Since the referendum vote we’ve been in a kind of Brexit jigsaw land, as the brilliant British artist of Nigerian heritage, Flo Awolaja realises in her 2016 London exhibition: Making Stories, Telling Tales
In a way, across Europe and the world, we’re all waiting for a society that is more representative, brings out more of the best in individuals, groups and countries, more of the surprising, extraordinary, intriguing, challenging returns of being human in the 21st century, whoever you are, wherever you come from.
Because, in a way we never really had a proper reconstruction of European democracies after the second world war, many European countries are dominated by super rich family dynasties who in this new era, need to move back, move away from the limelight so that proper and appropriate services, diverse economic regeneration and balanced political representation can happen.
Everyone will benefit.
Labour politician Barbara Castle, who realised that the way we move on from the horrors of holocausts, past and present is to trade across the world and build stronger and more resilient parliamentary democracies).
And people who work for art, meaning and understanding in Nottingham and elsewhere are and have been, since the end of the second world war, creating the cultural ground here for a new way of seeing through art, design and new products made locally and sold across the world.
And it’s the artists and supporters of the value of art who make more of what’s here matter to more people, more of the time.
People who help us imagine what is possible and what might become of us if we dare to dream.
A big thank you to all of them:
Some people I admire and who deserve recognition and support:
Jean Stansfield local campaigner and activist in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s 90’s 00’s and now, at 90!
Stella Couloutbanis for her work in art, with artists and in support services in Nottingham and Erewash. Stella is a wonder, educated in Nottingham, overcoming disability to showcase some of the most forward thinking art, design and exhibitions in the UK at the Bonnington Gallery
John Newling who like Picasso’s bull, singlehandedly took on the tabloidisation of our local cultural landscape in the 80’s and 90’s…(remember ‘Is This Art? The Shed of the North?)
Above: Physics of Place at Nottingham Castle which broke new cultural ground in 1998 smashing ideas of the super eminence of the ‘market’ in people and things…
Jennie Syson who with a great range of dynamic artists and art supporters (Aaron Juneau springs to my mind because he made art newspapers…YH485) created a magical art and artists hinterland around the river Trent.
Jennie’s Hinterland because of the research and practical work she did unearthing the past and earthing the present, extended the boundaries of what art could be, where art could be, who could be an artist, right back into the most aspirational thinking of the architects of the welfare state…well being..well, being!
What a human!
Panya Banjoko A wonderful poet on our doorstep. Her stunning new book of poetry is called Some Things
Stephan Collishaw, local author, founder of Noir Press, promoter of Lithuania awareness here (and there!) and Lithuanian writers, authors. Two wonderful novelists spring to mind: Jaroslavas Melnikas, author of The Grand Piano Room and Grigory Kanovich’s autobiographical novel “Shtetl Love Song
Anne Standing: head of art at Hollygirt School is a rarely gifted artist, designer and thinker and is currently producing a graphic novel about her relatives experiences in the second world war…based on found correspondence.
Great people who have introduced more of us to the links and connections between our families across the planet. It makes me want to save the world.