Helping Where It Hurts – My Experience of Helping Families Impacted By the Grenfell Tower Fire – By Natasha Steer

The first time I arrived in the W10 area in August 2017, I travelled via car from the hostel I was staying in, loaded up with art equipment to run workshops for families affected by the Grenfell fire. I was later glad I had approached the workshop with almost rose-tinted glasses, traveling straight to the workshop space. I’m not sure I would have initially been able to deliver that session in the same way, had I seen the Grenfell tower first, I will explain later.

I had responded to a call out for volunteers to help with the summer activity programme via Arts Emergency. I then asked whether people in my network would like to help with purchasing materials, knowing that it really wasn’t all that far away from Medway and my own community had been impacted too. Paint The Town festival also kindly sponsored the workshops which paid for enough materials for 2 workshop sessions and my travel costs.

The session in August went so well, the venue was absolutely packed and I had multiple craft activities on offer. First we had wooden boat decorating, then T-Shirt printing, then stress putty! Something so tactile like this can be an excellent stress reliever – some of them couldn’t leave it alone for the rest of the afternoon!

All the people there were a delight to work with and it was reassuring to know there were trained counsellors present in case any families needed support. I brought a friend too, Saira, who has over 20 year experience in nursing. I have training in mental health first aid for young people, but my experience so far had never amounted to a local disaster like this.

There wasn’t anything in particular I could say was different about the workshop, young people are at first glance so resistant – often inside there are a lot more issues, that they may not have even realised yet. I could tell the young people and parents really appreciated the effort everyone was making to support them and provide distracting activities.

And heck do they need distraction.

Once the workshop was finished myself and Saira made our way to Latimer Road station. The walls of the pathways leading to the station are covered in memorials, missing posters, and big big signs demonstrating an understandable anger of residents – One sticks in my mind in particular, just reading “WHY?”.

Then we reached the station, where the Grenfell tower itself looms over the community. We all know what it looks like don’t we? I thought I did. But let me make it clear, nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for how black that tower is, it is completely incinerated. Myself and Saira look up, tearfully and discuss the tragedy. We discuss when we found out, both unaware initially of the real devastation – us both knowing we will probably never really know the true devastation in fact. Only that community truly knows and to this day it is being very well disguised as to how and why the tragedy happened.

Visiting again today (11th November) months later, the missing posters have turned to beautiful memorials and shrines for those who are definitely lost. I’m not talking small hidden memorials, the whole of Bramley Road is decorated. My heart sinks. Most people across the UK have stopped talking about the incident, and yet every day families STILL have to deal with the bereavement. People are still living in hotels having not been rehoused yet, the council clearly not being quick to lend a hand in housing communities in the area they live due to London rent prices.

A stall is next to the station raising awareness of a people’s inquiry into exactly what happened that day and promoting prevention of it ever happening again. The lady on the stall explains she’s heard a PR company have been commissioned to take care of the way news about Grenfell is presented. I don’t know what to say.

 

Today running a second session for the amazing project “Kids on The Green”, I did notice children’s behaviour being more unsettled than previously. The impact of what happened would do that, especially over time with a lot still not being resolved 5 months on. Bereavement and loss will always have an impact somehow. That’s why I wanted to help in some way, even just to be a friendly face.

If you would like to help families impacted by the Grenfell fire you can donate to the Kids On The Green Project via You Caring www.youcaring.com/kidsonthegreenfamilies-886162

Thank you to Paint The Town Festival for sponsoring the bulk of my workshop costs and to the following people for their additional amazing support:

Anne Marie-Jordan

Emma Williams (Shadow Paper Cuts)

Sue Ranson

Jacqueline Racham

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

IMG_9494_MR2

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

‘Creativity, Productivity and Time Management’ by George Langridge

To me, using technology to boost my productivity is almost everything. I’ve spent almost two and a half years searching for a practical, cost free (or very cheap) method of managing my time, boosting my productivity and being creative. I think I have cracked it.

As a student and creative, trying to juggle time to fit everything in, staying creative and being productive is a big task. Since getting my MacBook Pro, I have used nearly every application I could find to see is it could keep me productive and creative. Now, I use a variety of applications, services and methods.

iCal

Versatile, multi-tasking and simple.

 iCal/Calender [Free]

I’ve found that the ability to have multiple email accounts with their individual tasks, events and labels is really handy. I can see when I am due to go to college, work experience or out on shoot. I can also see when things are due, when I need to see family/friends and remember birthday. If you have to manage a company or group – that has it’s own email – you can see what everyone else should be doing or more likely, what they should be doing. You also have the ability to attach notes, files and locations to the event.

