Tag Archives: The Nine Realms

The Nine Realms Update #10: November

17 Nov

nine realms8


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 Art Workshop Special

16 Oct




We ran two workshops in The Gallery at Hanse House on the 4th day of The Nine Realms: a Norse-themed poetry workshop in the morning, and an art workshop experimenting with the printing technique of monotypes in the afternoon.  Both workshops were facilitated by creatives involved in The Nine Realms project: poet, Rebecca Audra Smith and artist, Robert Fitzmaurice.

What you’ll find below is the second of of the 2 post specials on the workshops. This week we’re focusing on the art workshop with a written exploration of the whole workshop process by Robert Fitzmaurice. 








As one of the participating artists in The Nine Realms project I was pleased to be invited to deliver a monotype workshop. It was planned to take place on the last day of the Hanse House event and be offered free to any members of the public who wished to attend. Norse mythology is full of bold words and images, so following on from a poetry workshop in the morning which had been held by Rebecca Audra, an afternoon of uninhibited image-making made perfect sense.

Most printmaking techniques rely upon a reusable matrix (e.g. an engraved, or etched plate), which can be repeatedly inked to produce a series of identical, or nearly identical, images. In contrast a monotype image derives from an unfixed ephemeral matrix (e.g. a sheet of glass or aluminium) on which the image to be printed is created and manipulated. Sometimes the monotype artist will get a second impression, termed a ghost print, which they then develop further with a variety of media. Degas is one such artist who adopted this approach.

Similarly in my own practice I have often turned to monotypes to unlock new motifs and generate new ideas that can be turned into paintings. Unlike other forms of printmaking the results come relatively quickly and quite often unexpectedly. I think this is the key thing about monotype, that one is liberated from those very rigorous processes normally associated with printmaking to focus purely upon image generation. In essence it is an act of unlocking.


I took the view that the surrounding Nine Realms imagery and texts could act as a spur, however it was to be each individual’s wellspring of imagination that I would aim to appeal. Since the focus would be on releasing imagery I decided to avoid coloured inks and limited the materials to a good quality water-based ink, rollers, acetate sheets to act as the matrices, and a variety of mark-making tools, including a variety of brushes, pens and sticks.

The workshop

On the day the workshop twelve people turned up. As it had originally been planned for eight people seating was somewhat tight, but fairly quickly one person decided they preferred to go and do something else, and so it was time to make a start.

By way of introduction I gave a quick overview of the monotype process and how it differs from other more rigorously procedural printmaking techniques. I really wanted to emphasise the liberating nature of monotype to ensure people felt free to enjoy themselves. To this end I cited Leonardo Da Vinci:

“Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see there resemblances to a number of landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills, in various ways. Also you can see various battles, and lively postures of strange figures, expressions on faces, costumes and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good integrated form. “

I felt this was very much in line with the Norse tendency to imbue the ‘meaningless’ of the natural world with symbols, especially with regard to seeing landscape as the figure writ large.

Perhaps my introduction went on a bit too long for some, but I got everyone’s attention again once I started demonstrating the basic principles and techniques and it wasn’t long before the floor surrounding us started to fill up with images. Forest forms, blackbirds, songbirds, dancing lines, something that somehow referenced a helter skelter and a bipedal crustacean – these were just some of the fabulous monotypes that emerged during the afternoon.


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The learning process was interesting to observe. Sometimes ink was rolled too heavily which caused loss of detail when printing and other times the opportunity to take second ghost prints was overlooked, but quite quickly people learnt from each other and adapted.



Looking back

By the end of the session everyone had got suitably messy but that didn’t matter as we were able to enjoy looking at what must have exceeded fifty images, many of which turned out to be strikingly original.

What would I do differently next time? I think I would put more of my verbal introduction into printed hand-outs, and include some images of monotypes by famous artists. I would also provide the practical content (tools, techniques, tips and no-nos) in a separate section.

Overall it was a rewarding session for me, and from the feedback received, for all of those who chose to attend.


Robert Fitzmaurice



Here’s a short snippet video from Rob’s workshop:



Here are a couple of pictures: Rob beside his piece ‘Odin riding through Niflheim to save his son Baldr from nightmares’ and a close-up of the same piece. 



Many thanks to all those who participated in Rob’s art workshop, and to Hanse House for the great gallery space which seemed to be the ideal informal environment for our workshops. I am looking forward to developing the use of workshops further in our future projects and the national tour we are planning for Transformations and The Nine Realms in the years ahead. 

