Homage to famous painters

This week the women on the Loudspeaker Project were given an opportunity to be inspired by the current exhibiting artist Tala Madani who references the brush strokes of famous 20th century painters. Tala has sourced inspiration from many artists including Jackson Pollock who was one of the first major American painters. He used household paint to make huge complex layered pieces made out of the movement and rhythm of his hands and body.

In Tala Madani’s work similarities can be seen with Jasper Johns’ textural paintings of the American Flag from the 1960’s and Morris Lewis who would drip paint onto large scale canvases in his studio. Tala looks inside at her past and heritage and marries this by seeking outside cultural references. We saw other connections including Robert Motherwell who was famous for his graphic and foreboding black patterned paintings, and Richard Hamilton the father of Pop Art who painted the Dirty Protest capturing Bobby Sands standing in a cell of his own excrement (a theme which can be found in the current exhibition at The Nottingham Contemporary).

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We began with large pieces of paper and were given the freedom to use the paint, brushes, sponges and tools in any way we wished! I think everyone felt a little intimidated to begin with but soon the women were freeing themselves and losing all inhibitions. In very little time we had created a unique masterpiece inspired by the artists exhibiting at Nottingham Contemporary and painters from the past.

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I asked the women how they felt about painting with abandon and what it had helped them to learn about themselves…

“It felt good to take all of my frustrations out!” Lyndsay says “I was surprised at how it turned out. It was an emotional release…I was never into art before I came on this course but now I would consider it as a career”

Tiffany said “ I have grown in confidence, I have been inspired by doing the Loudspeaker Project to do other courses and complete my English and Maths, every day I am now busy with courses and volunteering….it’s a space for me time”

Lizzety said “It was really nice to paint the mural and I am looking forward to doing some painting with my children at home…I’m glad we painted together, I feel great!”

Some people found it so engaging they were exhausted!

“The great thing about painting like this is that you can do something really good in a very short space of time…” remarked Gill the artist leading the workshop.

“I struggled to come in today but am so pleased I did, I forgot that I felt poorly…this has been my favourite session, I felt super connected” Naomi

Valerie summed up our achievements over the 2 hour session…”It’s beautiful!”

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Why not have a go at painting your own group mural at home or in the garden if you don’t like mess…its fun, liberating and in no time at all you’ve made your own unique piece of contemporary art.

Rachel Burnett, Project Participant and Mentor

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