Quick search

Spotlight [Free]

Spotlight search is one of the most helpful tools on the mac, you have the ability to find documents, contacts, events, applications and much more. I use this tool to quickly open applications and recent files, Spotlight search learns what you search for the most. For example, if I search the letter Spotlight will put Twitter as the top hit, the same applies to Final Cut Pro when I start to type fin… which makes finding things a lot easier. It may only seem to save a matter of seconds, but over the course of one days worth of use you save about half an hour at least. Spotlight is also configurable to search (or not search) user defined files and drives.

Evernote, Mindnode and Pocket.

Evernote, MindNode Lite and Pocket [Free]

These three applications, to me are my creative trio. Evernote lets you store notes that are synced with as many desktop and mobile devices that I want, similar to notes on iCloud, except with more options, more platforms and quicker syncing. MindNode is an application that lets you quickly create mind maps with no limit to the amount of nodes or characters at all. Pocket is a read later service, however I use it like I -occasionally- Pinterest, to save interesting articles, awesome designs and photography. When they’re used together they really help with creativity, and productivity for that matter.

Wunderlist.

Wunderlist [Free]

Wunderlist is a great productivity application, which syncs across multiple devices on multiple platforms. This application, unlike reminders, lets you add notes, due dates and gives you the ability to easily create lists. I use Wunderlist to help organise work loads, tasks and I have a list of things to buy/do for my house/bedroom. Lists can be shared between as many or few people as you wish, they get to see deadlines, notes and whether or not you have stared  (prioritised) a certain task. I do however, wish that this had integration for notification center and iCal/Calender, the option to attach files would be great too. I am however, told (via a tweet) that these three things are being developed as you read this, or are due to be developed very soon.

Geektool, pardon the back-up.

Geektool [Free]

As many people that follow me on Twitter/Facebook know, I absolutely love Geektool. The simple ability to add the time, date, system specs and more to your desktop is just unbelievable helpful. You can add so many aspects to your desktop via Geeklets and scripts which are readily available on the internet and fairly simple to write yourself. My Geektool set up consists of [left to right]; system information, random/chosen quotes to boost inspiration, time, day, date and month. This is a fairly basic set up, I’ve seen some that have; calender information, RSS feeds, weather and iTunes information.

Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google Drive and Dropbox [Free – standard storage option]

Google Drive and Dropbox, to me, are extremely helpful and essential applications/services. I use Google Drive to easily share and edit files with different people, this allows me to see what they’ve changed, as well as giving me the ability to change multiple options depending on who the file is being shared with. I use Dropbox to store templates, Final Cut Pro/Avid/Adobe workspace files and other files I use across different devices on a daily basis. I absolutely love these services and wish I could afford extra storage space for both Dropbox and Google Drive. Definitely recommend these services.

Labels in the Finder.

Labels in the Finder

Using colour labels within the Finder is nothing new for any mac user. However, in my opinion not usually for the right reasons. I don’t think that occasionally labeling a folder red, in order to grab your attention half way through a project is at all a good use of this powerful tool. As you can see I have labeled all of the possible colours, and I label everything -seems a little obsessive- which, at a glace lets me know which each folder and project is for.

These are just a few things I do to keep productive and creative. If you have any more ideas, comment, tweet or email me.

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge

eMail: georgelangridge95@gmail.com

Unique Art Exhibition ‘Rain Room’ At The Barbican – London – 4th October 2012 to 3rd March 2013

image

Rain Room
Random International
The Curve, Barbican Centre, London, UK

Admission Free

4 October 2012 – 3 March 2013

Known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art, Random International’’s experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction. Their largest and most ambitious installation yet, Rain Room is a 100 square metre field of falling water for visitors to walk through and experience how it might feel to control the rain. On entering The Curve the visitor hears the sound of water and feels moisture in the air before discovering the thousands of falling droplets that respond to their presence and movement. Rain Room opens in The Curve on 4 October 2012.

