How We Learn explores the silent stories and everyday exchanges we make in context to how learn about the world using our hands. The photographs consider hand gestures in relation to communication, socialising and individually developing identity. Through contact with others during our lifetime we build relationships, communicate, express love and affection, play together, learn, and have our needs met.
Commissioned by Belfast Exposed this project took place over a six-month period. Dowling collaborated with three partner schools in Belfast; St Malachy's, Meadowbridge and Sacred Heart Primary Schools. Extended through BP Art Exchange, Tate, Dowling working with young people and adults in Mexico, Russia and the UK.