The Other Project, co-ordinated by Third Year Fine Art student Mia Ferullo, is a collaboration between Leeds Central Library and York St John University’s second year students. The students were divided into four groups, each being given an issue of the Leeds Other Paper. With a combination of Fine Art, Photography and Illustration students, this project displays a range of works that explore the topics and content of the Leeds Other Paper during the 1970s and 80s. This final blog includes responses to issue 473 which was released on the 3rd April 1987. This issue looked into women in the arts in Yorkshire and a rape trial in which the men who admitted to the crime, walked away free of charge.
Look out for an exhibition of the works coming soon.
I chose to respond to an article about two women who were raped in Leeds in the 3/4/1987 issue. The women never had their day in court as a deal was struck for the lesser crime of indecent assault. I wanted to explore the taking away of their voices through a representation of the soundwaves produced when saying “I was talking”, “I have something to say” and “You stole my voice”. The soundwaves were added one on top of the other and the clear cord was sewn in one continuous thread to create a new combined voice that is stronger than the single voice.
Two small ads caught my eye, one being ‘A one day workshop to explore the threats to our planet’. It surprised me how something so important was advertised so small in a paper. Using imagery from a Japanese mattress advert, I created a minimalistic piece based off research I’d carried out on what climate change was like in the 1980’s, and it appears we haven’t come very far. Global warming, wildfires, extinction, and threats to the ocean are still an occurrence these days. I created The Great Wave as a collage with sections of silver tape to symbolise of how important our planet is, land or sea. I surrounded the wave with words I had collected from my research as a reminder of things that are important, the things that are at threat and why we need to take our planet seriously.
‘Motherland?’ was inspired by an advert in the April 1987 edition of the Leeds Other Paper, for an exhibition at the Tolson museum titled ‘Welcome to the Motherland’, focusing on the Caribbean community who travelled to Britain known as the “Windrush generation”. My work shows a man who came to Britain to work and found himself becoming a bus driver. The writing at the bottom reads ‘Motherland?’ which is a nod to the exhibition the image came from and also the questioning of whether Britain was a ‘Motherland’ or not. The work consists of two similar transfer techniques and lettering cut from a newspaper article for the HMT Empire Windrush.
“Don’t starve the vegans”
I made my piece ‘Don’t starve the vegans’ as a response to the 1987 news article ‘Vegan diet denied in Armley jail’ from the Leeds Library Archive paper. I chose this story as it resonated with me; my previous work experience in Lincoln prison gave me a new perspective on what prison life is like. I feel strongly about human rights and believe that everyone should be treated fairly. I chose to make a wanted poster as a light-hearted way of getting the issue across. I made a lino print of a pear as it symbolizes food suitable/ wanted by vegans, also in Ancient china the pear symbolizes immortality based on the long life of a pear tree. I wanted this to be a nod to the fact that the vegan prisoner would live if he were granted his vegan diet. I chose to use stripes to create the pear to represent the jail cell.
“Pressed Club Sarnie”
Growing up in Yorkshire in the 80s I knew many similar stories. The article that caught my attention related to 16p sarnies. It reminded me of charitable work then as now, the heart of communities. It echoed the current issue of free school dinners and the headlines. Stories about money were central to the headline vs reading on to get the reality of what the food means to the recipients. Using digital collaging, I wanted to look from the news out as opposed to looking into the news. What is behind the image? a never-ending cycle of consumerism.
“Entertainment Through Face”
Entertainment Through Face is the creation inspired by the Mime movement. Mime is a unique type of entertainment, using only physical humour by making the face more prominent with pure white paint and shapes around the eyes and cheeks. I have chosen to look at mimes due to an advertisement in the newspaper for mime lessons. I have looked primarily at the face and how emotions can be shown through facial expressions. To do this, I painted my own face and created different facial movements. My piece has then been edited to darker tones that link to the classic black and white of a newspaper.
If you would like to read the entire Leeds Other Paper about women in the arts in Yorkshire then click on this link here. Keep a look out for York St John’s Fine Art students next Secret Library Heritage Blog next Wednesday.