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Big Black Drop Sheet 

13 Apr

 

Over the past month and a half depression has come over me like a big black drop sheet. Big black drop sheet is the way I described my depressions when I was first diagnosed with bipolar in 2004. This particular depression has surprised me, almost come out of nowhere but not: having to stop my meaningful plans, change tack, lie in bed for days, have insomnia, tolerate crying unexpectedly and uncontrollably. Depression has hit me again, and I thought I was an old hand at picking up the signs.

This time sadness, shame and self-hatred have been the most overwhelming emotions surrounding me. For someone so clearly capable to keep banging up against a crashing amount of self loathing has been hard to take. I cry like a little girl, so I’m told, and that is probably true. For the things that I am presently mourning for today are the very same things child-Nicky was attempting to deal with years ago. I know that this is not unusual, maybe something we are all faced with at some point.

I have bipolar II which means I have hypomanias and not manias (hypomanias are energy-based and not psychotic). You also have more depressions than ups.  With bipolar II if you track back there is usually a history of the depressions getting increasingly more severe with fewer and fewer hypomanias in between. Bipolar II is also not regular. There are no regular cycles. It can spring up on you at anytime. You can’t predict it, so it is therefore quite hard to manage.

Since my diagnosis, and the therapy that followed, I’ve gone about my life trying to emphasise the well parts of it, which can make you, and others, almost forget that you have an ongoing illness that sits behind your well periods. I’ve come to realise that this attitude isn’t necessarily healthy for me although it might seem like it should be. My capability and energy can unhelpfully mask what illness I have. Over the last 20 + years I have been regularly depressed after anything I have achieved: jobs, creative projects-you name it. Stress triggers my bipolar. It’s hard for me to consistently hold anything down for a length of time.  This is a bitter pill to swallow and face. This is further complicated by the fact my self-worth isn’t derived from what I do. It’s derived from how well I look after myself, and generally I do that pretty poorly as I tend to ‘become’ things when I do anything. All my self-care subtly vanishes as I flounder, sabotage and watch my self worth ebb away.

 

Brain

 

Out of what has happened to me lately I can see that the strategy of treating myself like I don’t have an illness, that I am a ‘well person’, doesn’t necessarily work for me despite its inherent positivity. To keep myself well and catch things early I have to have the fact I have bipolar right in front of me so I can catch things. This is important because symptoms can appear from out of nowhere, escalate and dig-in and before you know it I’m a ‘goner’. I forget that. Like in the summer last year, when all of The Nine Realms threads were coming together and I was very stressed and working 60 hour weeks. I started to change: started hitting myself and becoming very aggressive whilst still feeling full of energy and highly functioning. I became a different person for a while, which I came to understand in hindsight was me in a mixed state (where you are both depressed and energised at the same time). For about three weeks I was not myself, felt dreadful, but was fully able to work and was driven by my intention to follow through on every aspect of The Nine Realms. This state incremently and subtly crept up on me, and from that state the seeds of depression were sown.

I didn’t catch the change in my behaviour because we weren’t being vigilant enough. Maybe if we (and by we, I mean my mother and I) had been actively on the lookout for changes I might not be lying in bed right now. I’m not saying that I need to be treated with kid gloves or stopped from doing anything that might trigger me. No, I’m not saying that, but maybe a new strategy needs to be put in place. A few signs in my house need to be put up that remind me that it’s a good responsibility to manage my illness. That I have an illness, that despite being on medication, comes up and slaps me merrily on the rear. It’s not nice, it’s not pretty but it is the cold stone truth.

This depression is the first time I haven’t been comatose, which you would think would be a turn up for the books, but it doesn’t feel like that. The extensive period of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  I had for 7 years has taught me that there is distance between myself and my thoughts. I know I am not my thoughts, and I also know how to challenge my thoughts. However, despite having this knowledge, because of my miswiring, it doesn’t stop me from feeling the negative emotions attached to them which then spirals me downwards. So I still get powerfully locked into the negative loops in my schemas (established, entrenched patterns of thinking). In this last week I have just started to use again the CBT techniques I was taught. I think the fact, that this time, I haven’t become my thoughts is what has saved me from becoming comatose. It’s lessened my feelings of helplessness. I have mind tools to deploy. My therapist (who was a specialist in persistent severe depression) taught me well.

