The Nine Realms Update #8: August

28 Aug

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Vikings Ahoy!

There’s lots happening with preparations for The Nine Realms- now that it’s only 2 weeks away! Everything is swirling a long (in a good way).  Lots of elements for ‘The Gallery’ are being checked- like the realm boards, the scroll-downs, picture plaques, Viking Worksheets.  Pictures are being framed and books being created. It’s exciting, stressful, and wonderful all rolled into one- everything finessing into the 5-days ahead (11-15 September). 

Here is what has been afoot! 

1. Posters and Flyers

The posters for The Nine Realms in King’s Lynn have been going up all over the place, and the same is happening in Norwich for the poetry reading. I think that Minuteman in King’s Lynn have done us proud with the designs. Here are the two posters  I think they are an effective blend of Viking and the combined arts!

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2. And lo, the DVD is finished! (Sneaky peak)

I’m thrilled to say that yesterday I received a lovely box full of 200 of our project  DVD. All the poetry, art and music from the project is on it, and it has both audio and video elements as well as artists’ credits. I worked with DMS in Plymouth and in particular someone called Alex who was an absolute star in catering to our need to combine more than one art form and a visual and audio element. This was tricky and they resolved all the issues attached to this with aplomb. 

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3. Northern Lights and Starry Skies: Lighting

The idea behind The Nine Realms is to move people away from ‘merely attending’ to ‘active participation’. We want visitors at our event to engage and feel, and one of the ways we are doing that is to through the use of  lighting; to recreate (as best we can) the Northern lights and a starry sky. For that reason Pearce Hire (who are doing our lighting ) came over to Hanse |House  for a site visit to try a few different lights out.

As a consequence of this trial we will be using the baton lights on the right about 5 batons on the left of the gallery in the alcoves,  and 5 across the other side. Each have a variety of different colours and when they are all on you have the Northern lights! The pictures and sculptures will be well lit by the spotlights in the gallery and other overhead lighting. We were going to have stars on the ceiling but because ‘the Gallery’ ceiling is quite low the stars just became splotchy, so we are having a mass of fairy lights running down the centre beam of the room instead. When people walk into the room I want people to go WOW; be met with the unexpected.

4. Brochures and Press

We’ve had great press coverage within King’s Lynn. We have two more newspaper articles coming up: one to garner interest just before the event via The King’s Lynn News and another in ourlocalpaper. The King’s Lynn News will be with at our launch too. We were also featured in The National Heritage Open Day Brochure- a main entry and inside page mention too. We’re really happy to be part of the celebrations: 1000+ people are expected through Hanse House on the Open Day Sunday. 

Heritage Open Days

Apologies- the photos are a bit blurry.

.We also put an advert in the local Majestic Cinema for our workshops. It was  a great way to reach our target audience. Apologies once again a blurry photo….

Cinema Advert

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5.  Platform, The Future Radio Arts and Culture Show

Future Radio

 

Earlier this month (07/08/2015) Future Radio in Norwich put out a radio piece about ArtiPeeps and The Nine Realms. It went out on their arts and culture show called Platform.  They interviewed me, and some Vikings prepared audios which the producer is hoping to use as well- in a later programme or in another podcast…Watch this space….

The interview on 07/08 will be available shortly in a podcast. I’ll put the link in the next update. Bite-sized pieces have also been put out of the poetry and music, and Abbie (the producer) is contemplating using the full mixdown of the poetry and music for a podcast too. We’re thrilled to get so much support from Future Radio. We’ll be shortly sorting out with them how they will be recording the poetry reading in the Millennium library in Norwich.

As soon as I know when the podcast is out I’ll let you know.

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 6. Meeting Kat: Poetry Unbound Coordinator

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I travelled to Norwich  the week before last to actually meet the Unbound Poetry Coordinator in The Millennium Library. We talked everything through: our equipment needs etc. They have a well established publicity strategy, and we gave them our posters to distribute within the library and outside. There is, apparently,  a base number of around 40 attendees at their series events which is great news. There will probably be about 5/6 of us there including ‘our Norse expert’, Caitlin.  It will be exciting to share the poetry with people who are at ease with orality and are part of the oral tradition themselves. We’re hoping that some of the poets there will be reading Norse inspired poetry too…

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7. The Festival of Ideas Online Directory

Festival of Ideas logo

We are also taking The Nine Realms in a taster format to The Festival of Ideas in Cambridge on Saturday 24th October 2015. A group of us from ArtiPeeps and The Nine Realms will be going along. As well as sharing the poetry, art and music from the project we will be discussing the difficulties involved in engaging with the Norse Sagas… It’s going to be great and a BIG thanks goes to The Cambridge Norse and Anglo Saxon Department for letting us share our project with them.

