Sleep and Parenting

Sleep and Parenting

Deck of Cards

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    The Sleep and Parenting collection explores how common scenarios during the first few years of parenting affect our sleep patterns and, consequently, our mood, behaviour, and approaches to everyday life. Questions, reflections, provocations, as well as actions and playful exercises have gradually informed and shaped a collaborative deck of cards which you can view here.

    The Sleep and Parenting deck is designed to help introduce positive habits into the everyday of raising children, while also offering creative tools to look after mental health and well-being. The cards focus on simple and explorative tasks such as slow reading, mindful drawings, and basic design compositions revolving around three areas: Reflection, Pause, and Decompress.

    All the tasks are developed in response to various experiences collected throughout the duration of the project. The design is freely inspired by symbols and imagery from Tarot decks, re-purposed specifically for this project.

    Hover or click on the cards below to flip them.

    Front: Write the word “Calm” as slowly 
as you can. Over a period of 15 minutes write the word “Calm” only once with your pencil moving continuously without leaving the paper.
Back: Decompress
    Front: Create a space to slow down for yourself or the ones around you.
Back: Decompress
    Front: Make your vowel soundscape. Repeat the vowel sound a-e-i-o-u. Start by saying each normally and then adjust how much you stretch out the sound or how rapidly you say the vowels.
Back: Decompress
    Front: Move your eyes from side to side slowly and repetitively. Find a calm space. Lie down, move your eyes slowly side to side keeping your head still. After 10 times, stop and close your eyes.
Back: Pause
    Front: Lie down on the floor first thing in the morning, last thing at night. Find a calm space. Lie down, stretch your body making a star shape. Pause with your eyes closed and your palms down. Imagine the grass tickling your fingers.
Back: Pause
    Front: Massage your palms, fingers and thumbs. Massage your forearms back and front. Then slide down your arm as if taking off a glove. Repeat as many times as you want.
Back: Pause
    Front: Remember a moment between wakefulness 
and sleep. Capture your feeling with a word or a drawing.
Back: Reflection
    Front: Write about one thing that you love.
Write about one thing that you hate. Write continuously without getting your pen off the paper, without editing yourself.
Back: Reflection
    Front: Make a dream reconfiguration. Doodle on paper a scene from a dream. Then cut the paper in pieces and find different reconfigurations to your dream. Try many times until you find the one that you like the most.
Back: Reflection
    Front: Take a small amount of clay and roll it into a ball. Push your thumb in the middle of the ball, gently. With your thumb in the centre of the clay ball and your fingers on the outside begin pinching from the bottom to the top to make a small sculpture. When finished, keep it in your hands for a few seconds.
Back: Reflection

    For as long as this deck of cards is on display and free to download, visitors can provide their own inputs. Help the collection of cards grow by downloading the Sleep and Parenting co-production toolkit below and by submitting your own unique “Task to spread Reflection, Pause, and Decompress” through the form below. In doing so, you will take part in the co-productive ethos of this project.

    For an accessible version of the toolkit, please click here.

    For an accessible, text-only version of the cards templates, please click here.

    Contribute to the Exhibition







      All the artworks on display are co-produced by Chiara Dellerba in collaboration with project participants and licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Special thanks to Dr Pam Alfonso-Miller for her expert input on the topic of sleep and parenting and to the project Research Assistant, Dr James Rákóczi, for his support throughout.

      This online exhibition, curated by Chiara Dellerba, is part of the wider Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and Its Disorders project, run in partnership with The Sleep Charity and funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Enrichment Public Engagement Grant led by Dr Diletta De Cristofaro.

      To view the other collections in the Reimagining Sleep exhibition, or to download the exhibition catalogue, click on the buttons below.

      These works are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0