NB. You can find the link to the poetry workshop post here.


Thank you, as always, for your interest.

‘Invocation’ and ‘Forward to the Americas’ by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #3)

14 Oct



I hope very much that readers liked my first 2 poetry slots. I have chosen a consistent theme to conclude my showcase: super-human bravery, endeavour in potentially life-threatening conditions, work from May 2014 which was inspired by a modern day ‘Viking’ ie an ex-pupil of mine (Matthew Mason) who, as part of an 8 man team, rowed the Atlantic from West Africa to Barbados. Each shift over 24 hours involved 2 men rowing for 2 hours (for a gruelling 30 days in 40+ heat) They rowed for personal challenge and charitable causes, missing the world record for such a team by a mere 7 hours. Messages and 4 poems were written as encouragement and sent by magic!

‘Invocation’ was inspired by the name of the boat ‘Titan’ so I imagined how sailors of old would appeal to ancient gods, such as Oceanus, to assist their passage. The second poem: ‘Forward to the Americas!’ is self-explanatory and references ‘as did sailors of old’ hence the link with the Norsemen! 


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O son of the sky,
We call to you ….
Blessed ruler of waters and seas.
With Earth as our mother
We heed you,
We men
Are a different breed.
But accepting our challenge
As Titans,
We set out
On primordial seas.

Arise with a new dawn,
Re- light the bold fire
In our eyes
And blow with your breath
To inspire us …
And grant us a following wind!”


Forward To The Americas


As bare-skinned boys
With a fire in your eyes
You set out
With the heat of Africa
Across your shoulders :
“Forward to the Americas!”
To ‘Ichirouganaim’
(Called by the Ancient Ones)
-Red land with white teeth-
Your ‘Barbados’, tiny bearded gem
Set amongst coral reefs.

Far, far , and fathoms deep
Across an Ocean ridge,
Rowing with the heave
Of your heartbeats.
What do you see and hear
In the Silence?
Earth, Sky, Sea,
Stars, Moon, Sun.
And the sea,
Always, the Atlantic Sea.

You bare-skinned boys,
Armoured now,
With fire in your heads,
Hauling oars,
Against the law & the lure
Of the sea;
Skimming shoals, sharks & turtles,
Across 200 million years
Of a spreading ocean floor
In the wake of Conquistadores.
Like them, carrying personal faiths
As your talisman.
But your family bonds
Are Your Gold!
As did sea-farers of old ,
You go forward
With navigational magic —
And now satellites — message
Heaven-sent words.

You have marked your place
In this vast Universe.
“Now go on!
Forward, t’ward the Americas!”



Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

You can find Carol’s previous two FreeSpaces here and here


The Nine Realms Poetry Workshop Special

5 Oct





We ran two workshops in The Gallery at Hanse House on the 4th day of The Nine Realms: a Norse-themed poetry workshop in the morning, and an art workshop experimenting with the printing technique of monotypes in the afternoon.  Both workshops were facilitated by creatives involved in The Nine Realms project: poet, Rebecca Audra Smith and artist, Robert Fitzmaurice.

What you’ll find below is the first of 2 specials on the workshops. This week we’re focusing on the poetry, with an overview by Becca of  her  poetry workshop and what was created in it. 


Poetry Workshop 3

Poetry Workshop 2



On Monday 14th September we ran a poetry workshop as part of The Nine Realms- a 5 day festival of events for the ArtiPeeps  combined arts experience themed on the Icelandic Norse myths.

Many thanks to Elaine, Jan, Karen, Louise, Shelia, Denise, Sandra, Caitlin and Karin for being such great participants!

We started by creating phonetic translations of Old Norse, translating by sound and look of the word rather than meaning!


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Then we free wrote from two lines of the translated Poetic Edda; there were some great pieces flowing out of this. Below are two group poems collected of lines from everyone’s free writing:


If I journeyed with thee to the giant’s home

But honey and honour I’m expecting to find
Our world is changing before our very eyes:
Beasts and mankind softening and blending together.
I would feel the pressure of the surroundings bury into my soul.
Would our way be smooth as honey or would we find trauma?
I will protect you from the perils ahead.
We moved tip toe terrified testing the tunnel
How will I show thee a single vision?
The stern of the ship turned
The giant’s home where legends are born and honour won.