Kate Bush , Head of Art Galleries, Barbican Centre, said: ‘The Curve has previously played host to guitar-playing finches, a World War II bunker and a digital bowling alley. Random International have created a new work every bit as audacious and compelling – Rain Room surpasses all our expectations’.
At the cutting edge of digital technology, Rain Room is a carefully choreographed downpour – a monumental installation that encourages people to become performers on an unexpected stage, whilst creating an intimate atmosphere of contemplation. The work also invites us to explore what role science, technology and human ingenuity might play in stabilising our environment by rehearsing the possibilities of human adaptation.

The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London

Opening times: Daily 11am – 8pm and every Thursday LATE until 10pm

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December, 1 January

Public information: 0845 120 7550

http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery

Admission free

It is possible you may get slightly wet. Flat shoes advisable.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England.

Rain Room has been made possible through the generous support of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art.

Bikeminded Launches ‘Cycle Shorts’ Filmmaking Competition – Closing 15th June 2012

Bikeminded, a cycle campaign run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has launched ‘Cycle Shorts’ a filmmaking competition open to anyone interested in the filmmaking process from raw talent through to the more experienced. 

The entries, which need to be submitted by Friday 15th June 2012 at 5pm, will be judged by award winning film director and bicycle enthusiast Richard Loncraine.

The shortlisted films will be shown at an exclusive viewing at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. The winning entry will be shown at the Portobello Film Festival and the Olympics Festival on Exhibition road, and the winner will also receive £1000 for their next film whilst the people’s choice winner will receive £500.

To bring the competition to life, Bikeminded has launched its own animated film to be shared among the filmmaking community and to encourage entries: 

Entrants can let their creative talents run wild by submitting a film of any genre, be it for example, humorous, gothic horror or romantic comedy, and it can be shot with a pro-camera and crew, on mobiles, or could be animation or stop-motion.  The end result must be a short film of just 90 seconds which challenges people’s barriers to cycling in the city, and inspire them to get back on their bikes or take up cycling for the first time.   It must also reference the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in some way.

Richard Loncraine, judge of Bikeminded ‘Cycle Shorts’ says: “Everyone has their own idea of cycling and in particular what cycling in a big city such as London is like.  Through this competition we want to tap into the incredible creative talents of filmmakers throughout the UK and through their films inspire people to dust off the bike and get back on two wheels and enjoy the city from a different perspective.  As a passionate cyclist myself and with so much untapped talent out there, I’m very much looking forward to judging the entries.”

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea says: “There are many people across the borough who love cycling and exploring the local area on two wheels. However, there are some who have never considered it for a number of different reasons.  This competition aims to show people just how much fun cycling can be especially in such a visually beautiful and well-known part of London.  We hope that film-makers are inspired by our streets, and that, through their films our residents and visitors will be inspired to start cycling.”

 To see full competition and entry details and Bikeminded’s own short film please visit: http://www.bikeminded.org/2012/04/bikeminded-launches-cycle-shorts-filmmaking-competition/

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

Call For Artists – For London Luton Airport’s Gateway Gallery (Deadline 6 June 2012)

London Luton Airport is looking for talented local artists from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to display inspirational artwork in their Gateway Gallery in 2012 or 2013. The Gallery, delivered in partnership with Luton Culture and advice from Arts & Business is located in the main terminal building adjacent to the Onward Travel Centre. London Luton Airport is the fifth busiest Airport in the UK and expects to see over 10 million passengers in 2012.

With an average of 25,000 passengers travelling through the Airport every day the Gateway Gallery provides local artists with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their artwork as well as giving Airport passengers greater access to local artistic talent. 
The Airport is looking to hear from talented artists who believe they can offer an original, impactful exhibition for the Gallery. This can be in any 2D medium.

For your artwork to be considered please visit and download an application form at www.londonlutoninthecommunity.com.

Applications must be submitted by 12pm 6th of June.

The winning three entries will win free display space for a minimum of two months during a period in 2012 or 2013. 

From www.artsandbusiness.org.uk

Area – London      South East

Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Jennifer Denty – Illustrator and Designer

We welcome a new contributor to Creatabot – Jennifer Denty is a freelance illustrator and designer from Hertfordshire and we are really glad to have her input on Creatabot. Jennifer will be posting articles about events and creatives in her area as well as the creative subjects that interest and inspire her. We asked Jennifer some questions to find out more about her…

So Jennifer, who inspires you?