Here’s the link to our entry in the online directory.

I think that’s all for now!

As ever, thank you for your interest. I’ll aim for another update next week.

Nicky

The Seasons of Love by Shirley Golden (FreeSpace #1)

13 Aug

Welcome to the first of 4 FreeSpaces featuring fiction writer Shirley Golden who, over the next few months ahead, will be sharing 4 pieces of fiction around the theme of seasonal love. Here’s her first piece:

 

Shimmering

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The Seasons of Love (winter)

SAD

by Shirley Golden

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He wanted to ride all the time, feel the air, driven tepid by speed. She’d cling to his back and watch scorched wheat fields pass. They’d stop, if she begged him to sunbathe in the grass, pour melted iced water from wet plastic bottles over the other one’s throat. She liked the way the liquid pooled into his jugular notch. They never stayed still for long.

The roads were slimy with heat.

She can still hear the crack and blister of tarmac, the spark of metal and snap of bone on road.

When hot weather descends, she draws down the blinds, turns up the air-conditioning, and retreats from stark chinks of light.

It doesn’t take much to pretend that she’s caught in dead winter’s grasp.

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First published by Visual Verse

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Some of Shirley Golden’s stories have found homes in the pages or websites of various magazines and anthologies; a few have won prizes.  She lives in Hampshire where she is door-person and arbitrator to two wannabe tigers, and can sometimes be found on Twitter when she should be writing.  She likes to bake jumbo chocolate and pecan cookies.

shirleygolden.net

@shirl1001

 

Image: Shimmering Lights on Sumida River by outakuwannabe

 

More soon….

 

The Nine Realms Update #7: August

10 Aug

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In the last update I said that June had sped by.  If June sped by July just disappeared.  Last month was filled with lots of work on the DVD and  trying to lay down the foundations of really good press coverage for The Nine Realms, as you’ll read below. This month all the threads of this 9 month journey are being drawn together with a heavy emphasis on getting the promtional material right for the whole event. With a bit of luck this week both posters for the events in Hanse House and Norwich should be printed along with the flyer.  

Here is what has been afoot! 

1. Press Coverage and Workshops

Next week an article promoting the poetry and art workshops is going into the King’s Lynn News. This is to consolidate interest in the two free workshops we will be running in Hanse House on the Monday of our event. Poet Rebecca Audra Smith will be facilitating the poetry workshop (for up to 12 participants) and artist Robert Fitzmaurice will be running the art workshop for up to 8 attendees. These two workshops will get people accessing their creativity within the context of the nine realms. These workshops were going to be paid ones, but after some deliberation we made a decision to make them free so that finances weren’t a barrier to participation.

Articles are also going into  your-local-paper and (excitingly) onto the big screen via the local Majestic Cinema (for a week).  We are also chasing up an article in the Eastern Daily Press (Norwich) about the poetry reading. I am  also making sure there is something in the online What’s On with the Norwich Writers Centre, the King’s Lynn On line What’s On, KLFM Radio and an established online magazine in Norwich. So we should be well covered! A further King’s Lynn photo-call will take place on the 20th August, with the press also coming on the 11th September for the official launch.

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 2. Final Greetings Cards

Here at long last is the third card  which features the realm Midgard showcasing Viking artist Raymond Bentley and Viking poet Jim C Mackintosh.

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3. Schools’ Day News

Whitrefriars

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a. Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy:

I’m delighted to say that we’ll be having 60 year 6 pupils coming on the Friday morning of the Schools’ Day (11th Sept). They will be coming from a local King’s Lynn primary school (They’ll be coming in two staggered groups…which is no bad thing!!!). The Whitefriars pupils happen to be doing a project called ‘Vicious Vikings’ in the first half of their term and our event fits in perfectly! We’re also hoping a Year 9 class from the King Edward VII Academy will also be coming in the afternoon.

