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Penny Lecture: The Value of Connection in the Creative Process

In this talk, Smith discusses her decades-long careers in music, photography and writing, and how she’s used each medium to deeply explore the human condition with a focus on women’s lives. 

Smith shares how she finds and maintains a sense of worth — financial, emotional, experiential — as an artist in the face of rejection, judgment, dizzying successes and gutting lows, by constantly assessing her relationship to art and commerce.

By willingly being the first to raise her hand and share deeply personal stories in her work, Smith hopes greater truths will resonate with her audience, liberating them to be congruent and bold in their own lives and with what they put into the world.

In an era defined by disconnection and divisiveness in media and culture, combined with the significant message about the growing irrelevance of human involvement in creating art, Smith continues to believe in the value of connection in the creative process. 

For more information on Ali Smith’s latest memoir you can find info here and here

Speakers Biography

The vibrant style Ali Smith has brought to her writing and photography—featured regularly in The New York TimesThe Guardian, and other publications internationally—was forged in New York’s underground music scene where she played bass in the seminal punk / blues / avant-garde band, Speedball Baby. After touring worldwide and recording nine albums, Ali released two books of photography about women’s lives. The first, Laws of the Bandit Queens, led to a feature on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s television network. The second, Momma Love: How the Mother Half Lives, won two International Book Awards, was praised by The New York Times, and Gloria Steinem called it “a gift to moms.” With a passion for telling women’s stories, Ali’s memoir, The Ballad of Speedball Baby, is her literary debut. Released January 16 2024, it is already an Amazon bestseller and led to a BBC Sounds interview amongst many other things. Learn more at AliSmith.com and @mommaloveAli on Instagram.

Penny lectures at Morley College London