Space for Imagination
A Loudspeaker project
Space for Imagination
A Loudspeaker project
“Before now, I hadn’t paid any attention to art; not my business. Loudspeaker
brought to me how important art is; I’ve learnt such a lot.”
“Before now I didn’t appreciate how important it is to imagine how to use our
time to create something. These activities open up the mind.”
The Loudspeaker programme is delivered
by Nottingham Contemporary as part
of the Opportunity and Change project,
which is funded by the The National
Lottery Community Fund and The
European Social Fund.
The programme is offered in ten week
projects of which there have been thirteen
Women are offered a supportive, caring
environment to help see things differently,
feel positive about the future and move
away from challenging circumstances.
Loudspeaker sessions are an opportunity
to take a break, develop routines, build
confidence, become inspired, and meet
This book presents the outcomes of
creative explorations made by a group of
eight women living in the East Midlands,
during Spring and Summer 2021.
The women explored two exhibitions at
Allison Katz: Artery and
Together they discussed their responses to
the art in the galleries and experimented
with a wide range of art materials
and methods to make their own
Through taking part, the women have
discussed ideas about the everyday in art,
feminism and personal expression.
Maps, Networks, Arteries
Inspired by Allison Katz’ poster showing
road junctions and maps of the
Nottingham caves, we created drawings by
tracing over maps of local areas.
The maps had carbon paper underneath
which transferred our lines of the roads
onto paper. We couldn’t see the drawing
until we had finished tracing. We then
added some colours to our drawings to
create a more abstract image.
‘‘I enjoyed making an image by tracing
over a map. This is something I would
take away with me and do at home.’’
Poster by Allison Katz for her exhibition Artery at
Nottingham Contemporary, 2021. Courtesy the artist.
We each picked out a piece of fruit –
pineapple, pomegranate, pear, starfruit
coconut etc., and took them to the gallery
to compare to Erika Verzutti’s sculptures
where she used fruit. We arranged our
fruit into a sculpture on the floor of the
Working with clay we recreated our fruit
into sculptures. It was enjoyable working
with clay. When we showcased our pieces
at the end of the session, some people
grouped their work together to make more
complicated sculptures with the shapes.
Erika Verzutti Painted Lady, 2011. Bronze and acrylic
Courtesy of Alison Jaques Gallery, London.
“Art doesn’t have to be a ‘perfect
piece’ to be enjoyed.”
Between Inside and Outside
We explored Allison Katz’s paintings and
found out about her influences from
Surrealism and Man Ray; a combination of
the subconscious and imagination.
We took photos of the gallery, and made a
collage of the printed photos.
Inspired by Allison’s use of open mouths
as portals into her paintings, we framed
our collages by painting parts of the body
around them – eyes, hands, mouths.’
“Allison’s work is very interesting
because normally people just see with
their eyes, yet Allison sees it from a
Allison Katz, Ssik, 2020.
courtesy the artist and Gio Marconi
Abstract Body Shapes
We looked at Erika’s Venus sculptures
in the gallery, originally inspired by the
25,000-year-old sculpture of the Venus de
We discussed ancient and modern ideas
of female body shapes, and our opinions
about the shape women are expected to
We used polystyrene balls and recycled
materials such as margarine tubs and
plastic cones to create sculptures using
abstracted body shapes that highlight
real women’s features. We covered our
sculptures with coloured tissue.
“I can relate to Erika’s sculptures with
the sense that they are based on us in
a way – female body and posture.”
Erika Verzutti, Venus of Cream, 2021. Bronze
Venus Carnival & Venus Resting, 2021.
Industrial papier mâché and styrofoam.
Courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery, London.
Photo: Stuart Whipps
We started in the gallery, working next
to Erika’s column sculptures, inspired by
Constantine Brancusi’s ‘Endless Column’,
(1918-1938) in Romania. We made our
own columns or towers from paper and
tape alongside Erika’s.
We then worked in pairs to create larger
columns out of repeated shapes made
in coloured card. We used a bamboo
pole as a spine, stacking our card shapes,
one on top of another. Each column was
completely different to the others, yet they
looked strong together.
“Verzutti’s work is spiritual and all
about women for a change and she
mixes the past with the present.”
Erika Verzutti, L-R Egg Tower with Brazil, 2021. Papier mâché
Courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery, London
Pornstar, 2011, Bronze and acrylic, The Ekard Collection
Pencil (Lapis), 2014. Bronze and wax, Tate
Paper columns by Loudspeaker participants.
Rooms within Rooms
We taped out a bird’s eye view of the
gallery walls and doors on the floor of the
gallery, that showed how Allison Katz had
redesigned the space.
We had a cardboard box to create our
own space within a space. We made walls,
windows and doors, which we covered
with coloured and patterned papers. Some
people added extra features with paint or
by making curtains or furniture. They all
turned out really well.
Allison Katz’ exhibition Artery in Gallery 1 at Nottingham
Contemporary, showing her ‘room within a room’.
Photo: Stuart Whipps
“It’s amazing how we start doing the
same thing but we all come out with
something different on the same
theme. It’s always personal on some
level, as you can express what you are
going through in what you make.”
Traces of Touch
We mixed four and salt with water to make
salt dough – like Erika used earlier in her
career. Some people added food colouring.
We made our own sculptures of everyday
objects we constantly touch. We added,
imprinted and pressed into the dough, bits
of metal, stones, and sparkly objects. You
can see where our hands have been and
how they shaped the dough.
“I’ve enjoyed the hands-on
experience, working with different
materials, experimenting with
different colours and textures.”
Erika Verzutti Livro de Criança, 2013. Concrete, bronze, clay,
ploimer clay, soft clay, wax.
Courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery
Comments by Participants
“(The artists’ works are) humorous,
colourful, exciting. It’s interesting that
they pushed the boundaries in their
“I liked Erika’s abstract shapes,
especially her Venus sculptures,
exploring different body shapes.”
“It’s opened my mind up and I am
more likely to make art myself.”
“Everyone sees things different.”
“The little time I had to do some art
here has given me the idea of doing
more art whenever I can.”
“Erika’s work is very strange and
impressive at the same time.”
“(Allison’s paintings are) true to life
but abstract – a twist.”
“Allison Katz’s paintings are very deep
but very simple – it’s everyday stuff.”
“I feel like art is not limited...”
“Loudspeaker has opened up art for
Associate Artist, Gillian Brent
Programme Manager, Katy Culbard
Support Worker, Veronica O’Callaghan