Friday, 28 April 2017

Banff Spoken Word 2017 - group photo

I'm having the pleasure of spending two weeks with this bunch of talented individuals at Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Raise A Mug Studiowarming at Carliol House

Finally, its here! After a long and tiresome move, we can finally enjoy a proper brew, catch up and celebrate our move to the new building!

On 2nd May at 6pm join Helen and Holly at Carliol House in the shared space where you can collect your mug and have a cuppa and some cake with us.

If you were unable to donate a mug for the move but would like to join us, not to worry, the event is open to all studioholders. Just bring a mug!

The Newbridge tea towels will also be available to buy for £5 each.

Look forward to seeing you all there!

Holly and Helen :)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Brandon Wint - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Brandon Wint is a poet, spoken word artist, and prominent teacher of writing, currently living in Edmonton, Alberta. He is, perhaps, best known for his ability to meaningfully articulate the mysteries of love, romance and kindness in his poetry. He is a poet who uses the potential of writing and speaking to articulate the beauties of the world, and where possible, the silver-linings that underscore the ugliness and struggle that is inherent to the human condition. His typically soft-spoken, musical and delicately-rendered spoken word pieces have garnered attention and admiration from audience members across Canada and in far-away places like England and Australia, where his life and work have been showcased on radio and in print. He is a two-time national slam champion, the author of one collection of poetry, Love, Our Master (In/Words Magazine and Press, 2014) and one recently-released album entitled The Long Walk Home.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Philip Wilcox - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Philip is the 2015/16 Australian Poetry Slam Champion as well as a two-time New South Wales Slam Champion. He tours nationally and internationally, performing at festivals such as the Ubud Writers’ Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Bookworm Literary Festival in Beijing and the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival.

He is also a (sometimes) playwright having written two plays for the Sydney Fringe Festival – The Staffroom (2012) and Thursday (2013) which was voted the most popular comedy play of the festival.

He is just about to release his first published collection of poems Beetle Prayer with Pitt Street Poetry.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Mitcholos - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Mitcholos is a Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ/ Nuučaan̓uɫ artist from a tiny reservation with no hopes or aspirations that anybody would chase if they had a MODICUM of sanity – which is convenient ‘cause after 500 years of degradation in what is Colonially Known As Canada – sanity is in woefully short supply; which makes his people fun. One Housekeeping Note: Be sure to wipe your white tears during and after the show, though they be potent, are worth nothing. Until you invent technology that runs strictly on white tears – technology that doesn’t destroy the environment or enslave colored children somewhere – it’s worth nothing here beyond sating and stroking Mitcholos’ own exhibitionist, histrionic ego. Enjoy.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Isabelle St-Pierre - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Isabelle St-Pierre has been making her voice heard as a Canadian poet, slammer and storyteller for over 20 years in Québec, Ontario, Acadia and France. As the daughter of an immigrant mother, she carries within herself the gentle melancholy of the nomad, of the wandering Jew. Through her own identity and territorial questions, she paints realistic portraits, addressing difficult and sensitive subjects such as poverty, working class life, everyday violence and injustice. Close to folk and protest song, hers is a committed word that aspires to be a tool for social change. Since 2005, she has been leading and running dozens of shows, open mikes, contests, and workshops, in different venues and festivals. From 2005 to 2010, she directed the storytelling /slam component of l’État d’Urgence, refugee camp (ATSA) , mobilizing more than 20 artists for the event and providing a space for homeless voices to be heard. Since 2012, she has actively been organizing and hosting the Montréal Slam Sessions, a monthly event featuring spoken word artists and an open mike formula. In January 2016, she created an unprecedented event with Caroline N.Hotte (CBC North), Paroles Fauves: a poetic vigil to fight violence against aboriginal women.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Heath V. Salazar - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Heath V. Salazar is a Dora Award-winning latinx actor/singer/ dancer/writer, born in Canada, who performs as male, female and gender variant. They’re one of the original creators of the new Canadian musical, Chasse-Galerie. It was with this production that they won a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance - Ensemble and were also nominated under Outstanding Production in the Independent Theatre Devision. Over the past year, they were a regular on Season 4 of the award-winning webseries, Out With Dad, with whom they also worked as a script consultant. Other credits include We Are Not the Others (partnership between McMaster University and Izad Etemadi), the devised theatre piece Suitcases (R. Saracino Productions), TOUGH! (directed by Ken Gass, ENSEMBLE Canadian Youth Theatre), This is the August (Young Prince Collective), Dance Animal (Best of Fringe 2016, Dance Animal), The Vagina Monologues (Adam Samson Theatre), choreographer and featured dancer in Gossip (mojopro films) and The Victor Singers (the choir featured in Josh Groban’s Toronto performance of his Stages tour). This Spring, they’re set to play Goneril in Language, a multilingual film adaption of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Heath is also the fluid drag king, Gay Jesus. Bushy. Bearded. Blasphemously blessed.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Luke Wren Reid - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Born at the Huntsman, Meander, Tasmania, 10am 14th of January in the back garden, Luke Wren Reid was raised in the Meander Valley by his mother.

