Countdown to Transformations Week 1/4

15 Aug


Supported by Arts Council England

and assisted by Norfolk County Council


As part of an attempt to document this whole process I have decided to post out on a weekly basis during the 4-week build up towards our exhibition in Hanse House, King’s Lynn. Preparation-wise a lot is going on each week and I want to record it- not only for the  purposes of evaluation afterwards, but as  a record for myself.


Yesterday, the scaffolding came to build a prototype  of one of a number of cubes we are going to build to exhibit the poetry foam boards and artwork on.   We put one together last night and it looks great. Here’s what it looked like before we put it up….I’m keeping what it looks likes together under my belt for a bit… so there’s some surprise attached to the exhibition…. The urban feel will work very well considering the contemporary nature of the project.




The flyer for the exhibition was also printed this week, so we can begin to distribute them as widely as possible. We had to hang on for the funder logos, but it was well worth it. The posters will be ready on Monday. If you click on the link below you can see what it looks like. Dan Roberts from Minute Man in King’s Lynn has done a really interesting design based on the Origami theme of our exhibition logo designed by  Gary Caldwell I’ll put out the poster next week…..

001 Artipeeps – A5 Flyer


We began to budget for this exhibition many months ago. We had to make assumptions about our costs and what we would need so we could apply for grants.  When it actually comes to the ‘nitty gritty’ of the finances and your in the ‘now’ of the project re-instigating quotes etc,  the reality can be quite different. You may have to shift funds from one spending stream to another. This is something I have learned this week as our promotional material and exhibition costs have gone up and our framing costs down.  Luckily, The Arts Council England, who is our primary funder, understands this and allows us to redistribute the money as long as we stay within the £2694 of public funds that they have given us towards our project. This has meant that we can shift money over to where we need it. It has also confirmed to me that the overall figure we set was adequate.  Also, marketing and promotional costs must not be underestimated. I’m grateful I’ve learned that so early on, and it will help with The Nine Realms. I’ve also learned that a 15% contingency fund is a comforting thing!

We made contact with schools this week too, primarily King Edward VII’s  in King’s Lynn.  The art and literary departments are excited about what we are doing and will be hopefully coming to our Schools Day on the Friday (12th September). We go back for a formal meeting next week where we will also talk to the Classical Civilisations teacher again. This connection is one I instigated last year.

The educational element of what ArtiPeeps is  trying to do with its large-scale projects is very important to us, and we are dedicated to the use of comic strips as an access point for our projects. I’ll be able to say more about all of this after the meeting next week.

I have also started to advertise what we’re doing online via The Norwich Writer’s Centre via their ‘What’s On’ which should be up shortly and we are in ‘The Heritage Open Day directory’ which is great. I have also approached KLFM, the local radio station, and next week I’ll be connecting with the community radio station in Norwich.

Oh yes, having had to re-do the document for the poetry foams to bring down costs, I bid them a fond farewell today and they have now gone to the printers to be printed. It was hard to let go and stop fiddling.

I think that’s about it!  Thank you, as ever, for your interest.






Weekend Showcase : Anna Angell (Poet, Singer-Songwriter)

15 Aug


Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.


Anna Angell







Anna started off life in the beautiful Peak District and now resides in beautiful North Wales – jammy.  She qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, then working mainly in Chester and Ellesmere Port.  She now spends most of her time laughing, crying and getting loco with her two delightful pre-school children.   She wrote a lot of poetry as a child but has only recently got back into it, thanks to the consistent nagging of her persistent husband.  This has also extended into song-writing with her beloved ukulele.  She tries to write honestly about the normal stuff in her life and is convinced that the things of the everyday are the porthole to eternity.  She hopes that by making the most of the short chances for creativity in between nappy changes and swimming lessons she can encourage other busy people to try this as well – and reap the benefits to mind body and soul.


Twitter             @a_a_angell

…………………….debut EP ‘Love’s Life’





*If you would like to have a ‘Weekend Showcase’ or take part in one of our collaborations do get in touch via the contact form on the What’s On page, or via the comments section. You would be welcome.

Weekend Showcase : Ana Caballero (Poet)

8 Aug


Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.


Ana Caballero


In this particular showcase Ana has chosen two poems that represent her work at the moment.


Oh, Zelda

Pretty much, you

were a crazy bitch.


Incensed by beauty

in others, talent in others.


No one else was Zelda.

Zelda painting. Zelda


writing. Zelda dancing.

Zelda loving. Zelda


interrupting. No one had

your husband. Or your


name. A belle,

at times, more often


a tease. Bad Zelda, who

silenced entire books.


Drunk Zelda, who shut

them down like boys.