This is the moment (you would think) I would be cracking open the champagne (if I drank), pulling the party poppers and celebrating the fact I have been given these tools, but I have found this half-processing state to be far worse than the familiar comatose depression state. In the comatose state you’re out of it at least, you’re not feeling anything other than awful; or you’re so out of it it doesn’t matter. In what I’m feeling now- this half-state- you feel so consciously cornered by your head and your schemas. You feel everything, and you are constantly batting off negative thought processes and delving into, and staying with, emotions. It’s tiring, all-consuming and scary (even if the process has the hidden positive of reminding you you can still feel). This strangely makes the thought of the comatose state more attractive. Tackling my negative thinking constantly is wearisome. Writing things down, charting why I feel what I’m feeling. It’s tiring, even though I do know in my heart of hearts it’s probably a healthy responsibility but……nevertheless. It just doesn’t feel like it. If I take on the new ‘I have bipolar’ strategy, I have a lifetime of charting and managing ahead of me, and sometimes (in all honesty) it feels like it would be better for it all to stop. These types of thoughts are the worst and still come back again and again.

It usually takes me a year to recover fully from a depression. Getting through this bit where my constant rumination and negative processing get in the way of me moving forward. However, I absolutely intend to put my ‘I have bipolar’ signs in the house so I don’t forget (even if it looks a bit bonkers). With a new strategy maybe I can catch my negative core beliefs and thoughts more quickly, treat myself more kindly and live a little bit more of an honest life that actually knowingly supports my vulnerability (which is something we all share). This might help prevent the big black drop sheet from dropping down so quickly in the future. It will come back but maybe the next time it might be a little bit more translucent.

 

Nicky

Tell your story walking

7 Dec

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For the last two weeks now I have been intending to post out a piece on The Festival of Ideas and ArtiPeeps’ future. It hasn’t materialised for a number of reasons,  primarily because I seem to have lost myself somewhere in all the swirl of ‘doing’ and plans for the future. There has been no space for any extraneous writing other than those required by funders. Upon exploration now it has become strikingly clear to me that during this year I seem to have foregone self-care for service, which ultimately (I know) can lead to no good. You don’t need to totally ring yourself dry, background your needs and story for the sake of your passion/vision/project. It’s easy to do but it isn’t health or well-being or sensible. If you do the act is probably rooted in something darker and often in personal history.

I know that my bi-polar doesn’t help the situation. Balance is hard to find when you’re permanently chemically imbalanced, and I’m so driven and generally enthusiastic that I forget that there is an underlying process going on that is triggered by stress and drives me from up to down: if there is an up there WILL be, guaranteed, a down (that is the way of bi-polar, I forget that).

I also have two very active and powerful schemas going on which skew my thinking: what I call my ‘I am responsible’ schema and my ‘Care for others’ schema. These are interwoven patterns of thinking, cognitive miswirings that I have to permanently handle. They are always triggered by ‘doing’ and/or creating and they complicate everything I do. They were powerfully triggered by The Nine Realms, and as this year has gone on I’ve had to manage them more and more. They are strong and nasty and can make me think I’m not good, make me hit myself, or take things away like self-care, meditation, gentleness, food or steadiness and replace it with cruelty, anxiety, sabotage and a level of self-detestation that is hard to understand when you think I would be feeling great about myself.

When I stopped cognitive behavioural therapy, even though I had come to understand my thinking errors profoundly, I knew these miswirings couldn’t be fixed. I was gently told that I just had to become an expert at managing them, and that each time I did it would get a little bit better. Inch work which accumulates. That each time I tried something new, like ArtiPeeps, or the BBC, or the theatre company, or the library, that I would have to face these schemas and ways of thinking again and again. I don’t think I was presumptuous enough to think that I would come through The Nine Realms psychologically unscathed, but I was and am, shocked at how quickly, despite the success of it and the clear benefit, my balance went, how quickly I chose to replace myself with ArtiPeeps and the greater good.

