Search results for 'Holly Gibson'

‘Saving Grace’ Part 2 by Holly Gibson (FreeSpace #3)

9 Dec



Saving Grace – Part 2

by Holly Gibson


Granddad always seemed sad to me, he had a picture from his wedding day on the little shelf above his bed. I never met my grandmother; she disappeared years ago – went to buy some bread one day and never came back, vanished just like that. That was just before Mum left. Mum and Doreen argued for years, they still do now after a few drinks.

I put the boxes back under the bed and went to open the curtains. I could see from the window that Doreen had gone outside to talk to Mum, they were arguing again. I went back downstairs and into the kitchen to get another drink. Sam was still cornered and looked over at me pleading to be rescued. I ignored him, poured a large gin and went back to talk to Gladys. I had Granddad’s photo album with me; I thought it might trigger her memory.

Gladys was still slumped in her chair but somebody had given her a sherry and she was sipping it. I pulled a chair over and sat next to her. She turned to me and recognising me or so it seemed, gave me a smile and raised her glass. I opened the photo album, on the first page there was a photo of a large family. I held it in front of Gladys and asked her if she knew who they all were. She looked surprised and happy at the same time. After a while she pointed at a little girl aged around ten, “That’s me,” she said, then she pointed out her mother and father. There were eight children on the photo, four girls, three boys and a baby. Gladys wasn’t the oldest she said, pointing out Elizabeth who was three years older than she, but had died when she was twenty. Mary and Margaret, twins and the youngest of the girls, Mary died when she was just eleven and Margaret entered a convent. I couldn’t believe the change in Gladys, she was almost animated. I asked about the boys, the oldest Samuel had emigrated to Canada and they never heard from him again. William had got in trouble with the police and had ‘moved’ to Australia and Graham she said was out in the garden. I asked about Granddad, she pointed to her father. I said no, and pointed to the baby, “Your father,” she said, tracing the outline with her finger. Her smile faded and once again she glazed over. Great I thought, she thinks I’m my mother.

I left the album with Gladys and went outside to see if Dad had turned up yet. He hadn’t. Mum was talking to an old man.

“You must be Graham,” I said. Mum glared at me. “Gladys just told me.”

“No, I’m Gordon, Graham’s son,” he said.

I blushed. Mum looked smug.

“Well, I suppose that makes some sense, seeing as she told me Granddad was my dad,” I said, “she must think I’m you.” I said turning to Mum. I knew this would wind her up but the look on her face made me feel really bad. Why couldn’t I just hold my tongue for one day?

Doreen pushed past me, put her arm around Mum and led her back inside. I felt like everyone was watching me, waiting to see who I would upset next. Gordon made his excuses, said it was good to finally meet his father’s side of the family and asked me to pass on his goodbyes. He couldn’t get away quick enough.

I needed an ally so I went back into the kitchen. Sam looked relieved. I whispered in his captor’s ear, she looked embarrassed and without a word to either of us went outside and lit a cigarette.

“About bloody time,” he said, “what did you say?”

“I told her you were gay.”

Sam did not look impressed.

“Do you know all of these people?” I asked him.

“Some,” he replied, “The two blokes out on the patio were in the army with Granddad, they still drink down the club. I’ve no idea who they are.” he said nodding towards a small of group of people who were loitering near the buffet. “There was an old woman at the church who I couldn’t place but I don’t think she’s come to the house, not seen her anyway. You know Gladys, and one of Granddad’s brothers was here apparently but I can’t see him.”

“No, it was his son. I think Gladys was just confused,” I said, “he’s just left.”

“Gladys is a cracker,” he said, “told me some right stories in the church, did you know we have a great uncle who owns half of Adelaide?”

“No we don’t,” I said, “he was arrested and sent to Australia.”

“Who told you that? Your mum?” Sam asked.

“No, she never tells me anything,” I said, “I don’t know anyone here.”

“You knew Granddad,” he said, putting an arm round my shoulders.

I told him about the photos and all the junk in Granddad’s room, he said he wanted to have a look so we got some more drinks and crept upstairs.

“Do you miss him?” I asked.

“To be honest, not really,” he said, “what’s to miss, he spent most of his time in this room when I lived here and I’ve not been back as often as I should have.”

I sat on Granddad’s bed. I could see myself in the mirror on the opposite wall.

“Do you think I look like my mum?” I asked.

“Not really,” he replied, “why?”