All the rage, all of it,

yours. Sorry Zelda,


making the cottage

beds, blowing softly


at the suffering fire.

Sweet Zelda, who says


it won’t be so. Again

the happy host. Again


the righteous muse, who,

for a second, stood right


upon the floor. But,

silly Zelda, you boiled


a pot of rings and gold,

and you got taken


to the crazy home.

The unwell woman


in the attic, with you,

told decades too late.


No new love

or worried young girl


could save you from

the locked doors above,


the savage blaze below.


* Originally published in East Coast Ink Magazine



A Notion of Marriage


Because I am a poet,

I read about things like the

center of skin.

About warm bodies coming together in the dark,

and how it’s the meaning of life

when someone gets it right.


And I know I should write about things

like a moving chest and a naked back.

About the coming together of life in the dark,

about our common desire

and the verbs that it took.


And it should be universal,

but personal.

My moving chest, your naked back.

The notion of marriage,

of children, of daily love.

Shrinking rooms

beneath the surface of

different meaning words.


But I don’t see the dark jaw

in the night,

or the soft center of touch spring alive.

There is effort and a plan.

There is marriage,

a shrinking room,

daily love,

and a baby that eats time.


We do not say flesh when we mean sex.

We say it’s about right.

And, it would be nice.

We confirm how long it’s been

before we ask the other

to get up and make the bedroom



* Originally published in Aviary Lit Magazine




I worked in finance, journalism, wine importation, and even for the Colombian government before recently becoming a mom.  Now I focus my efforts on writing poetry and book thoughts, which can be read at

My work has appeared in Big River Poetry Review, Elephant Journal, East Coast Ink, Really Systems, Aviary Review, CutBank, Ghost House Review, Dagda Publishing, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Boston Poetry Magazine, among others. It is forthcoming on Pea River Review and Smoking Glue Gun. I also write a weekly poetry post for Zeteo Journal’s “Zeteo is Reading” section.




We’re Funded! (ArtiPeeps Update)

7 Aug


I haven’t put out an ArtiPeeps Update for a while because I’ve been immersed in all things Transformations. However, I received very good news this week that the grant bid I put in to The Arts Council, England has been successful and because of that too we now have match funding from Norfolk County Council who are helping towards the costs of the hire Hanse House.


So I am honoured to say that we are now funded by:





and supported by:





The fact we have secured this support is a real testament to the talents of all those involved: The Transformers and The Code Crimson and the quality of their work. They have all contributed to the success of this application. The Arts Council grant is also particularly significant as it is public money. I don’t take this fact lightly.

I am also thrilled because it means that the sort of large-scale, collaborative projects that ArtiPeeps is providing is fundable. It is very rewarding to feel that funders have seen the  artistic and creative merit in what we are trying to do.  This bodes very well for our next project starting in October called The Nine Realms which will follow in a similar pattern to Transformations but will last nine months.

The exhibition is now just over a month away and thanks to our funding I can now instigate services such as the framing of the 7 pictures for the Transformers who are outside of the UK, or who can’t get to the exhibition geographically within the UK. Everything, I have to say, is feeling very real (in a good way).  Printing the leaflets and posters has also had to wait because all the promotional material has to have funder logos on them. However, now we have them we’re away! The flyer and leaflet should be available next week. Watch this space….

The next few weeks will have me finishing off the soft copy book and pdf and ebook (if there is time…this might now have to be completed after the exhibition…). We’re also  going to various schools in King’s Lynn to promote the exhibition and comic strip so they can take part in our schools day.      

The Arts Council grant is given to projects and initiatives that show artistic excellence, and it is my intention to keep providing new, high quality and varied  opportunities for creatives as we move forward and grow as an organisation.

I’ll post another update shortly.

 As ever, thank you for your interest!

Vikings Ahoy ! The Nine Realms Is A-coming

6 Aug



In preparation for our new large-scale collaboration ‘The Nine Realms’  inspired by the Norse Sagas starting this October,  I’ve pulled together this post- a basic overview of the history, myth and culture of The Vikings. I’ve done this to put what we will be  doing in the Autumn into a broad context for the Viking participants involved and anyone else who is interested.

FYI. In this collaboration 40 poets, artists, musicians and sculptors will be working together over 9 months responding to the nine realms through contemporary eyes.


An Overview of The Vikings

Between the 8th to mid 11th centuries Vikings transformed Europe. Iceland created the foundation of Russia, Norwegian settlers founded Icelandic cities and in Constantinople Swedes provided military support to the Byzantine emperor. As the Vikings traveled they spread their culture, stories, beliefs and myths along with them.

