School of Music & Fine Art launches new series of Visiting Artist Talks with Benedict Drew

TIFF Kaput Exhibition at QUAD Jul 15 credit Charlotte Jopling-51

The School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus,  is proud to announce the new series of Visiting Artist Talks, which are FREE to attend but booking is required. Please email mfareception@kent.ac.uk to reserve your place.The venue is the stunning restored Church in the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers, each speaker renowned in their own field, will pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age. Guests will provide a detailed presentation of their work, sharing their experiences of navigating the complex multifaceted art world.

Launching the programme at 6.15pm on Tuesday November 10th is international Kent-based artist Benedict Drew, who works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies. Born in 1977, he graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2011 and was a LUX Associate Artist (2011/12). Drew’s often chaotic environments and installations feature screens, cables and small-scale anthropomorphised sculptures made from lo-fi materials such as tin foil and, occasionally, mud. Intended as a response to our ‘over-saturated digital realm’. Drew’s installations are attempts to ‘articulate the horror of the modern world.’

The artist says: ‘I make videos and music and exhibitions and picture and sculptures. I am interested in the potential of these combinations to create an ecstatic and sometimes abject alternative universe.’ A review from the current British Art Show observes: http://afternoondust.co.uk/blog/british-art-show-8#.VilIkxCrRR0

Benedict Drew’s “Sequencer” is all about stuff: sticky, splodgy, gooey stuff, material through and through. His film presented across multiple screens is full of rough, ready landscapes of dirt and rock juxtaposed with paint erupting like volcanoes or oil burps. It’s also full of holes: holes that gape like ears, squish and stretch like mouths, or wobble like the cones of the speakers scattered prominently in front of the screens, spewing out squelchy psychedelic goop. Yep, it’s all about stuff, and that stuff is sound: gleefully trashing the painstaking refinement and posed ephemerality of much of contemporary sound art, Drew gives us an earful of messy, splurging sonic substance that injects the silent, airtight contemporary landscape with a gelatinous, technologically-mediated roar. The horror of the Real — the material encounter with a thingy world beyond the control of language — becomes the bass pulse you can feel.

Represented by Matts Gallery, London, Drew’s recent solo exhibitions include: Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London; The Persuaders, Adelaide Festival, SASA Gallery Adelaide, Australia; Zero Hour Petrified, Ilam Campus Gallery, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (all 2014); The Onesie Cycle, Rhubarba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space; and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle (2013).

Links: http://www.benedictdrew.com/ and information on Drew’s work which attempts to tackle the anxiety and neurosis generated from the condition of dyslexia can be found here: http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2014/12/18/Benedict-Drew-Dyslexic-Shanty/)

PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Jopling, TIFF KAPUT Exhibition at QUAD July 2015

School of Music & Fine Art Open Day: Saturday 10th October, 9am – 2pm at Chatham Historic Dockyard

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Join us on Saturday 10th October for a chance to explore the fantastic facilities of the School of Music & Fine Art, part of the Medway Campus of the University of Kent located in the unique environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard and explore our exciting courses in Music, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design.  See the library and student accommodation and the NEW academic facilities and social spaces that opened in September 2015.

Talk to tutors and students and find out more about what we have to offer. Due to the popularity of our open days, we ask that you book a place online. Online booking will open approximately four weeks’ before the event. Please use the link here:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/visit/openday/essentials-medway.html

Our courses:

Music:

  • BMus Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology
  • BMus Popular Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing
  • BA (Hons) Music Technology with English and American Literature

Fine Art:

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art

 Event and Experience Design:

  • BA (Hons) Events and Experience Design

We offer:

  • Award winning facilities, studios, equipment and workshops
  • Inspiring, supportive and award winning tutors
  • Great waterfront location on historic site with easy access to London in under an hour
  • An intellectual culture that provides the basis of cutting-edge practice, research and scholarship
  • Excellent career and professional outcomes
  • The chance to spend a year in industry or a year abroad
  • Flexible course structure, with full and part time options
  • Outstanding professional links and international work placements
  • Many opportunities for collaborative and autonomous practices
  • Financial assistance, fee waivers and scholarships available

For more details contact e.dhiman@kent.ac.uk

Urban Expressions – New Street-based Arts Event – 27th-29th August 2015 – Chatham

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Urban Expression is an exciting new event aimed at celebrating different forms of streetbased arts, activity and creativity in locations around Chatham. A variety of activities will be happening in different locations around Chatham High Street, including: MC’ing, busking, parkour, dance, spoken word, street-art, eco-crafts, skateboarding and skating on the 27th and 28th August from 1-5pm.

Activities are aimed at young people aged 12 years plus – but are not exclusive to young people.

In preparation we will be running workshops over the next few weeks, keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more information.

Like and share the Facebook page to get updates on workshops and activities on the lead up to the event: https://www.facebook.com/urbanexressionsmedway


As part of Urban Expressions, The Urban Playground Team are bringing their parkour / dance performance STEAM: bOing! to Sun Pier, Chatham on the 27thand 28th August from 1-5pm.

As part of Urban Expressions, bOing! comes to Medway on Thu 27 & Fri 28 August this year, when the brilliant Urban Playground Team bring their energetic Performance-Parkour to Sun Pier, Chatham.

The Urban Playground Team will also be performing at bOing! (University of Kent) as part of the bOINg! weekend on 29 & 30 August.

STEAM

The Urban Playground Team are the original Performance-Parkour (2PK) company and are coming to Medway with an energetic dance-theatre piece unlike anything you’ve seen before.

In STEAM, The Urban Playground Team reimagine the life of a steam locomotive through scenes inspired by the silent movies of Buster Keaton, the gun fights of the old West and the rooftop stunts of James Bond.

Combining contemporary & urban dance with Parkour and physical theatre STEAM is brought to Medway by Gulbenkian as part of the bOing!2015 International Family Festival, Canterbury (29&30 Aug) and forms part of Urban Expressions in Chatham.

Performances will be at:

Thu 27 Aug – 1pm

Thu 27 Aug – 3.45pm
Fri 28 Aug – 1pm
Fri 28 Aug – 3.45pm

Recommended for all ages. Performance run-time: 20 mins.

Workshops and freeplay will take place between performances.

STEAM is presented in partnership with Medway Council.

NEW creative programme in the School of Music and Fine Art at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Photo by Peter Hatton. Work by J Childs – Burberry Architecture 15

An exciting new  practice based MA Event & Experience Design (subject to validation), will be offered at the School of Music and Fine Art from September 2016.  Situated in the heart of the thriving Medway creative hub, the School of Music and Fine Art offers a range of degrees, postgraduate programmes and PhDs that include Fine Art, Music, Music Technology, Sound and Image, and Event and Experience Design in the dynamic and inspiring environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

The new MA Event & Experience Design covers contemporary culture delivered through live and mediated events that  may include live streaming, interactive networks and traditional terrestrial broadcast. The experience may be interactive, participatory or immersive or combinations of any of these.

This programme is ideal for Art, Design, Digital Arts, Performance and Drama (and other related subjects) undergraduate students who wish to study in an interdisciplinary environment. It is also aimed at professionals in the industry who wish to study part time(over 2 years)  for personal and professional development.

Modules are assessed on coursework and practical project outcomes with supporting research portfolios. The dissertation is 8,000 words or 5,000 words plus a publicly-presented element.

To find out more, contact: mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk  or visit  http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/eventandexperiencedesign/index.html

Crowdfunding Chrysanthemums

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By Jane Ayres

Last year, I attempted my biggest challenge – launching my first ever crowdfunding campaign for a music and dance event in Kent. I’ve been excited by the idea of crowdfunding for a long time – ever since I attended a workshop by the fantastic Crista Cloutier. If your project is hard to categorise, or getting funding through the usual channels isn’t working, than crowdfunding is a way to approach your audience directly.