That’s a big question!  I’m inspired a lot by what’s around me, people I encounter on a day-to-day basis, bits of conversations, vintage and retro design style.  Illustrators and artists wise, Quentin Blake, Mary Blair and Amano Yoshitaka. Mainly line artists that use bright and bold colours, I remember being awed by Naoko Takeuchi’s illustrative style when I was a lot younger.

Do you have any pets?

I personally have a Hedgehog, not the garden variety, an African pygmy breed.  But I also currently live with 3 cats and a dog (a time-consuming Malamute).

Any claims to fame?

I definitely invented the DVD player. I distinctly remember drawing a CD player that plugged into the telly..then the drawing mysteriously went missing, right before the DVD player came out!

Maybe you can predict the future…do you have any other predictions for future technology?

Haha! I do! I see a future filled with floating holographic signs stuffed full to the brim with advertisements, there will be no escape!

Whats planned in the not too distant future for you?

I’m in the process of creating a ‘Sew-Your-Own’ range, using some of the surface pattern designs I’ve created recently.  So I’m really wrapped up in getting that packaged up and finding stockists at the moment.

You can find out more about Jennifer at:

http://jenniferdenty.com

and

http://jenniferdenty.blogspot.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Area – Nationwide, London, South East

Fashion On Trial – Presentation and Discussion -19th April – Rochester


FASHION ON TRIAL is all set for Thursday 19th April. It will be held at the Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester, from 8pm (in the back bar, accessed via the garden). Come and join Medway Mutiny in the middle of London Alternative Fashion Week, for an evening of discussion and entertainment on the theme of…you guessed it…fashion. We’ll be talking about clothes, brands and nudity; plus there’s comedy, music and storytelling. Including, of course, the ever popular speed debating. And it’s free!

We’ll be hearing from Marta Patlewicz and Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo (fresh from taking part in Alternative Fashion Week herself) about the downside of the fashion industry. Kevin Elam makes the case for nudity. Sam Hall talks about tattoos, and there will be a rant against retro-ism.  Abigail will also be contributing on the musical side. There will be stand-up comedy from CO Jones and Mat Wills; and storytelling from Philip Kane.

Most importantly though, FASHION ON TRIAL is all about opening up a space for discussion and debate, a place where your voice can be heard.  So come along and take part in the most exciting forum in Medway.  Everyone who came to Love On Trial, in February, agreed they’d had a brilliant evening.  And hopefully we’ll get even better at this as we progress!

FASHION ON TRIAL is organised and hosted by Medway Mutiny, a loose collective formed in broad sympathy with the Occupy movement.  Newcomers are welcome to get involved with the collective, and with planning or participating in the On Trial events – just let us know that you’re interested.  If you have something that you’d like to promote at On Trial evenings – whether it’s an event or a cause – and have material (eg flyers) that you’d like to distribute – please turn up as early as possible so that your material can be included in our Goodie Bags, which everyone can take away with them at the end of the evening.

Look out for the next event after this, too.  MONARCHY ON TRIAL is due on Thursday 21st June – a good antidote to the Jubilee festival of sycophancy and forelock-tugging!  Keep an eye on the blog at http://medwaymutiny.wordpress.com for news and updates.

You can also contact Medway Mutiny direct by emailing medwaymutiny@btinternet.com.

Area – South East and London

Editors Look At “Craft Central Gets Hitched” – 22nd to 25th March 2012 – Central London’s Handmade Wedding Fair

Unlike your average wedding fair this little gem offers a look at the main elements you are going to need for your big day. Due to the exhibitors being craftsmen and craftswomen most items can be tailored to your personal style and ideas. A major advantage is you get to meet the crafters face to face instantly so can discuss personal requirements.

Amongst those showing their work are a number of silversmiths and jewellery designers, some who even hold their own studios in the Craft Central building itself.

Examples of delicious cakes and unique wedding favours are on show to give ideas on how to make your guests happy.

Photographers have samples of their work on display so that you can make sure your special day is brought back to mind with happiness. And of course a number of designers have samples on show to give examples of dresses you could be wearing.

I can’t express enough that if you want your wedding day to be unique this is the most vital wedding fair you need to go to, so make sure you take a look! The venue is inside the Craft central building, easily visible on the corner of St Johns Square, London, EC1M 4DS. The nearest train and tube station is Farringdon but it also isn’t far from Chancery Lane. For more info see our previous article.

Area – London