top of page

WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT IN THE CAR : a project about home + identity by Kate Daudy

Image courtesy of Drew Forsyth Photography

WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT IN THE CAR was a Manchester wide installation by international artist Kate Daudy commissioned by ArtReach, and supported by Arts Council England. Daudy was invited to literally inscribe words across the entire city including department stores, the Cathedral, bridges, car parks and monumental panels affixed to iconic buildings.


Kate is known for her work which explores the ancient Chinese literati tradition of writing on objects, and for her sculpture/text crossovers, often creating interventions in public/private spaces. Her original interventions can be seen across Europe, America and the Middle East. This particular project sets Manchester and its people at the heart of the local and national debate about home + identity.


The overarching project has become an art and science examination into how everything and everybody is connected, created alongside Manchester-based, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Professor Konstantin Novoselov. Together the pair invited passers-by across Manchester to consider their shared differences and common values. The project reflects Manchester's desire to engage with the national and international conversation about who we are and where are we now?

Giant Outdoor Artwork
Decorated Tent

'AM I MY BROTHERS KEEPER?' and 'BLUE SKIES', a film by Odessa Rae at Manchester Art Gallery


Daudy travelled collecting observations from people affected by or involved in the current refugee crisis including diplomats, NGO staff, volunteers, refugees, doctors, military personnel, and psychologists, some of which she inscribed onto a tent given to her, in 2015. by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The desert tent was lived in by a family of Syrian refugees for several months; their whereabouts is no longer known. Facts that struck Daudy were  that the average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years, and that some 80% of refugees are women and children. The number of refugees in 2019 is predicted to rise to 68.5 million people.


Thanks to Syrian friends Daudy commissioned crochet circles to be made by internally displaced women in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo. The goal of this project was to empower and provide financial support for the disenfranchised women whose work Daudy embroidered onto the installation.


Kate Daudy would like to thank the ladies who worked on these doilies and especially Itab Azzam, Jack MacInnes, Susannah Baker and Leila Bouri. 

LOOK UP: CASE STUDIES #4 #5 #6 #7 

Throughout the city gigantic written interventions on the National Football Museum, The Great Northern, Selfridges, The Graphene Institute, Tibbs Street Fish and Chip Shop, Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth could be found following especially created maps which were distributed by each of the partners above. 


Combining both art and scientific perspectives, the outdoor work, consisted of written interventions which took the form of hand-cut felt lettering as well as monumental panels affixed to iconic buildings. Daudy and Novoselov encouraged the viewers to question whether our thoughts all weigh the same in the public forum. They share the strong belief that we are all connected, not just in theory but scientifically speaking, as only slightly varying combinations of matter.


Marcus Aurelius said, "The universe is change. Our life is what our thoughts make it. We are responsible for our own future."

Outdoor Felt Lettering
Outdoor Felt Lettering


Further iconic felt text was inscribed, at eye level, onto more buildings across the city centre. The installation was chosen for public spaces to surprise people in the daily routines, taking art from out of an 'art' context and onto the streets.

A Map


Daudy’s singular map of Manchester shows atomic structures and written interventions amidst local landmarks. The map was available from the National Football Museum, The Great Northern, Selfridges, The Graphene Institute, Tibbs Fish and Chip Shop, Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth to better allow different communities to engage with the project.


Images courtesy of Jonty Wilde Photography

Images courtesy of Drew Forsyth photography

bottom of page