Tag Archives: poetry-art collaborations

The Nine Realms: Our Next Epic Collaboration

1 Oct

Vikings

Vikings Ahoy!

On Monday the 6th October 2014 our next epic large-scale project will be starting with the posting of an overview of the realm Asgard in Norse Mythology. The online part of our collaboration will run for 9 months and is inspired by the 9 realms of the Norse world. Like with Transformations,  The Nine Realms will culminate in a 5 day exhibition in Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK across the Heritage Open Day weekend.  We’re not only excited to deepen our connection with King’s Lynn, but to also draw in more disciplines. There’s going to be music, a Viking boat is being carved my sculptor Mark Crowley and we’re having a comic corner and a more up-front promotions corner for the creatives involved.

This year we are bringing together near on 50 creatives from all disciplines, some have crossed over from Transformations and there are well over 20 new creatives being showcased. So there is a good mix.  Excitingly, by the end of the project not only will the creatives involved have created their own personal Nine Realms, but they will also have created a collective Nine Realms which can be used to introduce new audiences and young people to this material. It can be used as an innovative, educational tool.  We learned a lot from the great schools’ day we had with King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn in relation to this.

As with Transformations, I will be posting out an overview of each realm month by month along with deadlines for the submission of the writing (poetry, prose etc). I will also attach writing prompts and an audio of one of the stories as well. We will be drawing from both the Prose and Poetc Eddas as well as other source material. The order will be as follows:

October 2014: Asgard (Month 1, Realm of the Warrior Gods)

November 2014: Vanaheim (Month 2, Realm of the Vanir, the gods associated with wisdom, nature, magic and fertility)

December 2014: Jutenheim (Month 3, Realm of the Giants)

January 2015: Nidavellir (Month 4, Realm of the Dwarves)

February 2015: Nifelheim (Month 5, Realm of the Dead, where evil men die)

March 2015: Helheim (Month 6, The Realm of the Dead, which men pass through in order to die in Nifelheim)

April 2015: Muspelheim (Month 7, Realm of Fire)

May 2015: Midgard (Month 8, Realm of the People)

June 2015: Alfheim (Month 9, Realm of the Light Elves)

During April/May we will collectively run a Kickstarter campaign for one aspect of our project.

The Writing: 

In this collaboration writers can chose to write in whichever form they like- prose, poetry play-format etc.

In alignment with the Norse Sagas themselves there will be a focus on ORALITY and storytelling, and work will be centred around the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION.  There will also be a focus on translation and rhythm, and we are hoping that a separate off-shoot project can grow from this when we translate what we do into different languages. The writers are free to be as modern and contemporary as they like, but still keeping a feeling of magic.

At the exhibition, in contrast to Transformations, the writing will be communicated to the audience orally/in person or by recording. The oral communication of the poetry in Transformations was such a success that we want to get even more people actively involved and engaged with the writing in The Nine Realms.

As we go through the realms month by month the writers will be submitting their work in both a written and oral format/mp3. The idea being that we will create and record an oral version of the writing within the project. The poems will also be placed into a Nine Realms playlist on Soundcloud. This alongside some specially commissioned pieces of music will be turned into a CD and performed across the 5 days at the exhibition.

We are also intending to take the writing into libraries: one in King’s Lynn and the other in Norwich and have a theme of storytelling.

The writers will be submitting one piece (or more if they wish), and there will be a selection process at the end in relation to which pieces go into the exhibition.

The 22 Poets and Writers are: 

Nat Hall
Eleanor Perry
Mina Polen
Stephannie Brennan
James Knight
Lydia Allison
Ross Beattie
Rebecca Audra Smith
Joanna Lee
Jim C Mackintosh
Robert de Born
Richard Biddle
Karin Heyer
Kate Garrett
Greg Mackie
Shirley Golden
Adam Wimbush
Carol Robson
John Mansell
Tom Murphy
Lenka Monk

 

The Music:

This year we have decided to bring music into our project and we have commissioned three musicians and composers to write 3, 8 minute pieces to represent the realms:

Ruth Angell, violinist, singer, amongst other instruments will be composing music for Asgard, Vanaheim and Nifelheim

Shaun Blezard, a creative technologist, will be composing music for Jotunheim, Helheim, and Nidavellir. Shaun composed the music for The Recovery Project we did the year before last.

