Svg patterns

Review of “In My Blood It Runs” (Dir. Maya Newell), 2019, by Rebecca Rees, BA (Hons) Creative Writing (year 1), Nottingham Trent University.

The sombre figure of a young boy visiting his grandfather’s grave to restore his healing powers sounds like the premise to a Hollywood blockbuster. But this is just one of the many real-life scenes from Maya Newell’s poignant 2019 documentary “In My Blood it Runs.” A gritty, joyful piece based on the Aboriginal people of Australia, the documentary is a scintillating collaboration of breath-taking landscape, child-like innocence and what it means to be Aboriginal.

Dujuan pictured with his mother.

The ground-breaking film follows the life of Dujuan a young boy living in his town’s Aboriginal camp: Happy Valley, who is believed to have healing powers amongst his people. He is bright and intuitive but clearly troubled. We see him constantly run away from home and school and his admirable fearlessness around nature and the bush that he loves. Much of the film is shown through Dujuan’s eyes, giving the viewer a first-hand glimpse into his Indigenous community. The range of diverse people we meet throughout the documentary are self-aware and vibrant and we are left with some meaningful quotes such as “you have to learn about the past so it can help you for the future” and “learn both ways so that when you get your land back you know what to do with it.”

The whole family.

With Organisations such as Black Lives Matter and Show Racism the Red Card gaining notoriety in recent years, there is a real danger of racial pieces such as this being lost amongst the many. The fly on the wall film manages to stand out from the masses due to its unapologetic approach and focus on the harsh reality of Aboriginal life. The Peabody nominated documentary succeeds in truly centring around its chosen subject rather than taking the usual ironic route of “white saviourhood.”  There are various moments during the film that flash back to early 20th century Australia. The piece aims to address the racism towards Aboriginal people, and the film shows us a clear contrast between the propaganda being preached during these clips and the lives of the modern-day Aboriginals. The switch between the two is managed seamlessly, avoiding what could have easily been confusing or pointless.

The documentary aims to tackle racism in the educational and criminal justice systems in Australia.

The film has managed to achieve a good balance between child-led and directed scenes leading to organic and often emotional viewing. The soundtrack, composed by Benjamin Speed, is a mysterious mix of orchestral instruments coupled with a loud flurry of everyday sounds, which makes for a hectic, dream-like state throughout the documentary. This is undoubtedly an ingenious nod to the chaos in which Dujuan lives his life, surrounded by structural racism, in an education system unintended for, and biased against Aboriginal children. The documentary makes excellent use of the magnificent Australian landscape and is eighty-five minutes of bright colour and natural beauty combined.

Dujuan is believed to have healing powers amongst his tribe.

As someone who knows little about Aboriginal culture this piece answered a lot of questions I wasn’t even aware I had. What language do they speak? How are their families structured? What do they eat, wear, do? I found the documentary to be eye-opening whilst remaining respectful to the Arrente and Garrwa tribes. The decision to include both English and the Arrente language adds to the authenticity of the film and once again, reflects the director’s obvious compassion and understanding towards the  issues faced by Aboriginal people.

Dujuan celebrates his birthday with his family.

Throughout the documentary, there are frank discussions about the country’s criminal justice system. We are shown harrowing scenes of Juvenile centres in Australia where racism and physical abuse are rife. The film ends by telling us that 100 percent of young people in these violent centres are Aboriginal. Despite this, the documentary is not one of doom and gloom, but rather, a triumphant protest of prejudice and an important lesson to learn and grow from.

The documentary is truly a colourful journey into the lives of First Nation families. Though heart-warming and educational, it manages to serve its purpose in shining the light on racism in Australia and urging us to treat children like Dijuan equally.

The film shows Dujuan’s desire to be free.

If you don’t wish to be challenged to make a difference, then by all means give this astounding film a miss. However if you would like to be part of the change you can watch a screening of “In My Blood it Runs” on the Bonington Gallery website or YouTube channel as part of their 2021 Formations series.

Likewise, you can support the movement against racism in Australia’s juvenile and education systems by visiting the website:

Here is a selection of posts from the exhibition Mould Map 6 — Terraformers.

A School for Design Fiction: Department of Pataphysics: In Photos:

21 September 2016

Yesterday James Langdon and Peter Nencini ran a workshop for visitors on the mysterious science of Pataphysics, in connection with Mould Map 6 — Terraformers.