Luke began writing at an early age. At twenty two Luke moved to Sydney to pursue his studies in screen writing at AFTRS. There he was introduced to Filmmaker and artist Christina Conrad; Luke’s time spent under Conrad’s mentorship has had a profound effect on his work.

After several years working in film and television in Spain Luke returned to Tasmania. In 2014 he won the Launceston Spoken word event ‘Slamduggery’ taking on the role as organiser later that year. Luke’s work as Director has seen the event grow into the Tasmania’s largest monthly poetry event, fostering the work of several local artists who have gone on to become poets in their own right.

Luke’s work has been widely acclaimed both locally and nationally In 2014 and 2015 Luke represented Tasmania in the National final of the Australian Poetry Slam at the Sydney Opera house. Luke has been a featured poet at writers festivals, solo performances as well as a host of local events, rallies and public showcases.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist B.A. Markus - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

B.A. Markus is a writer, teacher and performer who lives in Montreal. She is an award-winning creative nonfiction writer, a Juno- nominated song writer, and her reviews, essays and stories can be found in anthologies and publications such as Carte Blanche, Queen’s Quarterly and The Montreal Review of Books. She can be seen telling stories at Confabulation and The Yarn storytelling events and is currently writing a series of monologues entitled, “What Mommy Needs”, about what mothers do to survive the realities of mothering.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist David Leduc - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

David Leduc, aka Le Grand Slack, is a Spoken Word artist who has been on the Quebec slam scene since 2008.

Along with his musicians, he has performed his show throughout the province, in addition to offering slam workshops in high schools and CEGEPs. From 2012 to 2016, he organized and hosted « Figures de Style », a monthly open-mic event at bar Les Pas Sages in Montreal. He is currently working on an upcoming EP that should be released this fall. « Cassé », his first single has risen to the top of the independent radio charts, and its videoclip was a hit on Musique Plus.

He is a member of the organizational committee of Slamontréal since 2017 as well as a a regular contributor to Radio-Canada’s literary show “Plus on est de fous, plus on lit !”

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Kym Dominique-Ferguson - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Kym Dominique-Ferguson is who and what you get when you blend together the polarizing languages and cultures of Jamaica, Haiti and Canada. Born on the 11th of September 1980, Ferguson always felt the lull of greatness, and throughout the years, with humility, gratitude and openness to learning, his goals and achievements match that pull.

Ferguson has made some big strides in the community, creating fixtures such as the Art of Performing Aural Sex (Erotic Poetry Show), Madpoetix Soirées Intimes (Open Mic night) and recently,the Phenomenal 5IVE (mulit-disciplinary showcase); all of which are highly anticipated events by the Montreal spoken word lovers in the city. Sensing a need to return to his Theatrical roots, Ferguson joined the Black Theatre Workshop Artist Mentorship Program. This has been a defining moment in his career as an actor. Though absent from the Theatre community for a decade and a half, his is swiftly gaining traction.