My self-esteem has never been connected to what I do, what I create. You might expect otherwise. My self-esteem has always been nurtured when I have truly felt I have taken care of myself, not sabotaged, not endured or stuck the shards in (again). An intrinsic feeling (consolidation) and not something externally manifested. This is why achieving things externally never lasts for me because by the time whatever I have decided to do has finished I’ve usually died somewhere along the line and am scrambling around in my mind for some resemblance of myself. Why have I done this again?!

It took much longer to tie up The Nine Realms than I expected. There was the success of The Festival of Ideas (which came as a delightful add-on afterwards) the wonderful coming together again, and then the sending out of the backer rewards (delivering) and the last payments of invoices, which only was completed today. Unexpected things cropped up too: I had to rejig The Nine Realms budget for The Arts Council only the week before last when all I wanted was for things to stop. After a year of regular 60 hr a week work patterns and driving myself towards this collective goal and celebration of collaboration, I just wanted it all to stop. How can it be that the event happened 11-15 September and I’m still putting the project to rest at the end of November? Every ounce of me had been given- willingly, and I had to draw on a sense of energy and a positive psychology that wasn’t there anymore. My best self.

I had to use every reserve to complete what needed to be done, whilst my feelings of badness started to become huge (that’s the miswiring and the stress). What should have elicited feelings of joy and pride left me more in contact with my ongoing psychological vulnerability (my grin can hide a lot).

Physically I have had difficulties this year: I now have to walk with a stick a lot of the time, and I am losing mobility in three of my fingers in my left hand. I have cerebral palsy and I think in middle age, things are catching up on me. I soon won’t be able to grip much with my left hand and without my leg brace I walk like a geriatric lobster. I’m having to learn a new way of being, come to terms with the restrictions of my new physicality. When I caught glimpses of myself in The Nine Realms event photos, I was quite shocked at my own vulnerability- how stiff and ungainly I’d become. This physical shift has been going on at the same time as ArtiPeeps’ growth. It’s ironic.

For the past couple of weeks I have banished myself to my bed- to restore my body and mind and to try and reinstate some balance in my life. Every single self-care and physical practice that had been so carefully created over the previous three years vanished during this year. I took it all away myself ,and replaced self-care and myself with ArtiPeeps. It was a willing, wonderful giving which I couldn’t control, but equally it can’t continue because it’s unsustainable, doesn’t allow me to create and nurture my own story, and to give my true best to ArtiPeeps. How can well-being be a fundamental to ArtiPeeps if I don’t practice it myself? It doesn’t set a good example and serves ‘old Nicky’-beliefs that, in reality, are long gone. This is what humanitarian Zainab Salbi said about the nature of giving fully:

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I don’t want to be that rung out towel. I want to continue to grow ArtiPeeps into something wonderful, and to celebrate the creativity and talents of everyone who is involved. I want to serve from a position of strength and (as much as possible) equanimity. Now, I just have to get the balance right and to keep on walking the best way I know how- with integrity, care and a quieter mind.

Addendum:

Here’s a profoundly valuable and insightful video by performance artist Marina Abramović which has further consolidated my belief  in the notion of challenge that I have recently embedded into ArtiPeeps’ new artistic statement

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As ever, thank you for your interest, and I shall endeavour to get a post out about the 3rd ArtiPeeps season of work shortly.

Nicky

P.S.  Deb Talan’s song “Tell Your Story Walking” was is inspired by “Motherless Brooklyn”, a novel by Jonathan Lethem

Vikings Ahoy! Good News! The Nine Realms Update (April #2)

13 Apr

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19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking Boat

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Vikings Ahoy!

 Good News!

Fireworks

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I am very pleased to announce that The Nine Realms has been co-funded by Arts Council England alongside Norfolk County Council, which is absolutely thrilling and a testament to the talents, creativity and skills of all 45 creatives involved in The Nine Realms!

HOWEVER,

 we are still missing some vital funds to cover the commissioning costs of the carving of our Viking boat,  the focal point of our project. This is why our Indiegogo campaign is starting next week on Monday 20th April, to cover these costs. Mark, our great woodcarver, is going to start his LIVE-WOODCARVING,  and I’m really excited to see what Mark is going to create for us. To have regular, live updates will be a wonderful thing. We can watch our boat emerge!

