Tag Archives: Heather Burns

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 Campaign Conclusion/ Project Update #5

1 Jun

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19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat!


Vikings Ahoy!

Campaign Conclusion and Update

I am delighted to say that our Indiegogo Campaign was a complete success and on the 19th May we met our goal of  £1, 111….and a bit more reaching £1288!  There was a final push and an epic collective effort and we got there!!!  MANY thanks to everyone who backed us and supported us. Here is the last backer’s  wordle, which will be made into  a 1 x 1 metre plaque to be publicly displayed within ‘The Gallery’ in Hanse House in September.


Final Realm Cloud


 In relation to following up on the rewards,  I am presently contacting all the backers, and by the end of June all the Viking creatives who are helping create the rewards will have all the backer requirements.  

#9realms Competitions Update

We will shortly be announcing the results of the micro poetry competition run by Jim C. Mackintosh. As soon as he has made a decision I will post out the Winner and the favourites.

Overall, the competitions were a great success and I am thrilled at how all the Norse material inspired everyone. Thank you for participating in ArtiPeeps’ first go at competitions. 

‘Live from the Workshop’: The Last Photos. 

As a record, here are the pictures that Mark left us with on the 3oth day of our campaign. I heard from him the day before yesterday and our boat is now all but finished, and the initials are going on! He is intending to send pictures so I’ll post them as soon as I have them! 

Day 30: 


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Other News:

Cambridge Festival of Ideas


The Nine Realms & The Festival Of Ideas

I’m excited to announce that extra to the events at Hanse House and The Millennium Library in Norwich there will also be a little off-shoot Nine Realms event at The Festival of Ideas in Cambridge. Caitlin Ellis, our lovely Norse Expert from Gonville an Caius and the Department of Anglo Saxon and Norse Studies are going to be our hosts. About 13 of us will be there from across all the disciplines within the project and we hope to give them a taster of The Nine Realms poetry, art and music. There will also be a hosted Q&A session with the poets, artists and musicians where we will discuss the challenges (both positive and negative) of engaging with the subject matter of the Norse Sagas and The Prose and Poetic Eddas. We will also be having a session of ‘lets play’ with our Minecraft World and hopefully getting people involved in some reading of poetry.

We’re excited to take our project to new audiences. It’s a real opportunity. 

Here’s the link to the 2014 festival.

Future Radio First Take Editing Session:


Future Studios


Earlier last week at Future Radio we had the first editing session of the experience poetry with the sound technician.  We did a ‘first take’ edit of the Asgard and Vanaheim poetry and music. Putting the poetry and music from musician Simon Fox together was a match made in heaven! It was as if Simon had heard the poetry before. It was a moving experience to start to piece it all together. Next week we have another double session booked where we will continue the process and hopefully finish editing the other realms.

Please find below the two pieces Simon composed for Asgard. The Asgard  and Vanaheim. The Asgard artwork is by Deborah Sheehy and the Vanaheim artwork by Heather Burns.





When I have a proper laid down track of a realm I’ll post it out. Watch this space….


All the Realm Artwork: 


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The Nine Realms Soundcloud Playlist with all the poetry thus far:



I shall be posting out the last 9th-realm-Alfheim-overview on  Monday 8th June. We seem to have galloped through the realms. Each of the realm overviews contains writer’s prompts these are not just for Viking participants. If you would like to get creating using the prompts by all means do. We could put your work out as a FreeSpace.  Do get in contact if this idea appeals. 


As ever, thank you for your interest.



9 Realms Viking Showcase: featuring Heather Burns (artist)

29 Apr

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19 Poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat



Heather Burns

(Realm artist for Vanaheim)

Question: what piece of your art best represents you at the moment?


woven landscape close-up

Woven Landscape (close -up)

 acrylic and graphite with mixed media on canvas, A1 size 20/2/2015

      This piece was made in response to the challenge of interpreting the realm of Vanaheim visually for the Norse Myth collaboration for ArtiPeeps. I arrived at this response having explored the male and female nude in landscape settings after researching written material on the realm. I found it strangely illusive though, and difficult to visualise. It constantly slid away from any concrete image. The only thing that did stay with me was Freyja’s necklace, or Brisingamen, which was stolen from her by Loki, and which is central to her story. The explorations of this precious thing that stimulated the Goddess’s greed and actions that had huge consequences for her community fascinated me. Having also gone on a field trip to explore the Viking and Christian Gosforth Cross in Cumbria, with its mix of iconography from those cultures, I felt the need to blend these aspects. Great Gable mountain in Wasdale known as Odin’s Mountain, is also in there as well as a motif relating to Norse cable designs for knitting. 