During his time in the 2015-2016 Black Theatre Workshop Artist Mentorship Program he has launched his first spoken word album: Born Jamhaitianadian on March 11, 2016. Now he is currently working on adapting his autobiographical screenplay into a theatre play that will be presented as a one-man show. He has also landed roles
in short films, commercials and others all while simultaneously producing his regular events.

A workaholic whose love is entrenched in art, with humility, gratitude and an openness to learning Kym Dominique-Ferguson continues to strive towards greatness.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Nardine Gharsa - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Nardine, often introduced to the stage as “Queen Nardine,” values authenticity and integrity in her writing. Through her poetry and music she communicates as if her performances were a conversation between two individuals, separating out the world’s tangles to uncover truths, much like the tangled curls she has learned to love. She symbolises all that it means to be a woman coming into power, with a perfect balance of strength and humility in her art. Her unique ability to effortlessly flow complex ideas through voice and melody wins hearts immediately and has quickly established her as one of Sydney’s most exciting performers. She is dropping her debut EP this year, that will surely see her develop into an Australian hip hop and story-telling icon.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Audrey Lane Cockett - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Audrey Lane is a poet, spoken word artist, arts organizer, gardener, and dreamer.

Her rhythmic and multi dimensional metaphors capture and immerse you in work that explores wildness outside and in.

Themes of mental health awareness, the natural world, and gender equality often percolate into her poems.

In the daylight hours she works as a park naturalist and outdoor educator in Calgary, Alberta.

She is an alumnus of the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency on the Yukon River and the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. She was a member of Calgary’s 2016 Slam Poetry Team, represented Victoria at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam in 2014, and has been published in the Journal of Wild Culture.

During her travels she has followed poetry into countless cafes, bar basements, riverbanks, street corners, theatres, and community halls. She has not once regretted it.

Audrey Lane believes art is an avenue for strengthening community, education, and connection to place. She is invested in exploring poetry and its intersections with other art forms, learning, teaching, healing, and change.


Introducing Spoken Word Artist William Beale - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

WILLIAM BEALE is an Australian spoken word poet whose work has been called “a boy howling his way into the world, despite all its muzzles.” Author and composer of debut poetry collection and album, THEY CALL US LOUD (Perfect Binding Press), William represented Victoria as one of the top 15 Australian poets of 2016 at the Australian Poetry Slam in the Sydney Opera House.

Former Creative Producer of Melbourne’s Slamalamadingdong, Co-founder of Malaysia’s If Walls Could Talk, winner of the 10th BOH Cameronian Awards for Best Book & Lyrics, and a handful of Australasian slam cups. William shares and creates stages around Asia Pacific, pursuing performance art, coaching high school slams, organising poetry events and doing the word things.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Britta Badour - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Britta B. is a spoken word poet and arts educator. Originally from Kingston, ON, she now resides in Toronto’s Regent Park. Britta has performed on stages across North America and continues to collaborate with community organizations like UNITY Charity, RISE Edutainment, Leave Out Violence Ontario (LOVE) and The Stephen Lewis Foundation. When she’s not writing or educating, Britta is emceeing breakdance battles, acting in community theatre plays and travelling abroad.

Introducing Spoken Word Artist Danielle Altrogge - fellow participant in the Banff Spoken Word Programme

Danielle Altrogge is a landlocked mermaid, spoken word poet, and community organizer from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She represented Saskatoon on the 2013 and 2015 Saskatoon Slam Teams, the latter of which won the championship for the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Danielle was one of the writers and producers for the Saskatoon based 2015 poetry-theatre hybrid project Our Four Walls, which was nominated for Best Original Script at the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards. She believes in anti-oppression work, her mother, and magic. Danielle is the current Executive Director of Tonight it’s Poetry in Saskatoon and the co-chair of communications for Spoken Word Canada’s Board of Directors. Her work has been published in oratorealis, untethered, Folklore, and isms Magazine. She has performed in venues across Canada. She is currently finishing her MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Banff Spoken Word residency - day 1

Day 1 Schedule

Program Orientation - Room 313, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Building

Opening Circle - Room 313, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Building
Campus Tour - Meet at room 313, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Building

Welcome Reception - Maclab Bistro

What a privalege it is to be here, not only in the stunning landscape, but with such an amazingly talented group of spoken word artists. 