Simon Beavis, a music maker, is composing music for Muspelheim, Alfheim and Midgard

We are hoping that there will be a live performance of the music along with the poetry at the exhibition, and the compositions will be used in-between poems and as a background to the poetry. The music will set the tone of the realms. ArtiPeeps and I are thrilled to be working with these composers and to bring in this new element.

We are in the process of consolidating a partnership with Future Radio in Norwich and all being well we will be recording the CD at their studio in Norwich.

The Art:

We have also attached 19 artists to the Realms. 2 per realm (with the exception of Muspelheim which has 3). As with Transformations, they cross a range of styles and mediums including photography and sculpture. Each artist, with the help of the ‘woolly viking hat of fate’, has been allocated a realm from the 9,  which they can create for themselves inspired by the poetry and prose written about their realm by the Realms writers, and by their own research and the project overviews. The artists, if they wish, can create pictures for the individual realms as they go along, but only their allocated realm will be exhibited. For those artists outside of the UK, the same pattern as Transformations will be followed and we will frame a high quality 300 dpi image of their work on their behalf. The original will be available for sale through the artist.

The artists involved are:

Deborah Sheehy (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
Diana Probst (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
To be confirmed (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Heather Burns (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Ieuan Edwards (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jasmine Reynolds (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jeremy Moseley (Month 4, Jan. Nidavellir)
Cliona Sheehan (Month 4, Jan. 2015, Nidavellir)
Charlie Redding (Month 5, Feb. 2015, Nifelheim)
Rob Fitzmaurice (Month 5, Feb, Nifelheim)
Ryan Atkins (Month 6, March, Helheim)
Lili Morgan (Month 6, March, Helheim)
Gill Offley (Month 7, April, Muspelheim)
Chad Swanson (Month 7, April, Muspelheim)
Mark Peverley (Month 7,April, Muspelheim)
James Mackenzie (Month 8, May Midgard)
Raymond Bentley (Month 8, May Midgard)
Elaine Offley (Month 9, June Alfheim)
Ann Supan (Month 9 June Alfheim)

 

Our Partners:

Elizabeth and Lisa

The lovely Elizabeth and Lisa from Florida USA will also be involved with us again. This time actually creating a hard-copy comic inspired by the characters and realms of Norse Mythology. This hard-copy version will be made available to attendees at the exhibition, and act, once again, as a entry point for younger people and adults. As mentioned above, this year we’re going to have a comic corner and hopefully get the comic animated….Watch this space….

We are also going to be continuing our collaboration with both Hanse House and Deborah Services Limited, King’s Lynn, who provided our exhibition scaffolding.

King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn:

I’m thrilled to say that as a direct result of the great schools’ day we had with Transformations KES Academy in King’s Lynn want to get involved with our Norse project this year. They want to involve the art and english departments and their pupils. We are fleshing out what this will look like at the moment and I’ll let you know as more details unfold.

Millfield School, Somerset,

Millfield and their pupils took up a FreeSpace with us last year, and one of their post’s on ArtiPeeps got Freshly Pressed. The quality of Millfield’s young poets is apparent. We’re thrilled that they want to work alongside us on this project. Pupils of all ages will be writing their own myths and stories which will more than likely be posted out on ArtiPeeps as we go along. This is all being firmed up now.

We will be incorporating the work of both KES and Millfield into our exhibition. The exact way this will be done will be confirmed shortly…Watch this space…

Future Radio

Future Radio is a community radio station in Norwich, Norfolk, which broadcasts a breadth of user-created programmes to Norwich on a daily basis. It also runs courses in radio production and has a recording studio in which we are hoping to record the music and poetry for The Nine Realms. We are also hoping that they will interview our creatives and perhaps get involved with the storytelling workshops we hope to put on in libraries. Watch this space on this one too.

As with Transformations, as The Nine Realms evolves, new partnerships will emerge, and I shall keep you up-to-date as we move along.