Next, the interlocking Yggdrasil tree of life carving from the base of the Gosforth Cross suggested notions of family and community so central to the Vanaheimers as I imagine them. These aspects all come into focus and disappear much as my explorations have done. I accept the illusive nature of the realm in my response; it is part of it all. However, I am fascinated by concrete aspects available to me especially evidence of a Viking presence in Cumbria. Finally, the necklace itself which I painted at Christmas, was a gift from my sister-in-law Mara who is half Orcadian. The Orkneys also being a special place of colonisation for the Norse explorers. The piece reflects this weave of influence, narrative and history as well as being a treasure itself both physical and metaphoric.



Heather Burns is a practising artist and art teacher with an interest in landscape and  a sense of place combined with gestural marks and colour. She studied Fine Art at Leeds University, became a mother, took a teaching post in teaching English as a foreign language in Cambridgeshire whilst continuing to paint throughout. Now settled in Clitheroe Lancashire she is experimenting with oils again after a period exploring acrylics, and has recently had an exhibition at her brother’s gallery in the Lake-district. You can find more out about her via www.heatherburns.co.uk@Heatherburns201 





*Vanaheim is the realm of the Vanir Gods. You can read the realm overview here

* You can find more information about The Nine Realms here


Please do take a look at our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign for our Viking Boat.

We have some great Viking Rewards:


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Off My Feet by Rod Kok and Spring Park Bench by Heather Burns: The Anxiety/Release Collaboration #2

15 Apr


Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’


Welcome to the second collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of anxiety and release.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The poets have taken up the theme of anxiety, and the artists, in response, are engaging  with the theme of release. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions- the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.


This week’s collaboration features

Rod Kok and Heather Burns (artist)



 Spring Park Bench

Click on image for enlargement  


Off My Feet

by Rod Kok


I am perceived as being
unafraid of the winds
that harangue me from
every direction.

Yet those branches in
my mind are buffeted
by thoughts of inadequacy.

Nobody sees my tears,
or feels my pain
as the roots which hold me
weaken under stress.

I fear judgement from my peers,
so I hide.

What truly exists inside
gets painted with
an opaque veneer,
a disguise made up of
words, smiles and laughter.

I try reach out,
offering a glimpse into
my tortured psyche…
fear causes me to draw back,
back to the shame I feel,
to the disappointment I have created.

Failure is mine.

You tried to help,
crawling to me, your own tears
laving my feet…
I pushed you away
out of despair.

Anxiously I pray
for a gentle breeze
to caress me,
but the answer comes
in a gale.

And knocks me
off my feet.



You can find more about Rod and Heather here: .

Rod Kok



You can see Rod’s Weekend Showcase here.


Heather Burns



You can see Heather’s  Weekend Showcase here or read her blog about the creation of ‘Spring Park Bench’ here


Please do come back for the next Anxiety and Release Collaboration on Monday 28th April featuring poet Lucy Quin and artist Jack Morris. Thank you for your interest.

Weekend Showcase : Heather Burns (Artist)

4 Oct


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


Heather Burns


K's image of Fence

 The Fence


I have chosen to share this particular painting after much deliberation, as it marked the start of a very rich seam of responses to images and sketches that came from a long holiday spent in France over the summer of 2009. I made the painting of this and for ‘Lane’,’Chaos Granitique’ and ‘Meadow’ over the winter months of that year and into  the next up to Easter and beyond.

My ‘New Red Flower Painting’ 2013 came from a sketch made on that same holiday. I was surprised at how the paintings just seemed to make themselves and to totally evoke the particular time, feeling and experience of responding to the summer, whether in the sacred space of the lane, or the in the garden of the house where I was staying. I felt that I had come alive again as an artist through this holiday and experience. I was able to time-travel in the winter months through these pieces back to the exact time and place where the original sketch was made. This was a very special feeling for me, a revelation. I had done it before in previous works, like ‘Geronimo’s Window’ of 1989, but somehow thought that may have been a fluke somehow.

With ‘ The Fence’ I discovered I could repeat the experience. The texture of the leaves and the very particular style of French country fencing with its bleached blonde wood, came back into my consciousness completely. This was a wonderful surprise to me. The subsequent works such as ‘Lane’ flowed ever more urgently out of me. It was as if the time in France was made to last forever. The experience of looking at the work brings back the experience in a complete way that I view as a gift from the place. I wanted to share this with you.

