Tag Archives: ArtiPeeps Update

The Nine Realms Update #10: November

17 Nov

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Vikings Ahoy! 


I am pleased to say that I submitted The Nine Realms Arts Council evaluation form the week before last and all seems to have gone well. This will mean that on the 18th of November they will release the final grant payment to us which will allow us to pay our final invoice. So it’s all good! The whole evaluatory process is a very interesting and informative one. It’s fiddly but it makes you look at what you’ve done in an objective way whilst subjectively exploring your achievements and lessons learned. This year we’ve dramatically increased our audience reach, and created 193 new artistic products which wouldn’t have existed if The Nine Realms had not taken place and our overall audience benefit was approximately 92,000 (online and offline).

The remaining backer rewards for our Indiegogo campaign supporters are going out this week and then everything will be more-or-less tied up with The Nine Realms for this year. It will be on to planning the national tour for 2018/19 next year and a new season of work, plus becoming a charity. I shall post out on that shortly….


1. The Festival of Ideas

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The taster we put on at The Cambridge Festival of Ideas on the 24th of October went down very well. 34 people attended, and we set up the realm boards and art work around the room so everyone could get a sense of what the event at King’s Lynn was like. Apologies that there aren’t any more pictures with people in them we all ended up being so engaged with what we were doing there were no spare hands for any camera work.  Vikings Ieuan Edwards, Shirley Golden, Simon Beavis, Jim Mackintosh, Gill Offley, Heather Burns, Karin Heyer and our Norse Expert Caitlin Ellis came along. Caitlin giving overviews of the realms where necessary.

We did mini realm tours around particular realms, the poets and artists talking about their work as we went along and we finished off with a Q & A with the help of the Viking Helmet of questions (each creative could pick out a random question and answer it) which worked out very well.


Viking hat


We also set up two computers with our Yggdrassil Minecraft game on them; and, like in King’s Lynn, the children attending became very absorbed. One young man even began to use the planks he found within the realms to build his own Viking boat within the game! Amazing!

2.  The Nine Realms in an Image Story (Photobucket):

In order to give the Arts Council a real sense of the breadth of The Nine Realms I created an image story of the whole event- encompassing as many elements as I could. I think the quality of what we produced and benefit artistically and educationally is apparent.

Click on the link and it will take you to the photo story.



3. Artistic Statement and Future Intention




Significantly, out of The Nine Realms has come a solid clarfication of ArtiPeeps’ intentions in relation to its large-scale projects and its purpose as an organisation.  This now gives us a very clear focus and consolidates how we approach the work we do in the future. Here’s what I outlined in the mini-self evaluation for the Arts Council:





This is the statement that appeared on one of our scroll-down banners outlining what ArtiPeeps does:

Driving all our work is a belief in creative potential and in the power of the combined arts to transform perceptions and facilitate enjoyment in the arts. Through our projects we hope to go into schools and communities to:

Engage the imagination and senses.
Promote interaction, participation, collaboration and creativity.
Move people from attendance to ‘active participation’.
Challenge and shake up perceptions of art and culture which create barriers to engagement
Give creatives the opportunity to make a difference in schools and communities through large-scale educational projects.

We also believe that creativity, in all its various guises, plays a significant part in maintaining our well-being. This specific interest is made manifest by our mental health themed initiatives.


All attendees at The Nine Realms respond well to our new combination of art forms and validated our use of it in our projects. This positive response has confirmed our belief that the particular framework we have created is worth pursuing and developing. We want to use the combined arts imaginatively to change and challenge, breakdown boundaries, to subtly educate, and to nurture creativity. This intent was positively accepted in King’s Lynn and Norwich, and this realisation means we can go forward into future projects with a very clear intent, which we can now express and share through our new artistic statement.

We want to create projects which immediately facilitate interaction and participation, shaking up perceptions of what art is, who it is for, and how people ‘should’ think about it or behave in relation to it. Engaging emotions and minds- in an active and stimulating manner through ‘Experiences’, challenging notions of what an ‘Exhibition’ is.



This idea of ‘challenging’ and ‘shaking up’ has fuelled our intention to move our projects away from obvious gallery spaces and either into places that are within the community, or unusually placed: unusual spaces where art is not usually found.