The Funding of our project:

From this point onwards I will be applying to a variety of funders and sponsors in order to finance what we are creating. Through October and November the Chair of ArtiPeeps and I will be preparing budgets and I will start writing applications in November/December. This is a big project and therefore we are approaching a breadth of potential funders. They will range from local authorities, to public money funders, to foundations, to individual sponsors. We will also, as mentioned above, be holding a Kickstarter Campaign for one aspect of our collaboration. I have no doubt in my heart and my head that we can fund this rich, magical, multi-discipline project which is filled with such a range of talented creatives.

I’m excited to kick the whole project off with the Asgard overview next week, and I’m 100% sure that The Nine Realms’ Vikings will create something of high quality once again that inspires, innovates and promotes creativity as well as showing how relevant the Norse myths still are!

Thank you for your interest!

Nicky

P.S. We should shortly have a project logo for the Nine Realms created by Gary Caldwell

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Transformations: Art, and Meeting Face-to-Face

29 Sep

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Supported with public funds by Arts Council England.

Supported by Norfolk County Council.

 

Pre-amble

Firstly,  let me share this link to the newspaper article that was written by The Lynn News in response to Transformations. It sums up the whole experience entirely: ‘ArtiPeeps King’s Lynn exhibition ‘rip-roaring success”:

http://goo.gl/4uNuUh

And here’s the Wordle I did of the Evaluation Sheet we had at the exhibition (click to enlarge):

 

Cloud 17

 

For me, the most interesting evaluatory word in real terms amidst all of the above is the word ‘Confused’.  This lone word is potentially a real point of growth and development for us. What we presented to a viewing audience was a huge swathe of material that nearly everybody appreciated in someway, but that maybe still needs to be contextualised more for better understanding.  It’s made me ask: do we need more explanatory information?; how can we best guide people around our projects? are we putting on collaborations or exhibitions?  These are big, fundamental questions that affect our artistic practice and future projects. These are all really great questions to be asking as we step into our next project.

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Art and Connecting

When Transformations first started out as a project I hadn’t even thought of incorporating art or making it a multi-form project. It was going to be solely a poetry project. However, the power of juxtaposing one form up against another is undeniable, and the more that thought brewed the more the idea of bringing art in seemed inevitable. The art and the poetry could juxtapose, they could also mirror. Either way they would stimulate interest in different ways, broadening out the reach of our project. I never thought in my wildest dreams that in the asking and in the return I would get such a diversity of mediums, themes and styles. The level of skill too was beyond measure too. Also the mixture of emerging and professional creatives provided a really good balance.

In case you’ve forgotten here are all the Transformations pieces:

 

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7 of the 15 pieces were framed by us, with some of the artists (Rob Fitzmaurice,  Diana Probst, James Mackenzie and Heather Burns) delivering their art themselves. It was such a privilege to meet them for the first time and here they are with their pieces:

 

Rob Fitzmaurice an The Transformation of Hecuba, Book 13

Rob Fitzmaurice an The Transformation of Hecuba, Book 13

Diana Probst delivering her Book  picture

Diana Probst delivering her Book picture

Heather Burns and her Book 6 painting A Circle Unbroken

Heather Burns and her Book 6 painting A Circle Unbroken

 

Seven seems to have been our lucky number as 7 pieces of art were sold too: James Mackenzie’s The Moon’s Dark Shadow, which went to the Vice Principal of King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn:

The Proud owner of James Mackenzie's picture

The Proud owner of James Mackenzie’s picture

 

And Lili Morgan had her first ever picture bought…Here’s the red marker going on, placed by the owner:

 

The moment Lili's painting was sold

The moment Lili’s painting was sold

 

Both Kelly Occhiuzzo’s piece Echo and Narcissus was sold, and two prints of emerging artist Charle Redding’s print The Mortal Coil were also sold. We hope to build on this next year with a designated promotion zone where people can sell other pieces and exhibition prints.

Also the impact of the comic strip and cartoon orientated pictures was pivotal in the consolidation of our use of comics in what we do:

 

Teenager looking at Comic Strip

 

Schools' Day: KES Academy, King's Lynn, Sara Mena's Picture Strength and Disgrace

Schools’ Day: KES Academy, King’s Lynn, Sara Mena’s Picture Strength and Disgrace

 

The interest younger people showed in the comic strip material was obvious and a really good introduction to the material and to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. With The Nine Realms we will be having a designated Comic Corner, a physical comic and hopefully an animation of some sort.