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Chisel Sharpening

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Our campaign  is still crucial because it will be the final piece in our funding jigsaw.  As soon as the campaign goes live I  will post out the project link which will take you to our campaign.  Any support you could give us would be MUCH appreciated and will help showcase the talents of 45 global creatives ‘Magicking the Norse World to life’ for the general public and schools! 

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New-NCC-logos- 4 ArtiPeeps larger

 

 

 

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FIDDLING and FINALISING

I have spent the last couple of months creating the video for our campaign and I  think I am now there with it. Still a few more tweaks on the campaign text, but we’re nearly there with that too. Big thanks goes to  poet and writer Robin Sounder for her input.

I think it will be exciting to see what we can achieve as a collective. This phase of our fundraising always tends to bring the Vikings/creatives  together in a more overt way, in pursuit of one aim.  

The details of the 4 competitions are also being finalised, and it will be great to see what energy that will bring. The prize will be a multimedia event DVD of The Nine Realms. This includes all the selected poetry, all the art and music, as well as any poems/artwork from the pupils at the schools with whom we are working . The DVD will be in a specially designed slipcase by Gary Caldwell

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PROMOTION AND INTERVIEWS THROUGHOUT THE CAMPAIGN:

This evening I shall be having a chat via Skype with podcaster Amber Love about The Nine Realms and creativity.The podcast will be going out on Monday 4th May. Amber hosts VODKA O’CLOCK where she interviews people from all areas of the arts and entertainment.  An article with the King’s Lynn News is also going to go out across the campaign, and hopefully some interviews and promos via Future Radio. These will feature both poets, artists and Mark. I am at present in discussion with their arts programme producer as to the exact nature of how we will be featured. It will be exciting to share what we are doing with Norwich listeners, and then share our poetry and art with them in September!

I think that is it for now! Here’s to the launch of our campaign next Monday!

Thank you for your interest.

 

Viking Nicky

The Nine Realms HQ

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More details about The Nine Realms

Vikings Ahoy! The Nine Realms Update (April)

2 Apr

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19 poets, 22 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking Boat

 Vikings Ahoy! 

Our Indiedgogo Campaign

The previous month or so has been filled with lots of preparation for the launch of our Indiegogo Campaign to raise funds for the commissioning costs of the 50 cm x 80 cm Carved Viking boat that woodcarver Mark Crowley is going to be LIVE CARVING for us from his studio in Newcastle.

We shall be launching our campaign on Monday 20th April!  I’ve been busy creating  our campaign video, and I am now putting the final touches to our Campaign Page and starting to show it to people. Over Easter I shall create a  special Campaign page for this site. So please do watch out for the launch, and consider supporting us and our boat!

It’s going to be very exciting to see the boat emerge from within the oak wood that Mark has chosen. The boat will act as the focal point of our poetry readings and realm tours.

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Competitions

This year we are also running 4 Twitter competitions attached to our campaign. Two poetry-led ones, one fiction, and one art. They will be run by Vikings : Shirley Golden, James Mackenzie, Kate Garrett (and myself) and Jim C. Mackintosh. We will release the competition dates and details after Easter. There will be some really original ‘The Nine Realms’ prizes attached.

 

Art work:

Although the deadline for all project art isn’t until the 30th April, three great pieces have already come in. From artists:  Ann Supan, Robert Fitzmaurice and  Chad Swanson.  Here they are:

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All three pictures have great impact and are going to compliment the realm poetry powerfully. For Ann, it will be her first ever exhibition experience, and for Chad his first UK exhibition. I’m so thrilled to have them both involved.  

As some of the artwork came in early we could also create our first poetry-art greetings card in readiness for the campaign.  A pack of three different cards will be one of our rewards.  Rob’s Nifelheim piece was chosen, and paired with a poem by Realm poet  Tom Murphy called ‘Nifelheim’. You can listen to Tom reading his poem below:

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Please click on the image to enlarge.