ArtiPeeps is excited to have made this new connection with a local primary school in King’s Lynn because this means we can now extend our educational reach to a younger audience. In conjunction with the year 6 teacher involved we hope to create a tailored package for them. It’s exciting!  There will be lots of photos taken throughout the schools’ day by photographer Sonja Seear which should give you a good idea of what the Schools’ day is like.

 

b. Schools’ Book

I’m pleased to say that I have completed the first version of a Schools’ Book for our The Nine Realms project. This contains the 5 stories from Millfield School that were showcased on ArtiPeeps last month and will contain the work of the Whitefriars pupils after they have finished creating in their ‘Vicious Vikings’ project. Their work will be added to the book retrospectively. As I have created the book via Lulu.com this will be an easy task.  This will be the first of our ‘Classworks series’, and ArtiPeeps hopes to create a bespoke project Schools’ book for all our large-scale work with schools in the future.

 

4. Norwich Poetry Reading

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I’ve had several exchanges with the Poetry Unbound Series co-ordinators in Norwich and there seems to be a base of around 40 people who regularly attend the readings, which sounds great for ours. They will also be encouraging some of the ‘regulars’ to write their own Norse-inspired poetry too for the open mic session in the last half-hour. I will be delivering the poster and flyers to the library this week and will be talking to the Poetry Unbound co-ordinator then.

 

5.  Future Radio Interview Update and Severn Radio Shoutout

 
I have been in contact with the arts producer at Future Radio to see how she is doing with compiling our programme. I haven’t heard back from her as yet, but will be pursuing this next week. As long as it goes out before the 11th all should be well.
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Mystery Train Image
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Viking musician Simon (Beavis) kindly pointed me in the direction of Severn Radio and a presenter called Alex Huskisson who produces a really good music programme on the station called The Mystery Train. Simon thought he might be interested in what we’re doing. I put together a little package of the music and some information about our event and Simon has sent this to him. 
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Here is the radio programme that went out this Sunday. The Nine Realms is mentioned at around 1:16.39. A big thank you goes out to Alex for supporting us.
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More information about The Mystery Train:

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6. Multimedia DVD

We’re very nearly there with our DVD. It has taken the DVD manufacturers slightly longer to produce the DVD because they are having to put separate audio tracks on the disc as well as what is essentially a video (our combining of the art, music and audio poetry). This is not usually done on one disc/dvd, so we’re breaking new ground! All being well the disc will be manufactured at the end of this week. It now has menus and everything! It’s a 100 % testament of the high quality of the project poetry, art and music.

 

7.  The Nine Realms Soundcloud

Just in case you missed any of the poetry:

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8. Sneaky Peek at the Cover of our Ragnarök Comic

Today was the deadline for our comic for the Schools’ day to be in , and here is a taster of the front cover. They’ve done an absolutely wonderful job Illustrated by artist Koos Kleven and the story by Elizabeth Fernandez. Koos and Elizabeth have done a fantastic job of visualising the story. Everyone will love it!

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Cover of Comic

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As ever, thank you for your interest and I shall put out another update before D day on the 11th September. 

 

Nicky

Alfheim: Movement and Light 4/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

24 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Karin Heyer and Mina Polen

 

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Hope

by Karin Heyer

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Long ago the same moon and
the same sun lay before us,
just like now and
and the three-strand rainbow bridge
that spanned then
from Asgard to Midgard
was meant for men
to fight and walk across
into a future life!

What life?
A life where the elves of light
should shine over the dark,
where men become real, visible men
with sharp wits and a feeling heart,
responsible for their actions:
accept the cross,
live for love and peace
to all men.

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Shining

by Mina Polen

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Shining
it might be just a dream
a little voice small and fair
a blinding sun inside of you

moving
it might be just a parasite
………………………an idea
a voice that it isn’t there

becoming
something at every step
something that you might deny
something that you might follow

growing
it might be just a cloud
………………………………expanding
something like a blinding mist

shining
it might be just a maggot
a little bit of light ……….moving
something that you might ignore.