‘The Fence’ surprised me when it manifested itself. It was almost as if the painting had made itself before I created it. Just as when a child is born and you think,’ I should have known it was you,’ I felt the same about this piece. It opened the door to so much more. It continues to influence current responses, namely the final piece that I have recently completed in the ‘Medea’ series for ‘Transformations’ for Artipeeps. Recent work may be more raw and abstract in nature, but it couldn’t have come into being without ‘The Fence’


Artist’s Biography:

My name is Heather Burns and I am a practising Artist and Art Teacher at Clitheroe  Royal Grammar School, Clitheroe , Lancashire, England. I was brought up in St.Bees Cumbria, and attended the Village Primary School, and after that the Grammar School in the next town of Whitehaven.

The village of St.Bees still means home in so many ways, and I have revisited it many times over the years resulting in the series of paintings :’St.Bees Rocks’ which you can view on my website heatherburns.co.uk The red sandstone is so characteristic of the place, and the headland on the beach constantly drew me back.

The sea was always part of my days, especially as so much time was spent exploring the countryside and walking the dog. I always miss the sea, and that sense of something absent is what I am exploring currently with my Lyme Regis painting.

Childhood was spent largely outside playing and dreaming with the sea as a constant presence. I took it for granted a lot of the time, and it is only now when it is no longer with me that I appreciate the role that it plays for me. I can hear the sound of it as I write this for you.

I went to Leeds University to study Fine Art, and travelled to Norway to research Edvard Munch’s work as part of my studies. I was able to see the originals not on display in the store at the Munch Museum, and that memory remains with me to this day. His fluid mark making and uncompromising ability to explore many taboo areas still has an influence on my practice as in my recent ‘Medea’ work.

I then decided to take my Art Teacher’s Certificate at Leeds in the year following my degree. I also got married at the end of that year to the love of my life Tony. My first teaching job was at one of the Village Colleges in Cambridgeshire, and we spent the next three years there. The demands of teaching meant it was difficult to do much of my own work, but I did make large pastel drawings as they were relatively quick, and managed to keep going with some painting.

We moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire in 1983 and my eldest son Patrick was born there. I was very happy in our little cottage and kept going with my pastel drawing, but the demands of motherhood meant that my art took something of a back seat. The drawing I did do I was happy with, and I gradually got enough work together to have a show at ‘The Old Fire Engine House’ in Ely. I had stopped art teaching and was teaching English as a Foreign Language in Cambridge in the holidays so that I could spend more time with Patrick.

We moved to Clitheroe in Lancashire in 1987, as we were missing the hills and I wanted Patrick to have stony streams to play in. I quickly got an art teaching post at the Grammar School here covering a maternity leave. Our second son Simon was born in 1988. I’ve been here ever since.! It’s been a great place to raise a family. The school has also been a significant part of my life, and has a sixth form which I always wanted to include in my teaching.

As far as the development of my own work was concerned, I found a way of working whereby I would explore motifs in the landscape in the form of ‘recce’s’ often with the family, then I go back under my own steam and draw ‘plein air’ uninterrupted, then make my paintings back in the studio.

I had a show at the Haworth Gallery in Accrington, and gradually have managed to build a body of work that represents my interest in a sense of place and the narratives that they hold.

I am moving back to working in oils after experimenting with acrylic. I am finding this exciting as the resistance on the brush and the lush colour obtainable suits my work at the moment. I have learned a great deal over the years from the practicing artists that I have worked with, especially Ian Murphy whose thinking on colour taught me so much, and his uncompromising way of working in the landscape directly from the motif. All this came through my teaching and I am immensely grateful. These things come together to bring me to where I am now.

My work has recently been on show at my brother’s gallery in Askham , near Penrith, in the Lake-district, stuartbroadhurstceramics.co.uk and I am very appreciative of the opportunity to show my work there. It has been a great springboard for me. I am currently looking for a larger venue in the north of England to show my paintings, so that you can stand back to appreciate the scale as several are quite large. I always thought I would do my best work in my 50’s for some reason. My art has always been central to my life, and the need to create will always be there. If what I am trying to say through it can reach folk in some way it will make me very happy.


 You can follow Heather on Twitter here:



* As Heather indicated, she is one of the 15 artists involved in our ‘Transformations’ poetry and art Exhibition at Hanse House in Norfolk, September 2014

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