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by Danielle Dean

Milk - the wellcome collection london

‘Milk’ explores our relationship with milk and its place in politics, society and culture. It considers how milk has come to be seen as so central to perceptions of nutrition and “good health” in the UK. The choices we make about milk are personal. But it is also a highly politicised liquid that has been used to exert power as well as provide care.


The exhibition brings together over 100 objects, including items used  in farming and infant feeding, historical advertising, public health posters, and contemporary artworks.


‘Milk’ includes new artistic commissions by Danielle Dean, Jess Dobkin and Ilana Harris-Babou, as well as a new documentary by Leo Hallam Dawson on UK dairy farming and a 2023 iteration of Melanie Jackson and Esther Leslie’s project ‘Deeper in the Pyramid’.


This exhibition asks: Why has cow’s milk been considered essential to a good diet in the UK? What forces shape the ways we feed our babies? How has milk been used to tie ideas of health to whiteness? How do we value milk and those who produce it? ‘Milk’ is curated by Honor Beddard and Marianne Templeton.

‘White’ is a new animation by Danielle Dean. It shows the indigenous plants of the Taranaki forest in New Zealand. British colonial settlers cleared this forest to create pastures for dairy cattle. ‘White’ examines how colonisers disregarded and attempted to erase Indigenous and local Māori knowledge crucial to the healthy maintenance of the land.

The whole animation involved moving from one scene to the next, showing the corruption of milk and the eventual deforestation of the Taranaki forest in New Zealand. Each element was set up in z space to give the scene depth as the camera continuously pans to the right. Other effects included some light rays, particles and ink/watercolour effects to build that smooth transition for the lush green forest to a white desolate clearing.

For more information:


Directed by Danielle Dean

Animation by Marjolaine Lebrasseur

Bird animation by Justin Weber

Composition by Taul Katz

Interlude Sounds.

Software: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop

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