Like many enthusiastic fundraisers, I was seduced by success stories of other individuals and arts groups, and keen to try it myself. I can honestly say it is way harder than I imagined!

I went to a Fundraisers Bootcamp last month and it was perhaps reassuring in an odd way to learn that not everyone reaches their target and that it really is as tough as I am finding it. It’s been a steep learning curve – luckily I love learning! It took months to construct the crowdfunding page to get it right, and then we promptly ignored advice about how to do the video trailer. Instead, after several takes of unsuccessful talking heads, we opted to let the music – and dance – do the talking for us. Whether or not that worked is for you to decide.

I spent ages trying to create some unique, personalised and, frankly, lovely rewards for supporters – ranging from signed first pages of the new scores, to tickets for the concerts, to a chance to meet all the cast after the shows. All supporters will get credits in the special souvenir programme.

The bit of the process I find most difficult (and this is going to sound a bit strange) is asking people to give money. I quickly realised that I really don’t like doing this! The lovely folk at the Fundraising Bootcamp pointed out that people can only say No, and would I mind if I was asked to support a crowdfunding arts project? Of course not. But has that made it any easier? Not really. Why is it so tough to ask for help? I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know I am passionate about the project I am fundraising for, and that all the rules of fundraising equally apply to crowdfunding. It isn’t a magic solution to raising money. However, it is a brilliant tool for communicating a fab project to a lot of people – with the hope that it will connect enough for people to want to share it with others.

So what are we doing it for? In a nutshell, the The Mirabai Project is a labour of love – a not for profit collective, with ambitious plans to stage innovative events that combine music, dance, design, film and new technology.

Chrysanthemums is our first event – an intriguing semi-staged concert with string quartet, harp, sax and 3 female voices – and special guests Elena Velasco-Peña and Luis Rodriguez, dazzling Argentine Tango dancers. This is our first collaboration with the young Canterbury based Leon String Quartet. Established in 2010, they are dynamic and versatile, with a wide repertoire and commitment to new music and innovative collaborations. Joining them are award winning musicians that include harpist Ruby Aspinall, sopranos Elizabeth Fulleylove and Gabriela Di Laccio, and Kent saxophonist Richard Melkonian.

The first show includes two world premieres. Award-winning composer Barry Seaman’s haunting Torch Songs is written for harpist Ruby Aspinall, and is inspired by songs about love, loss and friendship. Singer/songwriter Mariam Al-Roubi will be performing All Things – songs inspired by her forthcoming album, arranged for string quartet and harp.

There will also be sensual and romantic music from composers that include Monteverdi, Puccini, Caplet, Philip Glass, and new arrangements of tangos by Piazzolla and Gardel.

Chrysanthemums will initially be performed as follows:

Friday 17th April 2015, 8pm at the Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Tuesday 21 April 2015, 7.30pm at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, Kent

If you want to be instrumental (pun intended) in both the creation and performance of beautiful music and know that your contribution and vision made it happen, please check our link.

http://www.sponsume.com/project/mirabai-project-presents-chrysanthemums

The crowdfunding campaign ends on 2nd February 2015 – so we now have less than a month to achieve our target of £2590 (eek!). To date we have 5 backers and have raised £425 towards commissioning new work, and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported us this far.

Any contribution would be welcomed. (See, I kind of asked!) But whether or not you can donate, I’d be truly grateful if you could share the link via social media and help to spread the word – and we sincerely hope you will come to the concerts!  Thank you!

Related posts:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/11/01/garrets-and-gatekeepers-by-jane-ayres/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/06/30/crista-cloutier-the-video-all-creatives-need-to-see/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/03/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-crowdfunding-by-crista-cloutier/

Links:

http://artsfundraising.org.uk/training/

http://www.fundraising.co.uk/

 Photo from Mirabai, Barry Seaman

Free creative workshops for young people in Swale

6 Ways To Wellbeing Swale Young people

Ideas Test has been out and about over the last few months promoting their Six Ways to Wellbeing Swale project.   They’re offering an exciting programme of workshops for young people 13-19 (25 SEN) in Swale aiming to improve their sense of wellbeing through film, dance, drama, writing and creative technology.  Working with some of the most exciting arts organisations in Kent and beyond, it’s a great range of opportunities – have a look at the list below for details.

A crowd-sourced ‘wellbeing poem’ has been launched with Dan Simpson, who’s one of the workshop leaders. Get involved on Twitter with #wellbeingpoem or email hello@dansimpsonpoet.co.uk. The result will be broadcast during a final performance at The Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne on December 6, which will showcase what participants have done during this project.

  • Join Codasign to make an interactive phone cover which lights up when your phone rings or to create an interactive installation.
  • Explore elements of dance and develop your dance and physical theatre skills with The Jasmin Vardimon Company.
  • The Rochester LitFest offers you the chance to have fun with poetry and spoken word – writing and performing – and learn about digital storytelling using social media.
  • Want to write, direct, act or design a TV series? These fun, exciting and hands on sessions with Viola Films will give you the chance to learn some basic film making skills and create a new Six Part Webseries.
  • Your ideas performed from scratch – Wide Eyed Theatre will help you create a story of people, place and events that make you happy!

To find out more about each workshop, visit the Six Ways To Wellbeing page at www.ideastest.co.uk, email Cassy@creativepeopleplace.info or call 07713 865955.

The Six Ways to Wellbeing are:

  • Connect – with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours
  • Be active – walk, run, garden, dance
  • Take notice – be curious, reflect on experiences
  • Keep learning – try something new
  • Give – doing something for others
  • Grow your world – planet care for its sustainability

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing at www.liveitwell.co.uk

The project is jointly funded by Kent County Council, Artswork and Royal Opera House Bridge.

6 Ways to Wellbeing Swale logos

Medway’s Creative Spaces

Medway is lucky enough to have multiple arts spaces that each have something unique to offer. If you would like to book a days tour (for a small donation to the Creatabot project) please contact Natasha on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Nucleus Arts

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Nucleus Arts is the Award Winning flagship arts organisation founded by the Halpern Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was the brainchild of the late Hilary Halpern and it was his dream to promote the Arts in Medway and Kent. Nucleus Arts has become the cultural and creative heart of Kent & Medway over the past 12 years and focuses on affordability, accessibility and excellence in the Arts. They run multiple workshops, events and training programmes.

The main centre is at 272 High Street, Chatham, where the gallery, conference room and main artists studios are based. The artists open studios are held here every 1st Saturday of the month for all to attend for free.

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Nucleus Arts also have creative studio space in Military Road, Chatham, Rochester High Street (which also includes retail space) and Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. All spaces have a lovely cafe managed by Cafe Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts are working in collaboration with multiple local charities on their Arts Inclusive programme to make sure the arts can be accessible to all.

Sun Pier House

Cinelouge

This Community Interest Company was formed in 2012 to support and promote the best of Medway’s talent, providing a base for established and start-up businesses in the creative sector.

Within the building, there is a large exhibition gallery, tea room, events space, hire rooms, artist studios, open plan creative office space with hot desk facilities, all enjoying a glorious panoramic view of the River Medway.

Sun Pier House CIC actively promotes the businesses working within Medway’s creative community, encouraging them to grow and develop to their full potential. Sun Pier House is right next to Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham.

POP Creative Space

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POP is an abandoned shop turned into a Creative space in the heart of Chatham, Medway. The shop has been funded by EU and Recreate and hosts various free events and exhibitions throughout the year. POP is at 64 – 66 High Street, Chatham.

Unravel and Unwind

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Unravel and Unwind are working to develop a “country cottage” style craft drop in centre for crafters of all abilities, ages, background and culture where they can come and craft while they socialise-practice-teach-learn.

