Working at Affinity Festival: Part 1

The weekend before last a very exciting festival was held at Nottingham Contemporary for 15-25 year olds. Affinity Festival was a huge success, starting on Friday at 12pm and ending Saturday at 12am.

Working at Affinity Festival: Part 1

Myself, along with the rest of Collabor8 Collective helped organise and plan the festival which we then helped run with our army of volunteers. I had a great time and it gave me fantastic experience. In the next few blogs, I thought I would share with you my own experience of the festival, including all the pre-planning, panic-buying and last minute preparation.

Myself, Leila Duffy- Tetzlaff and Nadia Scola had all volunteered to curate and install an exhibition of all of the work made within the last years of Guest Artist Workshops at Nottingham Contemporary. The exhibition would be held at New College Nottingham's Lace Market Gallery and we would be helped by Sam Rose. Initially, myself and Leila had gone through piles and piles of hoarded art, all created for the end of the month Collabor8 events, which we then sorted and prioritised into what was most suitable for the exhibition. We then had to figure out how we would hang it all.

The Sunday before the festival was spent making a mass collage out of painted pictures created by the young people which would be hung within the exhibition. We also attached some paintings to canvases which we had bought thinking it would make them pop. We spent that evening finalising everything, figuring out the curation and the space in the gallery and planning everything for the next day.

On Monday we started installation of the gallery space and checking that the layout worked. I printed out photographs that formed the basis of a photo montage which we put together for the Collabor8 events. Tuesday was spent much the same, as we climbed ladders, hammered nails into the walls, stuck pictures up and hung everything ready for the opening of the exhibition.

When planning the exhibition we really wanted to utilise all the space within the gallery. We stuck flow diagrams of ideas from young people onto the floor. The exhibition had sculptural elements like the huge 'identity' head on a plinth, and we also had costumes which had been decorated by us and worn by Parkour adorning the windows. The exhibition also had painted canvases mounted to the wall, framed photography exploring the creative self, as well as hand-made zines hung across bunting. We wanted to use the space in different ways to show just how creative Collabor8 could be.

Read more about Affinity





Mary Strickson

Mary Strickson Contributor

I love writing, blogging and reviewing on Voice and other online publications, covering a range of topics but I especially love the arts, activism, film and theatre. When I am not writing I work as an events photographer and artist/illustrator, as well as running workshops in schools and the community, mostly with young people. I'm also a huge history nerd, have a History BA, Art History MA and work in heritage. I love comics, superheroes and anything sci-fi.

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  • Emrys Green

    On 27 November 2015, 19:00 Emrys Green Voice Team commented:

    Well done Mary. A great sounding event!

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