“Gladys thought I was her earlier,” I said, “People have thought we were sisters before, but I always thought that was just because Mum had me young.”

Sam was trying to get an old suitcase down from the top of the wardrobe. I took down the photograph from the little shelf above the bed. The silver frame was tarnished and it was really dusty. I cleaned the glass and saw that the picture was yellowing and fading at the edges. Granddad looked really young; he had a lot of dark hair. Like me. My Grandmother looked so small next to him, her dress was very modest, a veil covered most of her fair hair and she had no bouquet. I showed the picture to Sam.

“My mum looks like her mum,” I said.

“I suppose,” Sam said. “Give us a hand with this case,” he said.

“I don’t look like her at all,” I said. I didn’t move from the bed.

“Gladys was probably confused,” he said, “there were a lot of people here today, a lot of names for her to remember.”

“No, she didn’t get my name wrong,” I said, “She said Granddad was my dad.”

“So, you don’t look like your mum. I don’t look like mine either,” he said.

“No, you look like your dad. I don’t,” I said, “I don’t look like either of them.”

“Look, you’re probably right,” Sam said, “Gladys is losing her marbles. Like you said, she’s confused.”

Sam had finally got the suitcase down, it was locked.

“Then how did she remember everything else?” I asked.

Sam didn’t answer me. He looked annoyed. He thumped at the top of the suitcase above the locks.

“Maybe it’s full of Granddad’s secrets,” I said, “There must be a key in here somewhere.”

Sam looked at me, “Maybe we should leave it be.”



You can find out more about Holly and her work below:


 *In case you missed Part 1 of ‘Saving Grace’ you can find it here.


*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects (encouraged) or self expression. If you’re interested in FreeSpace do get in touch via the reply box on this post or the contact form on the What’s On page. 

‘Saving Grace’ Part 1 by Holly Gibson (FreeSpace #2)

13 Nov


Saving Grace – Part 1

by Holly Gibson


After the funeral we all went back to Auntie Doreen’s. Granddad had lived there for as long as I could remember and Doreen had prepared a nice spread, all laid out on her best crockery. Uncle Ted sat at the end of the table next to the sausage rolls, popping them into his mouth one after another and washing them down with Granddad’s best malt whiskey.

Auntie Gladys – Granddad’s sister – had been allowed out of the home for the afternoon. Her nurse was busy talking to Sam – they went to the same gym apparently, while Gladys sat staring into space.

“How are you, Gladys?” I tried. No reply. “It’s me, Grace – Audrey and Eric’s girl, you remember?”


She looked right through me, then a tear rolled down her cheek. I touched her hand lightly; the skin was almost see-through and felt delicate enough to disintegrate under my touch but she clutched my hand tightly – tighter than I expected from this frail old woman and then she spoke, so softly that I could barely hear her.


It seemed like she wanted to say more but couldn’t get enough breath. She slumped back into the chair, knocking the tea cup and saucer from the arm. They crashed to the floor and summoned the attention of everyone in the room and of Doreen especially.

“What happened, what have you said?” Doreen asked. “Gladys, it’s alright,” she said, patting Gladys’s arm, and then back to me, “don’t you upset her anymore.”

“I didn’t say anything,” I protested, “she doesn’t even know who I am.”

“Of course she does, we all do.” Doreen said looking up at me as she knelt on the floor picking up pieces of broken china. She gave me ‘the look’, the same as Mum’s. I’d seen it many times and I’d seen it flash between the two of them before as well.

I don’t know why Doreen had insisted Gladys come, fair enough it was her brother’s funeral but they never saw each other and I’m sure she had no idea what was going on. They’d dressed her up in her nicest frock, a string of pearls and shocking pink lipstick which I’m not convinced was actually hers – it looked a lot like the lipstick chatting up Sam in the kitchen. Gladys just sat there, staring at the fireplace.

Mum was in the garden talking to people I didn’t recognise. She was crying again. It was always the same; you’d think she was the only one affected by anything with the way she carried on.

When I was nine I got really sick, I was in hospital for months. Mum and Dad practically lived there. Then the doctors said I needed a transplant. Mum cried every time she looked at me, I heard my Dad talking to one of the nurses, said she was crying all the time at home too. She was so dramatic. Mum and Dad were tested, but they didn’t match. The doctors said it was unlikely that more distant relatives would match but everyone wanted to try, even Granddad. Mum was having none of it, they hadn’t spoken for years and she wasn’t happy about him helping me out. Her pride was more important than me. She’d rather me die than put aside their differences. But obviously it didn’t come to that. Sam was a match and although Auntie Doreen wasn’t too happy about it he insisted he wanted to be the one to ‘save me’ as he put it, which was a big ask considering he was only ten at the time.

