Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010... Its been a pleasure, but bring on 2011

As so many people seem to be doing the same and to also make myself realise how busy this year has been I am going to blog about 2010. The more I think about it the more I realise just how busy this last year has been and I feel very proud about everything I have achieved.

January feels like a million years away and I'm glad I have my blog archive to help remind me what actually happened. It was January that I began my Major Personal Project for my Theatre, Performance and Event design degree. It is so interesting to look back on my old blog posts and see how my original idea didn’t change as much as I thought it would. My aim was to create an exhibition that shown another side to Liverpool, my home town and that is what I achieved.

February – April consisted of planning and organising my 21st and lots and lots and lots and lots of research and designing for my Major Personal Project.

I was also lucky enough to be involved in the St Marys Hospice Charity Window Dressing Event in Birmingham. With my team coming in second place. This is where my passion for volunteering came about and I really enjoyed it. Click here for more info about this event.

I also had work experience within World Liverpool Museum which was a great experience. They even let me design and paint a mural on a wall within one of the temporary exhibitions. To see more of this click here. It was also in April that I really started to become confident in Sketchup and my love hate relationship with the programme began.

May had to be one of the hardest, most stressful, yet rewarding months of my life. It was this month that I was in University from 7 in the morning, until we got kicked out and working until 3/4/5 in the morning every single day. My life revolved around making scale bricks, pavements, white cards models and praying my huge sketchup model wouldn’t crash.

It was June that I could finally say I HAVE A DEGREE. It was the most amazing feeling in the world handing all of my work in and seeing it all displayed in our amazing degree show. One of the amazing things about being on a course with only 15 other people is 1, how unbelievably close you all become and 2, how quickly you get your results. Within 2 weeks of handing in my work and also being chosen to be marked by the external examiner, I got given my results. I will never forget the moment Paul told me I got a first. University was the best experience I have ever gone through and when I look back at how hard I worked, I feel so proud at my results and don’t regret anything from University.

My exhibition shows the journey an emigrant would go on during the 19th Century and the problems they would face along the way. As I also enjoy theatre design, I wanted to combine a sense of theatre within my exhibition and wanted the exhibition to become an experience. Allowing the visitor to feel as if they had stepped back in time and actually become an 19th Century emigrant. I chose to do this by creating a fully dressed space using actors in each area to interact with the visitors and make the whole concept feel real. To see my final major project click here.

July – Present ;
Since leaving University I have been lucky enough to get involved in a lot. Volunteering is something I am passionate about and I have been able to get stuck into a lot of this. Since June I have been Volunteer Event and Exhibition Co-Ordinator for Halewood Arts Association. This has been an excellent opportunity for me and I have learnt so much from Carole who runs all of HAA. I assist with the organising of trips, events and exhibitions, aswell as assist in the weekly Junior Artists Club art classes. This is with a group of 7-12 year olds who all love art and it is so rewarding volunteering there. They even let me design the Christmas Grotto for the children, which is something I enjoyed so much! Carole has introduced me to so many lovely artists and volunteers and I cannot wait to get more involved in the next year. To see more of what I have done with HAA look at the Big Draw and Grotto tab to the left of my website. Or browse through my blog.

2010 has reconfirmed my love for working within the Event and Exhibition industry and after spending a week working at The BBC Good Food Show, Borough Market and the Real Food Festival, I have been lucky enough to combine work with my passion for food and cooking. This also allowed me to meet some lovely producers and people who now have the pleasure of putting up with me on twitter :)

I am really looking forward to what 2011 brings. I am to start a design internship in Liverpool Museum on the 10th January which I can’t wait for and thanks to twitter have even managed to get some work on a huge wedding in May, assisting with an amazing wedding design company 'Sweet days and Roses' on making the wedding look beautiful.

If you are still reading thank you, I seem to have written more than I originally planned, but I forgot how much I have done. Hopefully 2011 will be a million times more busy and this time next year I hope to be writing about living in London, with a great job doing what I love.

I know everyone says it but 2011 is really going to be my year!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Habits and Habitats - The Big Draw 2010

This blog post has been a long time coming. If you regularly read you will know that I volunteer at Halewood Arts Association each Wednesday and here I help to organise and plan events. All summer me and Carole planned a Big Draw event, funded by the Big Lottery Fund (THANK YOU) for the local Halewood area. It took place in October and I have been waiting for the photos Ian Edwards took (Karens husband, his are a lot better than mine and thank you for them!) before I updated here.

Me and Carole wanted to include the Junior Artists Club as much as possible in the process and asked them what they would like the theme to be. After Carole spoke with the children who attend, we decided to come up with the theme of habits and habitats for the event. This also allowed us to take full advantage of the environment centre and the Halewood Triangle.

