Hothouse at Crescent Arts Scarborough

What a joy to spend last week with a great group of Scarborough 6th form and foundation students at Crescent Arts working in response to the historic Woodend Gallery – a Victorian conservatory owned originally by the famous Sitwell family that once hosted exotic plants, reptiles and birds including allegedly Europes largest fern, then later the towns natural history collection and taxidermy.
Over 4 days influenced by all this, the light, space and the drafts created by the amazing windows, we played with process, materials and ideas. Including once exotic plants such as the potato (which is grown on mass locally to supply the McCain factory and of course all the chippies) and Sebum’s which now on their portable plinth act as drip catchers when the due to be repaired original roof leaks.
We made, using seemingly exotic, yet discarded plastics and foils from Hulls scrap store, a 46m inflatable vine like object that weaves itself through the space, tiny and oversized flowers, a hanging wall of silver featuring strange tendril’s, a beautiful bird like costume suspended from a modern day perch and what we believe to be the regions largest potato print.
By restricting ourselves to only 2 or 3 materials per object we challenged ourselves to work collaboratively and craft new and bold sculptural pieces in a very short time for this huge space.
Thanks to students: Millie, Emily, Mary, Nina, Monika, Rijanna, and Scarlett.
Plus Kyra and Martha for all their efforts and support
The show titled Hothouse runs until Sept 11 2022.


The Notice Board – Stratco

Stratco an artist based in Berlin has created Cross Stitched for this months exhibition. The Notice Board which is curated around the question The land of the free? enables us to ponder what ‘free’ means by way of artists responses. In this instance Stratco freely experiments with materials to undermine and free a tradition. While also challenging us to consider the states the people pictured find themselves in.

Stratco said: the reason for working with portraits is that there are so many details to be transformed. Plus they represent visible human expressions, while thoughts & feelings are trying to be hidden. They are the perfect symbol for the idea of “Radical constructivism”. A theory which has inspired me from my early beginnings. It states “Reality is not given or binding, but an individual construction made by the human brain(s)”. The collage technique is a perfect way to mirror the individual de- and reconstruction of sense and meaning.  I don’t like any labels and I never thought about making “collages”. I’m just using existing material to create different kinds of reality. Alternative acts …

I’m working 100% analogue which means: I’m exclusively using vintage magazines (their style and colours are superior to all modern stuff). And I’m solely using manual techniques and tools for transforming the pieces. The techniques are a means to the end – but in turn, the quality of your works depends heavily on your ability to almost perfectly master the process of cutting and pasting. The balancing of the technical and compositional dimension is the biggest challenge.

I get the inspiration from all kinds of visual formats. Be it art, movies, advertisements, record and magazine cover, etc. In most of the cases I already have a quite clear idea about the transformational direction before making the first cut. Nevertheless, the actually resulting “look and feel” is always work in progress, a certain deviation from the original plan is an indispensable part of the program.

I have chosen not to fly a flag. For many reasons given these times. The symbol of an empty flagpole is the best answer

Stratco is onInstagram @stratco

University of Worchester – Talk

Watch the recorded talk I delivered for University of Worchester: Fine Art and Psychology by following this LINK. In it I share examples of my work and approach and in particular give details of a commission Cultural Prescriptions. Which saw me support Link Workers in Derbyshire during lockdowns to explore creative ways of working with clients to deliver social prescribing in a socially distanced world.

The event was also supported my Meadow Arts.

The Notice Board – Jayne Cooper

Exhibition 33: Eyes Down, at The Notice Board features new collages and a fabric flag by Jayne Cooper.
The work is inspired by early Renaissance Maiolica floor tiles from a convent in Parma, Northern Italy. The tiles (now in a museum) are a mix of religious and secular imagery seemingly quite at odds with such a pious setting. Particularly as their strange depictions filled, and arguably compelled the downward gazes of the nuns as they went about their monastic business, helping or hindering their concentrations.
Pleasure is at the heart of Jaynes work be that through the joy of looking, the choice of subject or the act of making. We see a playful set of constructions, based on contested imagery, shown in this beautiful setting, which invites you, the audience, to join the ‘fun’. But let us not forget how pleasure can also be considered a violation and against social mores. Hence this work being perfect for The Notice Board, which aims to question, through contemporary art, what many consider right or wrong.

Jayne, who has recently been awarded the Claire Peasnall Memorial Award by the St Hugh’s Foundation for the Arts says: For me, the pleasures of making lie in the manipulation of materials; the joy in seeing colours and surfaces working with and against each other is probably what sustains me the most. Collage too can be seen as transgressive, an ‘unauthorised collaboration’ which relies on the pre-made – it offers a freedom to rip apart, deconstruct and recombine. By using cardboard and non-precious materials goes against the tradition of painting and perfectly primed canvas. But I like to think this sense of freedom is echoed in the nuns gazing on the provocative tiles, gaining pleasure against their order to find an inner freedom, that indeed we all have as gatekeepers to our own private worlds.


Homelands – Talk PDF.

At Metal Peterborough on May 11th I led an event that brought over 30 people together from distinct and diverse disciplines over food, to consider the HOMELANDS work to date and explore themes that have emerged.

A PDF of the full talk and discussion provocation can be downloaded here

Homeland at Metal Peterborough

Join Metal and me for a discussion and the showcasing of HOMELAND research and work, over food and drinks.

Wednesday 11th May, 6 – 8pm at Metal Chauffeurs Cottage. Click here to let us know you’re coming along or email

Whilst in residence I have been researching and developing a new piece of work, HOMELAND, building on a recent work: You and I are tangled up together which was undertaken with the farming community and countryside specialists surrounding Peterborough.

