Sunday, 26 August 2012

Well, that was a lovely birthday. I certainly was spoilt! It was my birthday on the 13th of August and I am now 24! It all started in the bustle of Edinburgh's Fringe festival where I performed some of my circus themed poems for the open slam event Flea Circus at the Banshee Labyrinth. I haven't read any poetry in quite some time so it was good to get back into practice. On my birthday I also went to see some lovely tapestries at the National Gallery of Scotland, had a falafel picnic, and saw a new play by my favourite theatre production, Nutshell. Nutshell have a new show premiering at the Fringe this summer; Thread a play about identities, seaside holidays and friendship intrincally woven together  by the reapperance of an antique sewing box.
I was a helpful gilrfriend and helped my stage manager boyfriend, Graeme set up for Allotment, another Nutshell production which had a week run at the Fringe in an allotment near Comely Bank Road. Allotment serves freshly baked scones, tea and (sometimes) homemade jam to the audience before the show. If you haven't seen Allotment yet you should get your skates on (and raincoats) as this play is brilliant and currently touring the UK till September. A lovely but dark little play about two sisters and their well kept allotment. It is wholly performed outside come rain or shine.

After my Edinburgh birthday holiday I went to see my mates Steve and Liz in Manchester who threw me a fantastic birthday tea party. Their dining table was adorned with Moomin shortbread biscuits, marinated spicy tofu, baked potatoes and pitta bread, Leon green sauce and a beautiful carrot cake. My presents included a hand crafted Mountain cushion which is featured in Liz and Steve's fanzine, Young Explorer, a fox embroidred brooch made by Liz, and a cute salt, pepper and mustard shaker in the shape of a house and two trees. I also received some homemdae vanilla sugar and a vintage toy pattern,  I am intending on making the owl for my sister Lily's 10th birthday!  I do not know how I got all these treats home! We also went on a walk around the neighbouring canal near Steve and Liz's to see some of the events at Rochdale canal festival although sadly all the canal boats appeared to be asleep on this day.

In the afternoon we watched my favourite childhood film; Practical Magic,a  classic movie starring Hollywood treasures, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as modern day witches in an American suburb.
I then made my way home to Lancaster on the train, my bag full of homemade craft and vanilla delights.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

We Face Forward Fanzine Workshop at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

We Face Forward Fanzine Workshop
A Paper Response to an exhibition
A Fanzine is a self publication, a small magazine themed on topics of interest to you.

I was delighted when asked to run a fanzine workshop in conjuction with the Raw Social events at the gallery inspired by the West African exhibition, We Face Forward which is taking place throughout Manchester galleries and musuems this summer. This exhibition celebrates the links between Manchester and West Africa's colourful heritage and includes a host of exciting and groundbreaking works.
I created my own We Face Forward zine with stitches and writings from the exhibition.  The workshop was created to complement the Whitworth's own We Face Forward newspaper available to visitors. This was used as template for participants of the workshop to take inspiration from for their own small self publications. The fanzines were made from A3 paper folded into 8 squares to make a basic 1 paper page 'zine. At the end of the workshop, the fanzines were photocopied at the gallery and have been saved as  paper mementos of visitor's responses to the exhibition. Read a reflection of the workshop from the Whitworth blog here


Taking inspiration from Pascale Marthine Tayou's I stitched some playful and spirtural sculptures and illustrations from the exhibition.  His installations are inspired by the famous West African novel, "Things Fall Apart." By Chinua Achiibe. The steel diamonds and suspended dolls enthuse “a bridge between thinking and dreaming.”  Depicting feelings of transulence and decay.The sculptural forest on display continues it's diamond trail in the neighbouring park.

A little Make A Zine guide I made.

Fantastic textile response to Armadou Sanogo's Disabled Gaze.

Photographer Jenn Brookes made a fantastic zine with paints and photocopies.

Fanzine helper and Whitworth intern Sabine with her stitched fanzine.

Getting Crafty and messy.

Textile pages reflect the tactile nature of the exhibition.

We Face Forward: 2nd June- 16th September 2012