I listened in awe as each individual introduced themselves and shared an original piece of work with the group. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be posting about each member of the group, both the participants and the faculty.

Although he belongs to neither of the aforementioned groups, I need to introduce Jim. 

With his knowledge, warmth and love of a good story, Jim's grandfather-like figure made for an ideal tour-guide of the campus.

Jim gave us behind the scenes access to the wardrobe department where the costumes are made for the various theatre, dance and performances happening on campus. 

We were shown 'The Club', where we will be sharing our work with the public at the end of the residency, and finished the tour with a visit to the library. It has a wealth of resources including an object library.

This is a collection of objects that can be borrowed in the same way we borrow books. It includes a plant, a stress ball and a pair of binoculars. What a great idea!

Prior to the welcome reception in the evening, Audrey-Lane and I walked down to the river and got very excited about the sound of snow crunching and the creaking of the ice. 

We marvelled at the ice formations, and noticed a lot of clumps of animal hair caught in the ice.

We will return with the recording devices that we have booked to hire!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Studio Setup

On Saturday night I go away to The Banff Art Centre for a two-week Spoken Word residency. Amongst all the preparations for my visit I have been trying to get my studio sorted. I've finished painting the walls, cleaned and hoovered, discarded some unwanted items and put my desk in place. I've ordered some shelving which should come while I am in Canada, and when I am back in the UK I want to bring in some plants and make it comfortable and as uncluttered as possible.

I've still got some way to go, but it's beginning to take shape.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A delightfully unexpected encounter with Claire Hignett

Earlier in the year I signed up to participate in a Practice Makes Practice weekend event organised by The NewBridge Project in which NewBridge members could engage with a group of artists from Islington Mill, Salford. Unfortunately the event had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, but it is due to be rearranged in the future. After doing some research into Islington Mill, I had ear-marked it as a place to visit.

Last week I made a visit to Manchester for a variety of art related events, and ended up spending most of my time in Salford. As I waited for entry into the exhibition at ArtWork Atelier, I got talking to a woman who was also waiting to see the exhibition. It turned out that I was talking to Claire Hignett, an artist with a studio at Islington Mill who had also intended to attend the NewBridge Project/Islington Mill weekend event earlier in the year. Claire kindly offered to show me around Islington Mill (see earlier blog post) and introduce me to her work.

Claire writes,

"I am fascinated by the effect time has on memory. How memories start to fragment and merge with others. How, as we move through time and gather new experiences, our perception of our memories changes. I am particularly intrigued by the way we attach memory to objects and how we keep things that are broken, useless or were cherished by someone else to try and hold on to our memories and to stop them fragmenting any more."

In 2012 Claire began working on a project "to find out more about a group of Basque refugee children who came to Salford following the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War."

In June 1937, 4000 Basque children arrived in Southampton as refugees and were dispersed around the country in “colonies”. One of these colonies was in Salford at Harold’s Memorial Orphanage, now demolished but only five minutes walk from Claire's current home, and they were taught at the Local Quaker Meeting House, now a British Legion building just a little further on. Claire mentioned the children to her friend’s Mum (age 83) and she was delighted to be asked. She remembered being 9 years old and leaving hospital after a bout of mumps. She went with her friends to look at the refugees because “we thought they would be exotic but [we] were dead disappointed because they looked just like us!”

Claire is in the process of preparing for her exhibition at Ordsall Hall from July 18th to 24th September 2017. Her exhibition will be based on the story of the Basque Children in Salford. "Finding stories in old newspapers and talking to people who still remember them, she will create the exhibition to tell this hidden story."

