Saturday, 12 April 2014


Whilst the former Culture Secretary rested her poor little head on the block of public opinion earlier this week, I was one of a small contingent invited into parliament by Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. We’d been invited to contribute to a round-table discussion around arts/health. To be honest, it was a pretty good cross section of our community with therapies, third sector, patient voice, art forms and research & practice from the field represented. Why were we there? To give voice to the field and maybe, just maybe, inform political direction. Let’s see, but I for one felt that the minister took things seriously and sees the relevance of culture and the arts to wider society. It was great as ever, to have the support of Alan Howarth, this time enthusiastically supported by MP’s, Sarah Newton and Paul Burstow who between the three of them, are the driving force behind the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing.
But what’s this? We have a new Culture Secretary! Want to know more? Well here’s an open letter from a potential future culture secretary, author Michael Rosen, to the new culture secretary for you to digest. Click on his dear old face.

Following in the wake of the arts/health research communities response to Arts Council England’s report on cultural value, it's been heartening to witness the outpouring of the rich, but hidden data that exists in the field. There's a real nuanced picture emerging that allows patient phenomenology to be at the heart of our understanding of our impact and reach, tempering any drive to dominate our field with pseudo-scientific reductionism. Although, it has to be said, some of the Social Return on Investment models that are being explored, are indeed fascinating and it’s particularly interesting to read the report of work done in the Craft Cafe’s in Glasgow, who claim that the ratio of social value of their work is equivalent to £8.27 to the £1. Click on the sublime Frida Kahlo for more details.

All that said, I recommend the excellent Dr Samuel Ladkin as a healthy counterblast to those bogged down with their outdated reductionist models. Here’s his starting gambit:

“Against Value in the Arts” sounds like a counter-intuitive way to go about describing and defending the value of the arts. The project proposes, however, that it is often the staunchest defenders of art who do it the most harm, by suppressing or mollifying its dissenting voice, by neutralising its painful truths, and by instrumentalizing its potentiality, so that rather than expanding the autonomy of thought and feeling of the artist and the audience, it makes art self-satisfied, or otherwise an echo-chamber for the limited and limiting self-description of people’s desires.

More please Dr Ladkin and thanks RGN for this! Click on the Ai Weiwei above to read more from the excellent AHRC funded Cultural Value Project.

Next week, Arts for Health’s sister organization in Lithuania, Socialiniai Meno Projektai are hosting the International Conference Arts for Mental Health and Wellbeing: Creative Partnership in Policy and Practice at the National Gallery in the Lithuania. With support from amongst others, the government of the Republic of Lithuania, the British Council, NORDEN, the Tiltas Trust and of course, Arts for Health at MMU.

I’m thrilled to be going back to this beautiful country and to be being joined by three colleagues from Manchester too - Stuart Webster from BlueSCI; Julie McCarthy from 42nd Street and my arts/health collaborator, Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt who is currently interrogating longitudinal data from Sweden, Finland and Norway against UK data-sets to explore the long-term impact of cultural participation on health outcomes. More of that in July, when she publishes her findings.

What’s that? You can’t go to Lithuania, especially over the easter holidays? Or it’s too late to get a place because it’s standing room only? Well don’t worry, because you can watch it live at 
(...although I could live to regret mentioning this)
Click on the National Gallery for more details. 

SICK FESTIVAL 2015 are seeking doctors, healthcare professionals and patients to participate in a  Wellcome Trust funded-project entitled Stories From The Front Line. We are looking for true stories that reveal emotional and ethical issues associated with people’s experiences of illness, healthcare and the hospital system. The participants will be interviewed by leading comics artists / graphic novelists who will use these stories to create a series of 12 large (4m x 1m) public space light-box installations throughout the Manchester in March 2015.

