Thursday, 24 March 2011

Exhibition Opening Day

I spent all day yesterday putting the exhibiton up with Prudence Collins, Emma Daker and Anne Forgan. It was really good, there was a slight blip waiting for all of the text plates to arrive. There are 3 or 4 to follow at around 9.00am today cutting it a bit fine as the exhibition opens at 10.00am. It will all be done on time.
The photographs look absolutely brilliant lots of people have commented alreay and stopped to have a look when we were installing them. My thanks have to go to John Hodgett and Harlequin Print in Kings Norton Birmingham they turned them around in 24 hours and they have done a great job. All of the exhibits are in place and looking just great, I feel really please and proud for everyone who has taken part. I have got so much from this residency and plan to take my work here forward and continue to work with the community here.
I need to get a move on now, I want to be at frankley before 9.00am today. Watch this space for news and images from the exhibiton and sharing event. Starts today at 10.00am and continues until Tuesday 29th March. The library is not open on Saturday or Sunday if you are planning to visit.

Coming to an end

The last 2 weeks have flown by. The photoshoot on 15th March went really well. The photographer, John Hodgett put everyone at their ease. The people who have been coming to my Thursday workshops and classes arrived already for their photographs and they looked amazing. They had all dresses for a special occasion and the fascinators that they had made finished off their outfits. Louise said: "I feel a million dollars and I keep saying that". It was a great morning, lots of fun and there was plenty of discussion about " getting dressed up" how good it makes you feel and changes how we feel about ourselves. Also where we could go. A day at the races, the theatre and that we should go out for lunch..


A couple of the pupils from year 7 & 8 that came to the sharing event with their parents also came to the photoshoot and had their photographs taken by the press for the Bromsgrove Recorder last Thursday they were very excited and have really enjoyed taking part. Eli said: "my Dad keeps wearing the tie he made he wears everywhere even outside". 3 year 10 pupils were photographed and have offered to help with the exhibition and sharing event . Brilliant! Everyone has wanted to be involved and are really looking forward to the exhibiton and the making activities that we have planned together to bring the residency to a close.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Half term stuff

During half term I visited Birmingham City University and delivered a couple of lectures to undergraduate and post graduate students studying at The School of Jewellery and in Textiles at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. The lectures focussed on being self employed/freelance/working for yourself, what ever it is called it amounts to the same thing. To begin with I asked the students to think about well known, successful individuals who were self employed. They suggested Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Bill Gates etc. Then I asked them to think about what characteristics they had that contributed to them being successful. They suggested: Hard working, determined, focussed, motivated, ambitious etc etc. We went on to look at young entrepreneurs working in the Creative Industries, the website gives some great profiles and all of the students found this part of the lectures really inspiring. I went on to talk to them about getting advice, registering self employed, generating work, opportunities, work space and using my artist residency as a case study looking at the kind of work they might expect to be involved in when they work freelance.
The feedback from the students was really positive and included: The best part of the talk was " talking to someone who has been through it" and something I have learned here is: "to continue with my ambitions and thoughts, work hard and network". Afterwards, 4 students came forward to volunteer to work with me to install the exhibition and oversee some craft activities at the sharing event when the exhibition opens to the public.
It was a privilige to work with them, their ideas, hopes and dreams are inspiring. I wish them every success and feel optimistic for them.

By 3rd March I was back with the community groups at Frankley Library. The work has progressed and they are creating more complex fascinators using millinery materials.

Some of the group have finished their fascinators and are planning to work on corsages and textile jewellery over the next 2 weeks. We had a discussion about how you feel when you wear a fascinator, hat or head decoration and Louise said: " A million dollars, like I could do anything" There has also been a lot of discussion around what else to wear and do when you get dressed up such as: having a make over, hair styling, clothes and having photographs taken. The community group generally felt that it would be a good idea to include some of these things at the sharing event to open the exhibition. We have decided to include a make up artist, mendhi artist and I have approached Bournville College of Further Education to see if their student hair stylists would like to take part in the event. They are really keen and very excited abouy this so we will have 4 or 5 student hair stylists to help with the make overs for the community group. it is going to be a really good event, I have arranged for a photographer and Prudence is working with me on all of the planning and organisation for the exhibition as well as finalising ideas for the making activities that will also be going on at the same time.

Monday March 7th was a really good day. I had arranged a sharing event for Year 7 & 8 students from Frankley Community High School. The children were invited to bring a parent along to take part in some making activities based around head decorations and accessories. We made fascinator bands and decorative ties.  The chidren said: " making hair bands was good", " doing art and working with parents was good" and " sewing was difficult".  Everyone worked hard and did not stop for a break we all really enjoyed ourselves.