Their aim is to create a friendly open environment,”a crafting home from home” ) where local crafters & families can practice, learn, teach and sell their crafts. A place where skills can be shared and new ideas encouraging community engagement, increasing social well-being, removing isolation and possibly mentoring transitions into employment. They are based at Intra Arts, 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Intra Arts

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INTRA is a Medway based arts venue, hosting creative events, classes, activities and studios, and offering one of the best collections in Kent of specialist arts equipment accessible to the general public – especially specialist printing equipment.

The not for profit company Intra Arts Ltd. was formed in 2014 when they took on the former Spemco building in Rochester High Street. This Art Deco fronted, Victorian building is much loved in the historic area of ‘Chatham Intra’. Their aim is to provide an arts programme, creative opportunities and education in a space that welcomes people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. They are based at 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Real Medway and Swale – Augmented Reality Workshops

Real Medway and Swale are running two workshops to explain more about their augmented reality game project and to start planning the first games.  They are looking for artists, storytellers, game makers, sound designers and others who would be interested in helping to plan and create content for the games.  Book a space at either the Faversham or Rochester workshops listed below:

22nd April 7pm – Creek Creative, 1 Abbey Road, Faversham – book a place at:realswale.eventbrite.com

1st May – 7pm – coFWD, 161 High Street, Rochester – book a place at: realmedway.eventbrite.com

You can also keep an eye on developments at the website and on Facebook, or contact Roy via email: realmedwayandswale@gmail.com

Real Medway and Swale is funded by Ideas Test – Creative People and Places Swale and Medway

Real Medway and Swale workshop poster

Real Medway and Swale is funded by Ideas Test – Creative People and Places Swale and Medway

Transmit:Project – Are you the next big thing?

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Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?

Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?

Would you like to transmit your art?  Would you like to project your talent?

Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known.  Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers.  It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.

This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard.  This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around.  A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles.  I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.

But it needs you.  Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far.  Make yourself heard.  Contact us.

Here’s how it works:

You send me a bio and some details about your work.

You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.

With these things I can write about you.

You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).

With this I can post a clip of you/your work.  (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)

This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NHTvq6pzCSPZVfrOzDmzg

In time this project might spread out, but, for now, it’s all about Medway.  And what better place to start.  Transmitting art.  Projecting talent.

The Moon The Eye

transmitproject@themoontheeye.com

www.themoontheeye.com/transmitproject

www.facebook.com/Transmit.Project

Cybermen and Clay: objects and emotions by Jane Ayres

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Three: photo by Jane Ayres

 

We invest objects with emotional significance.  Although they are simply things, they can represent something that connects us to a person or a time in the past.  I have used objects as the starting point for creative writing exercises, and they can be useful for brainstorming ideas.

I try not to accumulate too much clutter (!) and only keep the few items that are precious, always mindful of the day when I’m no longer here and whoever is left behind will have the unenviable job of sorting out my stuff!  But on a windowsill, I keep a few “ornaments”.

My cyberman model/toy – with moving parts!  I’m a Dr Who fan and my favourite (and scariest) monsters were always the cyber men.  When I was a child, I would hide behind the sofa when they came on TV.  Something about the clanging metal, the unforgiving nature of a machine, the hollow empty space for eyes sockets – no emotion or humanity –  gave me the creeps.  The stuff of nightmares.  However my more recent developing interest in cyber technology, sci fi, robotics, and neuroscience gives me a different viewpoint. How many of us who grew up in the 70s wanted the special abilities of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman? (Without the pain and injuries, of course!).  Machines and technology have limitless power to transform lives for good.  I sometimes wonder, when experiencing heartache and loss, how it would be to feel absent of emotion.  A concept that is hard to imagine.

The Golem – My brother brought this back from a trip to Prague.  According to good old Wiki, “in Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter.”  The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late 16th century rabbi of Prague, who reportedly created a golem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava river, and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations to defend and protect the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks and pogroms. There are a whole host of legends and literature around the golem.  My first ever encounter with the concept was a 1966 British/American film entitled It!, starring Roddy McDowall, who was at that time one of my favourite actors. I was about seven years old when I saw it.

This model is a symbol of my fascination with creation.  I’m also intrigued the golem was associated with fighting oppression, which in turn connects to my loathing of bullying in any form. (See my post http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/which-fictional-character-would-you.html)

My clay horse.  And, strangely, in writing this I see there is a link between my clay horse, Ernie, and my golem – that they were both born from clay, an amazing substance which resonates with spiritual significance. I made Ernie at school in art class when I was a child.  I enjoyed shaping the clay and using my hands to create the shape.  I couldn’t do the legs however – they kept snapping off – so decided to make a horse lying down to obviate that problem! His tail also fell off, so he became a cob.  Ernie reflects my love of horses since childhood, and because I couldn’t have a real horse, I kept creating them – in my stories, my drawings and in plasticine and clay. When I left home at sixteen, Ernie was still living on my mum’s windowsill, where he stayed for many years.  After she passed away, I brought him home with me and he took up residence on my windowsill.  Ernie evokes a range of childhood memories and happy thoughts of mum.

I love the way that, unknowingly, all three of these objects are linked by common threads and themes; connections which I had never noticed before.

Creation.  New life.  Changed reality.  Words we could also use to describe what we produce when we write.  Wonderfully strange.

Related posts:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/09/28/we-are-stories-by-jane-ayres/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/11/05/the-art-of-wish-fulfilment-by-jane-ayres/

http://www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/my-bookshelf-and-precious-memories.html

To find out more about Jane’s creative story, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Joyrider, is available from Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joyrider-ebook/dp/B00F7V247Y

The Vision and the Voice: Part 2 by Jane Ayres

greentreesPhoto by Roger Hyland

How do you see the world? Is it ugly, beautiful, evil, good, exciting, depressing? A mixture?  None of these?  The mind’s eye is a strange expression. According to wiki (the fount of all knowledge!) it refers to the human ability for visualization using the imagination.

When you look at an object, or a place, do you see what is there – or beyond this? Can you see what it means, or meant; its place in history?  Does it evoke the past?

Recently, I spent an absorbing few hours catching up on programmes I recorded on Sky Arts (a brilliant source of material) which began with a film about my favourite artist Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) the Dutch pioneer of abstract art. Mondrian is my favourite artist. He sought through his work to find essence and truth using horizontal and vertical lines, to create a new kind of beauty through geometry. His art is about structure, distillation, order and emotional connection and he wanted his art to be part of a greater whole. Not surprisingly he saw architecture as living art.  On arrival in New York in 1940 he commented, “They told me New York was a hellish place, where you grew old before your time and gangsters made the law. That may well be true. But that is not the New York I saw, the one I loved and thought of as my own.”  He saw beauty in the lights, the sounds, the skyscrapers and the vibrancy. The film, called Dans L’Atelier de Mondrian (in the studio of Mondrian) shows the artist’s studio as a working art installation and moves me to tears every time I see it. Mondrian lived in poverty most of his austere life and did not receive critical recognition until he was in seventies. (A familiar story for so many creatives, regrettably).

The next film was a documentary called Hitchcock on Grierson, which offered further insights into the ways other creatives have seen the world. It’s always interesting to see what one film director thinks of another and how he was influenced. I admire much of Hitchcock’s work but knew little about Dr John Grierson, who I discovered was a prolific, influential and pioneering Scottish film director and producer (1898-1972) who used documentary to express his distinctive way of seeing the world, utilising stunning shots to find patterns in objects not usually considered art, such as scaffolding and cranes, and seeing beauty and meaning in geometric shapes and structures and feats of engineering. It reminded me of Mondrian, and also the French composer (and one of my favourites) Edgard Varese (1883-1965) a visionary who had been dreaming of new sounds and electronic music a generation before it was technically possible, and whose astonishing blocks of dissonant sound are incredibly beautiful. Listening to his music, it is not surprising to learn of his fascination with architectural structures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8FcxVKIAwo  extract from Octandre by Edgard Varese

Reflecting on the way that these contrasting but connected artists saw the world, I was also reminded of doing art classes at school, and learning about seeing the light and shade in an object like a pot or a piece of cutlery. For a long time, I just didn’t get this. I couldn’t see it.  Then, one day, I did and it was like a revelation which has never left me.  Like being let in on a wonderful secret.