SICK are looking for stories that relate to the following thematics: children & adolescence, cancer, mental illness, geriatrics, end-of-life care, sex, physical abuse, substance abuse and medical ethics in general. Want to know more? Get in touch with Tim Harrison

A PhD opportunity that you just can’t afford to miss!
Applications of Socially Engaged Art
The socially engaged arts have been developed in a number of fields as transformative interventions entailing specific forms of arts practice and methods of inquiry. The combination of artistic and social elements gives rise to tensions between aesthetic, ethical and instrumental dimensions of the work. This PhD will study the nature and significance of the socially engaged arts as an aesthetic and relational practice, a mode of inquiry and an agent for personal and social change. The precise field will be determined in consultation with the successful candidate but we would particularly welcome applications with an interest in addictions and recovery. The Psychosocial Research Unit has a wide range of partners who can offer access to research sites for the successful applicant. However, we will also consider other proposals for the empirical component of the work. There are opportunities for paid teaching duties with this studentship Applicants must submit a detailed research proposal, a CV, and a covering letter along with their application. Applicants should have, or expect to receive a minimum of UK 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area. Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Alastair Roy email: Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS1328) should be directed to the Research Student Registry. Tel: 01772 895082 or email:
Closing Date: 16th May 2014 
Provisional Interview Date: 3rd June 2014

The month of May will see the Stroke Association collaborating on all manner of events that bridge science, stroke and the arts across Manchester. You can find out much more by clicking on the image above.

RUFF, by Split Britches. The piece is written by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, performed by Peggy and directed by Lois. The show is presented in Manchester by Contact and The Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture, The University of Manchester and is delivered as part of the Sexuality Summer School's public event series 2014. RUFF is also supported by the Stroke Association.

Peggy Shaw had a stroke in January 2011. The stroke was in her PONS, which rhymes with the Fonz, one of her many early role models, and since the stroke she’s realized she has never really performed solo. She has always had a host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands and eccentric family members living inside her. RUFF is a tribute to those who have kept her company these 68 years, a lament for the absence of those who disappeared into the dark holes left behind by the stroke and a celebration that her brain is able to fill the blank green screens with new insights and an opportunity to share them with the her favourite confidants – the audience. Click on the image below for more information.

A small note from the national press...
Ruth Wishart has written in the Guardian this weekend, on the increased understanding of the power of the arts to impact on health.

Rainhill Eco Garden - Call out for artist
WHO: Visual & Public Artists
BACKGROUND: The Rainhill Eco Garden project at Exchange Place, Rainhill Village is organised by Rainhill ECO (Environmental Community Organisation), a volunteer group dedicated to improving green spaces in Rainhill.
WHAT: We are seeking expressions of interest from Visual and Public Artists who are interested in working with the group and the local community to produce a piece of permanent artwork to be installed in the garden.  
BUDGET: The budget is £10,000 to include VAT
Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 2nd May 2014
Rainhill ECO group will then produce a shortlist of artists from all expressions of interest, and invite those on the shortlist to come for an informal interview.
TIMESCALE: The work will need to be fabricated and ready to be installed in the garden by Friday 29 August 2014
For full brief please Email:
Deadline for expressions of interest Friday 2nd May 2014.

Wellcome Trust – Arts Awards 
The Wellcome Trust is inviting organisations and individuals to apply for funding through its Arts Awards. The Arts Awards support projects that engage the public with biomedical science through the arts. Applications are invited for projects of up to £30,000 through their small grants programme, and for projects above £30,000 through their large grant programme. The aim of the awards is to support arts projects that reach new audiences which may not traditionally be interested in science and provide new ways of thinking about the social, cultural and ethical issues around contemporary science. The scheme is open to a wide range of people including, among others, artists, scientists, curators, filmmakers, writers, producers, directors, academics, science communicators, teachers, arts workers and education officers.

The next application deadline for small projects is the 27th June 2014, the deadline for large projects has now passed. Read more by clicking on the intimate glass casts (above) by Charlie Murphy and funded by Wellcome. 

