Helena Reckitt

Helena is a curator and researcher with international experience developing curatorial and critical research projects.

Staff details

Helena Reckitt


Reader in Curating




vas01hr (@gold.ac.uk)

Helena Reckitt is a curator and researcher with extensive international experience in developing curatorial and critical research projects that focus on the overlapping realms of Art, Curating, Feminism and Sexual Politics; Affect & Relationality; and Curatorial Education.  

Her research explores the undetonated potential of earlier moments of cultural and political radicalism, particularly those from the feminist and queer past. Having played a key role in defining, and arguing for the importance of, feminist and queer perspectives on art, theory and activism, recently Reckitt has focused on identifying feminisms that are under-represented within the Anglo-American canon. She explores why these feminisms have been elided, and stages research projects that revisit and reignite them through forms of translation, re-enactment, annotation, and collective reading. Drawing on theories of social reproduction and affect, her research examines the sexual politics of artistic and curatorial labour, including the implications of curators and curatorial students being interpellated as feminized. Connecting these research areas are the numerous exhibitions and discursive events that she has initiated that explore art and curating’s generative potential and relational dimensions.

Her previous roles include Senior Curator of Programmes, the Power Plant, Toronto (2006 – 2010); Senior Director of Exhibitions and Education, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, GA (2002 – 2005); Head of Talks/Deputy Director of Talks, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1990 – 1998); and Associate Commissioning Editor, Film and Performance Studies, Routledge, London (1988 – 1990).  As an independent curator she has developed projects for Nuit Blanche, City of Toronto; Flux Night, Atlanta; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto; and the ICA, Raven Row, SPACE and The Showroom, London.


Prior to arriving at Goldsmiths, Helena served as an adjunct professor for the graduate programme in Art History at York University in Toront, and the Atlanta College of Art and Emory University in Georgia. She was the Clark Collection Critic and Curator in Residence at the University of Victoria in New Zealand.

Professional Projects

Helena is a member and former Board Chair (2011-17) of the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths, a member of the Centre for Feminist Research, and an editorial board member for the Goldsmiths Press. She is a board member and Acting Chair for Electra in London. She has served as a consultant or juror for organizations including the Creative Capital Foundation, MCAD/McKnight Foundation, Kentucky Arts Council, City of Toronto, Ontario College of Art and Design, and C Magazine. Her exhibitions and programmes have been supported by grants from public, private and government agencies including the Arts Council of England, National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, Bickel Foundation, French Cultural Consul, Goethe Institute, Danish Arts Agency, Mondriaan Foundation, Japan Foundation, Creative New Zealand, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Curatorial Studies, is a cofounder of Feminist Curators United (fCu), and is a member of IKT, the international association of curators of contemporary art.

She has written for magazines including Art Papers, C Magazine, New York Arts Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, frieze, and the Times Higher Education Supplement, for the academic periodicals Art Journal, Reading Room, and the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and for books published by Routledge, Manchester University Press, Liverpool University Press, the University of Minnesota Press, Calvert 22, and the Whitechapel Gallery. 


Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Reckitt, Helena. 2023. From Coping to Curious: Unlearning and Reimagining Curatorial Habits of Care. In: Elke Krasny and Lara Perry, eds. Curating with Care. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 169-182. ISBN 9781032069913

Reckitt, Helena. 2023. That Sparkly Feeling: Collective Learning and Exchange in the Feminist Duration Reading Group. In: Lisa Baldissera, ed. Person/ne. Vancouver, Canada: Griffin Art Projects.

Reckitt, Helena. 2021. Productive Refusals. In: Edward Ball, ed. Old Land, New Waters. London: Freelands Foundation, pp. 134-139.