We want to take our projects into communities rather than communities coming to us and viewing them. This notion was also inspired by the response of teachers to our work who all wanted us to ‘go into’ schools with tasters of our projects. This ‘going into’ approach will not exclude us using institutions such as libraries and other artistic spaces, like The Forum. Of course, we will not totally exclude the idea of gallery spaces either but our emphasis will be on ‘going into communities’. Our aim will be that the artwork and writing and music and sculpture etc will be presented in an innovative way- not necessarily hung in the expected manner, but in a manner that will promote exploration and first-hand contact with the artistic and writerly products of our projects. This may also extend to performance. The same showcasing possibilities for participants will be there, as will the possibility to buy work. We will still provide high quality showcasing opportunities for participants but the emphasis will be on the fact that the creatives involved in our projects will be ‘making a difference’, contributing to something wider beyond their creativity, which affects young peoples’ education or peoples’ imaginations. This can augment creatives other artistic pursuits as well as giving them a sense of connection, new opportunities and collaboration through the large-scales.



Inspired by the ‘going into’ suggestion of the schools it is ArtiPeeps’ plan to form a small team of participants who will go into schools after the larger event and work creatively with pupils. In the near future The Management Committee and director will be exploring the finer details of how this would work and who would like to get involved. Transformations and The Nine Realms creatives will be asked  and this will be (in consultation with schools).
We have also created a brand: ‘Classworks’ , which will have under it our curricular projects, as well as our Schools’ books, Minecraft and Educational Packs. With our full educational, combined arts template in place, what will be in our Educational Packs for each project can now be addressed and explored. With the view in mind that these are ready for a national tour in 2018/2019. Branding our educational work as ‘Classworks’ will also help with our professionalisation.


Having this very clear directive will allow us to create imaginative, challenging projects in the future and that feels very inspiring and a testament to the talents and creativity of all the people involved in The Nine Realms.


Watch out for another post shortly on what will be happening with ArtiPeeps in 2016. As ever, thank you so much for your interest.


The Nine Realms Update #9: September

21 Sep

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Vikings Ahoy! 

Having emerged from a packed week, and with my launch into the evaluatory phase of The Nine Realms on-the-go here I am to give you an idea of how  The Nine Realms five day event went. I hope you caught some of the tweeting about it and the posts by Viking participants etc. I’m thrilled to say that overall we had over 800 people passing through the Experience in King’s Lynn, and probably around 150 kids played on  our Minecraft (See section 5).   ‘Boat’  found it’s true home, and looked very stately as if it were meant to be in the space. People weren’t afraid to touch it either, and the sculpture acted as a real centre piece. You can also see the backer initials have been embossed on it, and a line of poetry hinting at the mead of poetry along the side. Mark has created a fantastically organic piece.

More Vikings came this year. With poet Jim C. Mackintosh coming, Karin Heyer and Becca Smith. Artists James Mackenzie, Lili Morgan Robert Fitzmaurice and Heather Burns coming, along with Elaine Offley, Diana Probst  and Gill Offley. Musician Simon Beavis also came too. It was a real treat!

5 paintings were sold across the 5 days and 3 prints- so all is well there too. We also had good attendance and feedback about both our poetry and art workshops. In order to decrease barriers to participation we made them free, which I think was a good thing.  60 pupils also attended our Schools’ Day and they loved our Yggdrasil Minecraft game. You’ll see some pictures below. We also found some children who were called Freyja and even Loki which was very fitting!

The poetry reading in Norwich was fun and relaxed. 34 people attended and 3 of us were there: Karin, myself and Caitlin (our Norse expert). We had somebody recording everything on a digital recorder. The audio will be winging it’s way to Future Radio on Monday.  Nearly every  poet had a poem read in the time and we even had a little girl reading as well.

1. A Visual Taster of the Experience

Under starry sky and Northern lights. Enjoying the spoken word, trying some poetry, participating, looking, responding, connecting.

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Everyone at the Experience came a way with a:

Viking Worksheet

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and a

Ragnarök Comic! 


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By Elizabeth Fernandez and Koos Kleven 

We took people around the nine realms via poetry readings whereever possible getting poets and artists to talk about there poetry and art. It was a real privilege to hear them and a very personal way to communicate.



