Introducing Confluence magazine

Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Confluence 1 + 3

Confluence is a new writing magazine from Wordsmithery. Confluence aims to introduce writers from the East Kent area to writers from everywhere else and promote artistic exchange. We are open now for submissions of short plays, short stories and poems.

We will be publishing a print copy four times a year (August, December, February and May). See the Submissions page for what we’re looking for and how to submit!

You can order Issues 1 and 3 and subscribe at the Wordsmithery website if you want to get a feel for the type of writing we’re looking for.

Writers we have featured so far include: Issue 1 (all available online)  Janine Booth, sean burn, Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, David Cramer Smith,  Zack Davies, Rachel Davis,  Sarah Hehir, Dan Horrigan, SM Jenkin, Daphne Margolys, Tara Moyle, Katarina Rankovic (illustrations), Angel Uriel Perales, Cameron Williamson.

Issue 2 (all available online) Linked to our ‘An assemblance of judicious heretics; re:imagining Shakespeare’ project – featuring poetry and prose from 33 writers and interpretations of their words by 32 artists.

Issue 3 (some video extracts available online) Stories and poems from Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, Maggie Drury (woodcut illustrations), Barry Fentiman Hall, Sam Hall (a play), Mark Holihan, Shaun Philip Hutchings, Philip Kane, Bill Lewis, Daphne Margolys, Maria C. McCarthy, Katarina Rankovic, David Cramer Smith, Spreken, Jonathan Terranova, and Barrie West.

The magazine is printed using a Risograph machine locally at Intra on recycled paper, using vegetable inks, which gives it a retro feel. “…it’s so satisfying to hold and read! Typeface is fab, paper is perfect magazine weight. Old school printing was an inspired choice…”

See more at the Confluence website.

A Self-Hating Bunch (or ‘A Thought Strikes Me’) – By James Bovington

Look! A Cliché!
The Scream (Edvard Munch, 1893)

Artists are a self-hating bunch.

That’s the prevailing notion among the ‘normals’, anyway. By ‘normals’ I mean people who don’t consider themselves artists or ‘creatives’, although I think Mr. Teller, of Penn and Teller fame, put it best when he said art is “…whatever we do after the chores are done.”

The most common conception of an artist is a brooding figure in a dark room, slashing yesterday’s paintings with a steak knife. It hasn’t been helped by the sheer number of artists ‘back in the day’ that committed suicide or spent their lives in self-inflicted exile and hermitage, or the vast number of people these days who seem to think that by pretending to be psychologically damaged or dark they can join some exclusive ‘Artist’ club and their work, no matter how lazy or bad, will be somehow ‘valid’.

Enough inverted commas. All of that is wrong anyway.

What some people see as loathing directed inwards is in fact something entirely positive. Here’s an example from my own life:

I used to be rubbish. I was a terrible writer; an ok poet, but my prose was bad, plain and simple. Reading back through some stuff I found fairly recently proves this to me. I’m not going to post any here, it’s too painful, but trust me. When I see the kind of dreck I used to put out it makes me ashamed and angry. This is where the disconnect happens between ‘creative’ minds and others; the creative doesn’t see that as a negative emotion reflected on oneself, they see it as a negative emotion cast solely on the article in question. It’s a realisation that you used to lack the skills you now have, and that you have improved and, crucially, will continue to do so.

I’m pretty sure a few years down the line I’m going to come across a notebook filled with scribblings from around now-ish and hate them with a passion.

I know exceptional artists who basically refuse to draw because they aren’t ‘good enough’. This might be a confidence issue, but I know these people, so I know it isn’t. It’s a desire to constantly improve. An attitude that is entirely healthy for a creative person. If you have a set point in your mind where you think ‘I want to be THIS good’, you’ll eventually reach it (slowly, I might add) and then stagnate. If your desire is to improve on your work all the time, you can only get better. When struggling uphill the only place you can end up is on top, so to speak.