I was clearly in Doreen’s way and I didn’t want to make small talk in the garden so I wandered round the house for a bit and went to sit in Granddad’s room. It smelt funny. Like him. Old Spice and tobacco. His room was small and cluttered, there were boxes crammed under his single bed and on top of his wardrobe. I pulled a few out and opened them up. Most of the boxes were full of old photographs and letters. I found one where the writing on the back wasn’t too faded and I could make out the names Joe, George and Harry and in the corner the date – 1942. Joe was my Granddad; the photo showed him and what I guessed was his friends. It looked like they were abroad somewhere. They all looked really young. Inside his wardrobe, amongst his musty old suits, I found a shoebox which contained a small leather photo album.

At the side of the bed were his reading glasses, a book he hadn’t finished and his comb. I remembered the first time we’d come to visit. I’d been out of hospital for a while, Sam was as well as he’d ever been but he’d only had a few needles stuck in him anyway. My hair had grown back and I had more energy. Auntie Doreen had invited us over to celebrate Sam’s birthday. Sam and I had talked on the telephone a lot after the hospital and I missed him so I was glad to be going to visit. We had KFC, it was the first time I’d had it, and then Mum sat in the kitchen with Doreen while Dad and Ted went to the pub. Me and Sam were playing hide and seek. I counted to twenty and started looking for him – it was unfair really considering I’d never been to the house before and he knew all the best hiding places. I looked behind the curtains in the lounge, under the dining table, inside the pantry and the cupboard under the stairs. He was well hidden. I crept upstairs, listening for his giggle but all I could hear was a muffled cough. The door at the top of the stairs was slightly ajar. I poked my head round and saw my Granddad sat in his chair watching the horse racing. He looked happy to see me. Said I looked well. Said he had a gift for me. I looked for Sam, he wasn’t in there.

I sat on the bed next to my Granddad; he took the comb from his top pocket and started to comb my hair. I hated it. My hair was down to my shoulders already and was always full of knots. Mum would hold the top of my hair when she brushed them out but Granddad just slid the comb straight down, pulling and dragging at the knots while I wailed and laughed. Mum must’ve heard me as she ran up the stairs, shouting and swearing over her shoulder at Doreen who was lingering on the bottom step.

“You bloody liar.”

Doreen said nothing but Mum carried on.

“You promised.”

She rushed in, grabbed me and carried me down the stairs.

“It didn’t really hurt,” I said, but she didn’t listen.

Doreen was still at the foot of the stairs with Sam hiding behind her. That was the first time I saw ‘the look’ and it was the most intense I’ve ever seen. Doreen looked away first. Mum didn’t say another word, she just got our stuff and we went to the car. We had to pick Dad up from the pub, Ted stayed on though.

We didn’t see Granddad again after that, as a family anyway. We never really saw any of them. Mum was the black sheep I suppose. She left home at 16 and then I was born, she kept me secret from them for a few years from what I’ve been told. Sam knows more than me. Sam and I wrote to each other for a couple of years after that, Mum didn’t like me phoning the house and although we didn’t live that far away from each other we weren’t at the same school so I never saw him. Then when I was fourteen I bumped into him at the bus station in town, he was with some mates and I’d been shopping with my friend Lucy. I wasn’t sure if it was him at first, he’d gotten fat but he recognised me, shouted me over and told all his friends how he’d saved my life. It was funny to see him again, remembering how lame our letters were. He gave me his phone number in case Mum didn’t have it anymore and we arranged to meet the next Saturday.

I saw a lot of Sam that summer; we’d hang around town with his mates or go to the pictures. I always told Mum I was going out with Lucy, she’d usually come along so I wasn’t lying. We went to his house a few times too, the first time because Auntie Doreen and Uncle Ted were on a daytrip. It was weird being back in that house, nothing had changed, not even the wallpaper. We watched a video and Sam made some cocktails from his dad’s drinks cabinet – they tasted horrible. I didn’t go up to Granddad’s room that day but the next time I did.



You can read Part 2, the conclusion of ‘Saving Grace’, in Holly’s last FreeSpace* on Monday 9th December.


*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects or self expression.

