Welcome to the bogger log! I hope you have all been well, healthy, busy and enjoying the crisp sunshine (and miserable grey days, why Nottz?) This one's a bit of a cross-month blog on account of all the events being at the end of the month and not really knowing how to shout out effectively. You know I love a shout out!
April saw the launch event of Nottsman (an online phenomenon with over 11k likes) a cultural nod to our citeh, selling tongue-in-cheek merchandise and hosting a regular music night in celebration of all things Nottingham. Check them out on Facebook. They have a colloquial style, ingenius tshirt designs, historical Nottingham facts and quality music and events. I had a pop up shop selling my stuff (I said they had quality events!!)
On their launch they decided to help raise money for a worthy cause, Dave 'Cockleman' Bartram's cancer treatment. Dave's the last Cockleman in the countreh, and he has been a loyal servant to the city for over 56 years selling cockles, mussels, crabsticks and the like to hungry patrons from his little mobile basket. Recently, Dave was attacked and mugged of his earnings, leaving his ribs badly damaged. On a hospital check up of his ribs, the doctors discovered he had cancer. Dave now faces being out of work for two months and we are raising money for his loss of earnings.
The thing about Dave is this, he isn't just a lovely chap that sells fish, he's a Nottinghamshire institution and the fondness of his very being here represents how weird and wonderful our little Notts quirks are in this city. We celebrate our individuality and our traditions, however strange they may appear to other folk. Dave is appreciated for all that he has done and forms our cultural identity more than we have previously acknowledged.
If you want to support Dave you can donate to this justgiving fundraiser:
Next up I hot-footed it to the New Art Exchange for Real Creative Futures showcase and launch.
Obviously, I could spend all day telling you all about how Real Creative Futures helped me have the confidence to start my own business, but I'll spare you because I've been rabbiting on a lot about it!
In a nutshell, Real Creative Futures is a mentoring and coaching course, which is free, funded by the European Union, Arts Council and Nottingham City Council which supports and funds Creative Businesses regardless of age, race or financial situation. It can help anyone who wants to start a business, start a business. It offers tailored advice for those wanting to grow their business and there is no catch. The reason why it exists is because of a long term lack of funding in the creative industries which has meant that our economies, whether local or national have suffered as a result. The ethic is, if we invest in people who have diverse creative business ideas, and help them flourish, they'll become the next employers, patrons and experts in business and the arts.
As a 'graduate' of the programme, I was invited to have a stall at the showcase event. Speakers who had been on the programme and become business owners themselves spoke about their different experiences and practices and new sign-ups performed, and well know artists painted. It was an incredible sight to see everybody interested and involved.
If you're interested in finding out more about Real Creative Futures because you have a creative business idea, you can get a one-to-one meeting with an advisor by contacting them on this link:
As some of you boggers know, I have my meetings days on Tuesdays. I do this to sort of compact my out-of-office activities into a single day out of my week to meet and wander around and touch base with clients new and old. One of those Tuesdays I was invited to take part in an exciting photography project called 365 by the talented Chris Underwood of Faceiro. Chris has been a professional photographer for years and has a gleaming CV as long (loads longer) than my arm (because I have Trex arms) and has just been accepted as contributing photographer for Getty (high accolade). 365 was born after Chris awoke on January 1st 2017 proclaiming he will take a portrait a day for a year. Having a background in pole phptography, Chris is enamoured by human form and wants to find as many faces and shapes and subjects as possible to complete a portrait a day. If you think you'd like to take part you can contact him at faceiro.co.uk with a photograph of yourself. This is such an opportunity- you get to keep the portrait he chooses for free (digital) and you have the opportunity to purchase the ones that didn't make it from a truly talented photographer. I was astonished how he could see details I wasn't aware of and managed to relax me enough to get some really good portraits. I absolutely hate people taking my photo, all of my photos have been timed selfies to this date. Being part of 365 is a socail document which will last a lifetime and I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of it, a huge thank you to Chris for managing to get me looking relaxed. Here are some of the shots;
Next up! Mudfest. Oh Mudfest, what can I say? On Friday April 28th Georgina Wilding the founding editor of Mud Press launched her new anthology of poems called WOMAN which, I was priviledged enough to design the cover for, and contribute to the accompanying 'zine.
After Nottingham recently became the UNESCO city of literature, and Nottingham poetry festival got underway, Mud Press had been asked to contribute to events and boy, did they. Georgina decided to have a poetry Glastonbury!! A mini festival of all things in keeping with the spirit of Mud Press; Dancing, Facepainting, Confetti, Balloons, Music, Live Art, Poetry, Spoken Word, Poetry kissing booth, Lucky dip illustrators, market stalls, drinks and photography filled the little courtyard of Cobden Chambers with mirth and revelry for a few hours. It was a remarkable success and a credit to Nottingham Poetry Festival.
