Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Finished Film!

After a wonderful 6 months of working on the Stories in the Shadows project with the fantastic people of Sale West we have a ten minute animated film! The piece was shown at a lovely event at the end of October celebrating 40 years of the Sale West estate. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and trusted me with this project! Follow this link to see the animation.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Stories emerging from the Shadows!

After a few months of deliciously painstaking work on stopmotion animated scenes for Stories in the Shadows, a community storytelling project based in Sale West, the finished film is almost there! It has been brilliant process involving fantastic tales being told by residents from the estate, beautiful silhouette puppets being created by local children and young people plus local musicians creating spine-tinkling musical scores. Join us on Saturday 29th October from 5.30pm for the big premiere and celebration event at Sale West Youth Centre. Watch this space to see the finished film!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Kaleidoscope Collective Exhibition

In a few weeks the Kaleidoscope Collective will exhibit their work at the Bluecoat, Liverpool. The show is the culmination of a 20 week project exploring a range of media including photography, drawing, sculpture and textiles.

The group have met weekly at the Bluecoat to use creative arts as a way to improve their mental health and wellbeing. It is my role to support each group member to develop their own creative responses to the gallery's programme.

The first project began almost a year ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this wonderful group of very talented artists and accompanying them on their creative journeys.

The exhibition will be open to the public between 10am and 6pm on Saturday 8th October and Sunday 9th October. Visit the Bluecoat's website for more information.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Blue Room Exhibition

There are just a few days left to see the wonderful work of the Blue Room at the Bluecoat gallery in Liverpool. I have the pleasure of working with three different groups of very talented learning disabled artists each week with whom I facilitate the creation of artworks in response to the exhibition programme. The exhibition is an overview of some of the projects the group have been working on since April 2010, encompassing a range of media including printmaking, painting, sculpture and animation. The exhibition is open until Sunday 4th September.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Stories... part two

Here is an update on the steadily growing Stories in the Shadows project. Last week saw the second event held at Sale West Youth Centre. For such a rainy day and against back drop of unrest and uncertainty in Manchester, the people of the estate came out in droves to celebrate positive community spirit. Our table was buzzing with a constant stream of children and families joining in to make their own silhouette puppets. I've now got a wonderful cast of characters, beautiful backdrops and intricately made props to start the animation process in earnest!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Pop-up Shadow Theatre

The Stories in the Shadows project took another step forward when our pop-up shadow theatre created with the help of the local youth group popped up at the first Family Fun Day at Sale West Youth Centre last Wednesday. Our baking hot room made even hotter by the whirring projector didn't put lovely families off from joining in and making silhouette puppets to tell stories. Kevin Roache from Seed Studios was also on hand to sound record the memories of local residents, including a police officer dressed as a panda! We'll be there again next week (Wednesday 10th August, 12-3pm) so come along and take part!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Stories in the Shadows

A new and exciting community project is beginning to take shape. After a chance meeting at an event, I was approached to put together a proposal for an intergenerational community arts project for the Sale West estate in South Manchester. A few months down the line and Stories in the Shadows is here! Working with members of the community we are aiming to create an animated film celebrating 40 years of the estate, telling the stories and remembrances of the residents.

St Margaret's RC Primary made a fantastic start last week when I spent a whole day with the children working together to create shadow puppets to perform the stories revealed by their parents and grandparents through interviews. Next up will be two Community Fun Days at the Sale West Community Centre on the 3rd and 10th of August where visitors will be able to record their memories and have a go at creating a shadow animation. Take a look at our twitter and facebook pages for more information and to tell us your stories!

Farewell Haworth....

It has been a busy couple of weeks so this is a belated post about the final weekend of the ReVisit series of workshops at the Haworth Art Gallery. On a sultry and sunny Sunday in Accrington we took the making outside for a celebratory picnic. We dressed up the beautiful greenery in the garden with some of the things we had made during the sessions including, butterflies, garlands and kaleidoscopes which caught the light and sparkled. I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the families that came along to the sessions and are now looking at plastic bottles in a new creative way!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Happy Times at the Haworth......