The most important thing to remember is that people change, and that includes you. You might really like a certain style of painting one year and then find yourself thinking it’s awful the next. Your psychological state is never the same as it used to be because you learn to deal with, or let go of, issues that used to inform your art. Here’s an experiment you can try if you’re lucky enough to have left puberty behind;

Look through some of the stuff you did during that period of personal turmoil. How much of it would you say is empirically ‘good’? 10%? None of it?

Exactly. That’s one of those periods of life where everything that is ‘you’ is jostling with what you thought was ‘you’, or what you think ‘you’ should be. Your personality is testing the waters, as it were, and art is a reflection of self.

As a result it’s going to be all over the place, some good, most bad, just because your whole self is throwing itself around trying to get a feel for the place. I know the majority of my own pubescent scribbling were confused, self-absorbed and downright bad, and it’s a good thing I know that because that has let me fix those habits over the intervening years.

So, in case you skipped to the end for a swift summary, I’d point out that what allegedly non-creative people are imagining when they hear you describe your own work with flippant ‘Oh, that was shite’-style remarks is entirely wrong, but by no means illogical, it’s just that they haven’t grasped the mindset that lets somebody critique their previous efforts.

It’s always worth adding ‘I’ve learned what to avoid’ or something to that effect, to let them know what you actually mean.

And to you ‘non-creatives’ (even though you don’t really exist), just remember; we don’t hate ourselves. We hate our work.

There’s a big difference.

By James Bovington

P.S. I find that it’s probably for the best to think the word ‘Maybe’ after every sentence of this article to achieve the best understanding of what I mean.

Maybe.

Marketing; An Arid, Lonely Desert – by James Bovington

Atacama Desert (Creative Commons)
Atacama Desert (Creative Commons)

Yesterday garnered an interesting new experience for me, a new aspect of the world of writing that threw me for a loop and no mistake;

Just on a whim I tried to write a little five-hundred word article to use as a marketing tool for my work, basically a little slice of my life involving the product in question, loaded with key words and phrases I could link back to our website. Standard ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ stuff.

That’s not the interesting part; the interesting part is what I felt while I was writing it.

I felt like I was forcing it out, for one, mainly because I was, but I also felt…

Dry, I suppose.

Every sentence I typed felt dry and cracked and empty, almost gritty in my mind. Every time I started a new paragraph I was struck by the mental image of an arid, lonely desert. It was very strange. Almost frightening in fact, in that ‘Have I finally snapped?’ sort of way.

I also got very annoyed with myself, at first for not being able to do the task I set myself with any real passion, but eventually it was simply for even trying in the first place. I felt like I was betraying something ethereal, like I was using my powers for evil. I felt like Superman burning down an orphanage.

I know, I know, marketing is necessary in this modern world, but I’ve conditioned myself through the years to be distrustful of it, bordering on paranoia, and to be annoyed by it bordering on outright hostility. To find myself engaging in it was a little like telling my past self to shut up (although to be fair, he really should have, just not about this), or kicking my inner-child.

I stopped, about halfway into it, and had to go do something silly on the internet for a while just to stop feeling so despondent. I went back eventually and typed a few more sentences, but the feeling came back stronger. It hit me like a blow to the soul.

So now it’s unfinished and squats in my hard-drive like an awful goblin, it’s even called ‘Stupid Marketing Bullshit.doc’, which I don’t remember typing at all.

I’ll get on it eventually. I’ll either continue to force it out or I’ll find a way to make it enjoyable again. I might even have to start over and just write something on a whim, then try to find a way to force links into it in random places. But I’ll get it done.

I don’t know how interesting this was for any of you, but to me it was fascinating that I could have such a powerful adverse reaction to what should be a simple task.

I suppose writing with ulterior motives just doesn’t suit a man who wants to write stories about dragons, crisps, people and THE FUTURE. (‘THE FUTURE’ must always be in all-caps when discussed in the context of fiction. This is a rule I’m establishing right now.) Or maybe I’m being hugely egotistical about my writing and verging on the ‘too deep for you’ mentality that ruins a lot of prose.

