Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Off on my jollies!

There will be a little break in my postings, but a little break is all!

As you read this I’m off on my jollies to Cyprus for 10 days! Yay! My mum will be getting married to the lovely Mr. Ward whilst we are over there, so it’ll be the first holiday with my brother and sister in around 6 years or so! It should be good!

See you when I get back!


Fiercely Bad Paintings…

Friday 19th September, I headed into the Fierce office. On Thursday I worked a little from home on the Metapod site and Friday I was hopefully going to work on the Fierce Earth website and whatever else needed to be done in the office.

When I got there Andrew had left me a pile of the Artsmark Celebration Event evaluation sheets to be entered on to an electronic document all together. I decided that I would use excel and use the questions in columns and fill in the details into a table.

Once I had done this I started on the Fierce site, deciphering what copy we had but then it seemed there was a bug in the site which meant that some of the new pages entered picked up the deleted items as part, very frustrating and I’m not sure it’s fixed or I got around it? It is definitely something to look at when I get back from my holiday!

When I got home, I shot straight up to the AirSpace preview of Simon Kennedy’s Bad Paintings; he kindly let me take a few snaps with my phone…

I saw Jack on holiday and I thought; Jesus Christ what did I see in you

I saw Jack on holiday and I thought; Jesus Christ what did I see in you

Circle of Shame - Look on the bright side Paris at least you don't smell

Circle of Shame - Look on the bright side Paris at least you don't smell

The programme has a ‘Short interview with myself by myself’ and runs at AirSpace until 4th October, No.4 Broad Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL.

It was good to see the AirSpace guys, Anna Francis and new faces.

The Learning Journey: from Stoke to St. Helens to Preston and back again!

Last Tuesday the 16th September I set off to Stoke Town centre to meet with Peta Murphy-Burke the Cultural Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the rest of the Cultural Development Team and a wide array of others from the Universities, artists, photographers and regeneration teams to visit St. Helen’s and Preston as part of the Learning Journeys planned as part of the Creative Industries Strategy for North Staffordshire!

Not only was it a great opportunity to learn and understand but it was an opportunity to meet people with similar interests. There were a couple of friendly faces, Peta and Marc Wootton (Cultural Development Team), Ben McMannus (Artist who I was on Metapod with), Clare-Marie White (Local Edition/Stoke Sounds), Mark Brereton (Photographer) who we had never met previously but have spoken on email after he received my Creative Republic email – very nice to put a face to the name and then joining us at St. Helen’s was artist and font of knowledge Danny Callaghan. Plus more of those unfamiliar faces we would get chance to know.

On the bus on the way there Ben and Carl (bITjAM) had out their ‘boys toys’ and were making music on the journey giving others who were interested a chance to listen through their headphones!

We set off firstly to St. Helens to walk around the redeveloped St George St Cultural Quarter. I took some photos with my phone…

Firstly, the beginnings of the development were discussed and then we moved around, seeing the new St.Helens Central station…

The Area around the Transport Museum…

The Theatre…

The redeveloped school which now houses creative businesses…

And the catapult units for Creative Industries…

Then onto the Pilkington Glass gallery and museum for a cuppa and a catch up…

Once we had finished we were all aboard again and heading to Preston. We had lunch at UCLAN and then moved over to the Media Factory building that houses Sandbox and the incubator units for start-ups.

Sandbox was really interesting, they are facilitators for groups of 16 – 20 people using a wide range of techniques, software and play.

We then moved over to Watermark. Watermark is owned by sculptor Charles Hadcock and it is an impressive building with offices, studios and workshops that houses the creative industries of Preston.

Working on flexible terms, open communication and with an understanding of what is to be ‘creative’.

The learning journey took us to these places as they too have come from similar backgrounds and in terms of regeneration by use of the creative industries are around five years ahead.

I think this was a very positive thing for us all to do and many of the creatives with us were thinking practically about creative spaces to work and play in.


My friend and artist/lecturer, Anna Francis, based in Stoke-on-Trent always has something interesting going on…today she has emailed over the invite to the preview of last years level one Fine Art Students, from Staffs Uni, exhibition at the New Vic Theatre tonight at 6.30 to 8.30p.m but it runs until 11th October! Try and pop along!

Stans Cafe – The Rice Show!

On Friday I went along, as I said, to the Stans Cafe preview of ‘Of all the people in all the World’ or what is known as ‘the rice show’ from 5p.m to 6.30pm.

Simon, Mark and I arrived at the A.E. Harris factory on 110 Northwood St, Birmingham. Greeted by a lady (I think this was Charlotte) from Stans Cafe with the programme and then a glass of wine!

We entered the large industrial space and began to explore the world through statistics: past/present paired with the shocking/humourous. Below is a photo I got on my mobile (not particularly great but I laughed out loud): ‘The most people ever to fit into a smart car’

It put things into perspective, for example, the amount of child soldiers worldwide and this equalled at least the amount of children (under 5?) in Birmingham.

There was an announcement on the tannoy asked us to head to Nigeria. All gathered around we heard some short and sweet speeches (which I recorded so I will try to upload), to which Kevin Isaacs and Fierce! got a mention!

From Birmingham, and an office in the Big Peg, Stans Cafe have an interesting story and background and a company I have personally been aware of for a long time and been itching to see a piece of their work.

‘Of all the people in all the World’ will grow for the duration of the performance and will be documented on Radio Rice and a live feed of The Rice Show – which posts all digital discussion tagged with the rice show on their site, very exciting stuff!

It was part of artsfest and will run until 5th October, a definite must see and great homecoming!