Below are a few photos from part of the afternoon, where participants were reorganising an existing text using alternative methods of paragraph blocking, led by James Langdon:

Where it started…

22 September 2016

Earlier this morning, Hugh Frost of Landfill Editions gave NTU Art & Design students an introduction to the Mould Map series.

Mould Map 6 — Terraformers: In the Press

20 September 2016

Hugh Frost and Leon Sadler’s magazine-turned-exhibition has been featured in Frieze and AIGA’s Eye On Design!

Jacob Ciocci, Freedom

In the reviews you can read more about the origins and ideas behind the show, including: Hugh and Leon’s approach to editing and curating Mould Map, tying together such a diverse group of artists, tackling heavy social political issues, and possible plans for future editions of Mould Map.

Read the full article in Frieze here

Read the full article in AIGA – Eye On Design here

It’s Nice That take a look at Mould Map 6 — Terraformers

23 September 2016

For your Friday – here’s a great little review of the Terraformers exhibition over on It’s Nice That.

Don’t forget to enter our #MouldMap6 competition. Design your own Terraformers armour to be in with a chance of winning Mould Map / Landfill Editions goodies.

Mould Map 6 — Terraformers continues on Monday. Open weekdays from 10 am – 5 pm.

Everything is better when it’s walk-in

7 October 2016

For an exhibition that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, my response to Mould Map 6 — Terraformers follows in the same vein. Not to say I haven’t found the work intellectually valuable (I actually found a lot to take from it), but the aspect of Terraformers I have found myself contemplating most is the description of the exhibition. Or really just one line of it; that for this show the Gallery contains a “group exhibition / walk-in magazine”.

There was once a time, before I came to Nottingham and began studying Fine Art, when I thought a publication had to be on paper. I thought it had to have lines of words. I thought it had to be carried in hands and found soggy in the rain. I thought it had to fit a category. Soon after my arrival in the city, and upon crawling out from the rock I had apparently been living under, I discovered zines. This opened up my world to self-publication and all the practicalities of the printed word that is no longer essential there. Ever since, for me, the confines of “a publication” have ebbed away in to the peripheral. Still, Mould Map 6- Terraformershas once again been a revelation.

I never thought a publication could BE an exhibition. I never thought it could be this colourful, have a film piece, and a computer game. But the thing that stuck is I never thought a publication could be walk-in.

I was left considering the words “walk-in” above all else. To me, “walk-in” is a domestic term. You get walk-in showers, walk-in pantries. As a girl growing up having a walk-in wardrobe was a thing of envy. But never a walk-in magazine. The bright colours of the exhibition against the stark white walls of the gallery space remind me of the early 1990’s computer graphics, of the episode of Goosebumps when the protagonist was sucked in to the computer, and the stretching 3D shapes of early screensavers. It is as if a magazine was sucked in to a void and dissected but then frozen, suspended for us to encounter. As I walk around the exhibition and traverse the different surfaces of visual information I agree with those wardrobe ready preteens, everything is better when it’s walk-in.

Dominique Phizacklea

Fine Art, Year 3

Testimonial on the journey after graduating from BA Fine Art Student, Reece Straw, exploring the opportunities they encountered during their time at NTU:

That’s it, it’s over, my time here studying at Nottingham Trent University is done. The Fine Art Degree Show has come and gone and I am now an artist…maybe. That’s how it works isn’t it? I validated myself as an artist when I had my first public exhibition at The International Postcard Show 2014 at Surface Gallery in Nottingham, and this artist thing has snowballed ever since, now being a selected artist in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016. So I want to take this time to share and reflect on some highlights of my time here… as without it, it wouldn’t have all been possible.

Getting involved with the Nottingham art scene very early in my first year with my internship at 1 Thoresby Street ( through the university’s strong relationship with the gallery/studios as many of its alumni are based there. The internship provided me with an intense insight into how an independent space is run: meeting visiting and Nottingham based artists, realising a show and the behind the scenes of what makes a gallery tick.  This experience and the opportunities it continues to provide me with are priceless and looking back I am glad I hit the ground running.

Working with Billy Craigan-toon ( (NTU Graduate 2013) towards the end of my first year and performing in his Degree Show work: ‘Painters’ lead to performing for Universal Works’ ( London Mens Collection Autumn/Winter 2015 presentation: PASS in 2015. Three months of rehearsals and fittings later, twelve men took the journey to London to perform the piece and demonstrate the quality menswear of Universal Works through the passing of coats from one model to the other in perfect synchronisation. I remember being faced with at least one hundred camera flashes as I began and ended the performance with the passing and eventual dropping of the one orange coat that travelled around the circle of models. Without the widespread connections that Fine Art course has with the city of Nottingham in the varying creative disciplines and the nurturing of community within the Fine Art course, this would not have happened and I may not have been recently chosen to produce video work for 18Montrose’s ( store opening party.

