Mentoring & Workshops
For 20 years, Nicola Green has mentored art students of all levels and career stages from her local community and across the UK in her studio. She has mentored in total 610 students over the past two decades. She has worked with institutions to students to bring to her studio, including: Haringey Libraries, Haringey secondary schools and Cultural Olympiad.
Green has worked with students beyond her local community as well. She has helped students across the UK and USA as a leader of Identity and Art workshops with students from local schools working in collaboration with institutions including: Dulwich Picture Gallery; International Slavery Museum, Liverpool; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Anti-Slavery International; Prince’s Drawing Schools; Sir John Soane's Museum, London; Harvard University, Boston; Library of Congress, Washington DC.
In 2014, Nicola co-founded a programme for BAME artists, collaborating with Beyond the Frame, a BAME curators programme established by David A. Bailey (ICF) and with Okwui Enwezor at the 2015 Venice Biennale. This was an initiative delivering networking, mentoring and professional development for BAME emerging artists and curators.
Green selected 4 artists which she had previously mentored: Ray Fiasco, the late Khadija Saye, Kelvin Okafor and Lubna Ashraf. Green created a co-mentoring programme where a patron was allocated one of the artists. In addition, Nicola co-mentored the artists for 6 months in order to discuss the many networking events and artworks they had seen at the Venice Biennale, working out how best to capitalise on this experience in the long term.
After the success of the 2015 venture, Green secured funding from the Arts Council England for a more ambitious project. Subsequently, Green and Bailey founded the Diaspora Pavilion programme, which would further intervene with the underrepresentation of BAME creatives in the art world. Green established a two year mentoring scheme of inter-generational dialogue and international networking on the programme, providing key strategies to enable artists from culturally diverse backgrounds to take up ambitious roles in the arts. This facilitated cross-generational dialogue between the artists and mentors, who were chosen for their experience in the fields of curation and artistic practice, as well as their commitment to championing diversity in the visual arts. The initiative culminated in the exhibition of the BAME artists in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017.
The Diaspora Pavilion was an enormous success, garnering attention from the international art world and news media. Additionally, after the end of the Biennale, some of the exhibiting artists went on to show at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, exhibited In Seven Days... in 2013. During this exhibition, Green held a workshop which involved the participation of exhibit visitors. Visitors were asked to answer the question, “How is changed achieved?”. Their answers were written on Post-It notes and placed on a wall within the exhibition. This participatory workshop aimed to engage visitors with the importance of the 2008 election for the United States and world, both politically and socially.
In 2011, Green was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad for the 2012 London Olympics to create a portrait of Lord Sebastian Coe and the 24 Olympic sports.
Because the UK Olympic bid was won chiefly on the multicultural makeup of London, Green initiated workshops with underprivileged, racially diverse children in North and East London. These workshops explored what their sporting and football heroes mean to them, and how the story of excellence in sport could inspire and motivate them.
In these workshops the participants created drawings which formed the inspiration of the 24 Olympic sports in for Green’s Olympic Portrait.
As well as exploring youth identity in London, Green examined the power and impact of the Olympic legacy and the metaphor for the never-ending ‘light’ of inspiration as represented by the Olympic torch.
This workshop was in conjunction with Green’s House Slave - Field Slave: A Portrait of Contemporary Slavery series. The series was created with Anti-Slavery International to commemorate the anniversary of abolition of the slave trade. House Slave - Field Slave was first exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in October 2007. It was then exhibited as part of Haringey’s Black History Month at Bruce Castle Museum in October - December 2010. Nicola's triptych is now in the permanent collection at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.
The workshops were held in Bruce Castle Museum, Prince’s Drawing Clubs, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool and Dulwich Picture Gallery. Green’s aims for these workshops were to engage participants to look at new subject for learning, discovering self-identification and ways of telling stories.
A Portrait of Tottenham
Haringey Library, London
Tottenham is one of the most multicultural constituency in Europe. This inspired A Portrait of Tottenham, which was made in collaboration with Haringey Council. This project was a continuation of Green’s commitment to providing mentoring and social outreach programmes within her local community.
Green held a series of silk screen printing workshops in libraries across Haringey, in which the artist developed the design with art and book lovers from all ages and backgrounds across the borough. Participants used the word ‘book’ visually in their native tongue to collaboratively produce a design, encompassing as many languages as possible. The inspiration for this came from Green’s extensive research on the 270 different languages spoken within Tottenham, and she hoped to directly reflect the area’s diversity in a meaningful way for its inhabitants.
A desk frontal was also made using this artwork for Wood Green Library, and more workshops were subsequently held for participants to design their own bags, inspired by the project.