Submission: Grrl Power

image venus copy

Proposal put forward for Grrl Power exhibition to be held at Constellations, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool during August 2016:

…she makes…

Alison Little is a North-West based fine Artist. Through her creative practice, Alison deals with the subject of sexual violence, disability and marginalised sections of society on a regular basis. Her most recent commission was for Spectrum D, based in Derby. The piece focussed on discrimination again disability and featured a figure thrown from a wheelchair. Her techniques of using polythene sheeting and found material have proved very successful, producing Brain scape for World Mental Health 2015 day and previously ‘Bipolar B’ exhibited for World mental Health Day 2014 at the Williamson Gallery, Birkenhead. ‘Bipolar B’ is a vision of a female sufferer of Bipolar, its prime concern is to address Hyper-sexuality in sufferers. Words are printed on to the shredded paper which highlights different elements of the illness looking at everything from illicit drugs to prescribed medication, manic depression to elation.’ The creation of ‘Bipolar B’ lead to a greater understanding of Bipolar in terms of my own knowledge base and is intended to help improve understanding of the disorder within those who view the form. Personal experience of meeting and working with sufferers of Bipolar was informed further by the reading of autobiographical works such as David Lovelace’ ‘Full Blown: Me and My Bipolar Family’. Filling the form with shredded paper with terms associated with Bipolar was a creative process of greater artistic merit than the final outcome. ‘Bipolar B’ relates strongly to other works created by Alison, the Attack in particular. ‘Tossed’ the first in the series was exhibited at Embrace Arts in Leicester in January- March of 2014 . The exhibition was central to a conference ‘Speaking Out’ where the artists spoke about their works and their relation to domestic violence. Alison intends to create a serious of works dealing women’s issues and traumatic situations in particular.

‘She makes’ has been envisaging specifically for the exhibition, looking to utilise polythene and shredded paper to create a form based on the symbol of the Roman Goddess Venus. My intention is for it to be floor based and positioned in a way similar to Bi-Polar B for the Mental Health Day 2014 exhibition held at the Williamson Gallery, looking to create a form around 150x100x10cm. It would be possible to look at adapting this to become a wall mounted piece, however, I feel it will function at it’s strongest on a ground level location with the view looking down on the form. The use of purple foliage is to suggest growth and creativity, located around the symbolic growth area this suggests the very feminine matter of pubic hair. The use of purple toned papers as the shredded medium is through the imaginative nature of the colour. Purple is often used with feminist movements, originally the colour used by the Suffragettes and currently used by activist groups such as Reclaim the night. Through the use of purple, we are suggesting femininity by not on the level of the use of ‘Barbie’ style pinks which are often protested against by women’s groups; ‘Pink Stinks’ campaign in particular.

For the printed contexts to be presented within the form I look to identify with subjects around the subject of women in the Arts. Activist statements such as ‘WOMEN: THE TIME IS NOW’ and ‘WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT’ alongside demanding statements ‘WE NEED MORE SUCCESSFUL WOMEN ARTISTS’. Statements and media which identify with how traditional female crafts, such as textiles pay less and how women are pushed into female dominated roles: the artist and the childcare facilitator. To look towards the work and concepts of very successful female artists of the Day: Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas in particular. Identification of issues around third wave feminism which are explored by these female creative sector leaders: Bad Sex Aesthetics, Promiscuity, Rape, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Choose not the reproduce, Motherhood and Abortion.

Alison Little

Hidden Gems

Got Worms by A show by Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould  (1) copy

Hidden Gems is a new Arts Publication to be launched in Liverpool this July:

Liverpool Biennial brings hordes of internationally renowned artists to exhibit in Liverpool. But, during the two years between each festival there is a huge community of artists, designers and creative minds working out of small studios and tiny galleries, making world class art. This newspaper intends to scream about that, because it’s written by people that spend every day in that world.

I do hope you’re enjoying your day though. I hope you’ve been enjoying it somewhere new, or somewhere independent; honestly, they’re not hard spaces to find these days.

Rarely very far from the beaten track are a wealth of spaces that help improve the quality of life in Liverpool. Whether those spaces are galleries, shops or cafes, they are there for you, and they are run by some of the most creative people in Liverpool. This paper attempts to celebrate each and every one of those spaces in some way. It doesn’t. That’s simply an impossible task.

If you’re reading this though, there’s a strong chance you’re reading The Double Negative’s Fringe Diary too, or on your way to a Biennial event somewhere around the corner. While we can’t cover every small space in Liverpool, we can give you an in depth introduction to some of the most exciting ones. And if that’s not enough, grab a Fringe Diary and see how much is going on within a five minute walk of where you’re sat.

And hear an extract from one of the articles on A Small View gallery:

Got Worms has been one of the most successful exhibitions held at A Small View; the exhibition period coincided with Light Night 2016, a key event on Liverpool’s cultural calendar. Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould were the artists behind the formation of the visual sculptures; worm-like forms suspended from walls and arranged between plinths. Roxy and Paddy have been collaborating since 2008, and recently completed a year-long residency in Roswell, New Mexico. Their creative process starts with drawing, which is digitally collaged, then printed on to satin, the sculptural forms then being created; forms which are tactile and can be moved into new positions. The team do not just work together as artists, but have also been in a relationship with one another for many years.

