Saturday, 5 December 2015


Time for reflection, I think.*

Here’s a painting by Albert Namatjira. I include it, as it marks a time and space in this blog’s history and future - and in the life of your blogger. A marker.

As I shared ‘…all the time, the buzzing’ in Wales, all jet-lagged and bleary eyed, my thoughts turned to friends and colleagues and all the wheels that turn in our arts/health world. So much happens as we all beaver-on in our countries, towns, streets and individual minds.

A question from the floor in Cardiff - in essence - has this arts/health agenda got political teeth -  momentum - a future? My response - if it’s ‘on trend’ it’s doomed to fail. If its commandeered by the opportunist middle managers, filling a ‘hole in the market’ - then it’s riddled with disease. But if it’s born on the streets, evolving, changing, proactive and responsive - driven by vision, born of a passion that things can be different - then it is rich and nuanced and will feed generations of people - equal humans who might not yet know, that cultural change is driven by them, and not those who simply dress up in the garb of leaders. This change is happening despite the bloated egos of those who position themselves as leaders of innovation. The people are the decision makers. We are a social movement and let’s remember that word which will not be excised from our lexicon - passion.
Superb to meet like-minded, free thinkers in Wales. Thank you.

Here’s a painting by Breughel - it’s been here before, and will be again - I include it, as it marks a time and space in this blog’s history and future - and in the life of your blogger. Deja vu.

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In... open for bookings
Bookings are now being accepted for Arts and Health Check Up, Check In, the unique arts and health get-together planned by, WHAT, Create and Dublin City Council’s The LAB. Taking place on 29 January 2016, this event aims to take the pulse of arts and health in Ireland and promote solidarity and connection among practitioners. Set against the backdrop of 1916 commemorations, Arts and Health Check Up, Check In will explore the notion of a shared manifesto for this field of practice.

Lloyds Bank Foundation Announces Next Funding Round 
The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, which provides funding to charities for projects to help people break their cycle of disadvantage, has announced that its grants programmes will re-open for enquires on the 4th January 2016. The Foundations operates two funding programmes. These are:

"Invest" which is a flexible, long term core funding programme for charities helping disadvantaged people. Grants are up to £25,000 per year for between 2 and 6 years, with the opportunity for continuation funding for up to six years in total

"Enable" which is a smaller and shorter grants programme for charities that have identified clear development needs. This funding aims to help the organisations deliver their mission more effectively.

These grants are up to a total £15,000 for up to two years. The funding is available to registered charities and charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) with an income of between £25,000 and £1 million. To be eligible, organisations are expected to be working with people 17 years or older, experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the critical points in their life. The only exceptions are young people who are under 17 years of age and young parents or looked after children and disabled young people moving into independent living.

The next deadline for applications is the 18th March 2016. Read more at: 

Health Records is an exhibition of new work by artists Claire Tindale and Niki Colclough created in response to their experience delivering workshops on the Renal Unit at the Manchester Royal infirmary. The project was delivered in collaboration with CFCCA and Kidneys for Life
CFCCA's engagement programme works with artists to connect with individuals and communities, exploring themes such as cultural and social diversity as it supports UK audiences to better understand Chinese contemporary society through art. In Health Records the artists use practices developed through cultural exchange to respond to the personal identities and narratives of the patients on the Renal Unit.
You are warmly invited to the opening. 
Exhibition: 11 December 2015 - 24 January 2016

Preview: Thursday 10 December, 6-8pm 

*I was brought up with the war poets and all those moving elegiac stories from the trenches of the First World War. My diet of extremis now includes the work of Harold Pinter and his short poem, American Football, written during the Gulf War in 1991. It’s not just that its blistering, laser-guided, foul-mouthed lyricism - for me, never has a short poem provided such clarity to questions surrounding the justification of war. It’s worth bracing yourself before soaking up Michael Sheen’s rendition (although, the laughter grates on me) and if you want to dig deeper, read Michael Billington’s excellent account of the media’s refusal to publish it on the grounds of it being indecent. Indecent? Now I hear the word ‘medieval’ used by our PM and we know ‘crusade’ will be just around the corner. I’m certainly not a ‘terrorist sympathiser’, but a deeply concerned human - who will now meditate on Pinter - and who feels a horror at what lies ahead.

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