Project dates: December 2020 - October 2021

A programme of artist support from City Arts' first Curator-in-Residence, Saziso Phiri.

Norma Gregory being interviewed for a podcast. Black & White photo
'Community Conversations' Podcast Record, Richard Chung 2020

Saziso Phiri created CATALYST in response to our Black Lives Matter commitments and a series of discussions that followed, led by Bo Olawoye. It is designed to be a catalyst for change at City Arts. By working with artists that reflect the diversity of our city, the programme aims to create a long-term culture of investing in, listening to and amplifying marginalized voices.

CATALYST features an artist’s residency, a three-part series of exhibitions and events, artist talks and a new podcast series. Read more about them below.


Nottingham-based artist Honey Williams took on a residency at City Arts. An artist’s residency offers artists the chance to work outside of their usual environment. By making this change, they can be inspired to reflect on what they do, experiment and create new art.

An extract from artist Honey Williams' illustrated diary
Pages from Honey Williams’ Diary

Honey’s residency is supported by a grant from City Arts. The residency offers time and space to develop her personal artistic practices. City Arts is providing studio space, access to outdoor space for street art and access to equipment and materials.


Community Conversations is a 5-part podcast series. It is hosted by arts and culture journalist Rachel Imogen Willcocks.

Rachel Willcocks interviews Nathaniel Wilson
Rachel Willcocks interviews Nathaniel Wilson. Photo by Richard Chung, 2020.

In each episode, Rachel dives into conversation with black and mixed-race black members of Nottingham’s creative community. Discussions will explore the guests’ creative processes, the 2020 anti-racism protests and mental health. The podcasts also look at entrepreneurship, and the guests’ experiences of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guests include:

  • MELONYX – a Nottingham based duo making modern black-British Soul music
  • Jeremy Prince – a Rave, Drum’n’Bass and House DJ and co-organiser of Nottingham Carnvial
  • Norma Gregory – a historian, broadcaster, heritage consultant and arts curator
  • Nathaniel Wilson – founder of Mimm & Nottingham Street Food Club
  • Michaela Spencer – poet and founder of Truth Mental Health

Exhibitions & Events

BLACK is an exhibition and event series. It presents existing and brand-new artwork by our artist-in-residence, Honey Williams. It is divided into three parts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Enough. illustration of a black woman with blonde highlighted hair.
Artwork by Honey Williams
I'm tired. Artwork by Honey Williams. Illustration of a woman with social media icons in her hair.
Artwork by Honey Williams

Honey’s work includes illustration, archived conversation, painting, performance and installation art. The work draws on Honey’s interest in decolonisation, marginalised beauty, identity, race, history, gender, love, fashion, sexuality and fatphobia

Project Team