Alex Thorp

Education Curator, Serpentine Gallery

Alex Thorp

Recipes for Change, Adelita Husni Bey with the Portman Early Childhood Centre, Who Cares? A Changing Play commission by the Serpentine Galleries 2019, Photograph: Rob Harris

Changing Play


I propose to talk about the co-creation process with artists, children, early years workers and parents within the context of Changing Play, a multi-year embedded artist programme taking place at the Portman Early Childhood Centre, North London. Changing Play is an ongoing partnership with the Portman, which brings together artists, children, families and educators to critically reconsider early years education and care. Through the presentation I will talk about listening as a methodology, how mapping and drawing can make complex issues visible and provide a means to imagine the world differently.


Alex Thorp is curator and educator who is interested in the potential of the arts for social change. Her focus is in bringing together artists with people excluded from decision making processes, to generate collective actions in response to pressing social issues, including struggles around education, care, policing and housing. Currently Education Curator at the Serpentine Galleries, she leads on collaborative programmes and projects for children, young people and families, producing toolkits to share the learning more widely. Alex was co-curator of Rights to the City? an international symposium of artists, organisations and practitioners that seeks to explore the place of social and political activity in art making and is currently co-editing a book reflecting on five years of Serpentine community-based projects. Between 2007 and 2014 Alex worked at Manchester Art Gallery developing programmes and spaces with children and families.