Such is life.

by James Bovington

Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Badge – Artist

Badge is a unique artist from North Wales who has just joined us as a contributor. Badge will be interviewing creatives and talking about what is going on in his area. He was christened ‘Badge’ back in school for reasons unknown and adopted it as an alias for his artwork when he started college. We posed some questions to him so you can all get to know him better…

Badge, tell us more about your creative background…

Art was always by far my favourite subject in school, even in Primary School every project I did revolved around art. Towards the end of High School I’d become a bit disenchanted with it as a subject, it’d become very prescriptive so I never did an A-Level in it, and I almost went to university to study English Lit instead, fortunately I was convinced by friends to check out the art courses at the local college, and that’s where I ended up.

My time in Llandrillo College was amazing, I loved every second of it, and thankfully they prepared us well for the big bad world of art! I completed my Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Llandrillo and then nearly went onto uni to study something else I wasn’t sure about, so I took two years out from art education again, all the time filling up sketchbooks!

I then ended up back in the same college on the FdA in Art & Design – taking Fine Art as a major, loving every second of my time on the course and made some amazing friends and contacts! I topped that up with a nightmare final year at a university to give me the full BA hons.

What made you start making art?

I’ve always drawn/painted/coloured/made things ever since I can remember, I used to draw a family of teapots when I first started Primary School, and it quickly became second nature to draw and make things, I can remember begging for Skeletor’s Snake Mountain and the Thundercats Lair and never getting them so I built my own versions using cardboard boxes and papier-mache.  Fortunately my folks were both very encouraging of my creative side and approved of my ‘Art Attack’ approach to toy related dilemmas!

I also used to spend hours poring over encyclopaedias’ – usually reading up on things like natural disasters, cannibals and apocalypses – normal kid stuff! But it was also there I first realized that people actually made art for a living – and it was there the idea of becoming an artist set in.

As I got older I started to use art as a way of dealing with all the things floating around in my head, I used to have really bad nightmares as a child [no wonder considering the things I used to read!] and I’ve suffered with insomnia since I was little too, so dream and reality blur – art has been a great way to channel that and has proved a rich source of inspiration!

What career paths have you taken?

I’ve had ordinary ho-hum day jobs since I was 14 [cleaning hotels, retail, gardening etc] when I graduated I was fortunate to be invited to be part of an artist co-operative on the North Wales coast [Oriel Scala Artists Co-operative] complete with an artist run gallery. It quickly became a crash-course and very steep learning curve in maintaining a commercial gallery and community arts projects, I took on the marketing and online publicity – which having no real previous experience of was a true baptism of fire, but we banded together and I came out of it with far more confidence about myself and my artwork, and having a regular space to show/sell my work was a huge boost especially just after coming out of art school!

That experience helped me to secure a temporary position in the Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno working in the craft shop, and then to a permanent position as a gallery assistant, I’m still there as front of house and assisting on exhibition changeovers, and my studio which I share with 3 others from work and two from college is right next door – which comes in very handy! The studio [casc artist studios and project space] has a project space in the front which we use to stage exhibitions and workshops for ourselves and other artists, we’re hoping to develop its profile and make it a hub for the artistic community.

Who inspires you both locally and internationally?

We’ve got some amazingly talented folks in North Wales; I met an illustrator called Karen Cheung last year on the annual open studios trail and fell in love with her drawings of specimens in jar drawn in science museums and her quirky semi-autobiographical rabbit cartoons.

Bedwyr Williams is also a big favourite of mine; he mixes self-deprecating humour and observations of Welsh culture with installations and performances, I was lucky enough to be taught by him as a visiting lecturer in college.

Also…Glenn Brown, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Conor Harrington, Audrey Kawasaki, Frida Kahlo, Goya, Antony Micallef, Jenny Saville, Eelus, Mark Titchner, Derek Riggs, Ian Francis, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, the list is endless!

I tend to draw inspiration from a lot of places, music is big one for me I’ve always got music on in the studio, headphones on the bus home, and for each project I’ll make a soundtrack that I’ll listen along to whilst working and more often than not lyrics end up being used as titles. Popular culture, literature, fears and science also inform my work.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

The dream for me is to be in the financial situation where I can just be in the studio 7 days a week painting and making, but at the moment I need the day job, however I’m very lucky to work within the arts so it’s not too bad – I can network and get inspired/sketch whilst in work so it could be worse!

