between child and adult play that the Polly Pocket compact toys, and Myles’s fascination with them, represent. 

Join us in our attempt at unpicking the sticky, lurid fabric of Nostalgia and the longing for a time where play was recognised as being our tool for understanding the world around us, and our place in it. Using Polly as a signifier for a time when world building and imaginative role play were a daily activity, 16NSt took a deep dive, attempting to identify, salvage and bring back some of these treasures into our adult lives, as when in the halfspace between dreaming and waking, you have the certainty that you can bring objects from the dream into waking life, if you just hold onto them hard enough through the transition. 

Our companion publication Playing Femme will be launched in our Queer Smut reading event on 16th December and will feature writing, and comics from Femme Castratrice, 16NSt Collective, Kika Sroka-Miller, Sophie Robinson, Sasha Staicu, Chloe Filani, and be designed by Daisy Mullholland.

This exhibition was developed in a residency at Kiosk (Govanhill), followed by an extensive in-situ making time at Strange Field, so we extend our thanks to these partners.

Exhibition Catalogue

This project is generously funded by the Henry Moore Foundation, Creative Scotland and made possible with support from Strange Field and Kiosk.