FreeSpace #1 : Holly Gibson (Writer)

23 Oct

Hard Boiled Sweets


Mind the Gap

by Holly Gibson


In the centre of the carriage between the two sets of sliding doors were two rows of seats facing each other. At the end of one of these sat a woman, squashed up against the handrail, trying to read a book. On the opposite side sat a small girl, she had swung her feet up onto the seat next to hers and was leant up against a rather large woman who was fanning herself with a magazine.

“Get your feet down,” the woman said. The girl did not reply. “Chelsea, I won’t tell you again.”

“But Mum, I don’t want anyone sitting next to me,” the girl replied, “You said everyone on the tube smells.”

The words rang through the carriage and there was a distinct pause in quite a few conversations, the woman with the book looked up and was unfortunate enough to catch the eye of the large woman who gave her a particularly scornful look. She smiled sympathetically but the large woman just grabbed her daughter and swung her round so she was sat up straight. “Stop being cheeky,” she said. The commuters returned to their conversations or went back to reading their newspapers and the little girl sat still for a second.

An old lady shuffled through the forest of elbows, and claimed the spare seat for herself; she placed a shopping bag between her feet and let out a long loud sigh.

“Is that lady tired?” asked the little girl.

“I don’t know,” her mum replied.

“Is she tired because she’s very old?” the little girl asked.

Her mum looked at the old lady, mouthed an apology, then spoke to her daughter, “If she is tired it’s probably because she didn’t have anywhere to sit before,” she said, “and whose fault was that?”

The old lady looked up at the girl’s mother, “Not to worry, I’m sure I look very old to her young eyes,” she said, then she rustled around in her jacket pocket and produced a small crumpled paper bag, and out of this she pulled a bright pink and white striped sweet and promptly popped it into her mouth. The little girl watched all of this wide eyed.

“I want some sweets,” the little girl whispered to her mum.

“I haven’t got any,” her mum said back.

The old lady was sucking and slurping at the hard boiled sweet in her mouth. She clutched the little bag tightly in her hand.

The little girl slumped down in her seat. “Why is that lady reading?” she asked her mum.

Instead of looking up again the woman with the book held it a little higher, she had read the same paragraph three times already and didn’t really want to engage with the large woman again.

“I don’t know,” her mum replied, “why don’t you ask her.”

The woman held her book very tightly – please don’t ask me she thought, she knew it wouldn’t stop at that one question there were sure to be more; what are you reading? What’s it about? And why? Why? Why?

“Because you told me never to talk to strangers,” the little girl said.


“Well, maybe she enjoys reading,” her mum said.

“I like reading,” the little girl said, “do you like reading mum?”

“Yes, Chelsea, I like reading,” her mum replied.

“But you never read,” the little girl said, “you just watch stupid programmes on TV.”

“Well what’s this?” her mum asked, waving the magazine she was still using as a fan at the little girl, “now, sit up straight or you’ll fall off.”

There was a loud crunch from the old lady, and everybody looked at her. The little girl continued to stare as she crunched and cracked the sweet in her mouth. Once she’d swallowed it, she put her wrinkly hand back in the little paper bag and took another sweet out. Holding it between her thumb and forefinger she looked at it for a few seconds, then pop it was gone, and the old lady sucked and slurped again. The little girl had copied every move, opening and closing her mouth around an imaginary sweet.

“Mum,” she said, tugging on her mother’s sleeve, “I really want a sweet.” This time she said it louder and did not take her eyes off the little paper bag, her mum caught the eye of the old lady and smiled.

“Well maybe that nice lady will give you one if you ask nicely,” she said.

The little girl sat up on her knees and with what appeared to be a much practised pretty smile and a most polite voice asked the old lady if she could please have a little sweetie.

The old lady bent her neck and addressed the child. “You should listen to your mum,” she said, “you shouldn’t talk to strangers and you most definitely should never accept any sweets from them either.” She popped another sweet in her mouth, letting out a little giggle as she did so.

The woman with the book was astounded, she’d never seen such meanness, but she also had to suppress a smile and secretly she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to say such things. The little girl was near tears; her mum muttered something under her breath, opened her handbag and pulled out a mobile phone. “Here, if you’re bored you can play a game,” she said, “we’ll be home soon and you can have a biscuit then.” The little girl grabbed the phone; she sat in silence staring at the little screen in front of her; and only every now and then glancing up at the old lady as she crunched down on another sweet.