The provocative title of the show ‘Got Worms’ is clearly intentional, and much of their work is of a sexual nature. Forms such as ‘The Internal Clitoris’ draw on messages from the second brain and look at the ritual of sex and stretching inwards. In ‘Acid Kiss Experiment’ we are confronted with a pair of ovaries presented in pen and airbrush. The visual was accompanied by an audio of a gorilla mating ritual. The pair claim the works are about maintaining desire in a long term relationship. Visually stunning, tactile pieces combining coiling and stretching to create intimate forms which explore physical existence.

Festival of Drawing Launches

Liverpool Independent Art School is an independently run school for the scribblers to the seasoned pros, run by some of the best creative talent Liverpool has to give. We try our best to support other local independent spaces, so as well as a passionate group of lead tutors, you’ll be getting an insight into the workings of the creative and overlooked spaces of our wonderful city.

Out teachers all have their own specialisms, and you can find their detail here, or alternatively, if you’re more interested in the content than the CV, you can find our scheduled courses here.

LIAS an unfunded, unburdened school with the power to teach what is important.

As we develop there will be further exploration into how we can deliver a successful programme on the boring financial sides of the creative industries. But for now, our launch in Mid-2016 is set to be an ambitious celebration of drawing in all its forms, with sketching tours of Merseyside and a lecture series to explain it all.


So- It’s time for our Summer Art School bookings! As you may know, our launch proper as an institution comes in the form of a Summer Drawing School- comprising a series of different types of workshops dealing with approaches to drawing. I include some links as comments for booking purposes below



The character and events in this dipiction are fictional and not based on real people or actual occurances:

The Pan, the Oppressor and Our Saviour

So what do we remember in life first, how are our memories formed? From smell, from sight, from touch, from what we hear, from indifference or from danger?

My first living memories are very mixed, some are fully comprehensible, others are fragments which can be re-called and put together. I go back to a time when I was still a toddler, three or probably four years old. A time when I was able to walk but had to be guided if I was outside. A time when my brother Jeffrey, mine and Craig Saviour was still there.

In the kitchen, lower down as everything was taller than myself back then. A late seventies build, low cost terraced solutions to the ever expanding population thrown up in social housing schemes all over Britain during that era. A council estate which the small riverside town didn’t want, a town where anything untoward happening was blamed on someone ”Off that estate”. A development whose predecessor had been named ”Cold-its”, its long terraced forms claimed to resemble the famed Prisoner of War camp from an earlier decade. The kitchen-diner, the Hatch and the second hand gas cooker from a generation when domestic appliances were manufactured to outlive the initial purchaser. And on the stove we have a pan of boiling water, a pan with the handle pointed out into the kitchen. A handle pointed purposefully towards myself. And towards the handle I walked, arm stretched out…

On the radio plays culture clubs ‘The Church of the poison mind’.

I look up at the World mainly above me from the minuscule size of a four year old girl. In the bin is see the raw skin of a chicken, torn from the poultry and dis-guarded along with the carcass. I can see the sink where my Mum sometimes bathed myself and Craig when the bathroom was too busy . By the sink was Mums salad drier, a egg joint device for drying salad instantly, common of the time but died out a though years later. Mum and Dad were out, at the supermarket then to Iceland to fill the freezer for the family. I take another step towards the handle, arm stretched out.

‘The Church of the Poison mind’ sings Boy George.

Behind me stands John, my second eldest brother. Out of vision he stands, lingering in the dark shadows by the sash windows, I am unaware that he is present. Standing with his snow washed, turn-up jeans, his luminous T Shirt and his almost crew like short, back and sides dark hair of the day. He stands there waiting and watching. Waiting for the accident he has engineered to take place. Towards the pan I walk, arm stretched out to pull down…

‘The church of the poison m-h-ind’ blurts out.

Across the floor, I take another step. Over the ceramic tiles, mopped once a day as the kitchen of a busy family Hub. Three boys, the youngest a girl and a big Black Labrador. The pan of water boiling on the stove, burning liquid to burn, scold and disfigure for life. John waiting and watching for his plan to take place, dancing with the Devil, ready to suggest I am ‘Accident Prone’. I walk nearer, arm stretched out….

‘Church of the poison m-h-ind

In rushes Jeffrey, my eldest Brother, my saviour:

‘What are you doing?’ he screamed directly at John, knowing exactly what he was doing – he had caught him many times before. Acting as my protector he spins the handle almost upwards and away from my grasp. Saved from burning, from a trip to casualty, from a permanent scar. I now see John, caught in the shadows, although too young to understand, I knew to stay away from John, I knew too watch the evil in him.

Jeffrey was our Saviour, myself and Craig, the youngest of my elder brothers, our Guardian. He watched over us, he watched the evil in John, he second guessed his next move, he kept us safe. The times when we were alone, when our parents were at the supermarket, when the house was our domain. But it was not to last. Our saviour was to die. Plunged to his death, caught in the weeds of the Thames when he was still just a child himself. But his Legacy was to live on, we knew to watch the evil in John, we knew to watch pans and we knew to watch moved stacks of fodder, but we did not know even- worse was to follow.