While in her studio at Islington Mill I saw some of the work that she has been developing for the exhibition, and I look forward to going to see the end result in the Summer.

For more about Claire's work visit her website:

and her blog:

Claire is a member of the Islington Mill Art Academy, "a peer-led experiment into alternative modes of art education. Founded in 2007, IMAA emphasises shared responsibility, and its nature changes with its membership, with each member bringing their own ideas and energy. Within IMAA there is no differentiation between professor and pupil, and there are no set courses, but rather a shared propensity to learn and to strive for understanding. The group seek out and utilise the resources which they can find around them, and employ 'art method' towards diverse, and not necessarily artistic, outcomes. Whilst the nature of IMAA is fluid and subject to change, it is always crucial to share ideas, and to embrace the skills and knowledge of members."

For more information about the Islington Mill Art Academy visit:

Monday, 10 April 2017

Make Place by Sophie Lee at ArtWork Atelier, Salford

During my recent visit to Salford, I visited gallery and studio space, ArtWork Atelier. The exhibition in the gallery was Make Place by Sophie Lee.

The exhibition consisted of a number of video projections running simultaneously with a sound installation featuring two voices in dialogue, sometimes overlapping, coming from speakers positioned around the gallery. The projections mainly focused on the Icelandic coastline and seashots, but one projection included images of objects arranged in a domestic setting and an image of a space that was constructed in the gallery.

"Make Place is a solo exhibition by Sophie Lee investigating the artist’s interpretations into notions of the home and identity. Taking inspiration from her recent visit to a group of family owned islands off the West Coast of Iceland, Lee presents a gallery installation bringing together research from over the last eight-months.
During her visit to Iceland, Lee spent time with the family’s last remaining son, who in 1981, after the passing of his mother, took it upon himself to safe hold the family’s islands from the threat of sale. Taking up sole residency on the islands, he set about building wooden, family sized houses. Now, at the age of 75, having built twenty houses and one library, he continues his work, living in almost total isolation. Holding on to a sense of the un-finished, each house is unique and marks a lasting tribute to his mother and siblings. A place of contradictions and myth, the island and its inhabitant are fixed in a state of anticipation, nostalgia, transformation and change.

Bringing together her own narratives, experiences and documentation, Make Place is an exhibition that reinterprets this story from the experiences of the artist. Within the exhibition, Lee presents a fictional spoken word narrative between the island and the inhabitant.

Make Place has been developed and produced by Mark Devereux Projects with Sophie Lee over the last year. This exhibition signals the completion of the first research and development phase of the project, which has also included a talks programme concentrating on the thematics of domesticity and identity at Salford Museum & Art Gallery."

I attended one of the talks programmed alongside the exhibition.

Edward Hollis, architect, writer and teacher discussed the notion of what makes a home.

Drawing on his book, How to make a home, Hollis spoke about how our concept of home has changed over time. The desire for privacy is a modern invention.

We were asked to spend 60 seconds drawing a house. All but one of us in the audience drew a 2-storey building with a roof, windows, door, chimney and path. Hollis explained the tendency for us to draw such symmetrical buildings - a house is a place that presents an ordered facade to the world. 

A house offers shelter, warmth and food, and is detached from the rest of the world.

The stuff in our houses remind us of who we are and what we have to do.

Islington Mill

On my recent visit to Salford I was fortunate to meet artist and maker Claire Hignett with a studio at Islington Mill. (See my other separate blog post for more information on Claire's work). She kindly agreed to show me around and tell me more about the Mill.

"Created in 2000, Islington Mill remains a work in progress; an ever-evolving creative space, arts hub and community. Scratch the surface and you’ll find a vibrant and resourceful cross disciplinary creative network; a space where conversations leads to connections, collaboration and co-creation.

Public arts programmes, residencies and galleries sit alongside recording studios, an events space and a Bed and Breakfast facility for artists. Music and visual arts mix with events and exhibitions. More than 50 businesses and 100 artists call the Mill home. More than 15,000 people visit the building every year.