FREE Training Opportunity: Music in Healthcare Settings 
29 May to 4 June 2014
OPUS Music CIC, in partnership with Nottingham Music Hub, is offering a five-day training programme for musicians working in, or interested in working in healthcare settings.
The course will take place over five days (including two half-days of music-making at Nottingham Children’s Hospital).  These will take place from 9.30am to 3.30pm on 29, 30 May and 2, 3 and 4 June 2014. There is no deadline for applications, however limited places are available.  Applications will close once the course is filled with suitable applicants.  You are advised to send an application as soon as possible. 
Details and an application form are available at our website here:

Project Director: Heart of Glass
St Helens
Salary £42,000p.a.
Heart of Glass is St Helens Creative People and Places Programme, a £3m project managed by a consortium of St Helens organisations, led by Saints Community Development Foundation, with the assistance of £1.5m Arts Council funding. Heart of Glass will bring an ambitious and extraordinary cultural programme to St Helens that will create opportunities for many more people to participate, experience and enjoy the arts. All of the work commissioned, developed and presented will be co-produced with and for local people, taking St Helen’s rich sporting and industrial heritage as starting points for engagement. We are looking for an imaginative, experienced, confident and inspirational Project Director who will engage, enthuse and challenge artists and audiences and set in place a meaningful legacy. We are looking for someone with proven artistic leadership and vision, and an outstanding track record in cultural programming as well as established connections both nationally and internationally. The role will require vision, energy and entrepreneurial flair to bring brave thinking and ambitious ideas about growing arts participation and engagement in St Helens.

We know that these qualities may not be found in equal measure in any one individual, and are open to the role being offered on a job-sharing basis if we have two candidates who offer different but complementary elements of the role’s requirements. If you have a real passion for audience engagement in the arts and feel that you have some or all of the qualities we are looking for, we want to hear from you! To request an application pack please email stating Project Director in the subject line of the email. Closing date for receipt of all applications is 12 noon on 6th May 2014, with interviews weeks commencing 12th May and 19th May.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are floating in space. FACT

Saturday, 5 April 2014

...esse amor, d'б sei que eu nгo quero mais nada

...and with just a vaguely aquatic theme Your blogger is bogged down with work this weekend, so short and sharp this time. A really interesting series of events about the development of a Visual Matrix from UCLAN are described below. I‘m going to go to the Leeds event. Sounds superb and much needed in these times of blinkered reductivism. A commission too from Alder Hey Children’s Health Park too.

Thanks to all of you who’ve shown an interest in attending the Vic McEwan event in June and I’m shortly going to announced details of our Informal Arts and Health Research Network's first meeting with none other than Mike White. This will be in May and I’ll give the dates next week.

I had the most excellent time at OWN NOW: Arts and Dementia Symposium organised by the as-ever brilliant Pioneer Projects in Skipton last week. I gave a presentation to an over-subscribed audience (standing room only) based on my own family experience and thoughts over the last few years. You can here my presentation by clicking on the image below. Thanks Anne, Philippa, Ali (from Pioneer Projects) and Becki (from Events Northern). It was a treat to be amongst passionate, articulate and hugely creative people. Oh and I thought Clare Craig was superb!

Public Art Now: Thinking Beyond Measure
A day workshop introducing a ground-breaking new approach to research and evaluation in the arts. Building an evidence base is fundamental to making the case for the arts; finding arts sensitive methods to gather and analyse data has become one of the primary challenges for the arts sector. How often have you felt something was missing from the stories revealed by social science based approaches? Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, working with arts producers Situations, have been developing an innovative new group based method - the Visual Matrix - to move beyond overt measures of impact and unlock the deeper story of an artwork’s effects on the imagination. This could then be used alongside quantitative approaches to form richer, more complex evaluations. The North Devon town of Ilfracombe was host to Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland in the summer of 2012 and, shortly afterwards, the 66 foot high bronze statue Verity by Damien Hirst was loaned to the town where it now towers over the harbour front. In 2013 the Visual Matrix method, which is framed by images of the artworks and depends on visualisation and association, was used alongside a conventional focus group to explore the town’s on-going relation to these large-scale, high profile public art projects. The Visual Matrix revealed a rich depth and diversity of response, which did not emerge through conventional methods. Join this workshop to hear what happened, how the Visual Matrix works and the value it has for Situations as an organisation. You will also take part in a Visual Matrix, learning how to organise you own session and how it might be applied to your projects. Click on image of Verity below for more details.

