Manual Labours is a practice-based research project exploring physical and emotional relationships to work, initiated by Jenny Richards and Sophie Hope.
Jenny Richards’ research focuses on the politics of work, health and the body developed through collaborative and collective practice. She is a doctoral candidate on the KTD programme at Konstfack and KTH. Her project ‘Against the Outsourced Body’ examines the effect and resistance to the expansion of commercialized, individualized and outsourced care. She has previously been co-director of Konsthall C, Stockholm where together with Anna Ahlstrand and Jens Strandberg they developed Home Works, an exhibition programme exploring the politics of domestic work and the home. Following this she worked at the art space Marabouparken Konsthall developing the two year exhibition programme Acts of Self Ruin. Alongside Manual Labours she collaborates with Johnny Chang on developing the platform ‘Gathering Against’ an online and physical tool library which gathers against individualised modes of cultural and political production, broadening access to tools and resources for collective practices.
Sophie Hope is an independent practice-based researcher. Her work is often developed with others through the format of devised workshops exploring subjects such as art and politics, physical and emotional experiences of work, different perspectives on socially engaged art and the ethics of employability in the creative industries. She was a freelance curator, writer and evaluator of public and socially engaged art (2000-2010), then a full-time academic at Birkbeck, University of London (2010-2013) before becoming freelance again in 2013. Alongside Manual Labours, Sophie is working on the collaborative projects Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse podcast and Cards on the Table. She is also a Trustee on the Board of Take a Part.