Collaborating with Aaron Clixby, Alexander J Croft and Joe Morgan for our show at Surface Gallery (, Nottingham for our show ‘Scraping the Bottom of the Bargain Bucket’ was another experience that I won’t forget. Creating a fried chicken shop within the gallery space incorporated every medium from sculpture to video that was topped off with ourselves performing as staff and providing fried chicken to viewers on the opening night. The ambition of the show and the collection of ideas were very successful, and led to myself and Aaron Clixby returning the year after with ‘MAGICK LTD.’ That held the same level of ambition in the form of a week-long residency within the context of the exhibition. Surface Gallery’s ties to the Fine Art course enable this amazing opportunity with their NTU Fine Art Festival each year that has always been integral to the artists involved, as you can see it impacts their practice significantly towards the Degree Show.

Being a part of the Bonington Gallery for almost two years now and seeing its many changes in the shows and the appearance of the space has also been important to my development in my emerging art career. Having the opportunity to spend an extended time with the art and design work in the exhibitions has always been engaging and made me proud to be a part of it. The ability to encounter such a varying and rich program on the doorstep of the studios is to be envied.

So, as I think about graduating from NTU with the various exhibitions already in the pipeline and the hundreds of connections I have made through studying here I feel I have fertile ground to operate as an artist. The encouragement and network I have gained through three years of hard work have not been for nothing, this is just the beginning and I will be: ‘only makin’ the highlights’- Kanye West, 2016.

Reece Straw, 2015

Here is a selection of posts by students commenting on our exhibition Publishing Rooms.

Publishing Rooms opens in two weeks

As a photography student at NTU, it is great to see an escape from the stereotypical, orderly space of an art gallery. Through the use of projections, scanners and the ability to interact with the technology in the room (allowing you to feature in the work itself), the space becomes more of an installation over the course of the exhibition. Even with this mechanical process of mass publishing, there is something very intimate about the images produced from the body scans specifically, more so than a piece of art done by hand.

You could propose that this practice is a style of photography and a medium that I have not previously considered using as a student. However, after experimenting with the devices and seeing the results, it is something that I am looking forward to exploring further.

Just come and take a look for yourself!

Adidas or Nothing – Reece Straw

Self Expression ≡ Brand Dedication ≡ Identity ≡ Community

Image shows and Adidas trainer in a black sphere. Taken using one of the scanners in the publishing rooms exhibition.
Reece Shaw using the scanners to show a different perspective on the Adidas trainer.

Living in our post-internet world we are able to define our ‘unique’ identity though various outlets online and display them for the world to see: sharing an article of a cause close to us, an image of celebrity we admire, a piece of music. Not anything new by far, we have just exhibited ourselves on a smaller scale within a more immediate community before we had the technology to instantly share it with the world.

Interestingly, social media and branding has made us less original: we are pigeon-holed into ways of expression through proxies of design, the ‘sub-culture’ is dead. A ‘sub-culture’ brings people together of similar interests, a choice has to be made, the obvious being which side of the fence to sit on, dependant on which subject the community is built around e.g. Manchester United or Manchester City, loving or hating Kanye West, being a ‘Mod’ or a ‘Rocker’. This being an old model of society; black and white being the only way to define oneself, whereas the younger generations allow themselves to invest more in the grey area of this model to include themselves within multiple outlets without quarrel. The world is still catching up with this development as ‘sides’ do still exist and there is still something important about where our fundamental choices are made as they will define who we are, something to do with authenticity one expects as we value people who remain the ‘same’. Objects in the world now are very much culturally loaded and our immediate associations reveal the owners’ assumed interests and choices. And as all good evolution goes, as a species we buy into this as it benefits the development of community.

A classic example of this is the band t-shirt. It once meant that you were an avid fan of the band; if someone else was in the same band t-shirt you had an instant friend. But when a Guns ‘n’ Roses t-shirt is seen as a (low) fashion item in Topshop, the whole culture is boiled down into that single object, appropriated and removed by people who gauge it on the aesthetic alone or false inclusion by solely knowing ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ (as you can see, sides do still exist). Our inability to think that we can create something completely original due to our extended history of culture may be the reasoning for this endless recycling of culture. Just look at the current state of the film industry: endless superhero movies adapted from over 50 years of comic book characters from the 1940’s onward; reboots, remakes and re-releases (I’m looking at you, George Lucas). Even the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens is nostalgiagasm, trapped within itself and what its fans would only let it be or become.