Art for Alder Hey in the Park
Introduction and Background 
The new Alder Hey Children’s Health Park is a unique concept in which the 100 year old hospital will be replaced by a new 270 bed hospital designed and built by ‘Acorn’ and a new public health park created on the old hospital site. The new hospital will be a welcoming healing environment in which the art helps enhance and improve the patient experience and enables a personalised delivery of healthcare’ for children and young people. A lead artist, Lucy Casson, was appointed by the children and young people’s design group to work with the interior designers to enhance wayfinding, and she has developed the ‘sense’ of the hospital linked to the environmental / nature interest of the Health Park inspired by the young people. This commission is informed by Alder Hey’s commitment to artistic practice and artist collaborations that will support children, their families, staff and visitors:

A Children and Young People’s Design Group helps inspire the artistic vision, and is consulted on designs. Throughout the next 18 months, there will be a series of other art commissions developed throughout the new building.

The Commission 
The children and young people and the clinical staff who use the existing Hydrotherapy Pool are keen to commission art for the new Aquatic Therapy Pool. “Art for Alder Hey in the Park” is seeking an artist (or artists’ group) who will work with the consultation group of children and young people, and agreed hydrotherapy staff, as part of the process to commission the art. 

The Aquatic Therapy Pool is used for movement therapy for all ages of children and young people, so the artistic narrative and imagery needs to include elements that the staff can draw the attention of the young people to and the young people can focus on, and physically move or point or stretch towards. The imagery needs to address the interests of all ages including young children. 

In line with the environmental ethos of the art programme, and the briefing set by the Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group, we would like the art to be imaginative and reflect the natural aquatic world, ‘bringing the outside inside’. It could include relaxing sound created for the environment. There is a suggestion that any decorated tiles in the water might have a ‘push button’ so that they will trigger sound. Consider the opportunity for one of the young people to develop a special composition working with a musician or sound artist (There is a regular programme of live music within the hospital and we also employ a part time Music Therapist). Address the walls (including doors) and ceiling – and one young person suggested projecting moving images of sea birds across the walls and ceiling.

The Pool
The Aquatic Therapy pool is in the Outpatients area of the new hospital and is essentially underground. Daylight comes into the pool via a large roof light over the pool itself.  
The pool slopes from 900mm-1200mm depth and is lined with a glazed ceramic mosaic. The water will be level with the edge of the pool, so any integrated tile decoration will be viewed or felt through the water. The pool is 6500 x 4200.Artists may propose tiling decoration at the upper levels of the water edge. 

With regard to sound there is an integrated speaker and sound system operated from the Therapy Office.

This commission is an open competition. 

The Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group will appoint the artist from portfolios and interview. The artist will liaise with this group through out the commission to inform and develop the work – much of the liaison will be email.

At this stage we require a digital portfolio & c.v. of relevant work and a short outline/letter explaining how you would like to approach this commission. 

Budget: £15,000    To be submitted by 9am Monday 28th April.  

The proposals will be discussed with the Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group in the following week and artists contacted after that. The Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group consists of staff members and patients who use the current hydrotherapy pool.

Please submit your portfolio (compressed - please do not exceed 12 megabytes) & outline by email to: Lesley Greene, Art Consultant Art in Alder Hey in the Park 
Tel: 01452770018 
Tel: 07760258160

Women Make Music Grant Scheme 
The Performing Right Society (PRS) has announced that its Women Make Music grant scheme is now open for applications. Through the programme, financial support of up to £5000 is available to women musicians; and new music in any genre is welcome, from classical, jazz and experimental, to urban, electronica and pop. Through the scheme support is available to individuals and organizations / groups; including solo performers; solo songwriters or composers; promoters or event producers; bands/ensembles/orchestras; local authorities and schools; etc.

The next application deadline is the 28th April 2014. Read more at: 

...and finally, a little greenish piece of poetry by John Clare titled, Summer Moods

I love at eventide to walk alone
Down narrow lanes o’erhung with dewy thorn
Where, from the long grass underneath, the snail
Jet black creeps out and sprouts his timid horn.
I love to muse o’er meadows newly mown
Where withering grass perfumes the sultry air,
Where bees search round with sad and weary drone
In vain for flowers that bloomed but newly there,
While in the juicy corn the hidden quail
Cries ‘wet my foot’ and hid as thoughts unborn
The fairylike and seldom-seen land rail
Utters ‘craik craik’ like voices underground,
Right glad to meet the evenings dewy veil
And see the light fade into glooms around.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fancy some azodicarbonamide with that?

