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Reflection and Rebellion A Loudspeaker project Autumn 2021

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Reflection and Rebellion

A Loudspeaker project

Autumn 2021


Reflection and Rebellion

A Loudspeaker project

Autumn 2021

“Art feels less like something that is right or wrong or good or bad and more

like experimentation and play.”

“I feel more comfortable showing up in the world as who I really am and

also in communicating this self, emotions, feeling, and experiences in

conversation, writing and art.”


The Loudspeaker programme is delivered

by Nottingham Contemporary as part of

the national Building Better Opportunities

programme though the Opportunity and

Change project, which is funded by the

National Lottery Community Fund and the

European Social Fund.

The programme is offered in ten week

projects of which there have been

fourteen so far.

Women are offered a supportive, caring

environment to help see things differently,

feel positive about the future and move on

from challenging circumstances.

Loudspeaker sessions are an opportunity

to take a break, develop routines, build

confidence, become inspired, and meet

new people.

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This book presents the outcomes of

creative explorations made by a group of

seven women living in the East Midlands,

during Autumn 2021.

The women explored exhibitions at

Nottingham Contemporary,

Allison Katz: Artery, Erika Verzutti and

Our Silver City. They also visited

exhibitions at other galleries in

Nottingham; Breaking the Mould:

Sculpture by Women since 1945 at

Djanogly Art Gallery and

Laced: In Search of What Connects Us at

New Art Exchange.

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

interpretations.

Through taking part, the women discussed

ideas about the everyday in art, feminism

and personal expression.

In this book they describe in their own

words what they did and their feelings

about being part of Loudspeaker.

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Columns

We looked at repetitive column sculptures

by Erika Verzutti in the gallery, which

are inspired by Constantine Brancusi’s

sculpture ‘Endless Column’. We each made

towers from paper, sat on the floor next to

Erika’s sculpture.

Working in three groups, we then made

our own towers, and utilising each other’s

skills and knowledge. We built our towers

out of coloured card around a bamboo

cane fixed into a base, using scissors,

staples and tape.

Erika took her ideas from an existing

artwork, while we took inspiration from

each other to achieve a common goal. All

three towers had the members of each

group’s individuality showing through.

Working in the gallery.

In the background Erika

Verzutti ‘Pencil (Lapis)’

2014, bronze and wax,

Tate

“It gave me a chance to play with

materials and challenged me as I

didn’t want to use tape.”

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Maps, Networks, Arteries

Allison Katz’ poster for ‘Artery’ which

includes maps of road junctions and of the

Nottingham Caves was the starting point

for us to create artworks using maps.

We made a collaborative artwork in the

gallery by cutting up a Nottingham A-Z and

creating a collage with it.

In the studio we drew over the roads and

lines on Ordnance Survey maps, using

carbon paper to transfer our marks onto

paper. We then added colour to these

drawings.

Seeing the paths as arteries and finding

ways though places, ways to be guided

was exciting. We started to notice shapes

within our map artworks e.g. a garden

became a fish and a lake became a Loch

Ness monster.

‘‘It was totally unpredictable as you

couldn’t tell what your drawing was

going to look like. I like that – not

knowing”.

Poster by Allison Katz for her exhibition Artery at

Nottingham Contemporary, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

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Internal Spaces

We took photos in Allison Katz’s exhibition,

finding details of the building that were

unusual.

We then collaged prints of our photos.

We chose a part of the body to be a frame

for our images, an eye and an ear, similar

to Allison’s use of open mouths in her

paintings. We painted these with acrylic

paints.

There was quite a lot of decision making;

we looked outside ourselves to find a way,

rather than staying in our own circle where

it is comfortable.

“The exhibition shows different angles

which open up your response.”

“I am more conceptual than I thought.

I have new perspectives on many

things, mostly my own self.”

Allison Katz, Ssik, 2020.

courtesy the artist and Gio Marconi

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Exploring Sculpture by Women

We visited another gallery - Djanogly Art

Gallery to see the exhibition called

Breaking the Mould:

Sculpture by Women since 1945.

In the gallery we assembled sculpture from

cones, wire, acetate and string, exploring

tension, balance and space.

We looked at a sculpture by Sarah Lucas,

made from stuffed tights which looked like

intestines or female anatomy.

We went on to make our own sculpture

with a pair of tights. Some of us had

no perceived notions of the outcome,

while others had a strong idea, although

everyone’s work had unexpected results.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to

express ourselves and not be false;

show our quirks”.

Sarah Lucas, NUD CYCLADIC 7, 2010.

Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

© the artist.

Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund

“My favourite thing about taking part

was feeling safe and being supported,

not judged.”

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Fruit Sculpture

Inspired by Erika’s use of fruit in her

sculpture, we created clay sculptures of

a range of fruit. We started by arranging

real fruit into groups; it was good bringing

different fruits together and trying

different compositions – being playful.

The process got us thinking about balance

and how things are formed, and of our

own stability.

When moulding the clay, our hands

became tools; to create texture we used

our own fingers and nails. We used wire to

reinforce our sculptures, helping support

items that wouldn’t normally balance.

Creating sculpture from fruit that we

would usually eat was a new experience; it

was a ‘culture shock’ sampling fruit we had

never eaten before.

Erika Verzutti Painted Lady, 2011. Bronze and acrylic

Courtesy of Alison Jaques Gallery, London.

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“...being playful without thinking

about the end product”.


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Rooms within Rooms

Looking at images of how Allison Katz

had created a ‘room within a room’ in the

gallery, gave us the idea that we can create

our own rooms. The materials and tools

available gave ideas for our creations too.

We started by using colourful tape to mark

out shapes and spaces on the Studio walls

and floor e.g., creating the illusion of a

doorway or way in.

Then, we built rooms inside cardboard

boxes using coloured papers, mirrors,

lights etc., creating a safe space to look

into, maybe with a story, and giving

different angles and perspectives through

the windows.

Allison Katz’ exhibition Artery in Gallery 1 at Nottingham

Contemporary, showing her ‘room within a room’.

Photo: Stuart Whipps

“It gets rid of control when someone

adds to what you’ve done”.

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Place of Reflection

We started by sitting together in Grace

Ndiritu’s Temple in the gallery, part of the

exhibition Our Silver City, 2094, doing

some tapestry stitching. The Temple’s

concepts were relaxation, meditation and

expression for groups and individuals.

We built our own interpretation of a

temple, a place of relaxation, reflection

and calm. We expressed ourselves in how

we used the materials; canes, reusable

cable ties, fabrics, wool, lace.

Afterwards we sat together and reflected

and appreciated the feeling of safety and

sharing, where no ideas were wrong.

“Working in union; working as a team,

no judgement, having fun”.

“I feel more ready to be creative again

in a playful capacity. It has brought my

creative freedom back after it being

lost for so long since my breakdown”.

Our Silver City 2094. Installation shot of ‘The Temple’ by

Grace Ndiritu at Nottingham Contemporary, 2021.

Photo: Stuart Whipss

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Our Thoughts

“It was the first time I had been to

an art gallery as I never I thought I

was worthy of it; not knowledgeable

enough. I realise I don’t need to worry

about that, I can go to an art gallery

and decide what grabs me. I can

have my opinions and don’t have to

conform to the norm.”

“My favourite thing about

Loudspeaker was being able to meet

women from other areas and walks of

life and be accepted.”

“Your mental health is not a stigma;

you are seen for who you are, not your

‘diagnosis’, without judgement.”

“Taking part in Loudspeaker has

really helped me to find myself again.

Being introduced to different types

of Art such as sculpture has been

really interesting and educational.

This has allowed me to spend more

time on myself and reassured me I’m

important.”

“Loudspeaker has helped me to

feel less isolated, alone and ‘other’.

I feel more confident in seeking out

creativity within the city and at home

in my own time. I have more courage

to express myself.”

“My favourite thing has been the

group work that we do. I enjoyed

being with other women who have

similar interests and listening to their

thoughts.”

“Veronica, Gill and Katy have provided

a safe space that has allowed me to

be myself without the fear of being

judged or criticised. Through working

with the other women in the group I

have gained some self confidence and

self worth and remembered that I’m

OK.”

“Loudspeaker has given me a little bit

more confidence to express myself

and re-inspired me to go back to arts

and crafts.”

“It’s just fun to come and have a talk, a

natter, a giggle with other people.”

“Loudspeaker definitely changed

things for me. It is like I have opened

a shut door, which was a long time

closed. It brought me happiness and

opened the creative side of me which

I enjoyed a long time ago. I forgot how

happy I can be. I now feel artistic again

inside and also have created projects I

am proud of.”

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Thank you

Participants

Alinta

Christine

Jelena

Jenny

Lauren

Lisa

Xaffarae

Peer Mentor

Stephanie

Loudspeaker team

Associate Artist, Gillian Brent

Programme Manager, Katy Culbard

Support Worker, Veronica O’Callaghan

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