.We pulled suggestions for prompts from people’s Nordic translations, some of these prompt words for the second piece were: eye-opener, single, eight, haven, stern.

 Do you still seek to know? And what?

Like stern Odin who seeks for an eye-opener but with a single eye
Let us drink the mead of poetry
From it’s primeval, battered beginnings new life sparked and bubbled into being
Will our haven be ahead?
Have we left it behind?
A single word can set off a journey into the unknown
I have my eight-pointed scimitar
An eye-opener for you, my friend
Can we find the eighth haven to read the home of the honey seekers?
Stern words will no doubt hiss and spit
From this forked tongue
I was supposed to be there at the crack of dawn.


We also created our own kennings, match the kenning with the object it describes below:



The last exercise was to respond to a selection of the different realms from the five. First we created our own map of the realms, then we wrote a piece examining the piece of realm we had deciphered. It was a great experience to be facilitating the workshop and I really enjoyed everyone’s amazing words! The space of Hanse House was really beautiful and conducive to writing, the art from the afternoon session also looked amazing. I hope to see some of the free writes again on the blog.


A map of the realms and some kennings

A map of the realms and some kennings


Roaming the Realms with Giants and Words

I would taste of honey and mead
only a woman
wearing a cloak can come and
be beloved of the giants
tall and huge and thumb-like

Your hammer is too big to carry
what a honey trap filled with oil
tasting of lizards and smoking of heat
If I journeyed with thee I might end nowhere

Hiding in a single leaf
a haven of the heavenly giants
You’ve produced an eye-opener of a tale
long as the serpent that circles the world

A storm of the end with a single eye- seconds later
I look- you spy- you caught my answer
A fish in the water a river-dancer
Hand me your words we’ve come so far


Rebecca Audra Smith



In case you ever wondered what a Norse-inspired Poetry workshop sounds like it sounds something like this:



And here is Becca reading the collaborative poem created at the workshop:


As Becca has said, many thanks to all those who participated in the poetry workshop, and to Hanse House for the great gallery space which was the perfect environment for our workshops. Watch out for the art workshop post coming up shortly. 


Thank you for your interest.

The Northlands by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #2)

30 Sep



The Northlands

by Carol Whittam


Out of the Northlands,
From that – huge before time
Before? When the world was new.
From that – ‘Once upon a time…
A deeply woven mythology grew –
When a man’s world was small.

Norsemen created their cosmos
…. As a world tree ….

To try to make sense of it all!

Heavens of stars,
Misty clouds and ice,
Dark chasms and wells below,
Whilst in the primordial centre,
A giant Ash tree started to grow!
Betwixt the Heavens & Hell,
Stretching and branching,
– Evergreen –
From gnarled roots
Deeply growing
Nine realms find!
Above, around and beneath
The tree’s gigantic girth,
One home in Midgard
For humankind,
The Viking farmers
Middle Earth.

From thence sailed the brave,
– Leaving warm home fires –
Not knowing where they’d go!
Hauling wooden longships
Away from fire-stone, ice and snow;
Across serpent-ridden seas,
Steel-eyed, warrior minds,
Searching horizons, learning tides,
Battling storms, risking lives!
Crossing Utangard
Never knowing what they’d find!
Not knowing where they were going,
But knowing from whence they came:
Created from giant Ymir
Whom Odin ripped apart!
In sacrifice and renewal
He became their ancient sire.
In homelands formed of volcanic stone
Such folk were born with hearts of fire!
Their land was of his flesh,
Sacrificed to make their home.
Blood of blood and bone of bone.
O how his eyes made the sun glow!
O how his mind made the moon!
Powerful blood became water,
Breath of life the airy wind!
In this elemental world
Such Norsemen were born:
Born to be farming the land,
Born to be tested by waves,
Born with fire in their hearts,
They who were valiant and brave!

And Ymir, the life-bringer,
Sacrificial source of Earth,
The Heavens, the pounding waves of the sea!
And at the World’s centre, Firm and strong,
The mighty Ash: The Yggdrasil tree!
From this elemental world
Of the Northlands
These Vikings came!



Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

The poem above evolved from taking that approach and looking at some of the lovely Viking imagery and visualisations of the Yggdrassil tree on line. I had fun writing them and offer them retrospectively!


Watch out for a third piece from Carol in the near future….

The Nine Realms Update #9: September

21 Sep

nine realms8


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

nine realms8


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.


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