Party Speakers

Outsized heads stand up as characters. Gender fluid perceptions result from the clean outlines of features of Nicolas Party’s work. Inspired by Japanese Noh masks and Egyptian Sarcophagi the faces project a bold expression. The eyes are open and seemingly absorb the room in this exhibition of ‘Speakers’.


The former graffiti artist Nicolas Party has created a 2 hour soundscape that plays on a loop. This interactive experience verges on theatrical as the visitor is immersed in the extremes of being female. The work is a response to the masculine architecture and institutions of Oxford, particularly the Emperors’ Heads outside the Sheldonian Theatre.



These stone heads on the railings are thought to be crafted in the likeness of notable pillars of society from the 17th century. Party’s approach is different. These are not real people although they magnetise a full personality from their made up faces. Perhaps these women embody the dreams and achievements of the female body.


The gallery walls are orange and the space feels welcoming. Party uses it to bring a new way of looking at a city that has its style set in stone.




The heads on display are painted in situ in the gallery and use expressions of feminine identity e.g. hair styles and make up that the Artist believes viewers use to define gender. The stone heads outside the Sheldonian Theatre look decidedly male with their beards. But then, who knows?


Inspired by this exhibition I checked out some busts of stars of the stage and the page in London’s Portrait Gallery.



As this Art from ascends from one inspiration to another.. 

Find out more posts inspired by Ascending..  here


If this review has been of interest.. there’s more in my new book  here


8 thoughts on “Party Speakers

  1. Pingback: Ascend – Standing out – What's (in) the picture?

  2. It is interesting how we define gender each day, and gender is very much fluid concept and it’s lovely to see many of us more vocal about it these days. I like how you question how hairstyles or the way we look defines gender. It seems these days gender is more felt and perceived, as opposed to merely seen and judged. Wishing you a great holiday season and a wonderful year ahead, Lita 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy holidays Mabel. I look forward to reading more of your ideas in the new year. Yes that’s interesting how gender is based on perception rather than judgement. Great insight for me to look at the art again in a fresh way. Enjoy a merry time Mabel. x all my good wishes for a wonderful 2018.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The gallery head is mesmerizing. You make a good point about how we perceive gender by how a person chooses to look to the outside world. Makeup and hairstyles – even lack of facial hair – are conscious, daily decisions. We present ourselves as our gender, however we define it to be.

    Happy New Year, Lita. Looking forward to your posts in 2018!


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