Angela Molloy Murphy is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. Previously, she was an Early Childhood Educator of 25 years. Angela’s post-qualitative doctoral dissertation, Animal Magic, Secret Spells, and Green Power: More-Than-Human Assemblages of Children's Storytelling enacted critical posthumanism, feminist new materialisms, and experimental arts practices to explore the narrative processes of children and the more-than-human. Her current research and writing projects are participatory, arts-based inquiries regarding children’s caring relations with place and the more-than-human.
The secret underground: A glow world experience was an interactive installation inviting children and their companions to reconsider the often unseen world of the more-than-human. This installation was created based on the premise that, although human activity visibly slows down in North America in the winter, the underground world is vibrant and bustling with action. In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, this mysterious subterranean landscape includes burrowing animals such as squirrels, moles, and rodents, but also insects and archaea, bacteria, microbes, algae, fungi and more...legacies, memories, spirits, and processes such as crystallization, decomposition, and decay. For the 2022 Portland Winter Light festival, creative partners Angela Molloy Murphy, Katie Shook of Mudland, Michelle Loberg, Reese Bowes, and Friends of the Secret Underground, a collective of children ages 4-16, designed a multimodal exhibit using video, light, and sound to simulate an underground world. This immersive installation was part of an academic research project with the University of Melbourne engaging posthumanism and the new materialisms in a participatory, arts-based inquiry regarding children’s relations with place.
In this moment of urgent planetary and humanitarian crises, children have much to offer. It is in this spirit that the collective Friends of the Secret Underground will gather again for collaborative, place based, research and writing.
Molloy Murphy, A. (2021). The grass is moving but there is no wind: Common worlding with elf/child relations. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/15505170.2021.1911890