I’ve always said I want to help encourage the art scene in North Wales, we have a real variety of media and styles here it needs showcasing to a wider audience! So if I can somehow aid that I’d be very happy with myself

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

www.juxtapoz.com is a must! The magazine is also somewhat of a Bible to me!

www.myloveforyou.com is also great for finding quirky and unusual creative’s!

We are really glad Badge is working with us and we really look forward to hearing more about the creative scene in North Wales!

To find out more about Badge please visit :

www.badgemakesart.co.uk

Badge on Facebook

Badge on Twitter

Area – Wales

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

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Area – Nationwide, London, South East

Developing Your Creative Writing – Free Short Course – Starting April 25th – Gillingham

Interested in creative writing, but not sure how to get going on your own? Perhaps you would like to join in with others to share ideas? Harness the power of the round and gain inspiration.

These sessions will provide you with some starting points for new pieces of writing, and some suggestions on how you might continue. There will be the opportunity to try out different techniques for writing stories and poems and have a go at creating some pieces, all in an informal and positive atmosphere.

The Creative Writing course will start on Wednesday 25th April, 6pm – 8.30pm at Brompton Academy, Marlborough Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5HT.

For further information or to book your place please contact Mary Murison on 01634 583536 or email marymurison@bromptonacademy.org.uk

Short Films of Mr Young – Screening – 26th May 2012 at 4pm – Chatham

To celebrate the release of the new compilation DVD ‘Caged Fire – The Short Films of Mr Young’ – the UCA Pop-Up Gallery, Chatham, UK, present an evening devoted to Mr Young’s short films.

Mr Young has seen 6 of his films broadcast on UK TV and screened at over 30 festivals and screenings over the world.

The event and DVD release draws a line under past achievements for Mr Young who is currently developing two new feature films.

Is this the end for Mr Young’s short film adventures?  Probably not.  Two new short films have already been written and there is a couple of new music videos in the pipeline with up-coming Medway bands.

The DVD release will contain a new version of his very first film, plus a rare chance to see the first ever video by Brighton indie band The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster.

Mr Young will present each film and there will an opportunity for a Q&A with the acclaimed filmmaker and copies of Mr Young’s first feature film DVD East 3, his CD collaboration with 7th Adventure Recordings and the new Caged Fire DVD will be available to buy.

Location – UCA pop up gallery – upper level of Pentagon Shopping Centre – Chatham

Time – 4PM on 26th May

Area – 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

Contemporary Art and Craft Fair – Henley on Thames – 22nd to 24th June 2012

The organisers of The Craft and Design Experience are once again staging their contemporary craft fair in June at The Henley Showground within the Hambleden Estate, near Henley on Thames. 

The Craft and Design Experience has earned an enviable reputation for selecting only the very best professional designers, artists and craftsmen and, with the resurgence in interest in designer crafts, the event is expected to be as popular as ever.  Visitors are able to shop for unusual contemporary items in a relaxing atmosphere, view a wide range of demonstrations or take part in various craft related workshops.  For children there will be a storyteller, a make and take area and lots more.

Work will be on sale from exhibitors working in many disciplines including furniture, textiles, jewellery, leatherwork, glass and more.   Design of the exhibitors’ products must be of the highest standard to be selected, and must show true innovation and originality ensuring only the very best in UK design is represented. 

Opening times are 10 am – 5 pm each day.  Advance tickets are now on sale at a reduced price or purchase on the door at £7.00 for adults, £6.00 for over 65s or children 5 – 16 £1.00.  For further information and advance ticket sales contact CDE Ltd on 01622 747 325 or visit the website at www.craftexperience.co.uk

Area – South East 

Kent Filmmaker Enters 48 Hour Film Challenge

Kent filmmaker Mdhamiri Nkemi is entering the Sci-Fi London 48 hour film challenge. Mdhamiri will be filming this weekend – but he will only receive the brief for the film Saturday morning and have 48 hours to script, film, edit and deliver his piece. All the brief will contain is a title, details of props to be included and a line of dialogue.