Islington Mill is a celebration of the unconventional; of radical and subversive thinking – it is a place where anything feels possible. The flexibility and fluid structure is a catalyst for creativity, allowing artists, residents and tenants to challenge accepted notions of what arts and culture can do, and who can be involved. The residents treasure their independence to explore and to create; to live and work as freely and creatively as possible, fostering an openness to experiment.

The Mill was built on an ethos of experimentation, creativity and inclusivity that has evolved and clarified over time. More than just a physical venue, there is an attitude and approach that unites people. The organic network they have forged continues to evolve because of the actions of the people who get involved; they community.

Collaboration is valued – within the Mill, the local community, nationally and internationally – and they are an integral part of the area’s regeneration. Attracting and retaining talent is fundamental to what the Mill does – supporting creative entrepreneurs and facilitating the potential and promise they bring. The ethos of participation, community and open space makes Islington Mill a vital ingredient in the urban regeneration mix, both in complementing what’s on offer and generating new possibilities.

The Mill sits between the University of Salford and Manchester city centre, straddling the two cities; simultaneously at the heart of Salford’s creative community and just a 10-minute walk down Chapel Street to Manchester city centre. The studio spaces are situated across the upper floors of the main converted mill – an imposing red brick building constructed around a cobbled central courtyard.

The Mill has a variety of atmospheric, industrial spaces around the complex, including live workspace in the external outbuilding as well as a ground floor venue and gallery space." Claire even took me up to the top floor and showed me the attic. There are exciting plans to develop this space into residency studios.

Whilst walking around the building I met a few other studio holders, including US artist, educator and curator, Stina Puotinen. Stina recently exhibited at Vane Gallery in Newcastle, an exhibition I was hugely excited by and that I blogged about. What a coincidence!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

"A ‘radical materialist’, Cragg defines sculpture as a ‘rare category of objects’, and takes a taxonomic approach to his own practice, something which is reflected in the exhibition. 

The wit and will to analyse the properties of all of the planet’s resources and use them to make new things is unique to human beings, along with the intuition to sort, order and categorise the things that exist and that we bring into existence.

Cragg’s extraordinary career has its roots in a fascination for, and exploration of, the possibilities of the material world.

From the small scale to the monumental, Cragg’s prolific practice is the outcome of a constantly questioning and experimental symbiotic process of thought and manual making, which always starts with drawing. With the support of his studio, Cragg makes his sculptures by hand, each evolution of thought taking form and inspiring the next. His intuition to sort and categorise, evident in his childhood fossil collection, is expressed in the significant early stacked series in which the accumulated content of his studio, including stones, wood, and books, are formed into geological-like sculptures."

I admire the high level of craftmanship that goes into making Cragg's work. It is clear from his sculptures that he has a great understanding of the materials he uses. For example, in the sculpture above, the form appears to work with the natural layers and curves within the wood itself.

I enjoy his relatively simple sculpture made from circular metal components of decreasing size (see image below). It is one of the few items in the exhibition that shows his use of found objects. These objects each have a history; they reference the time in which the work has been made, adding another dimension to the work. 

Another piece using found objects was the sculpture covered in playing dice. In this instance, it appeared as though the sculptural form had been made from one material, which had then been covered completely in dice. This sculpture seems slightly at odds with the others as it appears as if the dice have been used to 'decorate' the surface as opposed to being constructed from them.

Overall, I was disappointed by the lack of variety with this exhibition. Sculptures throughout the exhibition share the same kind of shapes and materials and there was a limited amount of development from one room within the gallery to the next. I know that Cragg has produced work that I found more interesting than what was exhibited at YSP, and I am frustrated that the exhibition did not show a broader, more varied range of work.                                                                                           

Monday, 3 April 2017

Introducing sound artist Victoria Karlsson

London-based sound artist Victoria Karlsson contacted me after she read one of my blog posts about my investigations into voice-hearing. We skyped today and discussed both of our practices and found some interesting connections.