You can read Holly’s next FreeSpace* on Wednesday 13th October


*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects or self expression.


3 Mar




We’ve got a lot going on over the next three months (there are full details for the next 3 months on the What’s On Calendar, something every day). Lot’s of great showcasing, collaborations and mental health initiatives, along with the launch of our Kickstarter Campaign  to turn Transformations, the large-scale poetry art project we’ve been running for the last 15 months inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, into a fantastic exhibition in Hanse House Norfolk. See here.  

We’re hoping the campaign date will start on Monday 21st April but this is dependent on whether we have heard from particular funders or not.  Here’s the campaign badge that has been designed by Gary Caldwell who was one of the artists involved in the first ever collaboration on ArtiPeeps two years ago! 



Any, and every bit, of  support you can give us when this starts will be much appreciated, so you can be there at the start, and help us make this virtual project real. It’s an amazingly formative and exciting  time for ArtiPeeps.

This season we’ve got 12 new creatives featured in Weekend Showcase every  Friday. The creatives featured are a mixture of poets, prose writers, wood sculptors, singers and artists all presenting one piece that they feel best represents them.

J Matthew Waters (poet); Ieuan Edwards (Linocut artist); Shirley Golden (prose writer); Anthony Di Martino (poet), Mark Crawley (Wood Sculptor); Stephanie Brennan (poet and writer); Darren Goldsmith (writer); Beth Allen (musician/singer), Jack Morris (artist), Abbie Neely (writer), Ashley Mackenzie (artist) and Hank Archer (poet).

Some  showcasers are also taking part in our ‘ Supporting Mental Health’ collaborations, as well as those who have taken part in previous collaborations.  This season we’re focusing on:

1.  Loneliness: 3 artists: Deborah Sheehy, Jeremy Moseley, Ieuan Edwards and 3 poets: Stephanie Brennan, Charlie Winters, John Mansell over 6 weeks


2. Anxiety and Release: 4 artists: Mat JimDog, Heather Burns, Jack Morris, Cliona Shehan  and 4 poets: Mina Polen, Rod Kok, Lucy Quin, Lauren Coulson . The poets are taking the theme of anxiety and the artists responding in relation to release.

Both collaborations will be attempting to engage with these important issues in an artistic, innovative and engaging way in order to raise awareness and promote discussion. You’ll see the first Loneliness collaboration roll out this Thursday. It is then my intention to turn these mid-sized collaborations into a larger exhibition. 

We also have a broad range of creatives taking up our ‘FreeSpace’ opportunity (3 free spaces over a season of work) : we have poets Mandy Gibson, Kate Garrett and writer Estrella Azul, and we are thrilled to have Millfield School in Somerset taking up a FreeSpace as well;  a selection of their pupils will be showcased. The school is also  holding a  poetry festival  in June and we are delighted to be posting out their festival material through ArtiPeeps during that month. I’m hoping that this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Millfield.  I couldn’t be more happy about this.

This season we also have two creative residencies ( that span over 1 month each) and we’re delighted to have emerging performance poet Lauren Coulson  with us in March who is focusing her residency on the notion of nesting and she is working with artist Atalina Homan, who is creating artwork for two of her pieces. We also have writer Ben Cooper (who was a Hot Potato last year) in a residency with us in April. At the moment the creative residency intiative is  a work-in-progress, but I hope to really develop them into a really strong package that can support and nurture wholeheartedly.

We’ve got another Hot Potato starting featuring 6 emerging prose writers (Steve Harris, Michael Schmidt, Shannon Pardoe, Holly Gibson, Josh Kremer and Jessica Cooke) . Each writer writing one section and then passing it on to the next writer, and in so doing creating one collaborative short story. This is the second one we have run, the first being completed last year with Robo-girl. It’s a great format that can go anywhere! When we have enough of them we’re going to create a published collection. In the interim, I create an interactive pdf and an artist illustrates their work.

Finally, we’re introducing a new mid-sized poetry collaboration which we’re hoping will become a regular called Found Poetry Where 4 poets will be writing a poem made out of  found texts ( with me flinging in one found text into the mix too). So there will be new found poetry every fortnight for 8 weeks. James Giddings, who was showcased last season and Lydia Allison who had a residency last year and Joanna Lee and Kate Garrett will be the poets involved.