In the run up to the event we arranged a number of workshops for the Junior Artists Club, all around the theme and with the help of some local artists, Anthony Smith, Karen Edwards and Becky Bryson created artwork to be displayed within our event.

On the day we where a little worried at first, as the weather was awful. The night before had been torrential rain and as a majority of our event was outdoors, it made us worry that people would be put off. We couldn't have been more wrong. Over 200 people came to our event and took part in everything.

There was so much to get involved in. Indoors Anthony drew out a huge mural, showing the journey bees go on when they go out looking for honey. The visitors where invited to help fill in the mural and take part in a huge collaborative piece. It was great to see people aged 5 standing beside people aged 80 all getting involved in the same image. With a great final outcome.

One of our main aims with the event was to get local people to use Halewood Park and Triangle more. It is an underused resource and we wanted to include it as much as possible within our event. There was lots to do outside and using artwork the children had made in previous sessions, we decorated the park area to draw more people in.

As we wanted to ensure as many people where involved in the event as possible, The Halewood Walkers Group also got involved. They assisted Karen Edwards in making honeycomb to adorn the park area. This was a great idea and everyone loved exploring the park and breaking open the honeycomb to discover what was inside.

Outside there was so much to get involved in. Becky Bryson from the Liverpool Lantern Company was helping the visitors to make 2D fish. This was very popular as the visitors loved being able to make something and then take it away with them. With some visitors returning a few times, to make a Mummy, Daddy and Baby fish.

Barry Worrall was also there to assist visitors with drawing and collage. We wanted the visitors to take in their surroundings and create some images of the area we where in. This was really successful and the final images we got where so successful they are now showing in an exhibition in Halewood.

To keep with the theme of bees, Karen Edwards (the lovely artist who gave us a tour of The Bridewell... see previous blog post) came up with a 3D beehive that everybody could get involved with. The visitors where asked to get involved and decorate the individual panels of the beehive. It was really enjoyable and we had people from 2 up to 85 getting involved. The pieces where then put together the week after in the Junior Artists Club.

Overall the day was a huge success! It was great being able to get involved in the whole process from start to finish. Working alongside Carole and all of the artists has taught me so much about how to plan events and being able to do something within the local community was great. The feedback forms for the day where great, and we got 100% positive feedback. I'm looking forward to the Big Draw 2011 next!

Huge post so thank you if you are still reading and thank you so much to Ian Edwards who provided amazing photos from the day, I was going to take some myself but got that into all the activities didn't get the chance.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

How do I do this?

How do I find words to describe how good this last week has been. It's pretty hard but I am definitely going to try. This past week I have been down in Birmingham for the BBC Good Food Show. Anyone who knows me will know just how much I am obsessed with cooking programmes and cooking in general, so this was like heaven for me. I was assisting on Tim Kinnairds stand. For those who don't know, Tim was in the final of Masterchef this year and is known for his amazing cakes.

I was there to help out on his stand with him and help sell his Macarons, Brownies and Hot Chocolate. It was the first time I had tried a Macaron before and I am now hooked. They are beautiful. When I first saw them I expected them to be crunchy like a meringue, but they completley melt in your mouth and I now need to find a way to feed my habit. I am completley addicted and can't wait until I can get them on mail order from Tims website. (They are available to buy in Norfolk and online from January)

Aztec Chocolate flavour. Dark Chocolate Ganache with Cinnamon
Chilli Powder and Nutmeg through it. Delicious.
My picture doesn't do them justice.

The week was such a laugh and I think I spent most of the time laughing. Getting to know all of the stalls around us was a definite highlight and made the week so much more fun. One particular stall I can't talk about enough. Gower Cottage Brownies. If you have ever eaten a brownie before and thought "that was good" forget it, move on and try a Gower Cottage Brownie. They are the best brownies I have ever ever ever tried and I am going to be buying in bulk in time for Christmas. Kate who makes them is so lovely and the joking between me, her, Tom and Tim made the Good Food Show so much fun. I also managed to get one of the much wanted BITE ME bags! Next time you go to send someone flowers, don't, send them a box of Gower Cottage Brownies.

The lovely lovely lovely Kate.

So many people recognised Tim (with him being from Masterchef), Kate started telling everyone he was from Strictly Come Dancing, it was so funny having people ask Tim how far he got. To get revenge we started to tell people she was Gillian McKeiths, younger, nicer sister. There was so many people asking why they recognised him, we changed Tims sign to make it easier for people to realise. There was a lot of fun with that magnet board. Whenever Tim had his back turned the board was changed to "Yes, I am from Mastermind" or "Dr Tim says eat more Macaroni." Not macarons. Someone even walked by and said to a friend "Why is someone from Mastermind here?"