2. Yggdrassil!

As mentioned above, 60 pupils from Whitefriars attended on the Friday, and they absolutely loved the Minecraft game we had specially created for them by Adam Clarke. Not only did it contain all the project material in it: pictures embedded in rugged mountains or on easels, and poetry and music audios in press button boxes; it also had objects that we had subtly hidden within the individual realm boards in the Minecraft as well. Having found them on the boards, the children could then find them in Yggdrassil. The children were so engaged, it was a treat to see! We also gave away the zip file of our game to every child that wanted it. In so doing we could take the learning experience started in The Nine Realms and take it into the home as well.

Here is a video about the game from the game’s creator:



A visual overview of the impact of Minecraft:


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and some Minecraft feedback from a pupil:



3. Poetry and Art Workshops

We had two workshops on the morning and afternoon of the 14th. A poetry workshop facilitated by poet Rebecca Audra Smith in the morning and a art workshop facilitated by Viking artist Robert Fitzmaurice. The poetry had a maximum of 8 people as attendees  but 1 person slipped in so 9 people took part and the art had 9 attendees. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and came out of the workshop having learned a new skill and a little bit more about Norse mythology. Here are some pictures. I will be posting a Workshop Special post shortly which will include more pictures and videos. For now here are some photos. They should give you an idea of how engaged people were!


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4. The Nine Realms DVD is now available on Bandcamp and the Books are available too. 

I’ve just made our DVD available through Bandcamp. Here is the link:


Audios are also available too!

You can also find the 40 poems selected for The Nine Realms in a book format here (£4.75):


and The Schools Book here (£4.50):


5.  Some audio Feedback on our project



6. Interactive PDF

Here is the Dropbox link to the Interactive PDF of the whole project too. It includes 2 forewords by Caitlin Ellis (Gonville & Caius) and Anna McNay a freelance art writer:



 7. King’s Lynn New: Press Coverage

Here’s the latest piece that went out about our Schools’ Day! There will be a more detailed follow-up article coming out in the Lynn News shortly:



Vikings Day at Hanse House, King's Lynn, pupils from Whitefriars School, LtoR, Stephen Barker (10), Nicky Mortlock (event organiser), Vilma Endriukaityte (10)

Vikings Day at Hanse House, King’s Lynn, pupils from Whitefriars School, LtoR,
Stephen Barker (10), Nicky Mortlock (event organiser), Vilma Endriukaityte (10)


 8.  The Norwich Poetry Reading



Viking poet Karin Heyer, myself and our Norse expert trotted off to the Millennium library on the 14th all set for a reading of the poems from the project. We read and performed as many as we could between 5,45 pm and 7 pm, and then the floor was opened up to other poets, some of whom had specially written a Norse themed piece. We recorded the whole session, and the file will be going to Future Radio next week to be edited and turned into a programme.  The whole experience was very casual and we even had a young girl reading a poem by mexican poet Mina Polen. Big thanks to The Poetry Unbound Team for letting us come! It was the first time they had had something so finitely themed.

Apologies, there aren’t any photos- we were either reading or recording. Oh yes, and we also made another school contact at the reading, which is a great thing! 

Overall, the outcome of the 5 days is that the general public and the schools love what we’re doing and want us to go into schools with our work. This is a brilliant position for us to be in and we’re thrilled at the new connections we have made via Whitefriars and our Norwich poetry reading.

I think that’s all for now! I’ll post out the Workshop Special shortly.

As ever, thank you for your interest.


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 peek)

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. 




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


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.


 6. Meeting Kat: Poetry Unbound Coordinator



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…


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.


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.


 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



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




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.
Mystery Train Image
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. 
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.

More information about The Mystery Train:


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:



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!


Cover of Comic



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



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.


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.


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


Figurehead Lit

Figurehead Lit


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


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.






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.

Vikings Ahoy! : The Nine Realms Update (February)

3 Feb



Vikings Ahoy!

I thought it was about time to let you all know the progress The Nine Realms has been making. Here’s what’s afoot!:

Funding Applications

I’m still in the midst of the funding applications. I sent off The Norfolk County Council application this last Thursday to help with the hire of Hanse House. I’m now onto the Arts Council England form which will go off in the middle of February. We shall hear from the County Council within 4-6 weeks, and from the Arts Council in early to Mid-April. Two trust letters are also being written to help with the costs of the hire of Hanse House and the schools’ day. The overall cost of the 5-day event will be  approximately £12, 008 and we are applying for a grant of approximately £10,000 from Arts Council England. What we are creating is a high quality arts event.