This week has seen bizarre works of fiction-non-fiction launched into the pubic realm. First things first - and this has to be some kind of fairy story, right? Subway, everyone’s favourite high street sandwich shop (well actually no, not mine - that smell alone reminds me rank old trainers), has opened up in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital! Yes, that’s right, in the week when we’ve been told about the normalisation of obesity in children, our state-of-the-art, 21st century health services chooses to rent out its real-estate to a fast food vendor whose sarnies are just as unhealthy as McDonald's.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles found that despite claims to the contrary, Subway is just as unhealthy as McDonald’s—which long had the most locations in the USA, of any fast-food chain until Subway surpassed it in 2011. “Every day, millions of people eat at McDonald’s and Subway, the two largest fast food chains in the world,” Dr. Lenard Lesser—who led the research while a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar in the department of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health—said in the UCLA statement. “With childhood obesity at record levels, we need to know the health impact of kids’ choices at restaurants.”

Whilst the good burghers (sorry) of the NHS allow this to happen, let’s hope they manage to make sure Subway honour their promise to keep the azodicarbonamide out of their butties. What? You didn’t know that the scrumptious, alleged carcinogen, azodicarbonamide was in your 12 incher? Well thankfully, Subway are taking the chemical out of it’s bread and it will stay consigned to the yoga mats and soles of your shoes, where it adds scrumptious elasticity. mmmmmmmmm

Manchester is bursting with social enterprise. There are cafes, co-operatives and all manner of outlets that could do an amazing job of providing tasty, fresh and nutritious food.  You could do so much more in this context too. Ever though about your public health responsibilities and not profits? One question here: who allowed this to happen? You should be ashamed of yourself.
(thanks for the alert DP)

I feel sick to the pit of my stomach that Stella Feebly’s, This May Hurt a Bit is completely SOLD OUT. The Out of Joint production, directed by Max Stafford-Clark is a biting, buoyant new political comedy, putting dear old Britain’s beloved and berated NHS under the stethoscope. But is it a terminal case? The reviews are astounding and I am bereft. Click on the photo above for more details.

So it was, last week I glibly shared Arts Council England’s fabled publication, The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society. I wonder if you read it? It actually feels like another A-Level research project. A glossy, half-cocked analysis of some bits and bats from the field. Rigorous it aint. OK, there’s a promising offer of more research monies in the Autumn, but it fails so spectacularly in many ways. Poised to write a considered response, I was stopped in my tracks by the as-ever excellent Mike White, who points lucidly to the reports numerous failings and by Stephen Clift, who is rallying the troops for a considered response to ACE chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette. More of that soon, but for now, to read Mike’s blog on this, click on the body parts above.

On, The Condition of the English Working Class
Tweet From Engels an 'anti-epic' poem made from encounters with homeless people by arts organization arthur+martha, was projected onto the side of Manchester Town Hall on 29 March 2014 between 7.30 – 9.00. The poem was originally tweeted and will now be projected as part of the Big Digital Project, alongside work from many Manchester communities. The 'verses' are snapshots in text of homeless lives, in all their moods - joy, terror, humour, resilience, anger. Famously, Engels wrote about the harshness of 19th Century Manchester; people today who live a comparable existence are the homeless. The poem imagines a dialogue between Engels and the homeless people of Manchester. Interspersed through the poem is found material from Engel's correspondence with Marx, and his classic The Condition of the English Working Class. Find out more by clicking on the photograph above.

We want to challenge ourselves to think differently about the role of our museum, and museums in general, to be relevant to today’s world, resonate with our everyday lives and inspire people to respond. The People’s History Museum tells the story of ‘ideas worth fighting for’: the big ideas that shaped our society – democracy, peace, equality, welfare – making us uniquely placed to contextualise contemporary events and ideas. Play Your Part will change our relationships with our audiences, working with them to connect the past, present and future. We will use the past as a lens through which to view current events. We will collect, curate and programme differently and be more contemporary.