Almost a month since the Nite Sights event kicked off my community engagement project at the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington, and what a lot of plastic bottles have been collected, cleaned and transformed into glittering jewel-like objects! Visitors have created a beautiful window installation, kaleidoscopic viewfinders, butterfly garden decorations and shining garlands. I've met some lovely families and been thoroughly welcomed to 'Accy'.

There are two more chances to take part in the project on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June from 1-4pm. If the sun shines on the Sunday we'll even take the activities outside into the gallery's beautiful gardens so bring along a picnic and help us to create a glittering sculpture garden! Visit the
ReVisit website for more information.

Monday, 16 May 2011

ReVisit begins......

On Friday a Night Sites event for Museums at Night kicked off the ReVisit project at the Haworth Art Gallery and weekend full of creative workshops.

Stuart Haygarth's magical new sculptural installation Igloo was unveiled and I hosted Kaleidoscope; in which hundreds of plastic bottle bases were painted in jewel colours to create a growing window installation. As well as getting creative visitors enjoyed bright mocktail drinks served from a very kitsch cocktail fountain in homage to Stuart's wonderful piece!

By closing time on Sunday many hands had worked together to create a delicate piece that sits in a room full of precious Tiffany glass. This is just the start of a programme of workshops that run until the end of June. Visit the Creativity Works site for more information on how to get involved.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Tiffany At The Haworth

On Friday I went to the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington to explore the Tiffany glass collection for the ReVisit series of workshops. The collection is beautiful, I particularly liked the way that the objects had been displayed on light boxes. The soft diffuse light made the colours shine like jewels. I think I'll draw upon this and fashion my own light box to display the objects we create during the workshops. I also want to utilise the wonderful window spaces in the gallery to create a naturally illuminated installation.

I had chance to discuss my ideas with Yvonne Robins from the Haworth and Laura Rodgers from Creativity Works who have commissioned the project. The plans that are emerging are really exciting. The project kicks off on Friday 13th May with the Museums at Night event. All are welcome to come to the gallery from 6-7.30pm to contribute to a growing installation of kaleidoscopic bottle bases. There are also grand plans to create a kitsch multicoloured mocktail bar complete with a light-up drinks fountain! Co-ordinating art and refreshments, brilliant!

Monday, 4 April 2011

ReVisit Project at the Haworth

Excitingly I've recently been commissioned for a community engagement project at the Haworth Art Gallery in Lancashire. The gallery has a stunningly special collection of Tiffany glass and is currently working with one of my favourite artists Stuart Haygarth to commission a brand new sculptural installation for the historic Arts and Crafts building. Haygarth uses found and reclaimed objects in fascinating ways to create functional and decorative design objects.

I've been given the task of planning and delivering a series of workshops that invite the public into the Haworth to creatively engage with the collection and Stuart's work. In my own work I have an ongoing fascination for pattern and glowing colour so expect something kaleidoscopic and bright inspired by millefiori and stained glass! Watch this space for more information about my research and the ReVisit workshop programme as it develops.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Kaleidoscope Collective

Since last September I have been working on a project in partnership with the Richmond Fellowship and PSS to deliver creative art sessions for people experiencing mental health difficulties. Over two ten week projects the group have bonded over their shared creativity and have named themselves the Kaleidoscope Collective. I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the weekly sessions which have covered a variety of techniques including monoprinting and ink drawing.

This Friday sees the culmination of a project in response to the Underwater exhibition held at the Bluecoat. The group have worked incredibly hard to create personal projects and artworks using a variety of different media including printmaking, sculpture and animation. Their exhbition In Too Deep is open to the public on the 19th and 20th March and is held at the Bluecoat, Liverpool.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Long time no update! I do apologise. I have been busy I promise. I've been working on some very exciting projects at the Bluecoat in Liverpool with my three brilliant Blue Room groups of wonderful adults with learning disabilities. Recently I've been working with print artists Lisa Wigham and Sam Hickson on a fascinating etching project, making use of the wonderful Intaglio Print Studio at the Bluecoat.

The group learnt how to make soft ground etchings on aluminum plates, before inking them up and sending them through a huge 100 year old press. The etchings, made in response the the Underwater exhibition currently on at the gallery, were absolutely beautiful. I also got excited about printmaking, using an old knitting needle to scratch into shiny card to make etchings of plant cells. I'd love to make some of my prints into miniature artist books.