It’s also worth mentioning that from now on, on Wednesdays, from 8-9pm I’m going to be starting a Twitter  #ArtiPeepsChat hour to generate interest and promote this season’s showcases, collaborations etc.  I will hopefully be chatting to the creatives involved in that week and dealing with any themes that have been raised.  I’m hoping that this will then transform into campaign chat to promote what we’re doing in relation to Transformations. Do feel free to join in if you are on Twitter at that time, and join in the ArtiPeepsChat.

Thrilled to be running this season and working with more fantastic creatives, and excitedly girding my loins for our Kickstarter Campaign. 

I hope you enjoy what we do, and if you’d like to get involved in next season do get in contact with me via the contact form on the What’s On page, or via @ArtiPeeps.

Thanks so much for your interest.

All the very best.



27 Feb


‘Many thanks for your email. ArtiPeeps looks like a very impressive venture! I’ve had a good look at the website and am blown away by the variety and quality of the work on it. I’d love our pupils to be able to showcase some of their work on your site, ‘

James Baddock, Millfield School, Somerset, Head of English, Drama & Media


Lili Morgan(artist):

(took up a creative residency in 2013, FreeSpace, ‘Transformations’)

 ‘From the moment I was asked to take up a creative residency for a month, I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity displayed. I was supported wholeheartedly. I was provided with a mentor which was so helpful and decided to talk about my experience in journal form on ArtiPeeps.

I did a collaboration with a number of poets during the first month and then I was asked if I would like to extend my journal to become a resident artist on ArtiPeeps. I excitedly accepted the offer. I went on to write a regular journal. I also did 3 collaborations under the ‘FreeSpace’ initiative with the very talented poet @Nat Hall via ArtiPeeps which was amazing. I really connected with Nat and the collaborations were so much fun to do.

I was then amazed to be asked to take part in an exhibition in Norfolk this coming September 2014. ‘Transformations’ will be a mixture of poets and artists brought together by ArtiPeeps based on Metamorphoses by Ovid. The work will also be featured in a book. Artipeeps and Nicky has helped me tremendously with enthusiasm, support and encouragement and has provided me with my first opportunity to display my art at an exhibition. I have also been able to connect with other creatives via ArtiPeeps as well.

Overall, my time with ArtiPeeps has been extremely positive and I know that we will be sure to be working together in the future. I am very grateful for everything ArtiPeeps has done to support and help me with.In my opinion it’s the perfect place for any emerging artist to showcase their work.’

Holly Gibson (writer):

On Holly’s ‘FreeSpace’* opportunity for prose writer:

 ‘Thank you ever so much for this, it has definitely boosted my confidence.’

Holly showcased her short story in two parts in 2013.  Here, here

*FreeSpace = 3 slots on ArtiPeeps spread across a season of work. Can be used for more showcasing or a project. Also open to groups.


Atalina Marie Homan (artist)

on taking part in our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaboration on Comfort and Light

‘a wonderful process to go through! What i enjoyed most was becoming a blank canvas myself, so as to create something original and entirely inspired by the emotion i felt when reading Becca’s poem.’  (2013)

You can see Atalina’s collaboration with poet Rebecca Audra Smith here 

Jack Morris (artist)

On taking part in our 2014 Anxiety and Release ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaboration.

‘On a side note, I’m delighted with the collaboration that was put up today. I was hoping my artwork could compliment Lucy’s poem and I’m really pleased with how they work alongside each other. You’re really are doing great work with ArtiPeeps. Thanks’

You can see Jack’s collaboration with Poet Lucy Quin here



Two Strands: ArtiPeeps Mini-Relaunch

30 Sep

Two Strands

Well, as from tomorrow until the end of the year ArtiPeeps is back with gusto. We are now entirely driven by multi-form collaborations and Individual Showcasing (the two strands) It’s a real treat to say that over the next 3 months…

  • We’ve got 12 weekend showcases * lined up featuring a real gamut of emerging and established creatives and forms every Friday (see below).

        *Weekend Showcase Initiative (Every Friday, 1 Creative, 1 Piece of Work, letting their work speak for itself)

  • We’ve got 1  FreeSpace* creatives ( Michael Schmidt, Nat Hall & Lili Morgan, Shannon Pardoe, Eliot Winters, Holly Gibson and one of our lovely Transformers Karin Heyer) and 1 FreeSpace Group (Space2Create)

          *FreeSpace Initiative (3 consecutive slots for further showcasing or projects).

