The Curated Self

Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer

My first stop in any city is the art gallery. I’m passionate about great art, I like to buy works from local artists when I travel (a habit my financial planner is desperate to break!), and I’ve often fantasised about going back to university to study art history.

What fascinates me most about art galleries is the curation. The process of deciding what pieces to include and what pieces to leave out; whether to present the pieces chronologically, by theme, or by medium; how much information to include in the accompanying description; what colour to paint the walls; and how to promote the exhibition.

Curation is, itself, an artform and I often use the language of art when I talk to academics and students about social media and their online presence. Deciding on the what, where, when, how, and why of the information we present to the public is an act of…

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Breastfeeding, Loud and Proud

I love the move towards more open and free breastfeeding! Here is one friend’s great account of her journey:


Before becoming a mother, I thought I would be a bold breastfeeder, nursing my babe on street corners and thumbing my finger at anybody who dared object. Yet when my first child was born a few years back, I found that I was nowhere near as confident breastfeeding in public as I had foreseen. Although I did feed my baby in public, I always aimed to be as discreet as possible, finding the quietest, darkest corner available, and staying modest with a nursing cover.

All the while, I was ashamed to feel this way, as it was so at odds with my beliefs as a woman (feminist) and a parent (attachment, for the most part). Why this contradiction? My desire for privacy arose from a wish to protect my child. I didn’t want him at the centre of any kind of controversy, even if I thought it was ridiculous that such a…

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