On the flip side, the Adidas brand, who champion themselves on reinterpreting the past and being true to their roots doesn’t seem to have the same reputation as the re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy. If anything, to see someone in the same shoes as yourself gives the indication that they ‘know what’s up’ or equally, you aren’t as original as you once thought you were. But that all depends on the choice that was made when purchasing the shoes: in personal preference or the idea that they in some way will change one’s presence.

The Adidas NMD in the image above, created using the technology in Publishing Rooms from Foxall Studio, is a rarity in today’s sneaker culture. To own these is to be recognised by those in the know, it brings the satisfaction of taming such a rare beast with resell values now double the price. Although nothing on the Yeezy Boost range it still means something culturally: these shoes are noticed, and not just for the 4 or 5 logos on the actual shoe.

So where does this leave us? In a world saturated with everything our choices are evermore important if we care about how people view us, because as insincere and shallow as it is, the reality of the situation is that if you aren’t ‘on fleek‘ in one way or another you may be passed by. This unfortunate event in society – only caring about surface value – is tragic, but you can’t deny that you have (at one point or another) judged someone at face value. It’s instinctive, and in my opinion benefits the development of society.

‘You’d be sick if you saw my Adidas collection…you would be physically sick if you saw it. I’m not gonna say where it is.’ 

Ian Brown
Not new, but new to me.

A Student review of our exhibition Publishing Rooms from a second year BA Fine Art Student, Dominique Phizacklea

A topic of late in the studios is the idea of originality. The “I thought of it first”, or “did you know so and so is also making XY and Z in the same way I am?!”
Sitting here in the Gallery I once again hear this conversation; “turning scanners into engineered cameras has been done before, it’s not new or original”. I find all of this thought odd.
For a start artists are thieves, we all know this. That is as old as time. We steal what’s around us, pop it in the blender that is our minds and reform it. The same but new. It can’t not be new, because someone has added their interpretation. Even an ‘exact’ copy of a clay pot, made by hand will never be an exact copy, even if it’s very close. Different fingerprints will exist within the clay. The same but different. Modern technology gets us close, but we all know that faint greying caused by a photocopier or the cold starkness of mass production.
Going back to the studio, I am not surprised similar work is being produced. We are all feeding from similar (if not the same) troughs. Nottingham is after all a city, a concentration of humanness with all the things that go along with that. We are sharing the same culture, we see the same art on a daily basis. We have the same tutors. We all ‘eat’ the same, washing it down by being surrounded with each other’s ideas constantly. Similar conclusions will be drawn and similar problems faced, followed by similar solutions. I would be surprised in a course of nearly 300 students, having access to the same facilities, the same local culture and being all mixed together, if 300 completely different practices were born with 300 completely original works being produced, which didn’t even reference the work of another, just slightly.
Yeah maybe, maybe scanners have been turned in to rudimentary cameras before. Yeah maybe they have been set up in a gallery before. But never in this gallery, never in this arrangement by these artists, Andrew and Ian Foxall, from Foxall studios.  Never being experienced by this exact group of people. Never with the same references behind the idea. Never with these exact scanner models, or even these exact machines (allowing for the minute differences between each resulting from teeny tiny differences in part placements). Never with the same coding, as the coding has been developed specifically for the exhibition, and is changed and becoming more efficient as the show goes on.
This exhibition is unique, and will never happen again in the same way. The idea is timeless, fed from history, pop culture and social etiquette. From technological advancement and human behaviour.
Am I saying the ideas used to make Publishing Rooms are new and never before seen? No. Am I saying they will never appear in art again? No.
I think it is not possible, or at least very rare, to have these sought after completely new ideas. In my opinion that’s just not how we learn. We build upon the work of others, the knowledge of others and each time add that next layer of thought, of research, of experience. What is new? Can anything be new? When we say we have something new, usually what we mean is it is new to us.
This exhibition is interactive, allowing you the opportunity to add to the website, creating an ever-expanding collection of faces – some of which are even added in to the room, changing the backdrop, evolving it as much as the changing code. If you want to add the experience of this exhibition (and I thoroughly recommend it) to your own brain blender then come and see it for yourself. It will be up in Bonington Gallery until the 20th of May.

Something very Roman Signer about the new coffee van here…