Finally, I watched a deeply moving and hauntingly beautiful film called The Way of the Morrishttp://www.wayofthemorris.com/

Written and presented by Tim Plester (who was also co-producer and co-director) it is a personal, heartfelt journey, both physical and spiritual. Every shot was like a painting or photograph, with amazing lighting and stunning landscapes. Subtlely observed, like Grierson, this film used documentary to convey something profound about community, ritual, and the human soul, and what tradition and shared history can mean to us.

To see beauty is a gift. I’m a natural pessimist.  I get angry about injustice and passionate about causes I believe in. But I can get emotional about beautiful landscapes and wild birds; about music, art, film, and literature.

In the 1940s, Mondrian wrote: “Art today is condemned to a separate existence, for present day life is essentially tragic.  But in some distant future, art and life will be one.”

How do you see the world? Consonant or dissonant? Can you find beauty easily? And has your view changed over the years?

Links:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/08/13/the-vision-and-the-voice-part-1-by-jane-ayres/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Piet-Mondrian-Mondrians-Studio-DVD/dp/B004754TF6/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1374505365&sr=1-1&keywords=mondrian

http://go.sky.com/vod/content/SKYENTERTAINMENT/content/videoId/718a084b7c0ea310VgnVCM1000000b43150a________/content/default/videoDetailsPage.do

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind’s_eye

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/198800.html

http://www.pietmondrian.com/

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Edgard+Var%C3%A8se

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beware-of-the-Horse-ebook/dp/B00BEJTDUE/

The Value Triangle and measuring the value of culture by Jane Ayres

P1030561The Big Cheese  (Photo by Jane Ayres)

Earlier in the month I attended a conference about using the arts to regenerate East Kent coastal towns, a topic dear to my heart, after spending 4 years as Marketing and Outreach Co-ordinator for University Centre Folkestone (which, sadly, is no more).  Listening to the speakers made me realise that I was still angry and upset about the loss of UCF (and I did make my feelings public, and then had a bit of a rant in the ladies loos afterwards!).  However, I learned a lot from the conference, and one of the speakers, when discussing the way that the arts and culture are measured and valued, referred to a concept called The Value Triangle, which I had not heard of before.

The phrase, it appears, originates from John Holden, an associate at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting professor at City University, London, who has been involved in numerous major projects with the cultural sector ranging across heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts and the moving image.  We were shown a You Tube clip taken from the PARTicipate Conference in Belfast, which questioned and explored how the value of culture and arts impacts on the regeneration of Belfast. John Holden describes models of cultural value, and the value triangle of intrinsic, instrumental and institutional value. He then went on to discuss social return on investment and measuring change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2QPHapOlSI

Having previously written a post for Creatabot on valuing art https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/05/12/twenty-dollars-worth-of-art-please-by-jane-ayres/ I found this quite fascinating.

The topic is one I will doubtless continue to explore.  The relationship between artists, and how they value themselves and are valued by others, is an important issue, especially when arts council budgets continue to be cut and so many are struggling to survive.

I had my first short story published in a UK magazine at the age of 14. I got £10 and will never forget how it felt to have earned what seemed a lot of dosh for something I had enjoyed producing.  This was 1974 and normally I would have needed to work for 9 hours washing up and waiting on tables in my cousin’s café to earn that much (My Saturday job). No wonder the life of a writer seemed a glamorous option!  Oh, how naïve I was….

Other links:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/culture/participate.asp

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon.

Learn More about Medway’s Secret Island During Medway Visions Film Festival – 12th September

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A film documenting the experiences of an artist living on Darnet Island for 6 weeks last summer is being screened at Gillingham library on the 12th of September as part of the Medway Visions film festival.

Otherness; Forty Five Days on the Isle of Beauty, shows the life David Wise lived during 6 weeks camping on Darnet Island in the Medway Estuary. David lived partly off the food he found there and recorded life with a variety of means including a pinhole camera made from driftwood.

The film is a great way to see parts of Medway that most of us have never seen, and learn more about the nature around us that often goes un-noticed.

The free screening will take place on the 12th of September at 7.30pm and will be followed by a questions and answers session with David Wise. At the screening David will also be launching his complimenting book which will be on sale at £15 which includes a £5 discount.

People can book by calling the library on 01634 337799 or email chatham.library@medway.gov.uk with the reference “45 Days Of Beauty”.

A poem dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern

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I moved to Medway some time ago

This place inspires me, as you well know

I wanted to help with the amazing creativity

To help it be seen by more, to prevent exclusivity.

 

But fortunately I had somewhere to start

Someone had already helped Medway’s art

This man was someone who needed a studio himself

But was happy to share space with someone else.

 

So he looked for a place that would be just right

And in Chatham High Street he found just the site

There was room for lots of artists, not just him

And this is where Nucleus arts was to begin.

 

He saw in Medway there was a need

So in making studios for artists he took the lead

Him and his daughter made lots of studios and gallery space

At last creatives in Medway could find their place.

 

All that happened in 2002

And the arts centre just grew and grew

And now as the arts scene here continues to boom

Nucleus arts continues to bloom.

 

Over 400 artists have been there to create

The effect on Medway has been great

I know I will never forget what Hilary done

So Medway creatives, let us make sure the work he started, carries on.

By Natasha Steer

 

Dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern – founder of Nucleus Arts Centre.

It was Hilary’s wishes that donations should be made to Nucleus Arts  – click here for more details.

Make a Website In A Night – 8th July 2013 – Rochester

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Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://websiteinanight-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/

In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.

There are just a few things you will need –

A laptop

Images for the website

Your bio details for the “About” page

Your email address details

Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.

Any questions just email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)

Time – 7pm to 10pm

Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Chatham Mural Project Workshop Dates Announced – All Welcome

Would you like to be part of an exciting community art project to paint a big mural showing scenes from Chatham’s past present and future? The site is next to Homestyle 206/206A Chatham High Street. Artist Richard Jeferies will develop designs based on your ideas and work with you to paint the mural. Whether you are 9 or 99 years old you are welcome to join in!

Workshops to develop the designs will take place on these dates at:

Nucleus Arts Centre – Conference Room

High Street

Chatham

Sunday 9th June 2pm to 4pm

Monday 10th June 6pm to 8pm

Wednesday 12th June 6pm to 8pm

Painting the mural: Monday 1st to Friday 12th July

Launch – 13th July alongside Medway Open Studios launch

The mural project has been developed by DNA and the workshops and mural are being developed by artist Richard Jeferies.

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Free Talk – The Creative Process: Words and Music – June 17th 2013 at 2.30pm – University Centre Folkestone

Some rights reserved by MarkyBon
Some rights reserved by MarkyBon

When composers and writers collaborate, what comes first – the words or music?  UCF hosts a conversation between Mariam Al-Roubi, singer, songwriter and librettist for the opera Mirabai, and its composer, Barry Seaman.

How does a creative work, such as an opera, develop from idea to tangible form through musical and written language? What is it like to adapt original text to produce a libretto? How do you ensure that you honour the original text (the opera subject, Mirabai, was herself a mystic poet, musician and dancer from 16th century Rajasthan).  How do you integrate newly written poetry? How does a composer work with a writer?  How is it different to working on an album? These questions will be explored and the dynamics of creative minds working together discussed, using musical examples.

About the speakers

Barry studied at York University, specialising in composition, and works have been produced and commissioned in most media, with broadcasts on Radio 3 and his music for silent films Tsar Ivan Vasilyevitch Grozny (Alexander Ivanov-Gai 1915) and The Life of Richard Wagner (Carl Froelich 1913) was widely toured in the USA. He has a special interest in music as a healing process. His most recent project is Mirabai, a large scale multimedia opera that combines ancient spiritual and romantic ideas with astonishing technology in collaboration with Musion Systems.