Overall, a good number of us met for the first-time, and connected in real-time. I’m hoping that next year even more of us can meet and share in the collective experience. I’m excited to communicate our next project to a viewing and hearing audience in King’s Lynn and Norfolk, who now not only know who we are but also the quality of our work and our intention. In the not-to-distant-future I am hoping to put in place some sort of travel bursary to help creatives take part in our projects in real-time, so more of the collective can meet and see the impact of their work on others.

I shall be introducing our next large-scale project on Wednesday, and thank you, once again, for your interest.

 

All the very best.

 Nicky

 

Action Stations!: ArtiPeeps Update

12 May

 

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Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.  (Maya Angelou)

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Well,  here we are with just 9 days left of our Transformations Kickstarter Campaign to go. We have accrued thus far £837 which is no mean feat in the scheme of things,  but we still need £3576 to make our project real. A big thank you, I hasten to add,  goes out to all our backers so far!! All the Transformers, The Code Crimson, Hanse House and I have been working very hard to communicate the importance of what Transformations represents and to promote our campaign with integrity.

However we need more people pledging. We need your help NOW otherwise we won’t make our goal. Pledging can be as little as £1 and not connected to any reward. However we have some really great rewards available generated from within by the Transformers, and they would make really great presents. 

  • CREATION: £3 +  You can become a Friend of ArtiPeeps and be on our sponsor page for perpetuity and receive our regular newsletter
  • WORLDS FORM: £6+ Have your name on a huge backers’ Wordle  to be seen in the exhibition foyer +add ons
  • HERCULES: £12+ 2 Pack of poetry-art cards from the exhibition +add ons
  • TRANSFORMATION: £18 Be transformed into a god or goddess by  artist Ryan Atkins  +add ons
  • DAEDALUS: £56+Become a sponsor of a particular book at our exhibition. Receive all of the above, and a plaque on your given book stand at the exhibition. +add ons

You can take up any of these rewards by going to:

http://kck.st/1i2e721

 

AND THERE’S MORE:

TRANSFORMATIONS…a very special sale:

One of our Transformations artists Robert Fitzmaurice is also kindly holding a fund-raising  online auction of 36 of his preparatory studies for his painting ‘The Transformation of Hecuba’ which you can see in the slide show below. The studies are very beautiful.

The auction will run for the length of our Kickstarter campaign with all funds going towards our exhibition. This is a totally separate venture from our Kickstarter. You can put in a bid and find out more via the link below. It really is worth checking out:

http://goo.gl/06NYal

Finally, all the artwork for our entire exhibition came in last week so here below you’ll find all the pieces inspired by Books 1-15 of Metamorphoses. I’ve also put in one of the final Book 15 poems by Greg Mackie which rather sums up Ovid’s Metamorphoses and everything I stand for.

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Be there at start and help us make the virtual real.

 

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HOPE AND DEFIANCE

by Greg Mackie

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Her father died down the pit,
and her mother, bitter,
threw plates and angry words.

This was her history –
the filter through which
we sought to understand her,
and by extension, ourselves.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
and claim that the chains of destiny
are as fragile
as the chains of an aging mineshaft lift –
I don’t truly believe that.

The chains of our destiny
were forged with hope and defiance:
we survived wars and accidents and disease,
we walked on mud tracks and tarmac and the thin dust of the moon;
we built a world in our image – 
brave and bold and beautiful and ugly and stark and cruel and tender.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
I look inside myself
and see the values that she passed on.

“People are good.”

“Everybody is equal.”

“Nothing is worth more
than a human life.”

There are days,
everything contradicts this –

Ideas may be indestructible,
but values melt in the sun,
and so we encapsulate them in legends,
pass them down through the generations,
bestow them an eternity,
in the company of men and gods and wolves and snakes.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
I open a book,
a poem of transformations,
and the very last line,
the very last thought,
a declaration,
of hope and defiance –

“I will live!”

 

As always, thank you very much indeed for your interest.

 

Nicky

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