A number of locations are allowing Mdhamiri to film at their businesses but the crew would appreciate the addition of any more shooting locations including offices, shops, studios or spaceships. If you would be willing to help please email energy333air@yahoo.co.uk

The competition, which is part of the London sci-fi film festival, will give filmmakers the opportunity to have their film screened at the festival and the winner will get a development deal with Vertigo films.

So far Mdhamiri would like to thank the Golden Chippy in Strood and the coworking space @coFWD in Rochester High Street for their help.

To follow the progress over the weekend use  #SFL48HR on Twitter and you can find Mdhamiri on Twitter.

For more information about the 48 hour film challenge please see http://www.sci-fi-london.com/48-hour-film-challenge

Area- South East

Attention Film Makers – Virgin Media Shorts Competition 2012 is Here!

Virgin Media Shorts is a leading short film competition for the UK and is open to all to enter. Now in its fifth year the competition is bigger and better than ever before giving even better opportunities for filmmakers. With an extra 13th spot on the shortlist they are ready to uncover the best film making talent Britain has to offer.

Entries will be judged and the top 13 entries will have their work screened at over 200 cinemas nationwide for a year. A Grand prize winner will be chosen by a top panel and this winner will get £30,000 funding to make their next film with the BFI.

There is also a Peoples Choice winner that will by selected by the general public through Virgin Media TiVo boxes, the Virgin Media Shorts app and through the Virgin Media Shorts website. The Peoples Choice winner will get £5,000 towards the making of their next film with BFI mentoring.

Entering the competition couldn’t be easier; simply upload your film (no longer than 2 minutes 20 seconds) to www.virginmediashorts.co.uk between 19th April and 12th July 2012. The concept is your choice so surprise us!

If you enter please let Creatabot know and we can add to the promotion of your entry in collaboration with Virgin Media Shorts!

Every entry will be showcased to thousands on the Virgin Media Shorts website, as well as through the iPad, iPhone and TiVo® apps – so even films that don’t make it to the final will get heaps of exposure.

For those who prefer watching films to making them, there are plenty of ways to get stuck in this year. You can vote for your favourite short, join the debate online, win prizes and come along to our swanky screening events. Plus for the first time ever, you can help nudge your favourite film into the spotlight with the ‘Lucky 13th’ place on the shortlist.

Previous judges for the competition include actor John Hurt (1984, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum), director Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), actor Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Usual Suspects) and director Duncan Jones (Moon).

The winners don’t just get their work seen by millions in cinema; they turn industry heads, too – 2009 winner Luke Snellin clinched a BAFTA nomination for his winning Virgin Media Shorts film ‘Mixtape’, and is now working on his first feature. Oscar Sharp, 2010 winner, was nominated for a BIFA for ‘Sign Language’ and his latest short, starring Olivia Colman, will be unveiled shortly!

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

Evolution Of Consciousness – Exhibition – 1st April to 31st May 2012 – Chatham

 

The UCA gallery in Chatham is holding a collaborative exhibition that explores how if we want to survive as a species on this planet we desperately need to develop our consciousness.

Artists featured include Allegra Ally, Augustinas Neslenas, Carolyn Birchall,  Curt Wilhelm Ostlund, Dane Horsley, Helen Butler, Joseph Webb, Luka Lukasik, Michal Janowski, Michael Turley, Natasha Steer, Philip Kane, Simon Pruciak, Vesko Nickolov and Winifred Baker.

The exhibition also features a short film by Mr Young called “The Moon The Eye”

Here is a sneak peak of the exhibition!

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The UCA pop up gallery is on the upper level of the Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham.

Area – South East

Artistic Solutions – Exhibition – 28th May to 2nd June 2012 – Historic Dockyard Chatham

Artistic Solutions is an exciting showcase of artworks by University of  Kent Fine Art students in their final year of study. The debates brought to issue show that this is just the beginning of the artists creative explorations. Through installation, film, sculpture, painting and drawings, they exhibit contemporary arguments and re-examine older ones, which narrate our 21st Century culture.

