Micro worlds of roller derby…

…football and other sports feature in NN’s Multiverse season.

Playworld is a group exhibition featuring artists working with roller derby, football and other sports, games and their subcultures. Sports and pursuits have rules that govern them, they become micro worlds within the world but the cultures spawned by them bleed out into the rest of reality.

Roller derby encourages empowering alter egos through skate names and personas. The real world is left outside; all that matters is what happens on the track. Ellie Harrison (aka Ch£apSkate), an artist and skater with Glasgow Roller Derby, established the National Museum of Roller Derby (NMRD) during her residency at Glasgow Women’s Library in 2012.

The two Northamptonshire roller derby leagues, the Shoetown Slayers and Vendetta Vixens, have helped select the exhibits from the NMRD alongside Ellie Harrison and Catherine Hemelryk, the curator of the project and skater with London Rockin’ Rollers. Many of the exhibits illustrate the grass roots and creative nature of the sport and the impact it has had on the lives of the skaters. The Northamptonshire leagues are contributing their own items to the NMRD, and NN are inviting submissions of roller derby memorabilia for the NMRD archive on 20 September 2014.

Jamie Shovlin’s new body of work follows the Leicestershire Under 16s football team, the Anstey Swifts. NN will be screening Shovlin’s first film from this, his new series. Phillip Marsden, meanwhile, turns computer games from his youth into the subject matter for tattoo art. Zelda, Street Fighter and Super Mario all feature in his ink drawings.

Role Playing Games are being created during this exhibition, in which players adhere to their internal logic. Entire worlds with complex infrastructure and altered metaphysics exist through shared consent. Other games and sports will also be present in the show.

Events to accompany the project include roller derby life drawing, meet the skater events,

screenings and more.

Opening night: Friday 25 July 2014, 6pm–8pm. All welcome.
For further information about the project and NN visit www.nncontemporaryart.org


NN is a contemporary art space in the centre of Northampton.

Opening times: Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm Sunday 2pm–5pm
Free admission

NN is supported by:
Arts Council England Northampton Borough Council Northampton County Council University of Northampton

For further information and photographs please contact:
Kate Harrison
Press Assistant, NN, Number Nine Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP, UK E: kate@nncontemporaryart.org T: 01604 638944



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Dollies get their first win of 2014!

What’s better than playing in a roller derby game at the weekend? Playing in two roller derby games and getting to watch one as well!

On the weekend of the 26th and 27th of April, the Dolly Rockit Rollers travelled almost 350 miles up and down the country for two challenging games. The Saturday game saw the team head up to the Thunderdome in Oldham to face Rainy City’s B team, the Tender Hooligans. Whilst numbers were low, spirits were high. With just 10 skaters, the line up manager’s job was made pretty easy, and everyone would be getting a lot of track time. The team knew they were going to have to work hard to get a win, and the points were close right from the first jam. Rainy had good defensive walls, some impressive tough hitters and sneaky jammers, all of them, of course, much more familiar with the weird purple floor, which none of us could do a traditional plough on. The points were neck and neck for most of the game, but come half time we had snuck a small lead and went into the second half “winning”. The Dollies played with two basic pack rotations; everyone knew everyone else and what they were good at, and this hive-like mind only seemed to improve throughout the game. MayTrix made her debut on the All Stars team and was often the last line of positional blocking defence, holding jammers back long enough to be caught again by the other blockers. Slamabama was on fire, busting through walls with ease and speeding round the track to accumulate numerous points as a jammer, whilst being a blocker you could really depend upon the rest of the time. She eventually achieved MVP for her efforts. T-Wrecks, memorable on the track for her t-rex moves, got best jammer and Nitro Noush, chasing jammers down and holding them till the end, got best blocker. Nearing the 4th quarter, the Dollies pulled away from Rainy and increased their point lead. DRR jammers skated for all they were worth and blockers were tactical and clever, recycling opposition jammers back and forcing power jams. Whilst the final differential was quite modest, the Dollies scoring 138 to Rainy’s 103, the Dollies knew they had worked hard against a strong team to earn a solid win.


