For many of us, talking about loss is an incredibly painful and difficult thing. It takes strength and courage to describe how you are feeling after a bereavement, and all too often, we avoid the conversation because we can’t find the right words.

When Words Hurt is an exhibition hosted by Let’s Talk About Loss to explore creative ways of communicating grief. The famous saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words”, and we want to use this exhibition to explore unique ways of telling our stories of bereavement. Since 2017, Let’s Talk About Loss has accepted blog posts from individuals wishing to share their thoughts on grief. With this exhibition, instead of asking for a blog post, we’re asking for creative submissions that we will display as part of the exhibition.

The exhibition details

We won funding for this innovative, cutting-edge exhibition in October 2018, from Nottingham based arts fund Hard Heads and Hang Ups and #NottsSoup. They called for ideas that improved people’s mental health using the arts, and we were thrilled to win the money to host and manage this exhibition.

When? The exhibition will be open to the public Friday 17th May – Sunday 19th May and Friday 24th May – Sunday 26th May. Please note the following opening times for THiNK in NG: Fridays, 12:30 – 5pm; Saturdays, 10am – 5pm; Sundays, 10am – 4pm.

The official opening night for the exhibition will be on Friday 17th May, 4 – 8pm. More information will be added to this Eventbrite event and this Facebook event, so click “going” for all the updates and to reserve a free ticket for the event. There will be a complimentary drink for every attendee on Friday 17th May.

Where? We are privileged that THiNK in NG, a Nottingham city centre event space, are hosting the exhibition for us. Find them here: 2 Cobden Chambers, Nottingham NG1 2ED.

Please note: Open Art Exhibitions at THiNK are very popular with participants and with visitors. If your work is selected it will be on view for two weeks. The gallery has many different visitors attending meetings and events in the gallery meeting space during weekdays and evenings – including corporate away days, business networks and
creative workshops, and the gallery is open for general public viewing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Submissions

What to submit

We would love you to submit a creative piece to the exhibition. We are calling for photographs, pieces of art or creative submissions that represent what loss means to you. We are asking the question: when words are too tricky, how can we use images to tell the story of bereavement, and accurately depict our feelings about grief?

Please include your name (you may use “anonymous” if you do not want to reveal your name), your age and a sentence or two that describes your piece and how it explains or explores your feelings around grief. Please also include an email address so that we can contact you should we have any questions.

Terms of submission:

  • Anyone aged 18 or over can submit to the exhibition
  • All entrants must be based and posting from the UK
  • All submissions must be received as physical submissions posted to the address below, and as jpegs emailed to nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org for inclusion in the exhibition catalogue. More information below.
  • One submission per person
  • Maximum of 70 submissions for the exhibition – if we receive more submissions than this, we will select 70 pieces. This decision will be at the discretion of the exhibition team and we cannot promise that your submission will be included should we receive over 70 submissions
  • All submissions must be one of two sizes: either 16″ x 20″ or 8″ x 10″
  • Any submissions bigger or smaller than the official sizes allowed run the risk of being resized or not included
  • All submissions will be framed for the exhibition. We would suggest that you frame your submission, however if this is not possible the exhibition team are able to support you with this. Please contact us at nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org for assistance
  • All submissions must include your name, age and a sentence describing your piece. If you are uncomfortable revealing your name, please use “anonymous” but please do include your age and a sentence describing what you have sent
  • We reserve the right to not include any pieces that we feel do not adhere to the terms of the exhibition or are offensive in any way
  • We cannot return submissions once the exhibition has ended so please do not send original photos or any artwork that you would like back
  • By sending Let’s Talk About Loss your submission, you are giving us permission to use your piece for any social media purposes that we deem relevant and appropriate
  • Physical submissions must be sent to the address given only
  • Please send your submission to arrive before Friday 5th April. Any submissions received after this date cannot be guaranteed to be included in the exhibition.

If you have any questions about the exhibition or how or what to submit, you can contact us on nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org and we will happily answer your questions.

For clarity, we will accept any photo, drawing, painting, poem, or any other creative submission that is exactly 16″ x 20″ or 8″ x 10″, that fits the description “an image that accurately describes my experience of grief”.

How to submit

Please submit all artwork and photography between 13th March and 1st April. All submissions must be received as both physical, ideally framed, pieces, and as jpegs emailed to nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org. Please note that we cannot cover postage costs, please pay for postage yourself when you send your submission.

Address for sending the physical copy of your submission:

Let’s Talk About Loss
PO Box 10767
Nottingham
NG6 6EE

Email for sending the jpeg format of your submission (could be a scan or photograph if applicable): nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org

We will not be able to acknowledge that we have safely received your submission. If you have questions, you may email nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org but please note that this email will be monitored sporadically by volunteers and we cannot promise that we will be able to get back to you.

What we hope to achieve

At Let’s Talk About Loss, we do what we say on the tin. We talk about loss. We start difficult conversations, ask questions that others avoid, and get young people who have been bereaved talking about how they are feeling.

Words can be messy, painful, ill-advised and unkind

However, we know that for some, words hurt. Words can be messy, painful, ill-advised and unkind. Many young people are scared to talk about how they are feeling for fear of being judged, ignored or shunned. We want to give everyone the opportunity to share their stories of loss, even when words hurt.

We would love you to join us for the exhibition, whether you decide to submit a piece or not. Join this Facebook event to find out more and attend the exhibition. Together, we’re talking through the taboos. Together, let’s talk about loss.

More information about our wonderful location and supporters

THiNK in NG Meeting Rooms and Art Gallery in Nottingham City Centre provide space and support to make good things happen. They can be found at Cobden Chambers, off Pelham St, Nottingham NG1 2ED, and are accessible to wheelchair users. Follow them at: www.thinkinng.org, @thinkin_ng and contact them at hello@thinkinng.org
Lets Talk About Loss was awarded funding from Hard Heads and Hang Ups at a #NottsSoup Arts and Mental Health special event. #NottsSoup is organised by THiNK in NG and provides opportunities for people with good ideas to pitch for funding from an audience who pays a fiver for donated soup. Our Arts and Mental Health special is supported by additional donations from Lubrizol and others. The next one is 6-9pm Thursday 16th May and details including how to apply to pitch are at www.thinkinng.org

For press enquiries, please email nottingham@letstalkaboutloss.org with “PRESS” as part of the subject line.