Wednesday 31 July 2013


I have been spending much of the summer 
working on a mosaic way marker project 

for Back To Books, if you'd like to follow the 
progress of this project you can find all the links here

Monday 29 July 2013

Deep Roots, Tall Trees - A Race Against the Rain

It was a race against the rain in Coronation Park on Saturday evening, as we all came together on stage the clouds gathered amongst the deep roots and tall trees. After some safety advice in case of rain, Barb Jungr guided Corby Community Choir  fearlessly through our songs. Rumour has it that you could hear us in the town centre. The children playing and dancing, friends, family and community members who came to see us made it a very special evening. We had to start a little early so some of the audience missed the set but the atmosphere was wonderful and our celebrations later that evening showed once again that people in Corby just know how to have the best time!

Barb Jungr and Gareth Fuller

Mark Brennan

Eddie Askew and Annette Driver

Kate Dyer and Barb getting us organised!

Paul Balmer

Photograph byTerrence Driver

"We had a ball at Coronation Park - the weather - frankly - sucked - but we sang and played and triumphed. Thank you Gareth FullerKate Dyer, Rosalind StoddartMark BrennanNick Finn, all the choir and Head of Snakes." Barb Jungr

You can catch the full magic of Barb Jungr performing Form Stockport to Memphis, a selection of songs including those of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Northern Soul and much more at the Queen's Hall, Edinborough, August 21st. We were lucky enough to see this at The Core earlier this year, it's a treat for the ears and a tonic for the heart!

Photograph by Andrew Rushton

The choir is guided by Gareth Fuller who has done much work to improve our breathing, blend and confidence since our first performance last year. It is a wonderful way to spend time with a great group of people doing something that really boosts wellbeing and happiness! The choir is taking a break until September but will be rehearsing back at the Core on Friday evenings after that, if you would like to join us please contact Kate Dyer at Corby Community Arts for more details. 

Thursday 25 July 2013

Barb Jungr Presents Deep Roots Tall Trees - Free Concert in Coronation Park July 27th

Come and see the fabulous, inspirational Barb Jungr, the mighty Head of Snakes, the awesome Gareth Fuller and the very excited Corby Community Choir who will be performing in Coronation Park on Saturday!

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Sewing the Seeds

Phiona Richards and I took this activity to two venues Spalding Library and Crowland Garden Centre. We were originally due to work on a stall in Spalding Market but on the day of our visit the weather took a massive turn for the worse, wind, rain, leaden skies. 

Before we set out we made frantic calls to Nicola our Transported Art Coordinator to see what could be done. Thankfully Spalding Library were delighted to offer us a space in the entrance so there would be no escaping us!

Participants were invited create seed packets and flowers

 from maps / recycled papers, personal memorabilia, local ephemera,

found papers and were able to choose how much layering and complexity would be involved in their design.

The a seed packets were filled with bee friendly British wild flower seeds which they could take away and plant. The planting aspect is both a symbolic and practical transformative activity. Through this activity we hope to show people that they have the power to transform lives and neglected spaces. 

We were situated in the Restaurant at Crowland Garden Centre and were further challenged as the venue had been cut off from the main traffic by the relatively new by-pass. It's hard to bounce up to people and interupt their lunch and their social time but by taking a basket of seed packets to the tables we were able to overcome many barriers and met some wonderful people

You can set Flickr sets from this activity here and here

Monday 22 July 2013

Pin A Petal

For this Transported Art engagement activity Phiona Richards and I found ourselves in Wyberon Parish Hall, once the sat-nav managed to make sense of the lay of the land! We were in a great community space which, in many ways, was tucked away from the community. There was a team of Social Workers having a training day in another room, so tantalising to have so many people in the building but unfortunately they didn't have a spare moment to join us. We did meet some wonderful local family members who spent a very happy and productive afternoon folding and shaping paper with us.

Participants created abstract flower corsages  

from maps / recycled or fabric papers, personal memorabilia,

 local ephemera, found papers, button and brads.

We have been living in a throwaway society, 

through this activity we hoped to show people 

that they have the power to transform unwanted papers

into something beautiful.

You can see the Flickr set from this activity here

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Creating the Origami Fleet

For our second Transported Art public engagement day Phiona Richards and I were Eloquently Folding in a walkway in the Springfields Shopping Centre. This was a challenging venue as many people were from outside of Lincolnshire and were set on shopping and it took all our inventiveness to encourage the passing public to engage with us! 

Before arriving we decided we need eye-catching head gear so Phiona bedecked a straw hat with flowers and I made a very loud, very large floral band. To draw people in further we sat on the Transported deck chairs or stood folding origami boats, gradually building a small flotilla in front of out stand. As the day progressed people became intrigued rather than alarmed by our colourful presence.

Whilst folding our researchers were able to ask

"How would you like to be Transported?"

Participants with their hinking caps on!

This was a difficult pitch but as you can see, by the end of the day we were 

swapping hats and stories, creating boats, sharing laughter and ideas. 

Phiona demonstrated just how skilful her paper folding is 
with these delightful, tiny paper boats!

We wanted to create a fleet of origami boats, which would hark back to ships, sailing, export, import, exploration and adventure, all elements we associated with the history of the area. 

The boats were installed on a reflective surface the Transported Pop-up Shop in Boston. Participants had a range of delightful materials to work with, many of which had had another life or purpose. 

We included maps and stamps in order to draw out memories and reflections of travel, place of origin, destinations and dreams, all of which we saw as being at the heart of Transported.