Apart from helping set up and chewing my hair in trepidation, I did some illustration to request for the event, something I have never done, and I learned a lot! All of my watercolour pens were useless. My style, as you know, is highly detailed but that's not appropriate for an event like this! So after the first couple of illos, I threw my ego away and doodled rough styles for my public requirements! It taught me a great deal about live drawing. I'll be saving my tips for future events and plan a lot more for disaster!
A pretty lovely element to MudFest though, was the fact that my boyfriend, Tom, came and took the most incredible photographs. He's been slowly building an extensive portfolio, most often of animals, plants, or urban landscapes, however, the events he has helped me at (like the gentleman he is) he has started to document and gets the most beautiful atmospheric shots. You can, and should, follow Tom's instagram account; http://instagram.com/mrerrington
Here are some examples of his MudFest photos;
Finally we had The Syndicate Marketplace at Surface Gallery curated and hosted by the quite brilliant Garrett Hansen. The Syndicate Marketplace was a pop up market of collectible, rare, used, vintage Urban and streetwear brands and footwear, new urban brands, art, music and drinks. It was a complete success made super especially brilliant by Garrett himself, who was the perfect host and showed real vision. The brands he got, the stallholders, music and atmosphere was absolutely perfect. Watch out for the next one because this will probably become one of Nottingham's most popular events!
What's next? Well now coming up in my diary I have wonderful and exciting news!
On Tuesday the 9th and Wednesday 10th May Nottingham Theatre Royal hosts Breakin' Convention and this year it's even bigger and better than the last! On Saturday 6th the talented and thoroughly sparkly Onga runs two grafitti workshops (for the younguns and older ones)
Then on Monday 8th we have a deliciously high quality bunch of badasses Juga-Naut, Vandal Savage, Stickman, Jonzi D, El Dia, Jourdan Pierre Blair, DJ Dan Rattomatic with Third Stage Wordsmiths; a opening celebration of talented spoken word and Hip Hop by local and international talent.
Then, as part of the main event there will be a FEAST of amazing things happening in the foyer to celebrate the Breakin Convention with a pop up exhibition with none other than the Anti Gallery, exhibiting choice artists (including myself) and running amazing workshops for the crafty amongst you. Check ma flavoursome poster here!
Please come and support us! The Anti Gallery and all us creatives have put a lot into Breakin' Convention coming to Nottingham. We want to make it a really enjoyable event in our city!
You can get tickets for Breakin' Convention (Nu Projeks need to be seen to be believed) here; https://trch.co.uk/whats-on/breakin-convention/
Now this is very exciting. Brand new, challenging and heartachingly satisfying. I will be participating in Pint Of Science Festival as an artist with Creative Reactions; a scientist/artist collaboration. Sounds boring? I thought so too initially, but no!
I have been paired with a scientist who is using microscopy to study cilia (cells) to mutate them ultimately to help find a cure for serious diseases. This all sounded way above my concentration span. But when I met with my scientist, Becky Perrin, the way she explained it in laymans terms and the images she showed me were crazy exciting. Her research could help cure cancer. So, I have painted an epic and quite intense painting of a cilia.
Here's a link to my timelapse video;
The Pint Of Science festival runs from the 15th-17th May 2017 at varying venues around Nottingham.
I will be on a panel of artists and scientists for panel discussion on the effects of mental health and the arts (think Gardeners Question Time but less earthy) on Monday 15th May 6.30pm - 9.30pm at Nottingham Contemporary for 'Human By Design' to answer questions about the perils of the creative mind, the social prejudices affiliated in the arts with an expert panel of scientists. Tickets and more information here;
Then, on Tuesday 16th 6.30pm-9.30pm The wonderful Rebecca Perrin and I will be discussing our collaborative process and indeed, the general issues when science and art meet, in this lively discussion
at Nottingham Contemporary. You can see Rebecca Perrin's talk on Microscopy (my spirit scientist animal) just a few moments before our talk! Here;
Then finally, on Thursday 18th May, 7pm-10pm is the big fat mega party and artist exhibition of all of the beautiful paintings and creations for the whole festival. There are dance performances, music, drinks and a jolly good knees up. Please come and see some of the things the artists have created- from giant collages, paintings, tiny illustrations, bright coloured swipes and my own Glow-in-the-dark canvas which will be available to buy! There are plenty of tickets left for this event;
Please come and show your support and have a party with me!
Here's a picture of the final piece, unveiled as an exclusive to you!
Finally I am extremely happy and proud as punch to announce that I have a pop up shop at this year's Dot To Dot Festival! Sunday 28th May from 11.00am until 4.00am Monday morning!!! Dot To Dot festival is always fondly acknowledged and welcomed into our city and this little indie day festival offers big name headliners and up and coming stars around participating venues within the city. I will have a stall outside Rock City on Talbot Street selling prints, cards, tote bags and the usual!
Tickets are available here;
And lastly, bloody ell, this blog has been exhausting, if you're still reading, you deserve a Blue Peter badge for being bovvd.
Here's the silly snap for you;
Have a wonderful May you boggers,
Treehouse HQ over and out!