We’re looking for three early-career artists, designers, musicians, writers or other creative practitioners to base their studios in the gallery space. They will have one week to explore our collections, engage with our visitors and create something inspirational.  Further information on Play Your Part is available by clicking on the banner above. 

I’m pleased to announce we’ll be hosting a free networking event that will see the Australian artist Vic McEwan sharing work from his time with the people of Yenda who were devastated by traumatic flooding in 2012. Just what an earth does an artist offer a community that have lost property, livestock and much more? You can find out more about Vic and his work in Yenda, by clicking on the image below.

Currently planning for a project that happens after his UK visit, Buckingbong to Birrego will see a group of four artists leading a three day walk from a place of indigenous massacre to a nearby farming area where a rare indigenous healing plant "Old Man Weed" still grows.  The project doesn't deal with just indigenous histories but all the varied histories and current uses of land in the area.  It explores trauma embedded within our landscape and processes to aide healing from historical events. Click on the waterhole to find out more about this project.

If you’re interested in meeting Vic McEwan and finding out more about his work in Yenda and the unfolding walk of healing and hope, register your interest at

‘Lead the Change...’ 
...for Grassroots Social Entrepreneurs 
(North of England, Midlands, Northern Ireland & Wales)
UnLtd, the charity for Social Entrepreneurs, has announced that it is looking to recruiting 12 "Lead the Change" partners to develop innovative approaches to supporting community and social entrepreneurs, and to learn and share what works. Working in partnership with Esmée Fairbairn, UnLtd is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from not-for-profit community or voluntary organisations in the North of England, the Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland. The programme will run for two years and successful applicants will receive up to £25,000 to make awards to people with entrepreneurial solutions to local needs. The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest is 2pm on Friday 28 March 2014. Read more at:

The Ass in the Lion’s Skin has a simple moral: clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.

Saturday, 22 March 2014


The wonderful Pool Arts' up and coming exhibition at Peoples History Museum Manchester, launches on Saturday 5th April 2014. All are welcome to join them to celebrate the culmination of their research in to the legal history and surrounding debates about the incarceration of those people labelled as ‘Furiously Mad” in 1714, through to more recent developments in the treatment of the “Mentally Ill.” The show features an interactive timeline, a route through the legal developments and art works created specifically by individual artists in response to the subject. This will be brilliant and I can't wait to attend.

I AM – Memoirs of Addiction Recovery 
Arts for Health and Portraits of Recovery are seeking 10 people from Greater Manchester to participate in a completely free, 4 day artist-led workshop that explores recovery from substance misuse through self-portraiture. 

What is it? 
I AM is a European project all about linking culture and the arts with people in recovery from substance misuse. We want to tell a story, shine a light, blow away the myths and stand proud. We want to generate new possibilities for people in recovery by challenging and changing attitudes. 

What’s in it for you? 
The opportunity to work with international artists to discover new ways of looking and thinking about addiction recovery. 

What will happen? 
Spanish artist, Cristina Nuñez will guide you in the creation of collaborative self-portraits. Then you’ll create your own, by translating emotional pain into art. 
Turkish film and sound installation artist Selda Asal will support you to express who you are, what you think, and explore your future hopes, using a variety of techniques including film, lyric writing, animation and editing. 

When & where? 
14 to 17 April from 10.00am – 4.00pm at Manchester Metropolitan University, just off Oxford Road. Attendance is only given to people who have registered and been offered a place.

About you? 
Ideally you will have 6 months clean time 
Not be in employment 
Have an interest in art 
Live in Greater Manchester 

How to get involved? 
Register your interest/reserve a place/make enquiries: or visit 

Watching My Dreams Go By
The artist Cathy Ward has made a stunning short film based on responses to the recent Madge Gill retrospective. She describes making the film to show the sentiments of the time of the late 1930s & 1940s, of romance, love & loss. 

“How people coped with the devastation the war years had on them. Madge Gill’s street was hit by a V2 and many other bombs the V1- Vergeltungswaffe, Maikäfer - Doodlebug, Kirschkern - Cherry Stone, by the German Luffwaffe in the devastating London Blitz and I felt this could have impacted greatly on her view of the world & the fragmentation of her architectural images.”  

