Sunday, 11 July 2010

Bollington Well Dressing Festival

This year the organisers of the Bollington Well Dressing Festival have asked me to create a site-specific installation celebrating the stream at the beautifully named Tinker's Clough. Drawing upon the industrial history of the village and local remembrances of when the River Bollin ran a rainbow of colours due to the dye mills, I developed the Kaleidoscope project.

Working with the local community to decorate hundreds of plastic bottle bases we want to create a kaleidoscopic waterfall of glittering colour and pattern! The sculpture will form part of the 2010 Well Dressing trail and will be open to the public from Saturday 17th July.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Street Feast!

The 10th Chorlton Arts Festival is shaping up to be the best ever! Last weekend was great with the magical lanterns of Flashlight making chorlton sparkle and I managed to fit in a radio appearance (on air origami!) an art fair stall and a paper garlands workshop.

Next Sunday 30th May from 5-7.30pm I'll be at Street Feast, a big celebration to round up the festival. If you came along to my workshop and made a 'Fabulous Garland' please come along and display your handiwork to deck out the picnic. Even if you didn't manage to make the garland workshop you are welcome to bring along your creations to show off! I'll also be there making more junk mail bunting and origami garlands so join in!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Chorlton Arts Festival 2010, 20th-30th May

Its May again! Time for the Chorlton Arts Festival and this year its a big 10 year anniversary, 10 day extravaganza of good stuff in South Manchester.

I'll be at the Arts and Crafts Fair from 11-4pm at St Clement's Church on Saturday 22nd May, selling my handmade jewellery.

On Sunday 23rd May I'll be doing a free craft workshop, 'The Fabulous Garlands'. Origami expert Tina Chan and I will be on hand to demonstrate how to use simple origami and knotting techniques to create beautiful garlands to hang in your home or garden. Materials will be provided but feel free to bring along your own junk mail, used envelopes and magazine paper to transform into strings of brightly fluttering festive bunting.

The workshop is suitable for all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. We will be at Chorlton Library Meeting Room from 1.30-3.30pm, just drop in!

Friday, 7 May 2010

I am the Blueroom Facilitator at the Bluecoat!

I have just begun an exciting new role as the Blueroom Facilitator at the Bluecoat arts centre in Liverpool. The Blueroom is an arts service for adults with learning difficulties which runs for 3 days a week. The project encourages its members to work creatively with artists in response to the Bluecoat's exhibition and performance programme to develop their own artistic practice in order to build skills and confidence. My role is to support the lead artists, group members and support workers in the delivery of the workshops as well as to lead interim sessions.

I have been doing the job for 3 weeks now and absolutely love it! The people I work with are fantastically enthusiastic and each group consists of brilliant characters. We have been working on projects in response to the Global Studio series of exhibitions and the play Raspberry, with Blueroom members creating varied and interesting pieces. It feels like a real privilege to be able to share the creative process with fantastic practitioners in such a vibrant community as the Bluecoat.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Ministry of Craft

On Saturday 15th May I'll be making my debut as a Minstry of Craft tutor with 'High Wire Act: Create a Stylish Mobile'. I'll be demonstrating simple wire work techniques and the art of finding the perfect balance to create a unique kinetic artwork. For more information on the summer workshop programme and to book a place visit the Ministry of Craft website.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Fuse Contemporary Craft Fair - 8th & 9th April

Next week I'll have a little stall in the Triangle shopping centre with the Fuse Contemporary Craft Fair. On Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April from 11-4, I'll be selling my wares in Manchester along with the other makers and designers from Fuse Crafters. Come along for affordable handmade gifts, jewellery and art plus free workshops and demonstrations. Have a look at my online shop for a sneaky peek of my latest makes.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Chorlton Green Festival 2010

Last Saturday, a lovely day was had by all at the second annual Chorlton Green Festival. I got involved with the event by teaming up with Danielle and Tina under the banner of Rubbish Revamped (a fantastic local business offering sustainable craft workshops). I spent the day demonstrating fantastic makes such as gift boxes made from old greetings cards and garden suncatchers from CDs. The highlight of the day was delivering the 'Junk Mail Jewellery' workshop. This is a brilliant Ugandan craft that makes use of waste paper to make beautiful stripey beads seemingly by magic. It is quite an addictive process and I've had fun making loads of them into cluster earrings and bracelets. Look out for Rubbish Revamped throughout the summer at local events such as Chorlton Arts Festival.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Hulme Is Where The Art Is

On Saturday 20th March I will be taking part in 'Hulme Is Where The Art Is', a Community Arts festival organised by Venture Arts in celebration of Manchester's vibrant art and craft community. I'll be exhibiting for sale my new collection of handmade jewellery and accessories created with recycled and upcycled materials. Come along for food, live music, poetry, art and craft. Visit the Venture Arts website for more information.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


Last Friday saw the culmination of the 4Wards Lighting project in Blackpool with a celebratory 'Light Night'. The Mayor introduced the project to pupils, parents and the public at St John's C of E Primary School. The children then took their beautiful lanterns on a procession to see the shop window in which I had installed 'Jewels'. It was lovely to see the reaction of the children, who had played a role in collecting and sorting the plastic into colours. They were so enthusiastic to see the pieces shining in the dark foggy air. Often my own enthusiasm for the work is reignited by the reaction of others. When you have worked closely on a piece for months it becomes very difficult to really 'see' it with fresh eyes. There had been a few hitches with using an empty shop unit as an exhibition space as this hadn't been attempted in Blackpool before. When it all came together I felt proud that the 'Jewels', as a product of many hands at New Directions, Back on Track and Street Life was being celebrated for others to see.
I was interviewed for BBC Radio Lancashire! Quite scary for a softly spoken artist but I hopefully managed to get across the idea of the project and the need to light up a corner of Blackpool.
The trail then proceeded to Solaris where Jessica Lloyd-Jones had installed an impressive light box sculpture illuminated by a bicycle. On to Bispham High School where Ruth Tyson-Jones had created a dance performance within illuminated, inflatable pods followed by Mark Parry's light boxes in Claremont. All of the works will be exhibited in FY Creatives from the beginning of February.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

4Wards Light Night

Almost there with the Blackpool project, the pieces are stitched up ready for installation and illumination. The wonderful people from the arts service have organised the 4Wards Light Night, a celebration of all four projects and the fantastic people that have contributed.

At 4pm on Friday 22nd January, the Mayor and Mayoress will open the event at St John’s C of E High School when staff, pupils and visitors are invited to take part in a lantern parade from the school via Caunce Street to the display at 59 Cookson Street to view the work. From there buses will take people to see the artworks by Jessica Lloyd Jones, Mark Parry and Ruth Tyson Jones and the community groups they have worked with. All are welcome! Click here for more information.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Man-eating Sculpture!

An very belated update on the Blackpool Four Wards Lighting project! Before Christmas I was working with several lovely community groups from the Talbot area of Blackpool. Each group member worked on a hexagonal patch, threading and embellishing it with bright plastic bits and bobs, with a view to creating a big 3D patchwork sculpture. I was amazed at how people personalized their own little patch with thoughtful stitches and carefully selected objects.

My task now is compile all this hard work into a complete sculpture which will be exhibited in an empty shop window, illuminated with the help of the Blackpool Illuminations team.
Today I thought I'd experiment with the idea of sculpture as body adornment, by becoming literally consumed by it! I think I look a bit like a very psychedelic tortoise.