Saturday Art Club at The Chapel Gallery – Drawing workshops

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For this project we went back to basics, observation and mark making. The activities I planned were all designed to get the students to really appreciate expressive and interesting mark making within their drawings. I was particularly interested in encouraging a lively discussion about drawings moving away from purely representational to having a deeper value for process and mark making.

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Continuous line drawings, to begin with having the paper hidden, then on black paper focusing on superimposing drawings.

Working on long rolls of paper allows for large scale drawing and interesting compositions

The final part of this project was working from different fabrics, using mixed media including water colours. We were looking at creating large scale work and were aware of different mark making to create texture.

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This was a really great and stimulating series of workshops, with each different activity received enthusiastically. Some process’s were challenging but the kids really enjoyed this and were  happily surprised at the outcomes.

 

Go With the Flow Art Classes

Teaching at the regular adult art classes in Sefton is always a great opportunity to think about the journey of development that repeated art practice entails.

Examining and duplicating other artwork is an invaluable way of exploring colour, mark making and shapes – yet always the most rewarding aspect I find is the absolute uniqueness of each individuals work.

The celebrate this we held an exhibition in The Atkinson’s ‘Sefton Voices’ exhibition space. Participants came from Go with the Flow Southport and Bootle and Free Flow Formby and all work was created to fit into uniform frames. Curation and hanging was done in one day by Mo Peacock, Phil Dore and myself.

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We were thrilled with how it all came together for a really strong show that celebrated the talent and diversity of the art created in these groups.

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Coastline Traces – Sefton Coastal Path Sculpture Trail

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I am incredibly excited to have been awarded the Sefton Coastal Path Sculpture Trail commission along with my good friend and fellow artist Sian Hughes.

Over the next few months we will be working flat out to deliver numerous workshop for people from Sefton which will form parts of the six sculptures to be installed along the coastal path.

The Sefton Coast is an amazingly rich landscape with rare flora and fauna including the sand lizard, natterjack toad and red squirrel as well as important Neolithic and Mesolithic archaeological sites, shipwrecks and smuggling, asparagus and rabbits and all set against miles of stunning pristine beaches and sand dunes. We will be working with clay and resin, mosaic, glass scraffito, wire sculpture, cyanotypes and embossing aiming to create a visually exciting and information sculpture trail along the coastal path.

 The project is called Coastline Traces and we have a website and facebook page which we will be updating regularly with our progress. Please do follow, like and share us on:

www.coastlinetraces2015.wordpress.com and on Coastline Traces Facebook

 

Get Creative With Sandy Lane – Creative Consultation Workshops and Events

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During the summer 2014 people living and working around Sandy Lane Shopping Centre got involved in West Lancashire Borough Council’s “Get Creative with Sandy Lane” project and made the shopping centre a more colourful and inviting place to shop, work and visit.

 I was commissioned to facilitated a period of creative consultation planned at inspiring people to come up with ideas to improve the image of the centre. I worked with al the children at St Richards Primary school where they created drawing exploring their favourite things about Sandy Lane. I then digitally collaged these images to create large posters.

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Looking to create a festival feel whilst also gaining feedback I facilitate two days of bunting workshops with the public. Local residents were asked to decorate a piece of bunting with words and images aimed at finding out how they feel about the centre and exploring, in a creative way, how the centre and its surroundings can be improved. These were then hung from the rafters.

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A great time was had with all ages weaving recyclable materials into fencing to explore ideas of nature, renewable resources and aspirations for a clean and beautiful environment. The finished piece was hung near the car park and really created a joyous bright feel to the railings.

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A huge thanks for the energy and creative spirit of everyone who participated in this part of this project. I look forwards to seeing Sandy Lane get its well deserved make over.

Public Art Commission – Reach Art Project Lytham St Annes

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I am really excited about being chosen as one of two artists to work on this project related to St Annes Swimming Pool on the Fylde coast.

St Annes Swimming Pool, which is run by Fylde Coast YMCA on behalf of Fylde Council, reopened in January 2014 after a £625,000 refurbishment to changing rooms, the spectator area and café and entrance/reception area.

St Annes Swimming Pool sits within a significant heritage context, within the grade 2 listed registered landscape setting of the Promenade gardens, on the site of the former open air baths. It has a strong connection to its place and with the local community.

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The aim with this project is to look to develop proposals that see an improvement in the signage and access to the building, as well as improvements to the external environment within which it sits, all complementing the improvements to date that have taken place within the building.

I will be focusing on visual imagery and how this venue might be profiled  in and around the building and along the main thoroughfare through Lytham St. Annes.  Artist Sophy King will work with the Landscape Architect and focus on the immediate heritage and environment around the Swimming Pool. http://www.palace.co.uk/sophking/

For this first phase of this project Sophy and I will work collaboratively on an intensive programme of creative engagement activity aimed at involving the community in developing ideas and proposals for the art works. This process will involve workshops with community groups, users of the pool and local schools, as well as onsite engagement with the public, to develop ideas and proposals for permanent interventions into the scheme.

This job represents a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more about working within the public art area and to develop my outlay and experience as a visual artist. It also is a great chance to work with the inspiring artist Sophy King and has the added benefit of having mentoring sessions with artist Alan Dunn.

We have set up a blog and face book page as places to exhibit the work created and collected during this first phase and to share the developments of this project, please follow the links below for more information:

http://reachartproject2014.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/reachartproject

Artist in Residence, The Atkinson, Southport

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I have recently been asked to fulfil the role of Art in Residence at The Atkinson Gallery in Southport.

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

As artist in residence I am charged with animating the ArtBox with launch events for each exhibition, creating and facilitating workshops and art activities for public events, adults and children and for school groups. These activities will tie into the exciting range of exhibitions and theatre productions The Atkinson is hosting.

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Showing until 16th March is the wonderful touring exhibition of Matisse’s later works in cuts out, represented in lithographs. This fascinating exhibition shows some of his most iconic work using this innovative technique.

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I recently designed a day workshop for children where we created our own cut out design on the ArtBox wall. The gallery was filled with children and adults who all contributed to the 7ft by 14ft artwork as a homage to Matisse’s cut outs.

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The day was a huge success with many thanks to the wonderful team at The Atkinson for their support and help throughout. This collaborative piece of work is on display in The ArtBox for the duration of the Matisse Cut Outs exhibition.

For more information on all the fantastic opportunities to get involved with art at The Atkinson please visit their website: http://www.theatkinson.co.uk/

and pop along to show your support for this forward thinking, dynamic creative hub in the heart of Southport.