"Victoria Karlsson is interested in the emotional and subjective aspects of sound and art. Investigating sound as both an inner and outer experience, she explores how we think about, remember, dream about sounds, and how this influences our experiences of sounds in our everyday. 

She is currently undertaking a PhD Research Degree at University of the Arts, London. Her practice based research, with the working title of "Mapping experiences of inner sounds " investigates sounds in thoughts, asking if we hear sounds in our minds, what they mean to us and where they come from.

The research aims to create a body of work defining our understanding of “inner sounds” - sounds we ‘hear’ in both our conscious and unconscious mind, similar to, but different from an inner voice. While the term is positioned hypothetically at this stage, the aim of this project is to research experiences of inner sounds with a view to producing a working definition of its meaning. Through practice-based research, the project aims to investigate strategies of articulating and making inner sounds audible, and develop a language to externalise and map experiences of inner sounds. While inner experiences are often explored within artistic practice, this projects specific focus is on experiences of inner sound, where this sort of exploration has not been attempted before.

As a sound designer on several live art events, Victoria creates sound environments that evoke alternative words and explore our experience of different spaces. Working closely with the director, performers and set designers to ensure sound becomes an integral part of the performance environment."

We discussed all manner of sound-related topics including:

- whether you can ever communicate what is in your head
- we tend to hear about people having negative auditory hallucinations, but some auditory hallucinations can be helpful
- how we can attribute sounds to different emotions and states

Sunday, 2 April 2017

I have moved

After weeks of watching (and helping) studioholders from the other floors move the contents of their studios downstairs and out of Norham House, today was my turn to use the van and move the contents of my studio to the new premises at Carliol House. 

Thanks to help from Charlie, Bronwen, Ian and Holly, the process only took about 4 hours, and so I spent the rest of the day giving the studio walls a third coat of white paint.

I'm looking forward to receiving the keys to the studio and setting up my space.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Jez Riley French talks about his collaborative sound work created for the Humber Bridge in the year that Hull is the UK City of Culture 2017

"The vast Humber Bridge is the focus of a new artwork for Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Norwegian musician Jan Bang and Hull-based sound recordist Jez Riley French discuss The Height of the Reeds, an interactive soundtrack they have created for Opera North, to be listened to on headphones as you cross the length of the 2,200m bridge."

Head on over to the Humber Bridge, put on a set of our headphones and disappear into a sound adventure, walking the epic span of the Bridge, with a world of sound in your ears.

Music by Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, guitarist Eivind Aarset and electronic wizard Jan Bang gives way to the vast sound of the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North; threaded through with the deep music of the Bridge itself, captured by Hull based sound artist Jez riley French. Poetry is read by Maureen Lipman, Barrie Rutter, and 7-year-old Katie Smith from Hull, with musical arrangement by Aleksander Waaktar.

Evoking both the long history of sea travel from Hull, and the Bridge as a powerful symbol of home, The Height of the Reeds is an unforgettable experience in sound."

Welcome to my new studio at Carliol House

In October 2016, The NewBridge Project were given the upsetting news that Norham House, the birthplace and home of The NewBridge Project for the past 7 years, is going to be demolished and were given 6 months notice. The NewBridge staff worked incredibly hard to secure replacement premises to house the artists studios and programme.

A deal was made with our current Landlord, Motcombe Estates, to use one of their other premises, Carliol House. Located round the corner from our existing premises, Carliol House was the headquarters offices of the North Eastern Electricity Supply Company. It was built in 1924-8. The company was established as the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Company in 1889. The North Eastern Electric Supply Company was responsible for the supply of electricity to a large amount of North East England until the nationalisation of the British electricity industry with the Electricity Act 1947. A two year lease was signed to occupy the basement and first floor of the building, providing around 1,400 m2 of studio space, making and workshops facilities, and exhibition space to artists.

Over the past month studio holders have been moving out of Norham House and Dean and Joe from TILT have been building the new studios. They have made remarkable progress.


I have the van booked to move my stuff in on Saturday, but before then I want to give the walls a few coats of paint.