16 – 23 APRIL, 2021
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In this final instalment of the first round of SPEAKEASY, Alice White presents two collages, each, in their own way, urging for change.

Ordinary People Have More Power (2021), collage with inked newsprint.
Breaking a Culture of Domination (2021), collage with inked newsprint and calico.

Ordinary People Have More Power is a quote from a local participant during a planting and art project I worked on at PEER. Taking place across multiple community sites, the project navigated bureaucratic structures and encouraged questions around power, authority and ownership in relation to public space, tastes and values.

Quoting American author, feminist and social activist bell hooks, Breaking a culture of domination proposes a re-examination of the systems that govern us. Upon whose authority are our decisions guided if all members of a community are not treated fairly? The depiction of a crowd alludes to recent threats on people’s right to protest.

I enjoy the democratic history of printmaking and its potential to be seen where people are; for example, on the street, in a shop or in the library. These prints use leftover ink that has been pressed into paper, taking on a new life as a material to collage.
- Alice White, 2021

Additional info:
bell hooks quote: ‘When we stop thinking and evaluating along the lines of hierarchy and can value rightly all members of a community we are breaking a culture of domination’. (p.37, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope)

Alice's practice is concerned with finding opportunities to bring different people together, along with a commitment to exploring the changing role of the arts in public space; particularly in communities. She is interested in the peculiarities in everyday moments and the structures, which often go unquestioned, that support our day-to-day lives.

She enjoys the affordability and democratic nature of printmaking – a form that can easily be reproduced, circulated and installed in places where people are.

With an interest in institutional critique, she wants to investigate the boundaries of creating art projects with people alongside institutional support. What are the agendas of the structures that support these art projects and how does this affect their materialisation? This is furthered by an interest in collaboration, the language that defines and surrounds ‘socially engaged practice’, the borders between education and curating, and an ambition for the political potential of curating when concerning the social; not openly activist but embedding activism and care in my approach.

SpeakEasy is a brand new programme of 5 x 1-week exhibitions of digitally printed posters, displayed in the Print Window of AirSpace Gallery, for visual creatives to reflect on and respond to the issues of our day. SpeakEasy comes from a place of protest and an urgency to speak out and be heard. Inspired by the print revolution, which gave platform to voices that were unheard, reaching an audience of the hitherto under (or selectively) informed. Well into the mid‐fifteenth century, books remained printed by hand, and were thus harder to obtain. Exposure to books and their information was predominantly a privilege of the wealthy, that is until Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Gutenberg's invention revolutionised western culture in ways that would help shape and spread political and ideological change, and encourage revolution.

SpeakEasy believes in the power of the artist's voice, in the power of the message and in the power of print.