Evolved and evolving... our living and growing office exhibition

Evolved and evolving... our living and growing office exhibition

Our current exhibition in the Tavistock Institute office showcases some of the varied creative work that takes place at the Institute. This exhibition pays homage to and builds upon the traces of previous ones, acknowledging the evolving status of our interactions with the arts and organisations at the Institute.


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The Tavistock Institute

Tavistock Institute staff member Emily Kyte and PhD researcher Heni Hale have each created a new installation as part of our ongoing, evolving exhibition. You can read about these projects below.

Associations to Dreams. May 2024.

Emily Kyte

I was invited to conceive an installation using and showcasing my artistic practice to form part of the ongoing exhibition series in the Tavistock Institute office. I chose to use this opportunity to respond to the collection of ink and watercolour artworks by Juliet Scott permanently on display in our office.  These artworks bring shape and colour to dreams presented within social dreaming matrices at the Leicester Conference and other professional development programmes at the Institute. 

The practice of social dreaming involves, among other parts; a process of associating to the dreams presented within the matrix.  I chose to mirror this practice of dreaming and associating in creating this piece, through connections to songs from the English classical song tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries; English folk song; and jazz.  My song selections were evoked by images or parts of images from Juliet’s work.

To recreate an experience of dreaming and associating, we printed selected works of Juliet’s on chiffon, to hang around a ‘listening pod’.  Visitors to this installation can gaze at these translucent dream images whilst listening to the associated songs.

Pianist Aeron Glyn Preston and I recorded these songs collaboratively, with the exception of Billie Holliday’s Strange Fruit from which I took short excerpts from the original recording, to pay homage to Holliday’s orchestra’s distinctive and haunting sound.  I pieced the recordings together into a cohesive listening track, to be played on a continuous loop.

In Yeats’ poem ‘Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven’, the speaker offers the listener the most valuable gift he can offer as a poor man: his dreams.  My gift to you, the listener, now, is an invitation to explore the dreams printed on the flowing cloths around you.  You might notice motifs in the text or in the music that remind you of the images you see.  You are invited to make your own meaning from them, whilst listening to these songs. 

‘I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’  
- W.B Yeats

Scrambling memories of the archive. A wall-paper collage. April 2024.

Heni Hale

My PhD study follows a range of embodied approaches to TIHR’s archive at Wellcome Collection. I’m rumbling around ideas that my reading of records, fieldnotes, correspondence… is impacted by my body’s felt senses, haptic and tacit ways of knowing and by my locatedness, literally the feel of the room I’m reading in. My encounters with these documents  of ink-on-paper are embodied as a meshwork of partial fragments –they are like clues to a bigger story. The story needs to be sniffed out by immersing myself in the physical acts of moving sorting, sliding, zooming in, zooming out, turning away, crumpling up, tearing……. Etc.  Collage-making has emerged as one of these approaches, lines and sayings that seem important in the moment of the reading encounter, are captured on the iphone and reprinted. In the physical touching and handling – the patterning and re-connecting of these fragments, they become lasting glimmers that reverberate beyond themselves. They are like little imprinted refrains, that I begin to carry my memory, that then tangle and coalesce with other refrains to form an affective ringing atmosphere.

The fragments chosen for this wall – paper collage come from a selection of sources that date from the 1950s to 1970s in projects related to socio technical systems studies. The piece orients around the repeated refrain about workers who ’don’t even have the scope for deciding where to place their hands and feet’, words from a letter written in 1974 by Lisl Klein to Michael Foot M.P.  A core selection of fragments come from Automation Project, 1959-61 a study of a sulphur recovery Plant in Manchester Other snippets are included from other related socio technical systems studies in coalmines in the 1950s, and Isabel Menzies’ renowned Kings College Hospital project 1956/7.

They ring out of a period of time that is not of this time. Something emerges that speaks to the present, in the way that history rings out beyond itself as repetitions, similar but different, across intervals ( Schneider 2011).

Why a tree? It felt important to give this a distinct shape that embodied the Tav. A lineage with roots and branches, with thicker dense parts and gaps like fissures running through it. This tree is leaning at an angle, in a turbulent wind. Leaning forward into its future? Or back into its past? With fragments  ( leaves) breaking off and flying into the wind.


In our current office exhibition, you will continue to see remnants of previous exhibits.  There is much to explore, including traces of work by:

Juliet Scott, Marie Beauchamps, Bongsu Park, and the participants of Deepening Creative Practice with Organisations 2020-21, 2022-23, and 2023-24.

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If you would like to visit the exhibition, please contact Emily e.kyte@tavinstitute.org 

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations | 63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS
hello@tavinstitute.org | +44 20 7417 0407
Charity No.209706 | Design & build by Modern Activity