The Nine Realms Logo:

I’m also pleased to announce that our logo is nearly, nearly ready!  Illustrator and Artist Gary Caldwell has done a brilliant job, but there’s just one more tweak! It’s our take on the Yggdrasil tree and it incorporates 9 circles representing the nine realms. We have decided to call our 5 day event an ‘experience’ rather than an event, because of the way we are using the combined arts (6 art forms) plus lighting and music and lots of interaction and participation from the attendees. Our intention is to move attendees away from merely ‘attending’ to ‘participating’. This intention will feed into all our future projects from now on. We want to challenge perceptions through our large-scale work and shake things up a bit!

New Member of the ArtiPeeps Management Committee

I’m also very pleased to announce that Kate Garrett  has now formerly taken up the position of Secretary in the ArtiPeeps’ Management Committee- writing up and and managing our minutes, and Face-timing into our monthly meetings. It’s a pleasure for us that Kate is formerly on board!


At the moment our crowdfunding campaign for Mark Crowley’s viking boat will more than likely start on Monday 20th April. This is before the majority of the artwork comes in, but I think it will be great to reveal the artwork as the campaign progresses. The AtiPeeps Management Committee had a meeting last week, and it is more than likely that we are going to move our campaign to Indiegogo, which may well be better for a voluntary organisation like us. We also confirmed some of the rewards which are going to range from a Viking Norse wooden medalion carved by Mark,  to a Rune poem, to having your initials carved on the boat. I’m going to get some feedback from the Viking participants and then I canrelease a full list in another update.

Norwich Poetry Reading

 Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, (the most popular library in the UK…)

I had a great meeting with Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library in The Forum the week before last, and we have finalised the details of the poetry reading we are going to hold there on the Monday of our event. It’s going to be part of their Poetry Unbound Series and will run from approximately 5.45- 7.30 pm on Monday 14th September, with an open mic poetry session in the last half hour for the general public. They will be clearing space for us on the ground floor, and there is a maximum audience of 100. It is also being recorded by Future Radio and sections of it will be broadcast on one of their programmes. It’s going to be advertised in the library’s promotional material and The Forum’s, as well as The Writer’s Centre in Norwich. Poets and artists can also bring along their merchandise/books and sell them. There is a taster exhibition space in the foyer of the library and we can put examples of the poetry and art work there a week beforehand. We won’t be able to take the actual pictures from The King’s Lynn exhibition but we could put some giclees in…….

I’ve attached 3 pictures of the library to give you an idea of the space. It’s a beautiful building:



Click on the images to enlarge.


I think that is it thus far! I’ll be back with another update soon. 

Thanks so much for your interest.


 Off to thaw my helmet  🙂

Viking Nicky


You can listen to The Nine Realms poetry here:




We’re Funded! (ArtiPeeps Update)

7 Aug


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


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





and supported by:





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

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

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

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

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

I’ll post another update shortly.

 As ever, thank you for your interest!

ArtiPeeps Update: Onwards and Upwards

28 May



Exactly a week has passed since the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign for Transformations. We had a £4413 project goal and accrued £1392 of it, with 46 backers. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us.  This,  I feel,  is no mean feat and the Transformers and I all worked very hard, full-out, for its duration. Kickstarter campaigns are incredibly labour intensive, I have found!

The conclusion of this Kickstarter could have elicited feelings of despondency, but quite the opposite:  financial support has emerged out of the ashes of the campaign; many backers still  feeling able to support what we’re doing. We can move forward not really having lost anything. I am also about to put in an application to the arts council to fund the remaining monetary shortfall, and the Chair of ArtiPeeps and I will be trying to secure business sponsorship over the next couple of months.  

Overall, I think the campaign has positively foregrounded not only what ArtiPeeps stands for, but also what is behind the opportunities and initiatives we are attempting to provide.  It has also brought all the Transformers together much more overtly and we have communicated and worked well together as a collective. Considering this has often been across continents this is amazing.

I am also pleased that via the article in The Cambridge Evening News I may have helped other people with bi-polar by being open about mine. I’ve received a variety of emails and tweets that would indicate this, which is gratifying.  Some are creatives and will be taking part in future projects. I couldn’t run ArtiPeeps the way I do with a well-being thread without being fully transparent about my health…. 

There is a fast turn around on the Arts Council grant of 6 weeks, so my aim is to have that completed by the end of June. Therefore we will know where we are financially by August which gives us time to secure other funding if necessary by 12th September.