 The Vikings were seafaring people, and the actual word itself means ‘raiding’. They came from what is now Denmark, Sweden and Norway. They were brought up on a culture of courage, strength and loyalty, and had a reputation for confronting death fearlessly. The Vikings shared a knowledge of Old Norse and their religion was underpinned by the worship of Odin, Thor and other gods.


They wrote with the runic alphabet, which was not only useful and clear but was also imbued with an element of magic. There are very few runic remains thanks to the coming of Christianity. The god Odin fights for the mastery of writing in the Poetic Edda, by undergoing a near death experience:


‘I know that I hung/On the windswept tree/For nine whole nights/

Pierced by the spear/And given to Odin/ Myself to myself/

On that tree/Whose roots/ Nobody knows//

They gave me no bread/Nor drink from the horn/ I peered into the depths/

I grasped the runes/ Screaming I grasped them/And then fell back’

(Taken from the Poetic  Edda, Allan: 27)

 The Vikings venerate gods in their own image. Stories of the gods were passed down from generation to generation, sitting by firesides:   Odin, the omnipotent schemer and leader in battle; Thor, the fighter  and Freya, the Goddess of fertility. Also tales of spirits, giants, elves and trolls were passed down.


Overarching these stories and the mindsets of The Vikings was a feeling of catastrophe and apocalypse, in which the world ends through a confrontation between the forces of good and evil. This conflict the Vikings called Ragnorok (see below).

The Cosmos

The world grew out of a gigantic chasm called Ginnungagap, the yawning void. This void was bordered by Muspell, the abode from where Surt, the giant stood guard. To the North lay the land of Nifelheim (the land of the dead). where 12 rivers bubble up from a cauldron called Hvergelmir.


World Tree Norse

The world Tree Yggdrasil- is the pivot around which the worlds of the Norse span. Three main roots rise from the middle of Asgard and stretch down to Nifelheim and Hvergelmir. The roots are nourished by the well of Knowledge. The tree is the symbol of life itself.


Aesir and Vanir

Aesir and Vanir

The gods are divided up into two families which are always in conflict with each other. The Aesir, gods, based in Asgard, with their leaders Odin, Thor, Baldar, Heimdall, Tyr and the goddesses Frigg, Sif, Nanna and Iduna. The Vanir, Freya, the goddess of love and promiscuity and Njord who were broadly linked to agriculture and fertility.


Serpants and Dragons

Serpents and Dragons

Snakes, in the Viking culture, always had negative connotations. Dragons engendered even greater fear as they lived underground and would emerge at sunset. Dragon’s in German and Scandinavian culture were the guardians of buried treasure. They were also founts of knowledge. The World Serpent, the Jormungand, is one of the most famous as it was one of the 3 horrific children born to Loki and the giant Angrboda.




The doom of the gods had a profound effect on the Viking’s world view, which fed their overwhelming feeling of fatalism. It told of of a world where both men and gods were swept away. However, from this destruction did arise a new earth. New beginnings.

From this catastrophe also came VALHALLA (the feasting hall of the dead Vikings who had given up their lives for war).

Ritual and Belief

The Viking world did not separate religion from the secular. Sacrifice was central to the Norse Religions, and was governed by seasonal turning points.

Magic and Metamorphoses

Particular gods regularly changed shape and could alter other peoples’ shape too. They could also bring the dead back to life, and giants could take on animal form. There was a  a particular word ‘Seid’- malicious intent’ attached to the form of magic the Vanir practiced, specifically in relation to Freya.

Poetic Edda


The Poetic and Prose Eddas

The Poetic Edda is a collection of Norse poems primarily preserved in a  thirteenth century Icelandic medieval manuscript called the Codex Regius. Alongside the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson the Poetic Edda is the most important surviving source of Norse mythology and Germanic legend.

Both the poetic and prose sagas were based on an oral tradition that had its roots in a pre-Viking age (800-1100). They were written in the native language and were meant to be read aloud which allowed all those literate and otherwise to understand. The text and verse delved into the lives and exploits of both men and the gods.


Our project, The Nine Realms, will be using both Eddas, amongst other texts as a point of inspiration for the creatives involved. The project will start in October after Transformations. Watch out for more posts about our next collaborative project.



Allan, Tony (2010) Vikings: The Battle At the End of Time, Watkins Publishing

Sturluson, Snorri, (2005) The Prose Edda, translated by Jesse. L. Byock






Weekend Showcase : Kelly Letky (Poet)

1 Aug


Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.