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Find out more about Karin and Mina here:

Karin Heyer

Contact ArtiPeeps

Mina Polen

aldebaranylosnarvales.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/minafiction

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 3/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

15 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Nat Hall, Lenka Monk and Jim C Mackintosh

 

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Guardian Angel from the Ninth Realm

by Nat Hall

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You,
luminous loving being,
so much more than a thousand suns in
darkest corner of my head,
you are sensitive to
my tears,
so far away from fern, foliage,
evergreen feel of
thick forest,
Light Bokeh style –
the untouched side of Freyr’s world…
To
avoid eyes,
hiss and whisper from
haunting mare,
my mantelpiece littered with stones
I once collected from a now
dormant volcano where
hardened rock dances with salt,
leaping fury from young ocean,
I light candles night after night,
chisel your smile out of cold wax, and
seek wisdom out of
a match.
You,
luminous loving being,
you rescued me from the cliff edge.

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And lead me to temptation

by Lenka Monk

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Inspired by story of Freyr and Gerðr

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Through the eyeglass, inner mist
Tempted fate, now I can’t resist
Lips that haunt, curves that taunt
A tortured sigh.

In a drunken fog, endless hunger
Bittersweet taste, spell I’m under
asunder bursting mind, lifetimes find
A Divine comedy.

Wrong feels right, heartbeat elevates
one lustful look, reason obliterates
Resonates with force, no remorse
A string less puppet.

The heart, the insurgent of reason
that beautiful face, led it to treason
seasoned sixth sense, forget consequence
A complete surrender.

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under the heavens dome

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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under the heavens dome
the halls tower in this place
where maddened spirits bind
the claws of ravens haunting
blind trees and bright rooms
enclosing his hypnotic power
unseen to those for whom life past

beneath the high throne of Freyr
circled by meadow throngs
floating on pillows of gold
the words of the wish-giver
in bundles tied with sinews
of outlaws crucified on the way
speared in the crossfire of elf shot

felled in the grapple of light where
dark elves stripped them of belief
a thin path winds through briar rose
where a thousand eyes, black spots
in the gloom sense the fear
dripping from the pilgrims folly
seeking to kiss the feet of Freyr

yet destined to leave empty handed
happy to escape the elven grasp
to answer their quest elsewhere
and rid themselves of this brothel
built in the tangle of angels hair
nourished by the rot of souls
quietly disappeared, lost forever

in remote corners of all realms
where the light elves prey upon
battle weary warriors, robbing them
of their exhausted glory to light
the bloodied moss halls of Alfheim
their fine mesh weave of gold to
line the dark walls of winter nights

under the canopy where Freyr sleeps
and confused sayers fall at his gaze
fighting over the scraps he scatters
in return for the lure of his mystery
/ so why are you still here?
so why do you believe this sermon
will lead you to anything but your betrayal?

through the valleys of temptation
they will swoop down and lift your eyes
to where the single, deadly snake coils
hissing promises of everlasting glory
a ticket to cross the rainbow, only to die
under the wheels of martyrdom
to be denied by your band of brothers

where the Gods assemble to divide
the spoils of your blood and tears
gathered by the scrum of vultures
/ let your death join me
in the salvation of our tomorrows, free
from the shores of false dawns
where your heart will awaken

in sanctuary from blunted threats
where the earth and the sea and
the stone and the roots and the rain
are true and the stag will roar again
and the kiss of blood, the unity
of your ken folk will ease
your righteous birth once more

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Find out more about Nat, Lenka and Jim here:

Nat Hall

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

nordicblackbird.weebly.com

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps

 

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 2/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

10 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy and Eleanor Perry

 

Alfheim

by Tom Murphy

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inside the fence
I know you as I walk towards me
seeing everything through your eye
I see it on my face
as you step into the firelight
we smile the same smile
as you look at me
and see the toll you’ve still to pay
you see the sons we will sire
the daughter we lost
the eye you have yet to lose

in my pocket
I have the apple I will offer you
before you offer yourself
the ninth knot

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washrag nouns

by Eleanor Perry

Snipped washrag

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Find out more about Tom and Eleanor here:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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The Nine Realms Update #6: July

8 Jul

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June seems to have sped by and a lot has been going on in relation to The Nine Realms. All the poetry is now in, with over 80 + poems being created over the 9 months. 40 poems have now been selected for the experience itself.  The realm poetry for Alfheim is still being posted out on ArtiPeeps on a weekly basis. With all the poetry from the  ninth realm in it has meant that we could crack on with:

1. The DVD

Over the last month and a half we have had 10 editing sessions with the sound technician at Future Radio.

