Spring cleaning and reflections of 2012

With the sunshine of last week it became clear that the studio was in dire need of a clean up.  This time of year we usually find ourselves in a pile of last year’s projects haphazardly thrown back in, as the winter months see us working at a slightly slower pace than usual.  We certainly don’t have time for hoovering and dusting and other such delights in our chilly art spaces, it’s as much as we can muster to create!

Cleaning up is a creative process in itself, helping to order thoughts and serving to remind of what is yet to be completed or yet to be started!  To end or to begin?  An ongoing challenge for most Artists it’s hard to find discipline but an adventure through studio stuff and creations helps to order the chaos of the over productive creative mind and develop a plan for the year ahead reflecting upon a busy year gone by….  A work programme of sorts lying somewhere between bags of puppet parts, buckets of bits and pieces, neglected half finished pieces, reams of enticing fabrics, abandoned paint pots and coils of curling copper wire.  It’s all waiting to happen it’s just in which order that’s all.

As things were packed into boxes and back onto shelves, remnants of last year’s creative exploits wandered back…  2012 has seen us roll out Trim Tots in three Hertfordshire Children’s Centre’s consecutively.  Three scenic backdrops painted by Hannah’s fair hand and three sets of puppets designed and created by in the Studio by Team Puppet, Kerry, Ellie, Fiona and Molly.  With the talented team at ICH and great project help from all children Centre staff, Trim Tots was delivered to over 120 children and their carers.  A big thank you to all involved it has taken a big team to make it possible.  We now await the next phase, which may see us working with more Hertfordshire Families.

Last March saw us run a workshop at the Islington Arts Factory on behalf of the Other Side Gallery.  The workshop followed a group visit to the Tate Modern and our workshop focussed on ‘Circles’, the aim to create a piece of work within a circular frame.  We worked with a group of visiting Artists from Norway and Germany and a group of Other Side Gallery Artists from London.  Many thanks to all involved and for fantastic arts facilitation from visiting arts facilitators and Vicky for all her hard work.

Summertime took us to Saville Row where we were invited to run an art workshop on behalf of the Ordovas Gallery.  We were lucky enough to devise and deliver a Calder (famed as the Artist responsible for the mobile) inspired mobile workshop surrounded by the pieces themselves.  We toured the children through the gallery, introducing Calder’s work as we went, and into the safety of a pop up workshop space we had set up in the courtyard garden thus keeping sticky fingers and felt pens away from original artwork and pristine gallery settings!  We trialled a new technique during this workshop, having created a pop up shadow theatre prior to the event, we used this as an interactive shadow gallery space.  Merging visual arts with shadow puppetry the children were able to showcase their moving Calder inspired mobiles in a theatrical fashion.  Thanks to the Ordovas Gallery for having us.

More sculptural workshops ensued as we were asked to deliver Natural Sculpture Sessions to help promote the beautiful new sculpture park in Oxhey Woods.  The Sculpture Park itself is well worth a visit with some beautiful pieces for all to see.  We worked with Artists we hadn’t worked with before made some new friends and also got the chance to meet some old friends.  The Xylofence – A musical installation by Willembliss and some great new pieces by Dan Cordell a talented local chainsaw sculptor and old school friend of Hannah.  Thanks  to Mel for making it all possible and the fantastic Play Rangers for making it great fun and keeping us warm with hot chocolate.  Oxhey Wood Sculpure Park is well worth a visit if you get the chance.

The end of the summer and a trip to Wales to install a swinging Orange- Utan and Cauliflower Trees, the sun was shining and the sweet smell of Welsh culinary delights hung thick in the air.  Feastival 2012 a fantastic event organised by Bridgend Council, we met Bridgend public who were keenly creative, were inspired and well fed with delicious delights and entertained by some great music.  We also peeled more oranges than I would care to count!  Thanks for having us Bridgend and for all your hard work, Mike, Rhiannon and Rachel.

Two exhibitions so far at Harefield Hospital and the Royal Brompton, keep you updated as the year unfolds.

Hannah is currently working on her most creative Project yet, A Baby!  Looking forward to the new arrival, looks like it’s going to be another busy year!



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