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Meet the Artists

this page explains how the artits worked on the Growing Heartsa dn Minds programme through out the seasons and how they linked to the different showcase events we held.

To find out more about the six artists background and experience you can click on the artist’s name.


25th October 2010 – 24th February 2011

Anne kick-started the Creative Walks programme with photography, by using simple cameras and setting a fresh theme at the start of each walk, this focused the observation skills of the walkers and people looked at the detail in their surroundings and viewed same place through a different perspective each time. Anne also worked with the Brighter Futures and Changes and Northwood Broom Community Infants School with portrait photography. She asked people to pull the funniest face they could and take photographs of each other. These made people laugh and also made people think about how people make judgments about looks, yet underneath we are all the same. These were then transposed on to silk banners using bright silks paints. The original photos were projected onto the side of a building during the 100 Stories performance walk and the banners were also displayed along the route. The banners and Creative Walks photos were showcased at the Spring event.


10th November 2011 – 20th December 2011

Aidan’s sessions ran throughout the whole programme. Some participants were interested in developing existing music skills whilst others wanted to try something new, with songwriting, percussion and singing. Aidan was assigned a volunteer who supported Aidan in workshop delivery and also progressed his own skills in community arts delivery. A steady group of participants worked with Aidan during the project from; The Jam Factory group at The Observatory, arts group participants, people from Changes – another local mental health support group and people from a Zimbabwean community group called TWOCO. The sessions created songs for all the shows – with participants performing in front of audiences of up to 100 people. All the songs have been written with the participants. The lyrics speak about the local area, living with mental illness, the seasons, the beauty of nature and many other subjects. The residency also included time in a recording studio to create a CD for the legacy book.


20th January 2011 – 27th February 2011

Martin worked with children, parents and staff at Northwood Broom Community Infants School Children over several days. In woodworking sessions children made doll sized figures from pre cut blocks of wood, branches and sticks. Children also made drawings of strange creatures that may’ve lived in Stoke on Trent millions of years ago, Martin used these drawings to design a metal fire drum that would be used in 100 stories. The designs were transformed into reality by apprentice metalwork students at PM Training. Martin also created beautiful animal sculptures using hawthorne and willow at school sessions with adults at the Growthpoint allotment, with the Mandays group at the Observatory and at general sessions held in Northwood Park. All the creations became part of a very evocative ending scene for the 100 Stories.

23rd September 2011 – 28th October 2011

Working this time with clay, Martin invited participants to make platters, cups and bowls and tiny bumble bees, that would be used in the Harvest performance. The terracotta pots were all decorated in the Toft style, with white and black motifs about Harvest, the seasons, nature and good luck wishes for the future.

Six sessions were incorporated into the British Ceramics Biennial and other sessions happened at Northwood Broome Community Infants School, St George and St Martin’s Catholic Primary School and Grove Junior school and at B arts. The sessions at Grove Junior school also helped the staff to use their brand new kiln. Some students from Newcastle under Lyme College volunteered at the Harvest show, supervising the beehive-shaped paper kilns, which fired the tiny bees that were gifts for the audience.


20th February 2011 – 24th August 2011

Simon travelled from Devon with a portable printing machine to work with a wide spread of groups in Stoke on Trent including; parent and toddler sessions in Penkhull Children’s Centre, a day at Northwood Broom Community Infants School and adult workshops at The American Clubhouse and The Observatory including a special Open Day where panels were printed using weeds from Devon and Stoke on Trent. These panels were transformed into bunting for the marquee at the Harvest performance.

We also held a creative evaluation session for the project artists at the end of Simon’s residency called “Marking the Days”. This gave the artists time to discuss the pros and cons of delivering community arts and health projects, the rewarding moments and the challenges, plus remembering to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The artists then turned these issues into prints.


19th July 2011 – 24th August 2011

Lesley’s residency was very much about the great outdoors. Lesley enhanced the Creative Walks sessions in the summer by taking us along the canal paths and through the park to feel more connected with the plants and environment. Lesley was able to tell people about the medicinal and folklore properties of plants and weeds. Lesley also worked closely with the art group at the Observatory, replanting the small garden and pots with fresh new bright plants and also working on a fun scarecrow project. This involved printing t-shirts with acrylic paints by pressing plants and leaves onto the surface, participants particularly enjoyed the printing and the planting workshops.


13th September 2011 – 6th October 2011

Rachel held friendly knitting sessions in the Northwood Bowling Club House where people enjoyed a chat whilst sharing knitting and crochet skills. The knitted panels made a colourful ‘tree cosy’ for the tree outside the clubhouse. This tree was to become a beautiful public feature for the Harvest weekend and was assembled with help from the knitting group. The tree also had 100 transparent globes suspended from the branches. Each globe housed a delicate handmade paper bulb, created by children and parents at Grove Junior School and women at The Observatory. Rachel asked people to visualize themselves as a plant bulb, with many hidden layers containing their ideas, dreams, hopes, fear, aspirations – and if given time, patience and the right conditions to thrive the bulb would blossom into a wonderful flower.

How did we choose our artists?

We advertised the opportunity for artist to be part of this project in July 2010, at the launch event and we also posted it on to websites (Arts Council England artsjobs site, B arts website and B arts e newsletter) We promoted through email and phone contacts that we have in the company. The news began to spread through local forums, arts networks and via various national arts and health contacts, plus the news was picked up by specialist sites too for musicians and health practitioners the deadline for submissions was 9th August 2010. We received over 70 enquiries from artists across the UK. The panel sat down and deliberated over  the proposals we received. We chose 6 wonderful applicants from the 32 high quality proposals on the table. We are thrilled to present the chosen artists to you and hope that you attend a workshop, have some fun, learn some new skills and enjoy being creative in the great outdoors.

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