Vargas, Chris E; Zhihan, Dot Jia; Reckitt, Helena; Prowse, Jamila; Sadzinski, Sylvia; Iohe, Taey and Hofmann, Vera. 2022. Interdependent unlearning(s) and caring for disruption: A queer-feminist collective writing session on curatorial experiences and desires for instituting otherwise. The Year of the Women / Jahr der Frau,

Reckitt, Helena and Martinis Roe, Alex. 2021. Relationality in Feminist Collective Practice. On Curating(52), ISSN 2673-2955

Reckitt, Helena. 2019. Feminist acts of resistance and withdrawal in London. Burlington Contemporary,


Reckitt, Helena; Bollettenari, Angelica; Casalini, Giulia; Georgiou, Diana; Guy, Laura; Revell, Irene and Tobin, Amy. 1-13 December 2015 Now You Can Go.

Reckitt, Helena. 2015 - 2021 Feminist Duration Reading Group.

Exhibition Catalogue

Reckitt, Helena. 2017. Habits of Care Exhibition Essay.

Reckitt, Helena. 2014. Getting Rid of Ourselves, Catalogue Essay.

Reckitt, Helena. 2012. Katherine Taylor: Heavy Weather.


Reckitt, Helena; Krish, Jessie; Narkevičius, Adomas and Fuller, Sabrina. 2023. CEED (Central & East European Diasporas) Feminisms. In: "CEED Feminisms", Cell Project Space, London, United Kingdom, 4 May 2023 - 20 March 2024.

Reckitt, Helena; Moser, Gabrielle; Damiani, Giulia and Parent, Vanessa. 2022. Resonance and Transmission. In: "fORUM: Resonance and Transmission", Mercer Union, Toronto and online, Canada, 7 October - 17 November 2022.

Reckitt, Helena. 2017. Habits of Care. In: "Habits of Care", Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Canada, 11-30 September 2017.


Reckitt, Helena and Fuller, Sabrina. 2021. Nothing Worth Doing is Done Alone: On Friendship and Feminist Organising.

Reckitt, Helena. 2012. Helena Reckitt on Once More With Feeling.

Conference or Workshop Item

Reckitt, Helena; Fuller, Sabrina and Torrell, Ehryn. 2023. 'Drawing for Our Lives'. In: Drawing for Our Lives. Drawing Room, London, United Kingdom 26 March 2024.

Reckitt, Helena; Bramich, Beth; Clements, Leah and Katrin, Lock. 2023. 'What do we mean when we talk about care?'. In: Women in Revolt Conference. Tate Britain, United Kingdom 22-23 March 2024.

Reckitt, Helena and Moser, Gabrielle. 2023. 'Against Structurelessness: the resonance of 1970s and 1980s feminisms on current collective work'. In: College Art Association 112th Annual Conference, Panel 'Group Work: Art and Feminism'. Chicago, United States 14 February 2024.

Edited Book

Reckitt, Helena, ed. 2022. The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, Revised Edition. London and San Francisco: Tate Publishing & Chronicle Books. ISBN 9781797217543

Reckitt, Helena; Gosling, Lucinda; Robinson, Hilary and Tobin, Amy, eds. 2019. The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality. San Francisco/London: Chronicle Books/Tate Publishing. ISBN 9781849766494

Reckitt, Helena, ed. 2014. Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine - A Reader. London: Calvert 22. ISBN 9780956962898

Edited Journal

Reckitt, Helena and Richter, Dorothee, eds. 2021. Instituting Feminism, OnCurating, (52). 2673-2955

Reckitt, Helena and Fisher, Jennifer, eds. 2016. Affect and Relationality, Journal of Curatorial Studies, 5(1). 2045-5836

Fisher, Jennifer and Reckitt, Helena, eds. 2015. Museums and Affect, Journal of Curatorial Studies, 4(3). 2045-5836

Professional Activity

Reckitt, Helena. 2023. External Examiner, MFA Art.

Reckitt, Helena. 2023. External Examiner: MA Art and Project Management, Birmingham City University.

Reckitt, Helena. 2021. External Examiner, MFA Programme, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University.