As part of her residency I’ve visited farms and rural businesses, considering how farmers and countryside specialists work in, on and with the land and how they draw up from the soil in complex and layered ways. This has enabled me to reflect on all our relationships to landscape, food production and how recent times have further intensified or broken this connection.

I would now like you to join me for an informal sharing and conversation catalysed by Kates work and process. As part of the evening we will be offering some homemade food and invite you to also bring some food to share with the group too.

The Notice Board – Kate Genever

For Exhibition 33 at the Notice Board I will be showing 2 prints from the set With bliss I imagine this…..

For the last six months I have been artist in residence in Shinning Cliff Woods in Ambergate, Derbyshire. Shining Cliff has a long industrial history, which includes quarrying, charcoal burning and wire making. They now comprise of managed Pines, veteran Oaks, Yew, Beech and Sycamore and are a tourist destination.

With bliss I imagine this, engages with an alternative history of the woo. That of the nature-loving-utopian group Grith Fryd Pioneers. [Grith Fryd means Peace Army in old English]. Originally a radical educational movement formed in the 1930s. It created two work camps, one at Godshill in Hampshire and the other at Shinning Cliff. Both took in unemployed men and tried to create a land-based self-sufficient community that exchanged goods and services with one another. The movement’s outlook was a mix of socialism, co-operation, anti-urbanism and internationalism. Present day Pioneers still provide camping in Shinning Cliff giving people scope for self-realisation and the development of personal, wider educational opportunities, and a sense of responsibility towards the protection of the natural environment.

Kates says: I took the original photos as I walked in Shinning Cliff. The collages reimagine the original Pioneer peace huts for our time. And if we too lived freely in the woods and acted responsibly towards the natural environment. The flag with an olive branch extends this ambition while also declaring The Notice Board as a gathering point of a new Peace Army.

More of Kate’s work will be on show in Shining Cliff from May 7 until May 28

Nothing, is the last forever.

Opens Saturday May 7th and then Saturdays May 14th, 21st and 28th
12.00 – 4.00pm at The Wireworks Project:
1331 Matlock Rd, Ambergate, Belper DE56 2EL
Parking is available – please follow signs on arrival
Closest train station Ambergate


Finding the Spirit in the Mass was artist David Bomberg’s radical technique. He describes it as an attempt not at superficial representation, rather an expression of the inherent and changing energy or living spirit of nature and how one feels in relation to it. This, and the philosophical idea Metempsychosis (where at death the soul transmigrates into a newly born human, animal, plant or mineral) have been the focus of my six month residency in Shining Cliff Woods.

Nothing, will be the last foreveris one outcome. A functioning ‘factory’ that relies on a collective of hard working souls, who having foraged for wood, needles, leaves and herbs, process them, using specially made stoves, stills and milling devices, into charcoal, ash, scent, food and tonics. With visitors invited to watch the processing, ingest, smell and scatter the ‘products’.

Nothing, will be the last forever could be read in many ways. As a collaboration, a response to a post-industrial site, a comment on artisanal goods or as a process-led drawing based artwork… However, if we consider it via Metempsychosis, we could see it as helping migrate the woods ‘spirits’ – demonstrating how the end or death is no longer true but rather a simple transformation of form. Orif we use Bomberg’s ideas it’s a lament; a poetic abstracted expression of loss in response to finding the famous ‘Betty Kenny’ Yew ruined and within a pathetic cordon, on a deforested ridge. Either way, I aim to encourage deep reflection on our relationships with other living things.

Nothing, will be the last forever also showcases a selection of works made during my time in Derbyshire. This includes the collages, With bliss I imagine this, that reimagine the Peace Huts built in Shining Cliff in the 1930s by the nature-loving-utopian group Gryth Fryd Pioneers. A series of photographs, Time don’t make it better, taken in front of the ‘Betty Kenny Tree’. Two charcoal drawings, I am all these things and nothing at all, made on the site of this one great tree, that also foreground Bomberg’s ideas and aim to provoke a conflicted feeling. Finally, A dream within a dream, a fallen Yew branch from which seven lidded boxes have been skilfully turned. Inspired in part by the potential of Yew, the Rock A Bye Baby nursery rhyme [alleged to originate here] and a search for inner spirits. Ultimately though it’s a work that celebrates rural makers who create beautiful, useful items while being mostly overlooked.

Nothing, will be the last forever is a collaboration with Anthony Shephard and Ivan Patrick Smith. Special thanks to Patrick Joseph Ryan.

Established in 2019 by Ivan Patrick Smith and Anthony Shepherd, The Wireworks Project, is a fully functioning artist studio and gallery. Designed and built on the ethos of recycling, re-appropriating and reuse, the project aims to provide space and platform for considered artists. We warmly welcomed Kate as the first of many future residents.

Kate’s residency is supported by SHED

Wanna meet me halfway? interview

As part of the support offered by Social Art Publications around my new boxset: Wanna meet me halfway they did a Q&A. The full thing is HERE and a snippet below:
1. How did you start making your publication?
I started with the idea during the first lockdown. I was interested in getting artwork to people given they couldn’t get to art. I liked that people could receive a box of work that they could add to and curate in their own setting. The texts that accompany the prints are there to support and perhaps give ways in…. Also included is a ‘help sheet’ for those who feel unconfident and need maybe some ways in…  

If you would like a boxsets, which contains various sized doubled sided prints, they are available as “a pay what you can afford”. To order one follow this LINK


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