Mariam is a classically trained singer, dancer, musician and poet.  Whilst writing the libretto for Mirabai, she is also working on a number of projects, including her studio album. She studied BA (Hons) Music Technology at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

About Mirabai

Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita; commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002) and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007).

In March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Krishna Dance was shown as part of the annual Kinetica Art Fair in London, presented by the Musion Academy. A short film of the Krishna dance scene has been produced, and directed by acclaimed film director, Tony Palmer.

 

This event is FREE to attend but advance booking is essential.

Please contact jane.seaman@canterbury.ac.uk or ring 01303 760600.

Area: South East    Folkestone

Half Term Creative Family Workshops – Sparky Project – 30th and 31st May 2013 – Rochester

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The Sparky Project is hosting hands on making workshops in order to create a series of parade structures as part of this year’s Opening Parade for Fuse Festival 2013.

Families are invited to help with getting the projects two main characters ready for the parade, the theme of which is ‘Time Travel’. The workshops, taking place in Rochester, are open to children accompanied by parents.

The Sparky Project aims to offer a wide selection of creative activities to a wider audience, and these workshops will offer an insight into some of the making processes involved with the parade.

The workshops will be held between 11am – 1pm on both Thursday 30th May and Friday 31st May.

Booking is essential, so please go to www.sparkyproject.eventbrite.co.uk to book a place.

The workshops will take place at the Scullery Studios, behind 376 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1DA.

Flyer Front copy

Area: Kent    Medway     South East

Be Part Of Medway’s New Art Vending Machine – CreataboX

Vending Filter

An art vending machine, CreataboX, is being launched at Fuse festival on the 15th of June in Chatham, and the project needs help from local creatives to produce miniature creations to go inside the machine.

Items can include art pieces, knitting, poetry, stories, music on memory cards and anything inspiring that can fit into a vending machine ball. Creatives are being asked to include information about themselves in the ball as this is a great opportunity for promotion.

The next free workshop is at 6.30 on Tuesday 11th June at 161 High Street, Rochester. Materials will be provided. Book here – http://creatabox.eventbrite.co.uk

The vending balls are 9cm in diameter and you can also bring pre-made work to the workshops, where they will be put into the vending balls.

The workshops are being lead by local artist Richard Jeferies, who is part of the CreataboX project. Richard has taught a wide range of artistic workshops and been part of many local art projects over the last 10 years. Speaking about the project he says “I would like to see the CreataboX building a link between artists and lovers of art. With its pocket money price (£1) I would hope it can bring art into more peoples lives, and at the same time give exposure and inspiration to creatives established as well as just starting out”.

It is hoped in the future that funding will be available to commission local creatives for further vending machine contents.

CreataboX has been developed through Creatabot by a team of people passionate about doing awesome things in Medway. It was inspired by the art vending machine in Leeds, but was altered to be multimedia.

Area :    Kent    South East    Medway

“Twenty dollars worth of art, please.” By Jane Ayres

photo credit Jane Ayres
photo credit Jane Ayres

Growing up in the 60s and 70s it was a treat after school to stop by the corner shop and buy a penny’s worth of sweets.  Lemon bonbons were my favourite.  They were scooped out of the huge jar and carefully weighed out, measured to the value of a penny and then placed in a paper bag.

Fast forward around 40 years.  I’m a big fan of the US TV series Parks and Recreation, a wonderfully observed, funny, warm character comedy  which centres around the employees of the parks and recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.   Season 2, currently on BBC 4, featured an episode in which office staff were invited to produce a design for a mural contest. Declaring he has no interest or talent in art, the seemingly shallow character called Tom decides to cheat and approaches a professional designer to do the work for him. Believing art to be simply another commodity, he requests “20 dollars worth of art”. I laughed out loud at this. (The irony is that he later falls in love with the abstract work produced, forming a deep emotional connection with his piece of art).

It got me thinking about how we measure the creative process in monetary terms.  How do we /can we value art?  And our time as creative producers?  I wonder how many artists have had clients asking how much art they can get for £10? £100? £1000?  Interestingly, commission guidelines for composers are often based on cost per minute of music, and writers can be paid per word for articles and features.

My e-books are priced between £1.95 – £3.98. Many e-books cost just 99p.  They could have taken 6 months or several years of work to produce.  What else can you get for £1.95?  Not even a cappuccino.  Is my latest book worth less than that?

Pricing and charging is a tricky arena.  Especially since creatives often do a lot of work gratis (and are often expected to do stuff for free).  I’ve done plenty for free – sometimes willingly and happily if I know that funding was a problem, other times not so much.  What is my time worth?  If no-one pays me is my time worthless? Would you ever assume that a plumber or mechanic or solicitor will work for free?

The arts make money. A recent report in the Guardian highlighted the fact that, “Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the arts budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP.

The report is published amid fears that the arts will take another big hit when George Osborne announces his spending review in June.”  (Click link below to read the article).

We are all consumers.  But, as a creative, how do you value your time?  And that of other creative producers?

Links: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/nov/22/parks-and-recreation-bbc4

http://www.impulse-music.co.uk/commission_fees.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/may/07/arts-worth-millions-uk-economy?goback=%2Egde_4148866_member_238627525

Related posts:

http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/is-book-simply-commodity-should-you-be.html

Work Your Way With Words – The Word Shed – Various Dates – Medway

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ME4Writers present their collective, collaborative project ‘The Word Shed’ at Fuse Medway Festival!

Come and visit The Word Shed, where inside, instead of seeds, pots and a lawnmower, and that drawer that’s full of things that you might need one day, you will find yourself in a blossoming, inspirational world of words.

During the festival, visitors to The Word Shed will help create a new ME4Writers’ publication. On the first two days, visitors will have the chance to add their poem or short story to the growing publication, on the third day, the writers will perform highlights from the new, nurtured and fully grown publication, and giveaway a free copy

The Word Shed is a Spark Commission for the Fuse Medway Festival, 14-16 June 2013.

‘ Wordshops’

ME4Writers will also be running some creative writing workshops, ‘Wordshops’, in the run up to the festival, where we will invite attendees to write short prose and poems inspired by Medway, Fuse and festivals!

Wordshops will be held at:

11 May – 1.30-3.30pm – Rochester Library

18 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Strood Library

25 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Walderslade Village Library

8 June – 1.30-3.30pm – Chatham Library

Places are free – but please reserve a place with the library concerned, or by phoning 01634 337799.

All submissions will then be added to our website, and a selection will be available from the Shed on the last day of the festival, printed in our new publication.

ME4Writers are known for their innovative, collaborative projects, and guerrilla publishing techniques, and have previously produced a poetry treasure hunt game played around the streets of Medway, ‘Poetrymon’, and the popular ‘Letters Home’ project, which asked people to write about home, culminating in an afternoon of readings and an exhibition at Rochester Library.

Dates: The Word Shed will be at various locations in Medway throughout the Fuse Festival. For exact locations please see their website, nearer the time.

http://me4wordshed.wordpress.com / Twitter @wordshed / http://www.facebook.com/wordshed

The Art of Crowdfunding: Presented by Crista Cloutier – 22nd May 2013 – Folkestone

Image by Rocío Lara
Image by Rocío Lara

The Art of Crowdfunding: A one hour workshop for artists, writers and creatives presented by Crista Cloutier.

Crowdfunding is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for artists and creatives to raise money. But is it as easy as it sounds? What is involved in a crowd funding campaign? In this intensive one hour workshop, Crista Cloutier will discuss the recent trends in crowd funding as she reveals the successes and challenges faced during her recent Indiegogo project.