Tims Magnetboard

The 5 days there where brilliant, it was spent laughing, trading for other food and meeting a lot of the chefs I have saw on TV. It ended with pie madness, as Anna and Tom gave away 6 spare crates of Brays Cottage Pork Pies. I have never seen Tom look so happy whilst he was filling his bag with pies. It was so surreal sitting on the NEC floor as the show was being taken down and seeing every single person walk pass either eating a pork pie, holding a bag of pies or walking with a crate of pies. It was amazing and if you love pork pies, definitely buy some from Brays Cottage. They are the best pork pies I have ever tried. I have made a delivery of them to my Nan, Toms freezer drawer is full and I think every member of my family has had one at some point. 

Nothing will ever beat Piegate 2010.

All in all I had so much fun and working there re confirmed how determined I am to make it within the events and exhibition industry. Fingers crossed I get to do more things like this in the future. Back to the real world now... 

How am I going to get through all of this free food?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Minibus tour...

On Saturday, Me, Carole and Cowsie took some of the Junior Art club and the Halewood Walkers group on a trip around the Biennial in Liverpool. It was a really interesting day and it was great to see some unusual and different art.

We started with a tour of The Bridewell. Karen one of the artists who is based here gave us a tour of the whole space and even let us into her studio. Something I am very jealous of, her studio was amazing and I want it myself haha. Her work is lovely too, her website has images of some of the lovely prints she produces... click here to have a look.

Part of the exhibition by Carol Ramsey. Inspired by the Everton Tower. The children loved going inside here.

Next stop was the Oratory outside the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. This was the first time I'd gone into the grounds of the Cathedral... (being a scouser this is shocking I know)... I could not get over the size of it. I knew it was huge, but standing within there I really could not get over the size, exploring the graveyard with the children was fun too. Even if they where really scared.

We where at the Oratory to see the Temple of a Thousand Bells installation by Laura Belem. It was lovely and I would definitely recommend a visit before the Biennial ends.

The next place we went to was Mann Island to see Hector Zamoras Synclastic/Anticlastic. The children really liked this one and I did too. It was empty when we visited and I felt the concrete silhoettes looked like birds, feeling like you where walking amongst a giant flock. One of the chlidren said it felt like they where being attacked by flying dinosaurs... I'm sure that is exactly what Hector wanted his visitors to get from it.

This week has been great. Busy but great and I am really looking forward to what I'm upto this week and in the weeks ahead.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Architecture and Life Drawing

So Anna (my little sister) got home from Spain on Sunday and this week has mostly involved catching up with her. She's been living in Spain since February and it's been great having her back. She's even decided to start coming along to art club and helping me and Carole out with the children.

Art Club - This week I have been helping Carole to put together our report about the Big Draw something I am still due to blog about... (awaiting photos then I shall write up a proper summary of the event). We also let the children do what they wanted this week in the Junior Artists Club, as long as it went along with the theme of fireworks. So there was a lot of splattered paint, string and tissue paper everywhere. All fun of course!

I also went along to a second training / workshop day with Places Matter. It is in association with The Royal Institute of British Architects and I have been along to one of the days before. Its a way of getting architecture more into the curriculum and as I volunteer with children 7-12 I could go along and pick up tips on how to turn what we learn into workshops for the children. I really enjoyed it. The two training sessions included lectures and presentations from some of the architects and urban designers involved in Liverpool 1 and Liverpool as a whole. It was great to do something design based again, it really made me miss Uni and it was great to learn more about the architecture of Liverpool.

This training day made me realise I want to make the most of all the opportunities Liverpool has to offer. When in the Places Matter office I picked up a LOT of leaflets and have now signed up for a free life drawing session as part of the DaDa Fest '10 and I have signed up for some lectures ran by the RIBA. Which I am really looking forward to.

Carole has asked me to plan a trip around the Liverpool Biennial for the children, so I have two weeks to sort out where to take them!

I also have my Halewood Arts at Home presentation next week, so I should get on with that too.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Liverpool Lantern Carnival

Halloween this year was spent very differently to how I have ever spent it before. If you have read previous posts, you will know that I have been working on a set of lanterns with the children at the Junior Art Club, Carole and Becky. Halloween was spent taking part in the Liverpool Lantern Carnival, ran by the Liverpool Lantern Company. It was amazing! Me, Mum and Anna went along and it was a really different way to spend Halloween. Thousands of people turned up to Sefton Park to watch the Lantern Walk procession and then to see the amazing finale. This years theme was above and below the water so there was a lot of fish, boats and of course the jelly fish I helped to make. There was so many performers, lanterns and at the end fireworks. It was a really amazing night and the atmosphere was great.

The Junior Artists Club getting ready for the walk.

Lewis and Charlie with the JellyFish lanterns they had made.

Finale, the ship exploding.

Photographs from the Liverpool Echo, The Procession.