The Creative Quarter Project: Phase 1

Last month Emma Bibby and I teamed up to take on a brief with Nottingham’s Creative Quarter initiative and Nottingham City Council in which artists work with apprentices from Nottingham’s various work sectors.

The Brief:- To work with the apprentices on designing and realising a piece of sculpture that would be installed for apprentice week at the beginning of March. Although it didn’t have to be a literal connection with their trades it had to encompass something about them.

We were also given £300 budget to work with.

We were assigned to the hairdressing academy and in week 1, once we’d meet up with Kathy from the Creative Quarter, Leanne from the council and all the other artists we spent some time collecting visual ideas as a starting point and as something to encourage the hairdressers to think of possible designs. We wanted them to have as much input from an early stage, so kept our ideas and visuals to the possible use of recycled materials and hairdressing styles, using visuals from Pinterest. Below is the mood/visual board that we put together to get the project started.


This was what we took to the first meeting, along with a selection of samples of plastics that could be used in the construction.

Meeting 1 mainly consisted of discussing the idea and CQ project, meeting some of the apprentices and their supervisors and leaving them with the task of coming up with an idea. We  were aware from the early stages that the apprentices didn’t have the building skills to do anything large-scale so Emma and I would take on the construction side. It was apparent that they had very little time to spare on the project, mainly Mondays.

Meeting 2 on the following Monday was when the idea was presented to us. They wanted to use old hairdressing heads that were no longer useful due to the thinning hair and build a larger head from those. There were practicalities to consider such as what paint to use, how much time they had to spare, scale and how many heads would need to be painted. We also discussed the possibility of doing some kind of hairstyle on top of the head, so left them with the task of designing an avant-garde hairstyle/piece for the following meeting.

head 1large-avant-garde-hair9

Above images are the heads to be used and an example of an avant-garde hairstyle.

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