Participants will learn:
– What is crowd funding and how does it work?
– How to choose the right platform
– How to approach budgets
– The importance of planning and implementation
– The hidden values of crowd funding
– Dealing with failures and setback
– Tips and tricks

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier works internationally as a writer, artist, playwright, and educator. For more information go towww.cristacrista.com

Host University Centre Folkestone
Start Time Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 14:00pm
Entry Fee £FREE
Member Entry Fee £FREE
Location University Centre Folkestone
Mill Bay
Folkestone
Kent CT20 1JG

FREE to attend but booking essential – contact Jane Seaman

The weblink is here: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3848

Art Vending Machine For Medway – Lets Do This!

ArtVendingMachine

So…Leeds have recently been featured on the BBC news website  regarding their new art vending machine, and fellow creatives here in Medway think it is only fair Medway and Kent have one too. So lets make it happen.

Included in the vending machine could be art as seen in the BBC link.

Also poetry like this carried out here: http://nicelledavis.com/2013/02/19/we-made-our-kickstarter-goal-poetry-vending-machines-are-on-the-way/

The machine could tour round different venues and events 🙂 it would be so cool!

Any other ideas?

I am apprehensive to start an official crowd funder yet. It would be great to generate interest then ask people to send the money to a certain Paypal address – or just pay in cash at selected venues in Medway.

Ed Jennings has kindly worked out we need around £200 to buy a machine and the initial containers for the machine.

Can people who are willing to support financially, even a few £  –  please add a comment or email me?

Thanks guys! And thank you to Richard Jeferies for the encouragement to do this! 🙂

Natasha x

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Get Your Application In For Medway Open Studios 2013 – Deadline 26th April

The Hazelnut Press studio - part of The Ridley Road Group
The Hazelnut Press studio – part of The Ridley Road Group

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

 

Area: Kent       South East     Medway

Survived – Chatham Clinic – Open 19th May 2013

Chatham Clinic - Open 19th May 2013

The clinic will be open in Chatham on May the 19th 2013. Book at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

A unique theatre experience is taking place at Sun Pier House, Chatham, on the 19th May.

Entitled “Survived”, the event is described as “site responsive interactive theatre”, which means you as the audience get to walk around the performance taking place throughout the building, and engage with the performers.

Set in the distant present, Survived is a clinic for people who have survived a nuclear explosion and need treatment for their radiation poisoning caused by fallout. You, the visitor, are in this case, the patient needing help.

This is the perfect opportunity to see how empty space can be used for unique types of theatre, as well as an example of collaboration within the community. The event is aimed to be inspiring and educational. 

Expect gas masks, steampunk and bizarre medical instruments.

Survival wear is optional.

There are two clinics, one at 7.30pm and one at 8.30pm. Each clinic lasts 45 minutes.

Tickets cost £5 and must be pre-booked at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

Disabled access disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the building in use, we are unable to provide access to this event for the disabled.

Fresh Look For Fuse Festival 2013 With New Artistic Director

Fuse festival, a free outdoor festival held yearly in Medway, is back for 2013 with a new artistic director. The festival is also supporting some new exciting projects by local creatives.

The new artistic director, Megan Donnolley, is originally from Australia, where her working life encompassed an exciting variety of comedy, fashion, dance and theatre events including Sydney’s Fringe and Comedy festivals, Megan brings an international flavour to Fuse, together with an absolute commitment to local Medway communities and artists. Based in London, most recently she has curated public art and exhibitions, worked on community art projects in the Tower Hamlets, and is Co-Director of Comica: London International Comics Festival. She has also delivered large scale outdoor events, national open access film and literature competitions and worked extensively in contemporary music as an agent and music festival producer.

MeganDonnollyFuseMedwayFestival
Megan Donnolly

Back in January local creatives were offered the chance to put forward ideas for the festival, and 3 unique projects have been awarded with the commission to carry out their ideas.

Dizzy O'Dare
Dizzy O’Dare

Dizzy O’Dare Presents…. will be bringing ‘The Wonderful World of Mr E,’ an interactive show for ages 5+, featuring puppets, clowning and story-telling.  Mr E travels through the audience’s imagination, visiting strange new lands and going on fun adventures. Mr E and his two assistants will take their audience on an expedition into imagination itself. Between shows the audience will be encouraged to visit Mr E’s intriguing Museum where they can write a postcard, draw some of Mr E’s adventures, or help create a new artefact or creature.

Rebecca Ashton’s
Rebecca Ashton’s

Rebecca Ashton’s ‘The Sirens of Cetham’ will be a visually exciting dance performance on and around The Anchor in Chatham (Cetham being the ancient word for Chatham).  The bustling setting will inspire the costume design and in turn, the choreography. A sewing group will help make the costumes and a local school will decorate a ‘Feedback Fishing Net.’  Young choreographers and costume designers will learn new skills from professionals during the project and the whole performance will be live and interactive during the Festival.

ME4 Writers
ME4Writers

Innovative writers’ group ME4Writers are creating ‘The Wordshed’ – a cosy and intimate base for creative thought.  Guided by visitors to the Festival, the writers will develop and launch a new collection of poetry and stories for (and about) Fuse Festival, festivals in general and Medway. Visitors who wish to take part will be invited to create their own piece of writing to add to the collection. On Day 3 of the Festival there will be the opportunity to hear readings from the finished publication and collect a free copy.

 Other creative projects will be involved, but this is yet to be announced.

FUSE 2013 will take place from 14th to 16th June, preceded by Lighting the Fuse. Visitors to the Festival can expect to see Medway’s streets and open spaces filled with some of the most exciting and inspiring entertainment with lots of free arts events for all the family throughout the weekend.

For more information about Fuse Medway Festival visit the website at www.fusefestival.org.uk, or join them on Facebook or Twitter.

Area: Kent   South East    Medway

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop With Ann Fairchild – 26th March 2013 – Strood

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Artist Ann Fairchild will be running a workshop about Chinese brush painting in Strood on the 26th March. She will be demonstrating how she creates her paintings and then participants will be able to give it a try.

Bring along water pots, newspapers and wear your painting clothes!

The workshop has been organised by the North Kent Art Society www.facebook.com/NKArtSociety

New members/ visitors welcome.

Members £2, Non Members £5. Annual Membership £15.

Location: Peninsula Church Hall, Cliffe Road, Strood. ME2 3DY.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7.30pm – 9.30pm.

Enquiries:Tina Woodward 01634 725006 Email:tinwoody21@yahoo.co.uk

or

Hazel Kilburn 01634 250322 Email:hazelchristine1@btinternet.com

Area:  Kent    Strood    South East

Soldering Workshop – 26th April 2013 – Rochester

Solder Iron

Creatabot have organised a beginners soldering workshop for those wanting to learn the handy skill. Soldering is useful for any creative, from artists to geeks, and it is hoped that the workshop will benefit people with various relevant projects.

The workshop will be held on Friday the 26th April 2013 at 161 High Street, Rochester from 10am to 3.30 pm. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring lunch. The workshop attendees will be taught by Colin Turner, and the event will be hosted by Natasha Steer from Creatabot.

Places are VERY  limited so please book quickly!

BOOK HERE: http://solderingworkshopcofwd.eventbrite.com

Area:    Kent     South East     Rochester

My Noise – A New Experimental Music Festival – 14th to 18th March 2013 – Medway

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An experimental new music festival arrives in Medway this March, which will focus on connecting musicians through various ways of noise making. Spread out over a few days, the festival will feature innovative live performances and participatory events. Some of the highlights include a live performance by ex-Can front man and Krautrock pioneer Damo Suzuki and Medway based aural innovators, Hand of Stabs, a live Twitter-based sound installation and a bring and share afternoon of your favourite noises.

 MY Noise will take influence from the creation of experimental music scenes over the last few decades and will encourage experimentation and collaboration in the Medway area.

