No Official Name becomes….official.

On Tuesday 30th April No Official Name will be officially launching as a creative group in Nottingham. They have been around for a while and you’ve probably seen their work (or read it) before but they are finally becoming official! I met up with Alice Thickett,  a key member of the group, before the event to find out a bit more.

There are three members that make up N.O.N; Alice Thickett, Josephine Fairbrother and Jamie Smith. Between them they act as ‘creative project facilitators’, recruiting enthusiastic volunteers and working with creatives whose work they enjoy. Alice explained to me how the group  “want to help other creatives gain confidence by providing a support network of friendly people. We make sure that we continue to support and promote those who help us even after the event they have been involved in.”

She emphasises, however, that No Official Name is an experiment, “I was working at a gallery but decided it was time to break away and develop my own path. With No Official Name we decided that we want to remain nomadic so we are free to move around, work with different teams and keep what we do moving. We used to do exhibitions but decided that at the moment they are not right for us. At the moment our focus is on publications and projections but that might change.”

It seems that the group has already made a name for itself. Their past exhibitions have been successful and when asked about their plans for this year Alice continued, “we are planning to release four publications over the next year, each accompanied by an event. The first is the launch on Tuesday.”

No Official Name comes across as a very positive group. In a time when the arts are continually being cut it seems N.O.N are there to give artists confidence and realise their potential. One of the most interesting things that Alice talked about was the pressure she had felt as an artist to come across as proud and overly confident when in fact she felt neither! She reiterated “we work with local photographers and videographers and use social media as our main tool for promotion. Facebook and Twitter are fantastic ways to get people’s attention.”

My final question to Alice was ‘Who is your favourite creative?’ – Her response, “Keith Tyson because he works with data and experimentation”, just like N.O.N then. There are no boundaries with N.O.N, they are still finding their feet and deciding where to go. But as Alice reminded me, there is no set path and they could change direction at any time. I will definitely be looking out for more.

Rachel Tait

The launch of No Official Name will be at the Ropewalk on Tuesday 30th April.

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