For more information please visit any of the following links –

Tumblr page is http://kentdegreeshow.tumblr.com/

Twitter page is https://twitter.com/#!/Kentdegreeshow

Area – South East

Celebrate Medway’s Creativity On 23rd June 2012

Medway is the centre of a flourishing creative community and on June 23rd the Nucleus arts centre in Chatham welcomes everyone to join them in the celebration of their 10th anniversary. The day of celebrations will run from 11am to 11pm throughout the town centre and will include a mixture of exhibitions, open artist studios, street performers and live music.

The Nucleus arts centre in Chatham, which resides next to the Trafalgar centre on the high street, opened its doors to a variety of artists in June 2002. Since then over 400 creatives have used the valuable work space to produce their work as well as exhibit to the local community.

10 years ago local sculptor Hilary Halpern found there was a limited amount of creative working space available in the Medway area. After speaking to local artists it was established that there was a great demand for such a place and this evidence was taken to Medway council and the arts council. These authorities gave the go ahead and Hilary found 272a/b in Chatham High Street which was the perfect building for the concept. Previously used for a number of businesses including a health food restaurant, bakery and even a builders yard, Hilary and his daughter developed the building into artist studios and exhibition space. A month after opening the Nucleus cafe was opened at the same site which added a social and community dimension to the studios.

Since then Nucleus has extended its studios in Chatham and also runs a shop in Rochester and Maidstone. In the future Nucleus want to hold more workshops and educational projects which can support more people within the community. They are also planning to involve themselves more in media such as You Tube and hope to soon have an online store for their artists.

See you on the 23rd of June for the anniversary celebrations!

About The Day

On the stage at the art centre there will be local bands playing for you for free until 8pm. They have a fantastic Stones tribute band, a Jazz band, Acoustic and Folk bands and alternative rock to keep you entertained throughout the day. They also have comedian Nigel Adams and book readings from Wolf Howard and Jim Hill at the Centre. There will be arts and craft stalls along their driveway and portraiture/cartoon drawings as well as face painting and Henna/glitter tattoos for the children.

The Rochester Coffee Company will have food and drink to keep you refreshed including an outside bar and a scrumptious BBQ!! 😎

Along the High Street at various times there will be performances by Circus Street Performers Jugglez and Street Theatre too.

In the Central Theatre between 1pm-4pm they will have the Kent County Choirs and Musicians, Walk Tall Theatre Group, Force 10 and dance groups Dance Alley and Medina Belly Dancers. All of these acts will be performing for you and the whole of this event is FREE.

Finally, upstairs in the Pentagon there will be theatre and dance acts from the Central Theatre performing for you between 1.30-4.30pm.

Here is a slideshow of how the Nucleus art centre has developed over the last 10years.

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Area – South East

Glow At Bluewater Brings More Creativity To Kent For February 2012

The new venue at Bluewater will be hosting the huge event “Hobbycrafts and Creative Stitches” making us Kent creatives very happy.  The show, taking place between the 2nd and 5th of February , will showcase over 200 exhibitors offering the very latest products, ideas and innovations in the world of creative craft including knitting, sewing, jewellery making, quilting, cardmaking and papercraft, plus much more besides. Experts will be on hand to give their top tips and advice to those exploring a new craft, while all visitors can also enjoy a FREE programme of Quick & Easy Workshops and Talks each day of the show. Continue reading

Heroes and Villains: Poetry workshop for World Poetry Day – Strood – Kent

Saturday 24th March 2012

From Greek myths to fairytales, football to politics, TV to comic books: who are the heroes, who are the villains?

An inspiring creative writing workshop for new and established poets led by Maria C. McCarthy, author of Strange Fruits.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

10am to 12.30pm

 Strood library, Strood, Kent

Booking is essential for this free event by phoning 01634 335890

Area – South East

South East Open Studios Application Open For 2012

Every year in June, artists and craftspeople across South East England open their doors to the public. It is a unique opportunity to meet, talk to and see them at work as part of the South East Open Studios event. For artists it is a great way to connect with their local community, display their work in a unique way and gain promotion. The next SEOS event will take place on 1st – 17th June 2012.

To enter visit http://www.seos-art.org/howtojoin/

Area – South East