Loki, Norse supervillan


I am also intending to put in further applications for our Norse Sagas project next year and our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ exhibition. By procuring funds in advance of our projects this will help secure our initiatives and allow us to move forward from a position of strength. That is the the theory anyway!!  From the end of June my time will then be spent on the soft copy exhibition book, ebook and pdf and other sponsorship.  We’ll see how that goes…

Our second season of work ended last Friday, and looking back it  featured a wide variety of creatives and initiatives: from Millfield School’s Year 9 young poets, to our second hot potato collaborative short story (which is now being illustrated) to our first wood sculptor who is hopefully going to be involved in the Norse Sagas project next year. The ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Initiative has also produced some fantastic work on the themes of Loneliness and Anxiety and Release. The Found Poetry Project has also shown me the delights of creating such poems. Fabulous!

Running the Kickstarter on top of the season of work was a lot of pressure, and it has made me think about how I will run the seasons in the future. Whether I will just have rolling programmes of initiatives, instead of packed three month seasons. I’m going to discuss this with the Management Committee and go from there. With a rolling programme, opportunities could be given in a more consistent, less intense way. Any feedback on this thought would be welcomed. It would also leave room for a spontaneous project which would be no bad thing. 

I will be posting out regular updates as we move towards the Transformations exhibition dates, and will post something out in July about the opportunities centred around Norse Sagas.

Thanks so much for your interest, and for having supported us during our Kickstarter campaign. It’s much appreciated, and do get in contact if you’d like to get involved- via the contact form on the What’s On page or via @ArtiPeeps


All the very best,




Today Is a Big Day: ArtiPeeps Update (Transformations)

30 Apr

   “Working in collaboration leads to a rich dialogue yielding unexpected results.” ~Alexander Gorlizki

Today is a big day. It’s the day when the last poems of Transformations are due in, which marks the conclusion of our poetic 15 month online journey  together. The Book 15 poems, however, will continue to go out throughout May, and we will, of course,  all be collectively working towards our September poetry-art exhibition. Our exhibition will project our online collaboration into the real world  and enable us to showcase what we have created collectively.

The poets:  Nat, Becca, James, Bid, Lenka, Karin, John B, John M, Greg, Nell, Sadaf, Adam, Carol and Kate have contributed so much to this project and it moves me greatly. Thank you all so much for your creativity. Once the last poems are in I’ll release the selection for exhibition poetry for books 12-15. Great!

To be able to add in art to the mix has just been the icing on the cake, and today is the deadline too for the artwork. Here below, you’ll see in order the exhibition artwork thus far. We have five more pieces to come in which will complete the art for all 15 books of Metamorphoses. I think the quality and the diversity of the pieces are apparent.

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Five more pieces of art are due in immanently and I’ll show them in my next update. It’s fantastic to see all the work coming together. The Code Crimson are also very busy with their comic strip, which will act as an entry point for children and adults to the main exhibition. Here’s a taster of some of their images for the comic strip background.

Code Crimson Sample


Our Kickstarter Campaign has been going for 10 days now. We have 19 backers and  are 14% funded. We have accrued £657 towards our £4413 project goal  There has been a steady flow of backers, for which I and the transformers are extremely grateful. Here’s the latest Wordle which will appear in banner form in the foyer of Hanse House by way of a thank you.

Wordle Day 8


There is article coming out in The Cambridge Evening News this Saturday about my bi-polar, ArtiPeeps and Transformations. It will be interesting to see what comes of that, and there will be at least two more articles in King’s Lynn about what we are trying to create.

The ArtiPeeps season of working has also been rolling along too with the ‘Supporting Mental Health’ collaborations showing great variety and a pertinent engagement with themes of loneliness and anxiety and release. The Weekend Showcases and FreeSpaces have also been great, and I have uncovered a profound love of found poetry.

Thank you once again for your interest. Please do take the time to look at our Kickstarter Campaign, become a Friend of ArtiPeeps,  and consider supporting our project.

