markmaking – an exhibition for Nottingham Refugee Week – 15th to 22nd June

Date published: 12 Jun 2019

Posted by: Joe Pick


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When we create art we make a mark on a surface. When we arrive in a new place we make a mark on a community. For our Nottingham Refugee Week exhibition artists have been invited to showcase work reflecting on what it is to be a refugee.

The exhibition includes work from:


Global Village explores the changing roles, rituals and responsibilities of women from around the world. Global Sistaz United have worked with photographer Sara Gaynor to capture their histories through a body of portrait and still life photographic works. During this process the group have connected with women who live and work within the local neighbourhood of St. Ann’s to identify the differences and commonalities that run between them.

Global Village was produced by BACKLIT as part of Familiar Machines (8th March – 26th May 2019) and was supported by Near Neighbours Small Grants.


Young adults from Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum have been working poet Ben Norris. Together, they’ve created a collection of poems sharing their stories and experiences. Their words are accompanied by photos that document the project, taken by Ben Harriot.

Ben Norris led this project as part of a residency for Inspire Arts.


Every year, as part of the Bulwell Arts Festival, all seven schools in the district contribute to ‘the Book of Ours’. The book grows every year, incorporating words and pictures from schoolchildren. This year the children took their inspiration from Kate Milner’s illustrated story book, ‘My Name is Not Refugee’. They worked with storyteller Nikki Rafferty and artist Rachel Scanlon to create new pages for the book, a project encouraging positive social bonds and healthy relationships through the development of empathy and emotional literacy.


‘101 Beads Kurdistan in War’ is a collection of photographs, taken by Gaylan Nazhad, that represent the uncertainty and violence of the Kurdish conflict with Islamic State. The images were captured over two years and come from the frontline, refugee camps and detention centres. They are used to express the flux of war and its consequences for the psychological, physical, and metaphysical landscape of Kurdistan and its people. The photographer, who is from Kurdistan, wants to challenge assumptions we make about the Middle-East and violence itself.


Josh is an adult Third Culture Kid who was born in Singapore, raised across Southeast Asia and is now based in the UK. He favours a highly tactile approach to art making, working with a variety of media – including paint, ceramics and typography – to examine personal and emotive themes through a cross-cultural lens. A two-time TEDx speaker and avid urban sketcher, Josh’s works have been featured in several exhibitions in Singapore, including ASEAN USK 10×10, NOISE and 12x: An Art Experiment.

Opening Times & Access

markmaking runs from 15th to 22nd June and is open from 10am to 5.30pm. There will food and hot drinks available from our Refugee Week Cafe throughout the exhibition.

Wheelchair accessible. Hearing loop available. Gender neutral & accessible toilets.

The City Arts Café & Honest Tea Bar

The City Arts Cafe & Honest Tea Bar will be open throughout Refugee Week, between 10am and 4pm. A welcoming place to relax and meet others during Refugee Week. Food cooked daily by women from the African Women’s Empowerment Forum. Pay what you can for a hot drink. Create a herbal infusion from plants in our community garden. Information about all refugee week activities will be available.