Kelly Letky





the sun rose again this morning

and i wanted to pluck it from the sky
hold it in the palm of my hand

give it a rest

i wanted to run to the edge of the ocean
drop it in
hear the sizzle of forever and always
burn away with so much steam

i wanted to stand in the darkness
just for a moment
and listen to the winds of eternity
straining hard to hear the blackest answer

of course
i was afraid

of course
i was appalled

of course
i was embarrassed

by the stain of my humanity
dripping through the stones
into the soil

roots of truth
i can never wash away

but the sun kept climbing
and i kept laughing

and together

we forged a new day





Kelly Letky is a freelance graphic artist, poet, jewelry designer, photographer, writer, wife, mother, sister, daughter, crazy cat lady, friend, runner, knitter and gardener, not necessarily in that order.

She writes at and lives with her husband, three cats and one dog in the rural countryside of Farmington, NY.


Weekend Showcase : Chris White (Writer)

25 Jul


Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.


Chris White




The Shadows of the Jungle


“What’s the fucking time-stamp on that picture? Does anyone know?”

The image staggered and jumped – overlaid with a static-fuzz, the jump-suited soldiers were barely visible, flicking in and out of phase with the shadows of the jungle. Had they realised that the mech was dead? He certainly hoped not.

“Janice! Janice! Get down in the turret now! And somebody go and bloody warn the others!” Was it too late? Shit, he hoped not.

The image looped, in his peripheral vision, over and over and over again. There were kids inside the factory – sure, they’d done their best to make it seem decrepit, had pumped a slurry of sewerage and grey water and algae into the roof to dampen their heat signatures, to hide from the drifting satellites, hangovers from before the war was won. From before the world was lost. There were kids inside the factory. That was why it was soldiers, this time, not drones or tanks. Infantry. Quislings, they’d already adjusted to the new regime, they’d already betrayed their own species.

“Yeah, we get it Phil, they’re bastards.” He heard Janice, cutting through the static in their old-fashioned walkies. He hadn’t realised he’d been talking aloud. “Have you got a visual on ‘em yet?” She pedalled the belly-mounted turret around, the little plas-steel bubble rotating on the jerry-rigged bicycle chain – electricity was at a premium, and the settlement’s air-purifiers, waste-recyclers and water-pumps were more important than the old war machine that quietly rusted outside it. Most of the time. That was why the mech’s cameras weren’t set to be always recording, why they were motion-activated, why they didn’t have a goddamn time-stamp. Wearily he fingered the connection code, powering up the mech’s weapons systems, imagining the sudden, hushed silence inside the factory building as the lights faded and parents snatched up frightened children, or grabbed some antique piece of weaponry. Bolt-action .22 rifles, bows and arrows – they might as well be carrying clubs.

But even a B.B. gun was better than nothing. There were gaps, weak spots in those armoured jump-suits, around the eyes and the joints. Thank Christ for the secret, underground organisations, of doomsday prophets and nutty Christian survivalists. Without them there’d be no tinned foods, no bottled water, no ammunition. No survival.

The bugs had never bothered too much with the rogue settlements – the jungles were outside their habitable zone, they preferred the cold, high deserts, like the Atacama, the Gobi and the Antarctic plains. Which was how they managed to get settled in, no-one went and checked out the flaming crash landings. Meteorites fizzed into the atmosphere all the time, and if they landed somewhere inaccessible, somewhere far from cities or farms…well, who cared? Humanity had just breathed a collective sigh of relief, and wondered how they’d slipped through the ring of satellites all looking outward, counting pebbles in the vacuum. Why hit the rogue settlements now? And why with men, carrying stun-guns and handcuffs? It was simple, really. They needed to enlarge the breeding pool, they were just trying to encourage a little bit of genetic diversity.

He heard the drone of the gunner’s nest powering up, the whisper of the rail-guns, the bark of lumps of uranium-enriched tungsten breaking the sound barrier. He heard Janice cursing, spitting profanities that he didn’t know she knew as the guns kicked into life and dealt out death. She was only fourteen – his little girl. But he couldn’t stop her from calling him Phil, couldn’t stop her from trying to catch the tails of the window lizards, couldn’t stop her from sneaking out into the forest without her respirator or his rifle.

The spider’s eyes lenses of the cameras drew the black-armoured soldiers into sharp relief against the green-grey-red foliage of the jungle, painting them with the computer’s targeting lasers.

It was all the invisible, untouchable satellites needed, as their own computers locked onto the signal, and the drones ghosted their paths high above the battlefield.

There was a flash of light, which blinded the cameras and the crippled legs of the mech collapsed in a shower of rust flakes and torn, screaming steel.

They took the settlement, without much more resistance.



Chris White is an author. His words (and worlds) can be found in both 1’s and 0’s, as well as in books made of dead trees. His blog is right here:


If you would like a Weekend Showcase please do get in touch via The contact form on the What’s On Page or via the Comment box.






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