All good wishes,




14 poets, 15 artists, 1 Contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses



IT SHOWCASES a mix of emerging and established social media poets and artists from around the UK and the globe

IT LAUNCHES into the real world our large-scale collaborative exhibition initiative, which we hope to run on a yearly basis, transforming unusual literary pieces and themes year on year

IT FORGES a new ongoing relationship with HANSE HOUSE, a unique exhibition space and development

IT PROJECTS ArtiPeeps and its new, open access membership scheme into the real world

IT INNOVATES using comic strip as an entry point for children and adults to access literature more easily

IT PUTS A CONTEMPORARY TWIST on a remarkable, influential continuous poem and piece of literature

IT CELEBRATES relationships, connection and creativity as we all come together


ArtiPeeps Update: Pulling It All Steadily Together

5 Nov

Pulling it all together

I thought as we were nearly half-way through this season of collaborations and showcases that I would do a little update of ArtiPeeps’ recent movements forward. I’m grateful to say there have been a fare few baby steps in relation to our formalisation which has really prompted this update and been necessitated by our preparations for our poetry/art exhibition ‘Transformations’ next year.

Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to announce that ArtiPeeps is presently constituting as a small voluntary organisation. We now have a Chairperson and a Treasurer and, confirmed as of this morning, a Secretary too. This is not a legal structure, but it does make us official and allows us to apply for certain funding streams that at the moment, as we are,  we can’t access. This is the first step towards eventually becoming a Company Limited by Guarantee with a legal structure.

It also means that ArtiPeeps now has another ‘official figurehead’ beside me who will act as the formal representative of ArtiPeeps at public occasions etc.  We will now hold regular committee meetings and there now can be some monitoring of our services and input from the outside to make sure we’re on track. Constituting also  allows us to pursue the notion of membership in relation to ArtiPeeps which is an exciting development. I have started a user-input group in order to explore issues around membership and this group’s feedback will directly affect our strategic plans. So ArtiPeeps is consolidating and constituting, which feels very grown up; the responsibility is also now somewhat spread which also feels great.

As far as ‘Transformations’ is concerned we now have 15 artists all attached to the various books of Metamorphoses and a Google group has been started so the artists can share their creative process. Overall 30 creatives are involved in the exhibition at Hanse House next year. I couldn’t be happier.

Of late I have been going regularly to Hanse House because we are deciding how to hang the pictures and poems. At the beginning we thought it was going to be relatively easy with display stands but this has not worked out and we are now exploring the idea of creating large rectangular cubes (if, indeed, a rectangle can be a cube). I’ll keep you posted on that one! We have also virtually confirmed our budget so we know what amount we have to crowdfund for next year.  Last week I also got in contact with Norfolk County Council in relation to tapping into their Arts Project Fund. They are sending me an application form now, and I’m hoping to apply for this. They can give us a maximum of £500 which we have to find match funding for….

We have also decided to get schools involved in our event and we are having a special  comic version of some of the stories from Metamorphoses made. We are hoping this will attract schools to ‘Transformations’ . It is our intention that we can then use this material as an educational template for future multi-form collaborative exhibitions (at the moment I’m thinking that a Norse Sagas collaboration will follow Metamorphoses in 2015).  Just last week I found out that there is a GCSE and AS level called ‘Classical Civilisations’  run at two of the high schools in King’s Lynn, and I am hoping that ‘Transformations’ might be a good access point for these students to explore Ovid and Metamorphoses.

I have decided from next year onwards to put ArtiPeeps collaborations, Weekend Showcases and FreeSpaces out in 3- monthly seasons. This will allow me time to focus on ArtiPeeps’ development (funding, sponsorship etc) whilst still providing the creative individual and collaborative opportunities. It will also allow for the possibility of theming these months which would be fun too. The next one would therefore start in March 2014, and I will start looking for creatives for that in January 2014. ‘Transformations’ and ArtiPeeps Updates will continue as per normal. 

I have also been very pleased with the quality and response to our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ collaborations  (fear/trust and comfort) which I think have completely met the brief and have used word and image to address really important issues in a creative and striking manner. My aim is to draw these all together (along with The Recovery Project‘) and create an exhibition. It is our overall aim to eventually  tour with all our multi-form  exhibitions  so that this work and the creatives involved can be given an even wider audience.

There are a million and one other little things going on which I won’t bore you with, but I can’t say how much your continued, daily support means to me and by implication all those involved in ArtiPeeps.

I would be extremely interested in feedback on the mental health collaborations we’ve been running- whether you think that they work? What we could do better?

Once again I appreciate your interest, and hope you’ll stick with us as ‘it all steadily pulls together’.

All the very best.


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