AFHEA AA4: Islington Mill Visit

Following on from my FLEX posts here on the blog I will also be using this as a space to work towards and receive feedback on my application for Associate Fellowship of the HEA. Read on for more professional development!

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AFHEA AA5: Microteaching

Following on from my FLEX posts here on the blog I will also be using this as a space to work towards and receive feedback on my application for Associate Fellowship of the HEA. Read on for more professional development!

Continue reading “AFHEA AA5: Microteaching”

coLAB 2015

This weekend I hosted coLAB at Ny Space in Manchester. The day was an opportunity for practitioners involved in participatory or collaborative work to come together and discuss their practice and the context of collaboration in creative practice.

More to come on this soon, but in the meantime here’s how it looked…

Saturday Art Club @McrSchArt

Every Saturday Manchester School of Art runs a saturday art club for 14 – 16 year olds in the area, as part of National Art and Design Saturday Club. I had the great pleasure to deliver two sessions to the group, focused on creating a zine showcasing the work they’d made as part of the club.

In our first session we photographed and scanned work, edited our images in Photoshop and worked on InDesign layouts. In the next session it was time to bind all 100 copies! After a demo from student ambassador Javier we set to work, and 2.5 hours later we a whole set of zines ready to distribute.

Continue reading “Saturday Art Club @McrSchArt”

Make Your Own People’s Guide

The People’s Guide Project, a collaborative project between myself, Chloe Hamill and the People’s History Museum, had a launch of sorts today as we invited visitors to the museum to join us in making their own guides and highlighting their favourite exhibits.

I’ve been a big fan of maps lately, and for the People’s Guide workshops we’ve been using them as a way to collect together reactions to the museum. Below you can see some of the responses on today’s maps.


table with large maps, showing written reactions by participants

workshop participant's response added to the collaborative map

Man|Ren Atelier

As part of the Man|Ren artist exchange project, and to coincide with the Play Harder residency, I collaborated with a group of French artists on a remote publication.

In line with my current MA research the project explored methods of collaborative work, this time through the use of instructions sent across the Channel, aiming to catalyse creative relationships through social making. The final output was created by artists in France, with no input from me, and distributed at the Play Harder closing party.

As we were collaborating across disciplines, as well as countries, I really didn’t know what to expect. However, the finished publication, on the theme of ‘imagined Manchester’, was better than I could have dreamed! I am now sending over a second set of instructions, with the aim of finding out more about the process of making, and hope to continue to explore this collaboration in the future.

For work in progress photos of the collaboration, see the Mobil Home Facebook.

Note : As yet I am unable to fully credit the French artists involved, this will be rectified soon.

cover of man ten atelier instruction booklet

inside spread of man ten atelier instructions

front cover of french publication

inside spread of french publication

inside spread of french publication

inside spread of man ten atelier instructions

WiP : The People’s Guide

The People’s Guide is a collaborative project between myself, textile artist Chloe Hamill, the People’s History Museum, and groups from around Manchester. Together we will create a series of printed museum guides, each one giving a different perspective on the museum’s collections.

Last week we worked with members of Manchester Youth Council to explore the museum, identify our favourite pieces, and explore their relevance today. Below you can see some of what we go up to…

Expect more news as the project develops!

workshop participant filling in worksheet in the museum

two workshop participants draw on a map of the museum

museum map showing mind map with 'equality' in the centre


To accompany Z-arts’ production of (Manchester Theatre Awards nominated!) Duck! I was asked to create an educational resource pack. Working with my MMU colleague Rachel Webb, I developed a series of English and PHSE classroom activities for Key Stage 2 students based around modern day versions of traditional fairy tales. I then designed the layout of the final pack to be sent out to teachers.

We also developed a two-hour workshop, ‘Facebook Fairytales’, based on the same themes, using social media as a tool for developing characters.

cover of Duck! educational pack inside spread of Duck! Fairytales on Film student handout

Zine Challenge @ The Fruitmarket Gallery

Last week I had a brilliant opportunity to lead a workshop for a group of young artists at The Fruitmarket in Edinburgh. The group are interested in making a zine/publication in response to the gallery’s current (highly recommended) Lousie Bourgeois exhibition, and so I went along to offer some publication design tips.

I didn’t have long to work with the group, so I decided to do a bit of ‘learning by doing’ and set them a challenge : to make a zine from one sheet of paper, in one hour. The results were diverse and interesting, with some really creative solutions.

people sat around a table discussing sketchbooks

Above you can see me imparting some wisdom, and below some creative folding, and a completed zine.

close up hands folding paper

folded zine illustrated with felt tips

Forming/Storming/Performing : Event Two

This weekend I visited Glasgow, home of my good friend Ms Biddles, to host my second Forming/Storming/Performing event.

This one was a bit different as I was definitely out of my element, working in an unfamiliar setting with people I didn’t know. A major upside to this was that, as we the event took place in an artists’ studios, I was able to provide beer and snacks, which I would say definitely helped create a social atmosphere!

As with the last event, this time we started with a discussion of our creative process, and the ways we like/are used to working. The group was made up of practitioners from a completely different discipline to myself, mainly sculpture/environmental art, and this made the discussion particularly interesting for me. Most (but not all) of us found some common ground in our attitude to the importance of sketchbooks, and I learned about the prickly nature of materials lists.

From this discussion we decided to make a sketchbook-style ‘mish-mash’ of our different work. Through our limitations with time and materials this became a seven piece set of unique hand drawn poster/books, with printed inserts courtesy of Mathew Parkin and Ms Biddles herself.

Below you can see our ‘work in progress’ set up, and some photos of the finished product.

photograph of wooden table with open laptops, bottles of beer and hands drawing

front cover of publication, with hand written title 'rip it up and start again'

double page spread from publication, hand drawn images alongside computer print out of screen shot

double page spread with computer print out unfolded to double size