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Future Radio

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The Nine Realms DVD

I went to  Future Radio last week, the community radio station we are working with in Norwich, and we have finalised two dates when we will begin to edit together the poetry mp3, paintings and music, and create an event DVD. This is something we will do steadily until the deadline at the end of June, which is when the master file has to be with the Disk Manufacturers.

Interviews with Poets and Artists

I have also been in contact with the arts programme producer at Future Radio and we are presently working out how we shall promote our campaign through their programmes, whilst also creating opportunities within which the Viking poets, artists and musicians  can be interviewed and talk about their work.

Some of our rewards will also include backer poems and songs and will be aired on Future Radio, which should be great! 

At the moment lots of the tiny threads of the project are being pulled together which is exciting, but also a little bit nerve wracking. The thought of the boat being carved, and how the crowdfunding pulls the collective together is an ongoing salve. And whenever I think about our collective, and the notion of collective endeavour, I am always pulled towards the beginning of a quote by Henry James which I have returned to again and again over the years:

‘Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind-of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads…’

Over the next few weeks up until the launch of our campaign those ‘finest threads’ are coming together and becoming an immense sensibility! And that all feels pretty wondrous, I have to say…

Thank you very much indeed for your interest,  and have a Happy Easter-all. There will be another update next week.

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Viking Nicky

The Nine Realms HQ

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More details about The Nine Realms

Vikings Ahoy! The Nine Realms Update: March

5 Mar

 

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19 poets, 22 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat

Vikings Ahoy!

Funding

I finally sent off our application to Arts Council England (ACE) last week, which was a great relief after 2 months of fiddling with words and figures.  You become so anxious about wanting to communicate the worth of your project and the quality of the creatives involved, and hoping you’ve done everything and everyone justice…. I’m pleased to say that the day before yesterday I heard that the application had passed through the first stage, which feels great. I shall keep everyone posted as to the application’s progress. We will hear in the middle of April.

It’s funny how life works: that on the same morning that I pressed the submit button to whiz the application off to ACE, I also heard from Norfolk County Council, saying that we have been offered a provisional grant from them- towards the cost of hiring ‘The Gallery’ space in Hanse House. This feels brilliant because it reconfirms that the Council thinks highly of the creatives involved, the projects we create, and the opportunities we offer. And in terms of Norfolk, it’s great that they are supporting Hanse House in its development as a cultural venue. So good news all round!

I have also finally sent off two trust letters to The Paul Bassham Trust (supporting events in Norfolk) and the Laura Elizabeth Stuart Memorial Trust (who support projects in Norfolk with a broad educational remit) for help towards the hire of Hanse House and our Schools’ Day costs on the Friday of our event. Decision dates on trust funding can be quite quick. The trusts meet in April, and we can  hear 2-3 weeks later,  so watch this space….

Crowdfunding

With the trust letters off I can now concentrate on preparations for our crowdfunding campaign. We have decided to go for Indiegogo this time because it has a firm not-for-profit remit and flexible funding. It’s a difficult call to make- Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but the only way to know is to have an experience of both.  So this year its Indiegogo’s turn…..At the moment I am aiming to begin our campaign on Monday 20th April for 30 days.  Last year we crowdfunded for entire project costs. This year we are funding for the commission fees of our oak-carved Viking boat, which will be live carved by woodcarver Mark Crowley across the 30 days. Live updates throughout. The boat will act as a focal point in ‘The Gallery’ space throughout our event. We are going to be donating the boat to Hanse House after the 5-days, so it can sit within a suitable hanseatic setting. We’ll have to nab the boat back though when we tour with The Nine Realms…..

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The month ahead will consist of me pulling the campaign together on Indiegogo and creating a project video and campaign page. I’m having a different approach this year with the video, and making it a lot less talky and more image based, which I think will work much better. I’m also planning to storyboard it carefully first as well. We are also presently confirming the backer rewards, and I’ll reveal all as soon as they’re 100% decided upon.

Other Progress:

Two pieces of artwork for the project have come in thus far. I will share them with the Viking participants first, and then post them out in my next update. All the artwork is due in on Thursday 30th April which will be in the middle of our campaign.  I think it will be exciting to reveal all the event art in the middle of our funding initiative.