Putting all the audio, realm music and art together in a multi-media format has taken more time than I anticipated. However, what has been created is unique, and the music fits the poetry perfectly. I have to say that this project feels like it was meant to be!  The  wallet for the DVD itself has been designed  by illustrator Gary Caldwell and has been printed  this week. The master, which will be the entity that is manufactured, is being formatted presently.  Please find below a taster of the wallet and the ‘onbody’ design. The DVD is going to be fantastic, a really artistic symbol of our collaborative endeavour.

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Gallery Audio Tour

I am presently creating an audio gallery tour of the 19 art pieces in our event in September. This is to support any visually impaired attendees who may come, and will sit alongside the mp3 playlist Soundcloud on our ArtiPeeps Ipad. It is one of the requirements of our funding.  Between the two applications the whole experience will be made 100% accessible. There’s quite a knack to describing pictures thoroughly and dynamically I’ve found. I’m doing one a day and then will edit it all in Audacity or Adobe Audition.

There’s a very useful article on how to create a successful gallery audio tour here.

The Community Officer from the Norwich disability team will be coming on the set-up day of the event to give the tour a trial.

Minecraft

The delay in the DVD editing has also meant I have been unable, as yet,  to get any audio files to  Adam Clarke who is creating our project Minecraft world.  This has been very frustrating. However, now with the master in place, I’ll be able to send him the separate realm files of the music, poetry and art which he can then insert them into the realms.  It looks like the majority of the work on our world will be done July/August.

Our boat

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Figurehead Lit

Figurehead Lit

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Mark (Crowley), our woodcarver has also finally come up with a name for our boat and the title is….drum roll….’boat’. He wants to keep the title simple and clear. Mark is aiming to get a picture of the initials on the boat to me by the middle of July. This will be turned into a card which Mark will sign: acting as a certificate of authenticity for initial reward backers from our Indiegogo Campaign and the cards will be available for sale at the Experience as well.

Promotional Material

All of the  the copy for the promotional material for the experience has now  gone off to the designers and printers in King’s Lynn. I am presently compiling the Schools’ book and interactive pdf. There’s a lot of momentum at the moment….. Caitlin, our Norse expert, has been absolutely brilliant over the last month checking all my Norse material before I send it to the printers. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Future Radio

Future Radio

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In relation to Future Radio and the opportunity of being interviewed on one of their arts programmes- well this is now under-way and all the audios from the Vikings that they recorded are with the arts programme producer. She will be editing everything together into a programme which will be broadcast before the event. There will be another programme bookending the event which will have within it any realm-backer poems and music etc. The programme will be part of our project evaluation for Arts Council England, created so that it almost parallels/comes in line with the oral tradition within which our project rests.

Greetings Cards

I am picking up the final two sets of cards this week which will go alongside Rob Fitzmaurice’s Niflheim card. The second card in the three pack features the realm Nidavellir. The photograph is by Viking Tony Adams and the poetry by Viking Eleanor Perry who has had a lot of fun with plucking randomised text from the Poetic and Prose Eddas and turning the process into poems. The third card will feature the realm Midgard showcasing Viking artist Raymond Bentley and Viking poet Jim C Mackintosh. I’ll include some images of the cards in my next update in August.

Schools

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photo

 

 

As you may well  have noticed Millfield School in Somerset have been contributing to our project. Five of their Yr 9 pupils have written Norse inspired short stories under the theme of ‘exploring the art of storytelling’. The pieces have been posted out on ArtiPeeps over the last three weeks. The quality of the writing has been outstanding!  You can find the links to their sagas below, if you missed them.  We will be reading their pieces out at both the experience in King’s Lynn and in Norwich. As mentioned above a little mini pamphlet book of their work is being produced at the moment. The book, I hope, will be the first of many, that we produce as we move forward as an organisation celebrating the work of the schools with whom we collaborate in future projects.  This will be under the umbrella name of ‘Classworks’.

Millfield Story Saga Links:

Olivia and Natasha- here

Reanna and Harriet- here

Martha- here

Our First Patron

I also have some exciting news about our first patron! However, there are a few official things I have to confirm and that need to be agreed upon  before I officially announce who it is. Watch this space!

 

As ever, thank you for your interest.

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