  • There are also two mid-sized collaborations under our new strand ‘Supporting Mental Health’ ( part of ‘Creatives Making A Difference’):  The first collaboration bringing together 4 artists and 4 poets  examining the dynamics of fear and trust and the other collaboration (involving 3 poets, 2 artists and 1 photographer) on light, comfort and re-assurance. In each case poets, artists and photographers will be  working alongside each other on the themes.

The two collaborations above highlight one of the major threads of ArtiPeeps’ intention which we’re letting sit under the banner of ‘Supporting Mental Health’. The artwork and texts created in these two collaborations, alongside   ‘The Recovery Project’ will form an ongoing artistic and therapeutic resource for people in need and also provide an innovative access point from which people can engage with difficult psychological themes and issues. This I’m hoping to call  ‘ Comfort Zone’.  (This, I hasten to add at this point,  is very much a work in progress). And I also have in mind that these collaborations could be grouped together as external exhibitions , to increase public awareness.

I’d be very grateful for any feedback on these two collaborations. What you liked about them? If they helped? How valuable you think this strand is?


we are introducing our  Writer in Residence for October (Visitor Peep)  emerging writer and poet Lydia Allison. We’re thrilled to have her with us over the next month. Indeed, we have built a whole multi-form Halloween-style collaboration around 4 great poems of Lydia’s which focus on  a particular interest of her’s- notions of deformity. You’ll hear more about that tomorrow!

And here’s where our third collaboration comes in….because October leads up to Halloween 4 great artists are not only providing illustrations for each of Lydia’s  poems but also collaboratively creating a monster together. At Halloween you’ll be able to see the ghastly, terrifying  collaborative Monster they’ve shaped together and a new piece of writing by Lydia too.  We’ve also got a spanking new piece of Flash fiction with a Halloween theme coming out from emerging writer Jessica Cooke which we’re also very excited about which will pave the way to the Monster. 

We’ve also got ArtiPeeps’ 2nd Artist in Residence returning (Lydia’s predecessor) lovely neon artist Lili Morgan and her neons . Her monthly journal is back until the end of the year.  It will be a delight to have her neons and spirit back on show. And there will be the steady heartbeat of Transformations poems passing through too on a weekly basis.  All is well.

So over the next 3 months well over 30 wonderful creatives will have been individually showcased and have connected and collaborated together – making a difference and  creating new artworks and literary pieces whilst showcasing their talent and artistry. That’s the idea anyway.

I did a bit of calculating last week and I’m proud to say that since last May over 100 creatives have taken up ArtiPeeps’ opportunities. I know that’s probably small fare compared to some organisations, but it is a lovely firm foundation from which to grow.  It is my every intention to continue and develop these opportunitives further and provide concrete oulets like ‘Transformations’ our 2014 large scale art/poetry exhibition on a regular basis. Now we have found a home in the form of Hanse House for our events this can happen.

You’re feedback and support is much valued,  particularly in relation to this new strand. – So do come back both physically and with your comments and ideas. There’s lots on,  and much quality and talent.


The other Creatives and there work featured over the next 3 months will be  as follows:


Gary Caldwell (Illustrator & Artist)

Diana Proubst (Artist)

Amanda Santos (Artist)

Sara Mena (Artist)

Fear/ Trust

Ryan Atkins (Artist) Richard Biddle (Poet)

Rob Fitzmaurcice (Artist) Robin Sounder (Poet)

Mat JimDog (Artist) Tom Murphy (Poet)

Ray Bentley (Artist) Melissa Diem (Poet)

Comfort and Reassurance

Hugo Smith (Artist) Lenka Monk (Poet)

Ken Fasimpaur (Artist) Lauren Caulson (Poet)

Atalina Marie Homan (Artist) Candice Buchanon (Poet)

Weekend Showcase:

Heather Mary Burns (Artist)

Eliot Winters (Writer and poet)

Em (poet)

Estrella Azul (Writer)

John Austin Brooks (poet)

Jenny Bailey (Writer)

Tony Adams (Photographer)

Mina Polen (Poet)

Virginia Clarke (Artist)

James Gidding (Writer)

Anil Godigamuwe (Poet)

Jeremy Mosley (Photographer)

And maybe more….


We hope you enjoy the diversity, talent, quality and creativity.

All the very best.


P.S. Today, I’m going to be hopefully inaugurating an ArtiPeeps online calendar on the ‘What’s On’  Page so you can see ‘what’s occurring’ throughout the month more easily.

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