The festival is being curated by not-for-profit arts organisation, TEA Concerts, who in the past two years have been bringing internationally renowned artists such as Jeffrey Lewis, Grandmaster Flash, The Wave Pictures, Com Truise and Sister Mantos to the South East. In the build up to MY Noise, TEA have set up a new scheme called Band Dating to encourage musicians to meet each other in a rehearsal setting and form new bands. The first outcomes of these rehearsals will be showcased during the festival and the final event will be an open ‘band date’. They have also been involved in setting up a DIY music project space in the area for new bands and music projects on a budget of just £20. TEA co-founder, Louise Micklewright explains, “You only need a space, a load of old mattresses and some gaffa tape”.

Wristbands for MY Noise will be £12 and some events will be free but with limited space.

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit www.mynoisefestival.com

Programme of events for MY Noise

 14 March (8pm): Band Dating showcase. Sun Pier House, Chatham.

15 March (8pm): Motherboy presents Houdini, Bear vs Manero and Frau Pouch. Singapora Lounge, Rochester.

16 March (2pm): Band Date open event – bring an instrument and experiment with other musicians. Music Project Space, Sun Pier House, Chatham.

(8pm): Damo Suzuki (Can) w/Hand of Stabs and Pity Party. Beacon Court, Gillingham.

17 March (2pm): Creatabot and TEA present MY Favourite Noise (bring and share event of favourite noise making instruments, effects, experimental albums, natural sounds etc). Sun Pier House, Chatham.

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/03/08/my-favourite-sounds-part-of-the-my-noise-festival-17th-march-2013-sun-pier-house-chatham/

(6pm): “Signal to Noise”. John Newman’s live audiovisual piece made using Twitter, and a performance by Black Palace Orchestra. The Deaf Cat, Rochester

18 March (7pm): Pop-up documentary screening. Manny’s Music, Chatham.

Area : South East  Kent   Medway

Medway Writer Wins Award and Commission From BBC Radio 4

Winners_of_inaugural_BBC_Writer_s_Prize_announced

Playwright and poet Sarah Hehir, from Rochester, Kent, along with published author Mark Wallington and first-time writer Simon Topping, have been announced as the winners of the first BBC Writer’s Prize.

Rock Me Amadeus by Topping and Bang Up by Hehir have both been commissioned for Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama slot, while Wallington’s comedy The Joy of Adult Education has been given a pilot commission.

The judges Jeremy Howe (Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Drama), Caroline Raphael (Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Comedy and Radio 4 Extra), Kate Rowland (BBC Creative Director of New Writing), Roy Williams (writer) and Miles Jupp (writer-performer) were impressed by the overall range and calibre of the drama scripts submitted for the competition, with Howe commenting “Sarah Hehir charts the developing relationship between a young offender in a Kentish detention centre and his teacher. It is tough, warm, beautifully observed and written from the inside with real heart. It pulls you into the worlds of the two central characters in such a way that makes you really care for them both, and takes us on a surprising journey.”

Talking about the award Sarah said “It really does feel like a dream come true! All those lonely hours writing late at night, wondering if I’m ever going to make people feel the way I want them to when they read a play – it feels so good to realise I got it right with this one. Hope I can write another now!”.

The Writer’s Prize was established to create a unique opportunity for new and established writers who want to write for Radio Drama and Radio Comedy. Over 1,200 original scripts were submitted to BBC writersroom, before the judges were handed a shortlist of 18 from which to reach a decision.

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East South West    Wales   West Midlands

Creative People and Places Swale and Medway – Events – February to March 2013

Jellyfish created by the creative community in Medway on LV21 for the fish disco organised by Moogie Wonderland. LV21 is the venue for "Hooked Up".
Jellyfish created by the creative community in Medway on LV21 for the “Fish Disco”, organised by Moogie Wonderland. LV21 is the venue for “Hooked Up”.

An enterprising group with a £1.5million plan for the arts in Swale and Medway is inviting residents to a series of events to share ideas on how the money should be used.

Consortium members from Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway want to meet members of the communities the money will benefit and hear their views on the kinds of projects, events and activities that will improve the two areas. Each event will have creative activities for visitors to take part in as well as providing opportunities for discussion.

The grant is from Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme, which aims to make the arts accessible to everyone and encourage people and groups who don’t think the arts are for them to get involved. Therefore, the consortium is keen to meet both members of the arts community and people who do not ordinarily engage with the arts.

The events are…

  • Our Space, organised by Kent Architecture Centre, 10am to 1pm, Saturday, March 16, at Chatham Riverside (between the bus station and the river). Contact chris.lamb@architecturecentre.org or robert.offord@architecturecentre.org Join Kent Architecture Centre and students from the University of Kent’s Fine Art department to explore themes around public space. Artists Tim Meacham and Peter Hatton will work with students to run workshops investigating themes around future citizens, citizen animators and a space for everyone. Get involved and help manipulate the space, be it physically or virtually. There will be a range of fun activities for all ages to participate in and enjoy, from creative Mask Making to Gardening, showcasing your best dance moves to grabbing your shovel and joining in with an Archaeological Dig!

    Alongside these activities, plus many more, there will be live music from local performers and a delicious BBQ for you all to enjoy.

  • Pop-Up Cinema, organised by Artlands North Kent, 6.30 to 9pm, Sunday, March 24, onboard Thames sailing barge Edith May, Lower Halstow Dock, Lapwing Drive, Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne.  Contact fiona@artlandsnorthkent.org.uk A free pop-up cinema event. The truly remarkable and acclaimed Terence Davies film Of Time and the City is both a love song and a eulogy to his native Liverpool, exploring memory, reflection and how a place can change and influence the people that live there. The inspiring film demonstrates an affinity between Liverpool and North Kent as it reflects upon the former’s industrial past, sympathetically and creatively articulating a sense of place. Refreshments will be served, booking is essential via the email address above, parking is available and access onto the boat is limited.

Three more public events, featuring a pop-up cinema, open discussions between active members of the arts and non-arts communities, and interactive performances, are being organised for March.

The consortium is also asking residents to nominate “community catalysts” – prominent members of either arts or non-arts communities who already do a lot locally and will be able to encourage others to get involved with activities in Swale and Medway. Nominations can be made at the events and via the website from March onwards.

Fiona Boundy, curator of Artlands North Kent, said: “Swale and Medway have exceptional and thriving community and voluntary sectors and we know there is a desire from these areas to engage in the arts.

“We will work collaboratively within these communities to share skills, knowledge and resources and adopt new ways of working to broaden and diversify opportunities for engaging with, and participating in, creative programmes of the highest quality. Starting conversations with members of the arts and non-arts sectors at the six events is the first step towards this aim.

“We are committed to ensuring that Swale and Medway become known as places where all forms of creativity can thrive; where communities directly benefit from the power of the arts to make positive changes in their lives; where new routes for engagement are opened up through our commitment to testing out pioneering and experimental approaches to working.”

This month the consortium advertised, in the national and arts Press, the role of “creative enabler”, which will be key to the programme’s delivery.

Fiona continued: “The creative enabler role is important because it will enable us to get on with the delivery of really exciting, engaging and inclusive creative programmes. The creative enabler will be crucial in terms of ‘putting into action’ feedback and ideas from different communities and will also be key in facilitating our open submission strand, where we will invite people to submit proposals for projects.

Sign up to receive regular updates and news letters about Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway atwww.CreativePeoplePlace.info Visit the soon-to-be re-launched website for more details on events and consortium members and to find out how the Creative People and Places programme is evolving in Swale and Medway.

Strood Robots And Other Medway Stories – Art Exhibition – Nucleus Arts Gallery Chatham – 16th to 28th February 2013

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Myths and Legends of the Medway Towns from BAN THE MIND READER, to the Walderslade Sprite, plus more pragmatic tales from modern Medway.

Artwork will be exhibited by peninsular exiles Shaun Hutchings and Sharon Cooper. Sharon has produced images of the Medway Towns sown on to canvases, whilst Shaun Hutchings paints pictures from his imagination, often in abstract form. Many are set in a ‘magical’ or ‘mythical’ future Medway.