There are times when we all feel stuck but access to the arts offers people the opportunity to take the imaginative journeys, which can transform lives, enriching our interaction with the world and each other. The boats are a symbol of the journeys Transported Art hope to create and that the community can join with.

You can see Flickr sets from this activity here and here 

Monday 15 July 2013

Wish You Were Here

Wish you Were Here! was a Postcard Making Public Engagement Activity for Transported Art by The Eloquent Fold - Phiona Richards and I at Gedney Hill Community Centre, July 2013. Transported is a community focused arts engagement programme for the people of Boston Borough and South Holland. 

Phiona and I normally work individually as freelance artists or in other collaborative pairings but wanted to work collaboratively during the consultation stage of Transported. For our engagement activities we worked together as The Eloquent Fold. We were drawn together by a love of text, books, maps, fabric, history, journeys, exploration, photography, making and doing. Phiona contacted me one Sunday morning just as I was about to look at the Transported call out for artists to see if we might work together on a proposal. We decided it would be wise to go to the preliminary drop-in session in  Boston to find out more and to introduce ourselves. Phiona took on the role as scribe whilst I asked the questions we felt we needed to ask and already it became apparent we were a great team! During our 

Transported formally launched on Sunday 5 May in Holbeach, beginning a community consultation phase which will inform the programme proper that is delivered from September 2013 onwards.

Whilst making their postcards the participants were interviewed by the Transported Researchers who had a range of structured questions, my favourite being "If you had £1000 to spend on an arts event or activity in your area what would you choose?". 

The answers will shape the Transported Art program over the next three years and should give the community greater access to the arts.

With the decline of the letter writing 

we are always thrilled to receive something 

through the post other than a bill or junk mail.

The postcard will be a reminder to the participants of the creative times to come and by communicating their expectations we can all raise awareness about the value of the arts in strengthening and enriching community life, giving pleasure, building confidence and raising aspirations.

You can see Flickr sets from this workshop here and here

Sunday 14 July 2013

Godmonkey Skyhook Amalgamation Update

Band montage shot - Andy Eathorne

It's been a busy few months for the Godmonkey Skyhook Amalgamation, we've had quiet rehearsals in Mark Brennan's front room, honing Lifecycle and trying out some new ideas. We've also had cold rehearsals at Adrenalin Alley and loud rehearsals in a studio setting. It has been fascinating being part of a totally different creative process and I'm awed and excited by how talented all the musicians are. I add a voice, some visuals and a way with words to the mix and am loving the chance to sing and contribute as part of this group. 

 Nick Finn checking on our up-coming dates

Man of many sounds and much electronic wizardry
Martin Baldock wondering "Can I get a sound check?"

The sounding brass that is Darren Nimmo resting before the Last Post

Gadget Man & base player Andy Eathorne and ace vocalist / musician Lynn Davis

exploring the old school delights of the Stylophone played in inimitable Eathorne style with the aid of a bullclip!  You can see just some of Andy's wires and gadgetry below!

We had some recording time to work on Lynn's beautiful rendition of Nick's song Inside Out, which will be available on Mark's Deeds Not Words CD - due for release at the White Ark Festival in Coronation Park in August. The festival will feature a wealth of Corby's musical talent and should be a great event.

The mighty Mark Brennan

We were also rehearing for our gig at The Willow Festival in Peterborough. On the day of our performance Andy and I arrived a couple of hours early, not quite as early as Martin though. It gave us time to explore the Festival site, I fell prey to a new red hat and Andy bought a teeshirt, Martin didn't find any new gadgets! Because we were performing during the day, in the open air we were unable to use the projection part of our performance but in his intro Nick dedicated the performance to our VJ Cindy Clipston. We hope to share the full Godmonkey experience in our next gigs at the White Ark Festival and in Northampton at the Umbrella Fair - details to follow soon!

Some thoughts on the set

My impressions of Lifecycle is that it's a journey with a loose narrative structure pausing at various points in a life rather than a collection of songs. 

We begin with "Embryo" a gentle introduction to a new life, Lynn and I sing a kind of abstract lullaby inside the music which has a watery, dreamy feel. 

Next comes the touching song,  "In Your Eyes" with Nick on lead vocal about the connection of parent and child in that first moment of recognition " I see life, all of life, in your eyes, beautiful eyes". 

Followed by "Chaotic Child" which expresses the rumble and tussle of a busy, active, rumbustious child, it's energetic and a bit noisy and I guess this child may turn out to be creative as she's adamant she wants her pencil, wants to be drawing, writing, making a mark and is impatient to be getting on with it. 

"Inside Out" is hauntingly beautiful, full of longing, regret and hope, Lynn's vocal, Darren's trumpet combined with the guitars, synths and chaos pads give this an eerie, alone in a room on a Sunday afternoon quality. 

Then we have "Rant" inspired by some of Mark's writing and delivered in edited form by me, it's a loud, impassioned piece with a driving beat - state of the nation meets desire for a greener, less materialistic world and, as you would expect with protest/rebellion, some shouting. 

"Death" takes us to that moment before passing and there is a moving pause, the last beatings of the heart, the last reflections on a life, the Darren plays The Last Post which transmutes into "Afterlife". 

"Afterlife" seems like all the particles of the self disintegrating and flowing out into the universe, joining with all those other particles of life, time and experience. We whirl out on some enigmatic sound spiralling from Martin.

You can see a variety of images from the Willow Festival on the Godmonkey's Facebook page we had a great time, the guys were great, being on stage, out doors, in broad daylight felt strange but exhilarating. Having seen a brief video clip I'm not sure if you could hear me too well but I'm still learning! Great to know it's never too late to try something new!