After a quick slice of pizza and a hairy drive through wind and over moors, where some Dolly dinner may have been spewed, we clambered into bed at a horrible hour for as much sleep as possible before the next day.

Sunday meant a trip down just past Milton Keynes to play their Concrete Cows, as well as watching an intense boys game afterwards. Track time increased for the skaters by a fraction; just 9 skaters were able to make the game, 7 of them having played the day before, feeling quite tired and not as energised as would have been optimum. Milton Keynes came in hard from the start, with jammer-on-jammer hits off the line demonstrating their aggression and determination to show us just what they were capable of. The Concrete Cows are a team heavily involved in the Heartlands Series and often don’t have many games outside of this time consuming event. As such, the Dollies soon discovered that the Cows were heavily under ranked, as they hit hard and showed us what training with boys does for you. Their jammers were incredibly fast and agile, unperturbed by hits and only slowed down by accurate and patient positional blocking. Their blockers ranged in speed, but were all sturdy and more than capable of delivering a heavy blow. With a smaller jammer rotation than the day before and tiredness beginning to show, the team became more frustrated and beaten down as the game progressed. Milton Keynes did not relent in the second half, where they drove their lead to Dolly 79 to Milton Keynes 221 for a convincing win.

Post-game meant an opportunity to watch some boys playing roller derby, which they did with an impressive amount of apex jumping and even-harder hitting, with a loss for the MK boys team. Awards were given out after this; the best jammer award went to the tiny and agile Lil Crash, best blocker to the terribly annoying in a get-in-your-way-kind-of-way mrs Kripling and special joint MVP to Slamabama and Nitro Noush. A special mention went to MayTrix, who got a “sneak attack” award. Back home that evening the Dollies fell into bed exhausted.

You win some, you lose some, eh?

-Written by Ellen ‘Ophelia Fear’ Allcoat-

-Photo’s courtesy of Darren Crompton-


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Roller derby organisation unveils transgender policy

The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association (UKRDA) has today [Wednesday, April 16] announced the appointment of their new Transgender Liaison and the ratification of their Transgender Policy.

The policy creates a uniform standard of treatment of transgender skaters, and ensures the protection and safety of transgender skaters throughout the UK, with UKRDA member leagues committing to adhere to the policy. This includes safeguarding the confidentiality of trans* skaters, and ensuring that they are supported not just by the law, but by UKRDA policies.

Mistress Malicious, chairwoman of the UKRDA, welcomed the announcement.
She said: “This policy makes the UKRDA one of the most forward-thinking and inclusive sports organisations in the country.
“Skaters in our member leagues come from all walks of life and with this policy, we ensure that transgender skaters feel safe, supported and welcome within the UK roller derby community.”

To oversee the integration of the Transgender Policy, the UKRDA has appointed Glasgow Roller Derby skater Jodie Stanley as the organisation’s Transgender Liaison. Jodie is a policy manager within a national LGBT organisation. I hold a Senior Management position within a national LGBT organisation, and brings to the role vast experience in creating and influencing national and local policies and frameworks, ensuring that they represent lgbt people as widely as possible and reflect their differing needs.

Jodie will be co-performing this role with fellow GRD skater Freya Gosnold, who Freya has a great personal and political investment in trans* advocacy and support, and will be a wonderful asset to this role.

Jodie said: “I’m excited that UK roller derby is creating a breakthrough arena for transgender representation in our sport. Transgender people statistically engage far less in sport, partly due to structural discrimination – and I am delighted that roller derby is the sport which is breaking the barriers of gender, making it all about the sport and not about anatomy.”

Freya added: “Roller Derby has the potential to really pave the way for trans* representation in sport, at all levels of competition, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my experience as a trans* person and activist to support our sport and our community on this journey.”



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