The Exhibition runs from the 16th to the 28th of February.

Location: Nucleus studios and Gallery, Chatham – www.nucleus-arts.com/page3.htm

George RW Cutts – Archive from 1980 – Exhibition – 15th to 20th February 2013 – Margate

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A show of over 100 new drawings from George RW Cutts, featuring abandoned towns, Antarctic explorers, ACME whistles, badges, birds, brogues, buttons, clay pipes, clocks, coins, cycling jerseys, Delph tiles, desert boots, dogs, door bells, forgotten Olympians, hot dog carts, Margate, medals, mermaids, monkey paisley, pétanque, trophies, tuk-tuks, and typewriters.

The exhibition includes, The Margate Postcards, a new series of 30 blue monochrome postcards inspired by Margate past and present.

Every visitor can enter a draw to win a piece of work featured in the show.

Parade is an artist led space, 2 minutes along the sea front from the Turner Contemporary.

What:George RW Cutts, Archive from 1980
Where:Parade, Marine Drive, Margate, Kent CT9 1DH

When: Fri 15 Feb – Wed 20 Feb, 11am-5pm daily
Further Details: www.archivefrom1980.com

Contact: georgerwcutts@archivefrom1980.com

Badges 1989

Area: South East     Kent

Call For Traders For New Outdoor Market In Chatham! – Sun Wharf Market – Sunday 24th March

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Pitches are available to take part in the first Sun Wharf Market, a new quarterly outdoor market in Chatham.

The market is new for 2013 and pitches are available for a variety of makers. The first Sun Wharf Market will be held on Sunday 24 March in the Sun Wharf car park, Medway Street in Chatham.

 Market organiser and local resident Heather Burgess, 27, hopes to create a complimenting combination of stalls including art, craft, local produce, jewellery, fashion, antiques, vintage and collectibles. Limited pitches are available now for £15 each, trading hours will be 10am – 4pm. To avoid disappointment early applications are recommended, closing date for all applications is Monday 4 March 2013. All enquiries should contact Heather by emailing heather.sunpierhouse@gmail.com

Area:    South East    Medway   Kent

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch – A Feast of Inspiration – 23rd March 2013 – Strood

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch - A Feast of Inspiration - 23rd March 2013 - Strood

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch. Interested in art and creativity? Feeling a little stuck? Come and mingle with like-minded individuals and share coffee and ideas. Open to everyone interested in creativity, if you’re a beginner or someone more advanced.

Activities planned include; speed debating, Parashare; bring a paragraph to share from a favourite book or your own writing, and other writers games.

This event is part of the Other worlds, other voices Rochester literature festival.

Saturday, 23 March 10am – 12 noon Strood library

Book your free place by calling 01634 335890 or just turn up on the day!

Call for Artists! Registration is open for Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival – 13 – 21 July 2013

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Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival is a community arts festival celebrating the wealth of creativity in Medway. Now in its second year, applications are open to all Medway based artists to take part this summer.

The festival will take place from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013 across the Medway towns, and promises to include work from a variety of art forms. Jewellery, sculpture, print, paint, and photography are all popular examples of work created in Medway that will be exhibited during the Festival. 16 venues and over 70 local artists took part in the first year of the festival in July 2012, many will be opening their doors again and inviting visitors to see their work and learn more about their craft.

Apply early and benefit from a reduced application fee. Applications received before 1 February will get 20% off. If you miss this deadline but apply between 1 February and 8 March there is a 10% discount. The final closing date for all applications is 26 April.

Full details about the Festival and how to apply can be found on the Festival website – www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk.

Area: South East    Kent    London

Cake International – 12th to 14th April 2013 – London

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Has your secret passion for pastry or craze for cake decorating taken over your day to day life? If the answer is yes, then Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show at ExCeL, London from 12-14 April is just the ticket. Celebrity bakers and TV personalities Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and 2012’s winner John Waite will be opening and appearing at the show and meeting their thousands of fans in a question and answer session. As well as this, visitors to the show can discover their top tips and baking inspirations in the Bakery Theatre at the show.

Other features include over 80 exhibitors from across the globe offering cutting-edge cake decorating and baking supplies; Competition Classes for all ages and abilities; two Demonstration Theatres with the greatest talents from the UK and abroad; Paul Da Costa Greaves taking centre stage in The Bakery Theatre; Tracey Mann showcasing her latest project, a giant cake construction of Life Under The Sea; A Taste of Sugar Workshops for newcomers to sugarcraft and much more! Please visit www.cakeinternational.co.uk for more information.

FACT FILE

Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show

ExCeL, London

12-14 April 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult £14.00 (£12.00 Advance Price)

Senior £13.00 (£11.00 Advance Price)

2 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adult £18.00 Senior £16.00

3 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adult £25.00 Senior £23.00

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 8 April

Book tickets online at www.ichf.co.uk or phone the Ticket Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow on Twitter @thecakeshows or find on Facebook – Cake International

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts – 4th to 6th April 2013 – London

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Embrace the handmade and personal trend that is sweeping the nation by visiting Creative Stitches Hobbycrafts taking place for the first time at the ExCeL, London from the 4-6 April.

With over 100 exhibitors offering the latest craft inspiration and advice; a selection of stunning Jane Austen costumes; Catwalk Fashion Shows; advice and top tips in the Sewing Hub and Knitting Parlour; a free programme of quick and easy workshops, talks, demonstrations and much more! To find out more details, please visit www.ichf.co.uk.

FACT FILE

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

ExCeL, London

4-6 April 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult £10.00 (£8.00 Advance Price)

Senior £9.00 (£7.00 Advance Price)

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 1 April

For more information please visit www.ichf.co.uk. Book tickets online at www.ichf.co.uk or phone the Ticket Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow on Twitter @ICHFUK or like on Facebook – ICHF Events

Area:         South East        London

Medway Photo Festival – January 11th to 15th 2013

Photo Fest 2013

The Medway Photo Festival happens once a year in January and takes place in Rochester and Chatham. The photography exhibitions will all be open during the third week of January. Exhibitions will feature exciting new work from students in their 2nd year studying Photography as Contemporary Practice at the UCA Rochester.

EXHIBITION DATES and INFO

Sin City
Private view 11th January, exhibition open 11th – 17th January
Address: Nucleus New Art Gallery Chatham, 272 Chatham High Street, ME4 4BP

Nyctophobia
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: Nucleus Art Centre, 75 Rochester High Street

Repeat to Fade
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: 66 Rochester High Street,  ME1 1JK

Eyedentity
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: Singapora Lounge, 51 Rochester High Street, ME1 1LN

Suddenly No
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th January
Address: 161 Rochester High Street

Close Your Eyes
Private view 15th January, exhibition open 14th – 17h January
Address: Sun Pier House, Sun Wharf, Medway Street, ME4 4HF Chatham

Novo Aspect


Private view 15th January, exhibition open 16th – 18st January
Address: 86 High Street Chatham, 1st floor

Paramnesia


Private view 15th January, exhibition open 16th January
Address: The Brook Theater, Studio room, Old Town Hall, ME4 4SE

For more information please visit www.medwayphoto2013.tumblr.com 

Get Into The Creative Industries With Creative Industries Pathways Programme – Medway

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Icon Theatre in Medway are running a special programme for people who are looking to get into the creative industries. The programme offers anyone who is unemployed (working less than 15hrs/wk) or economically inactive (e.g. a stay at home mum, full-time carer) the chance to work one-on-one with a creative industries mentor, to go on short courses, and develop a professional portfolio in order to improve career prospects in any creative industry.

Icon Theatre are funded by the European Social Fund and welcome anyone who lives in the Medway area. There are certain criteria for the programme, but people are encouraged to get in touch as there are a wide range of projects planned that are suitable for many people.

To find out more please contact Katie Charlton –  katie@icontheatre.org.uk

www.icontheatre.org.uk

Area: Medway   Kent    South East