 As some of the artwork has already come in I have been able to start creating the first greetings card in  our reward 3-pack.  The artwork and writing features Viking artist Robert Fitzmaurice and Viking poet Tom Murphy . The card went off yesterday to the printers, and as soon as it is ready, I’ll release it to the world. 

I think that’s about it for now.

Thank you, as ever, for your interest.

Viking Nicky

The Nine Realms HQ

Vikings Ahoy! : Here’s The Nine Realms Collaboration Logo

10 Feb

Our logo for our The Nine Realms project has finally been designed and completed by illustrator and graphic designer Gary Caldwell.  

Here it is:

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The logo is based on the Yggasdril Tree which is central to Norse Mythology and their myths of cosmology. All the nine realms come off the tree. The realms are represented by the different coloured balls within the tree (including the main one). This logo will be used on all our promotional material.

We have decided to call the event in Hanse House in September an ‘experience’ rather than an exhibition. This is for 3 reasons: 1. because of the high levels of participation and interaction there will be with attendees and pupils (at our schools’ day); 2. because we want to move attendees away from merely attending to active participation and 3. because we want to take attendees on a the magical journey supported by the realm music, lighting, poetry and art. We want to trigger the senses and the imagination.

I hope you all like it.

 Gary has done all our previous logos for Transformations (last year’s large-scale) and  our ArtiPeeps logo. Here are the other two logos Gary created for us:

 

Thank you Gary, for designing something so striking and memorable for The Nine Realms.

 

Viking Nicky 

 

 

 

 

 

A Festive Nine Realms and ArtiPeeps Update (2014)

22 Dec

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 ArtiPeeps 2014 Overview:

It’s been a significant year for ArtiPeeps, with the success of Transformations our first poetry-art exhibition in Hanse House, Norfolk. Not only did we showcase a broad range of creatives from all over the world and the UK, we confirmed that the ‘making the virtual real’ part of what we do, works. Also, some of us met for the first time having worked together for two years virtually which was also very rewarding.

My strongest  memory though of Transformations is of the schools’ day where pupils engaged with the poetry and art created by the Transformers, inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. They were fully engaged, valued the interaction with,  and direct access to, the Transformers who came and shared their process. They took part in poetry readings- the whole works! It made me realise how powerful participation and interaction is with the arts particularly when you combine them. This belief informs what we will do in the future, our artistic policy and indeed, what we’re doing next year with The Nine Realms.

 

The whole project was a huge act of collaboration in every possible way, and in its culmination reflected the diversity and talent of the poets and artists involved.  All the material from the collaboration has been gathered into a book, which you can find here, or via the side bar.

The Nine Realms Update:

The Nine Realms has followed directly on the heels of Transformations, and before the year is out I wanted to give you all an update as to how our latest large-scale collaboration is getting on. The poetry and writing side of the collaboration has been rolling out now since October, and some fantastic poetry has been written inspired by the realms of Asgard and Vanaheim. The first batch of Vanaheim poems was posted out this week.

This year, due to the oral tradition attached to the Norse Sagas, as many of the poets and writers have been reading their poetry out loud, creating mp3s. This has enriched the poetic and writerly element of the project hugely, and brought the poetry to life. It’s also lovely to hear the voices of many creatives who have been collaborating together since 2012, when ArtiPeeps first started. All the selected mp3s for The Nine Realms experience next September will be compiled into a DVD featuring all the music, images and poetry from the event. You can also listen to them now via the music player in the sidebar —->

At present, I am busy pulling all the various elements of the project together for the new year.  Getting quotes in consolidating new and old partnerships and writing funding applications. We’re continuing our relationship with Hanse House, and have now chosen the room our event will be in (see below, The Gallery). I’ve had several really great meetings with new partners too. Future Radio (which is a community radio station in Norwich, Norfolk in the UK) are going to be helping us promote the event and the Viking creatives involved. Vikings will be interviewed on a variety of programmes before after and during the event, which is very exciting as Future Radio has a listenership of 42,000 per week! This will help us disseminate our project further.

