Therapeutic effects of moulding clay
Clay Transformations was an innovative research project based at the University of Nottingham which investigated the therapeutic effects of using clay in work with teenagers dealing with feelings of anger, anxiety and depression. The project team was a cross disciplinary mix of academics, psychologists, psychotherapists and local artists, teamed up with professionals in the NHS, third sector and colleagues at Nottingham Contemporary and City Arts.
The one-year project (2011-2012) focused on research that will support young people who access local mental health services often leading to psychosocial issues, exclusion and challenges regarding school environments. The researchers tested how working with clay might have a positive impact upon young people, and particularly how clay sculpting might help young people to express their thoughts and emotions. Anecdotally, we know clay appears to offer potential therapeutic effects and that through moulding, squashing, bending and breaking the clay it can have cathartic effects. The project developed tools to examine the use of clay in therapeutic contexts with particular focus on how clay enables participants to overcome social inhibition. With its qualities of cold resistance and suitability for creative play, clay could be an exciting alternative therapy for young people suffering from a range of mental health vulnerabilities, including ADHD and autism.
The outcomes of this project and measures of inhibition were not conclusive, however there is future work planned with Nottingham University to undertake further research into this area of work.
This project was funded by Nottingham University.
Experimental Choir Performance in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA
Working with award winning Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven (La Vie Sur Tere) and the Nottingham Royal Centre, City Arts produced a mass participation singing piece that was performed during the WEYA festival.
Local choirs (including the Iona Singers, Streetwise Opera, Atmosphere Glee Choir and the Culture Box Choir), four local schools and individuals participated in a number of rehearsals in the run-up to WEYA. Each group worked with professional soloists. The resulting final performance was a bold and challenging multi-layered sound-scape created in the Royal Centre, with the different choirs positioned around the auditorium
singing elements of the piece.
This short film was produced by Ben Wiggley's the BBC/Arts Council England online arts The Space.
International Dance & Performance Art in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA
City Arts devised the 'More than one anchor' programme to build on the work of Artists in Exile, our programme of support for refugee and new arrival artists and Solo Art, Solo Heart, the Artists in Exile international performance showcase. We commissioned artists Choman Hardi, Gaylan Nazhad and Shane Shambhu, to work with community groups from across Nottingham, exploring themes and ideas around identity and sense of belonging. During August, creative writing workshops were facilitated by Choman
and photography sessions by Gaylan, with movement and performance explored in sessions led by Shane.
From these sessions, three poems where chosen to be used as inspiration for a final performance piece and a stunning series of black and white photographic portraits were produced. Shane then delivered a series of performance workshops with participants and visiting Kurdish-born artist, Sara Omar. The final piece, directed by Shane, was performed at Nottingham Contemporary alongside two pieces of Shane's own work (Pogunilla & Dr Jagad and Mr Haridas).
This film, documenting the final event, was made by Ben Wigley.
Massive Silk Artwork in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA 2012
For World Event Young Artists City Arts worked with established textile maker Ali Pretty (Kinetica) and poet Panya Banjoko to deliver a textiles project with Nottingham community groups and families.
In venues across the City we worked with the Meadows Conversation Group, Sherwood Textile Workshop, Double Impact, Zombie Group (After School Club at The Chase
in St Ann's), Language Cafe / Culture Box and Future Foundations, a youth volunteering scheme. The artists also mentored student placements & early career artists
who assisted in delivering the project.
Inspired by the WEYA themes of global cultures and creative exchange, a 45-meter length of silk was produced using batik, with text and imagery created by local families and the names and place of birth of all the visiting artists. This was painted live in the Old Market Square attracting an audience of over 2500 people. Six mobile structures, decorated silk discs mounted on stalks, were produced by the community groups.
This film was made by Ben Wigley.
Nottingham Poetry Workshop - City Arts @ WEYA
"More than one anchor" is one of four programmes that were put together by City Arts for World Event Young Artists 2012. This particular strand of work was developed by internationally acclaimed artists Choman Hardi, Gaylan Nazhad and Shane Shambhu, in conjunction with community groups from across Nottingham.
This short film has been made for us by Ioney Smallhorne, Director of IS Creative Media. The film follows participant's journeys during a writing residency at Nottingham Central Library. The group explored poetry with Choman Hardi during the week of 6th August, leading up to WEYA in September. 19 participants each produced around 6 poems a day and worked towards creating 3 group poems that formed the story for a final performance piece during WEYA on 11th September at Nottingham Contemporary. The performance also included photography with community groups by Gaylan Nazhad and was artistically directed by Shane Shambhu, who worked with performers in producing the final showcase.
City Arts would like to thank all of the artists and participants that have contributed to this programme of work, without which the work would not have been possible.
The Mouthy Poets, Deborah Stevenson, Jim Hall, Jeren Artykova, Jessica Yeung, Maresa Mackeith, Ingrid Mclaren and Ioney Smallhorne
Writing and photography workshops:
Sooree Pillay, Lan, Mina Fatemi, Emma Constable, Alex Cooke, Beverley Stirling, Ellen Storey, Phil Molloy, Richard Goodson, Ahinee Mensah, Miah Jumbo and Shakawan Hama
Juliet Line and groups The Language Café and Conversation Group who meet regularly at Nottingham Central Library.
Giant Outdoor Chime Instruments - City Arts
Our set of six 3 metre high chimes were created exclusively for City Arts and funded by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts. These chimes -- which spread over an 18 metre space - were invented and designed by Nottingham based Dragon's Den winner Michael Davis of Bass Tone Slap, with advice from academics at the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham University.
The chimes can be hired for community projects, events and festivals - played by young people, members of the wider community, who are supported by professional musicians.
Nottingham Light Night 2010 - Winter Carnival with Puppets
Since 2008, City Arts has been at the forefront of the February Light Night spectaculars in Nottingham, funded by the City Council.
Working with schools, young people and musicians, we have created incredible illuminated processions through the City centre. In 2011, City Arts brought giant puppets from across the UK to create an incredible spectacular lit event in the Brewhouse Yard Garden, which was covered by BBC Television.
Imagination - Street Arts, Carnival and Dance from City Arts
City Arts and Nottingham City Council is working in partnership with Kinetika, a carnival arts organisation, on ImagiNation. It is a street and carnival spectacular - performed first at the Wollaton Hall Children's Festival in Nottingham and then the celebrations for the Olympic Handover in Coventry.