“Though there’s no way anyone will understand quite exactly what was in her mind, questions of why & how she used these images, of repeatedly incorporating faces, wings, and flights of stairs. It was a genuinely unique vision she had undoubtedly.. But with the archival films I wanted to incorporate actual images of bomb damaged Newham where she lived, films of London, & snips from popular culture films like Powell & Pressburger’s 'A question of life & death' 1946 because film was a tremendously powerful medium, its surreal visuals expressed sentiments how the nation was mourning those lost in war, ideas of Heaven & the afterlife.”  

“For us now it’s impossible to understand what it was like to have lived through such hardship on a daily basis. Gill had been using images from spiritualism in her work as it was so very popular medium since the overwhelming deaths incurred from the WW1 & the epidemic of Spanish Flu which followed it. I’ve chosen these songs with their beautiful lyrics & yearnings for loved ones, voices speaking from another era which are both bitter sweet & sad. The animated portrait to 'Songs my mother taught me' is Pamela Thorp my mother, taken when she was young & a nurse at University College London, a central hospital in the war years.” Click on the image below to see Cathy's film.

Funding for Digital Projects with a Social Impact 
The Nominet Trust which provides funding and support to imaginative social technology ventures has announced that the next funding round of its Social Tech Seed Investment Programme is open for applications. Social Tech Seed is an investment programme that offers early-stage investment of between £15,000 and £50,000 to entrepreneurs who are looking to develop new ventures using digital for social impact. This programme will provide funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas. The Trust is looking for applications that demonstrate the potential of technology to tackle some of the big social issues in sectors including:
Healthcare and the environment.
There is a two stage application process and the deadline for stage 1 applications is noon on the 2nd April 2014. Read more at

British Academy - 
Small Research Grants 
The British Academy for the Humanities and Sciences has announced that the next closing date for its Small Research Grants on the 16th April 2014. Under the Small Research Grants programme grants of up to £10,000 over two years are available to UK research institutions to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. All applications should demonstrate that Academy funds are sought for a clearly defined, discrete piece of research, which will have an identifiable outcome on completion of the Academy-funded component of the research. Read more at:

Wellcome Trust - 
Peoples and Society Awards
Funding is available under the Wellcome Trust's Peoples and Society Awards for projects that encourage public debate and understanding of biomedical science. The People Awards (up to and including £30,000) are for innovative and creative projects in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland that engage the public with biomedical science and/or the history of medicine. They can fund small-to-medium-sized one-off projects or projects that pilot new ideas with an aim to scale up or become sustainable following the grant, or they can part-fund larger projects. Society Awards (above £30,000) can fund the scaling-up of successfully piloted projects (whether funded through People Awards or through other means) or can fund projects that are more ambitious in scale and impact than is possible through a People Award. Society Award projects would normally expect to reach audiences with a wide geographical spread across the UK and/or Republic of Ireland. They can also part-fund larger projects. Funding can be for up to three years.
Applications can be made by a wide variety of individuals, organisations and partnerships. The next closing date for applications for the People Awards is the 25th April 2014 and the 28th March or the Society Awards. Read more at:

The Wellcome Trust – 
Broadcast Development Awards 
The Wellcome Trust's Broadcast Development Awards(BDA) support the development of broadcast proposals in any genre that engage the audience with issues around biomedical science in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way. The Trust is interested in funding individuals and organisations with brilliant early-stage ideas for TV, radio, new media or gaming projects. The funding will enable these ideas to be developed into high-impact, well-researched proposals that can be used to secure a broadcast platform and/or further funding. Development funds might be used to undertake thorough research, create a taster tape, develop a script, or build a game prototype or mood reel. The project should primarily be aimed at a mainstream UK and/or Republic of Ireland audience in the first instance, although the subject matter can be international. Broadcast Development Awards are up to £10 000, for a maximum of one year.

The next closing date for applications is the 17th April 2014. Read more at:

...from furiously mad to melancholia and feeling strangely positive about the possibilities of the smallest moments amidst all this infinity...