We are also pencilled in for the Millenium Library in Norwich for a poetry reading there. Viking poets will be taking part there too. In both cases (Hanse House and The Library) we want to create a really rich interactive experience for attendees. This worked so brilliantly with Transformations, as mentioned above,  and we want to replicate and further develop that aspect of our work.

 

The Gallery, where The Nine Realms will be held

The Gallery, where The Nine Realms will be held

 

Having written the Norse realms overviews each month for the last three months I have become all too aware of how complex the material attached to the Norse Sagas is. The characters, myths and heart of the stories are thick with humour, spirit and history in away which is strikingly different from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. How we present the poetry, writing, art and music in The Nine Realms will be key to it being understood. We want to create a magical experience for everyone which involves as many of the senses as possible- so this year we will be using lighting to create a starlit sky and we will also be recreating the northern lights across the gallery floor.  Along with the realm music interspersed between the poetry, it should be a magical event, that feeds off what we did with Transformations.

The wood carved Viking boat we have commissioned  from wood carver Mark Crowley will act as a centre piece to the whole experience, and attendees will be  taken on a journey round the artwork via the reading of the poetry and writing attached to each realm. Mini-overviews to each realm will be given by the wonderful Caitlin who is a PhD student from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. This approach worked so well with Transformations and we want to replicate it again. nb. We will be crowdfunding for the Viking boat in mid-April. Mark will be carving the wood sculpture live across our campaign! 

The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk

The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk

 

As there are so many more elements attached to this project I am applying to many more funders to support what we are doing. This week I finished the first draft of our Norfolk County Council Arts Project Fund grant to  help us towards the cost of hiring Hanse House. We are also applying to a variety of trusts for the schools’ day etc.  However we will be asking  Arts Council England for the bulk of our project, once again.  I shall be writing that application in February, and we will hear whether we got it in the second week of April 2015. Fingers crossed!….I have every faith!!!

We have also further consolidated our work with schools within King’s Lynn,  and the Music and English departments from King Edward VII Academy will be working alongside us, in particular their ‘Able, Gifted and Talented’ students. I’ll let you know more details of this as they emerge. The Norse inspired poetry from the pupils from Millfield School Somerset, who did such a great FreeSpace with us this year (which got us Freshly Pressed)  will be posted out here from the end of February 2015. It’s been a pleasure to turn this online connection into a partnership in a concrete project. We will be including the mp3s of their poems with our own on the The Nine Realms DVD!

As part of our  educational remit we have also definitely decided to go ahead with the creation of our very own Norse Minecraft world. The world will be created by Adam Clarke and one of his colleagues and will contain all of the material from our project. This world will be fully interactive and will be made available to the schools involved. If it is successful,  Minecraft will become something we attach to all our projects in the future. It will become a regular part of the educational packages we hope to create for schools.

Also in the new year, all being well, we should have our new The Nine Realms logo in place, designed by Gary Caldwell who produced both our ArtiPeeps and Transformations logos.

 

Finally, some THANK YOUs:

  • I’d like to say a big thank you to all the Transformers who contributed to Transformations this year- both the online part and the ‘real’ part. Without your talent and abilities to collaborate and trust it couldn’t have happened. Thank you for helping me show that Ovid still does rock!
  • Vikings Ahoy! And a big thank you to all the Vikings who are involved in The Nine Realms, I’m excited to see what the new year will bring and what magical  world we’ll create collaboratively.
  • A big thank you to the ArtiPeeps Management Committee as well, who have stuck with me through thick and thin and who have supported my vision and intention.
  • I’d also like to thank all of you who read the material from this website, and who comment and support what we do as an evolving organisation. Your opinions and interest matter hugely, and you have made it the active site it is. ArtiPeeps is a developing organisation. We are learning and growing as we move, and your interest helps us along the way. I’m hoping that at some point in the not too distant future I can start running regular seasons of work again alongside the large-scales, but this is dependent on me successfully finding finances to support the employment of someone to help me with the ongoing running of ArtiPeeps, so we can provide more and more opportunities to more and more creatives.

 Have a happy christmas everyone- and may all good things come to you in the new year ahead!

 

Nicky

 

 

 

 

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