Tuesday, 5 November 2019

TolcakeHeroes - Charlie Spooner Tolworth

Sam Tout - Tolcake Haiku 
A few months ago we started a new exhibition at Tolworth Station with our What If posters. It has been a great success and has included work from artists Sam Tout, Bryan Benge and Alban Low. We'll finish this exhibition in the next few weeks and I'm sure we will revisit the format in the future. But worry not public art lovers because we have another venture up our collective sleeves.

Alban Low - Tolcake Hero
Sam and Alban have begun a new exhibition in Tolworth today, this time along its famous Broadway. They have written haiku and had them engraved on brass effect plaques. Alban has chosen to write about heroes of Tolworth while Sam has found inspiration from cakes he is eating in the Broadway shops and cafes. They have placed the first two brass plaques out on benches today. Go and have a look for yourself.

Sam's haiku today was inspired by a Caramel Bun from Costa Coffee (55-57 Tolworth Broadway, Surbiton KT6 7DW)

Sweet Tolworth cake rain, 
On caramel roundabouts, 
Creamy clouds blow out 

Alban's haiku is inspired by Charlie Spooner (aged 13) who rescued a school chum from the Hogg's Mill river in 1909. He was awarded a special certificate from the Royal Humane Society and was lauded as a hero in the local area. The boy he saved was so grateful he gave Charlie all his worldly possessions including his swimming shorts, a fishing rod, 3 farthings and a quantity of cake. Unfortunately Charlie died 5 years later and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Long Ditton.

A special thank you to Robin Hutchinson and The Community Brain who has made this project possible. More next week when Sam eats a massive doughnut and I celebrate the life of the great Thomas Dumper.




Monday, 7 October 2019

The Art of Caring Closing Party

Last Friday we closed The Art of Caring exhibition with a new film from the talented Anna Bowman. She interviewed several artists from the exhibition and reveals the stories behind their work.

We are very grateful for all the support from the hardworking curatorial team at The Arts Project, including Peter Herbert, Elaine Harper-Gay and Simon Richardson. We will be opening submissions for the sixth year of the Art of Caring in January 2020, so please check out the website then.
Thank you too to all the artists who contributed work and their time to this unique exhibition.

Anna Bowman also made this extra film about the Opening Night for our delight.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

What If exhibition in Tolworth


'What If' is a new exhibition that celebrates a world of whimsical and playful futures. Posters are being placed at Tolworth railway station over the next few months that we hope will be imaginative and silly. They might even make you laugh and perhaps provoke a thought or two.

For us it is a new format here at CollectConnect and we are slowly trialling the concept. The first posters are from Alban Low who many of you will know and Sam Tout, a new young artist with an inquisitive mind. Dean Reddick and Bryan Benge will be following with their own What Ifs.

Tolworth is the gateway to new worlds, it is the home of imagination where every future is possible. We are very grateful to The Community Brain who has helped with this exhibition and artist Debbie Chessell who has her studio at Tolworth Station.

#whatiftolworth
Sam Tout
Alban Low


Saturday, 7 September 2019

Jacquie Campbell - groving in Bury St Edmunds


This morning Jacquie Campbell announced a micro nature reserve in Looms Lane, prompting a response from poet Phil Barrett and Astra Papachristodoulou. 

I see a voice

A mouthpiece, a chink, an aperture, a hole in air, a hole in the wall;
Let’s get some cash out and leave a note – an IOU –
or put something in – a message in a bottle (if only to ourselves) –
in this small hideaway, this little hidey-hole, a crucible for making lead into gold.

A brick house, a round arch, a circular hole, a wheel of fortune.
Let’s spell it out – there’s nowhere left for us to go, and nowhere too small
for a nature reserve, a concept – considered or ill-conceived – concealed
in this last remaining hole. Are we big enough to take it on?

A smaller world that doesn’t exist yet, but will – and they don’t come
much smaller than this. Small enough to create its own horizons, and
close enough to look over or through. (But what’s on the other side?)
Does it matter? Does any hole make a home? (Except for you or me,

for whom time is running out – We’re running-out of homes!) Key stories, key facts,
key words, key holes, key stones, not a place to live in; a bee house, or bee hive,
a Borrowers’ hideaway, a place to grow up in, a gap between two holes or two
worlds. With a ring for the finger, a ball for a toe, and we shall have music

where ever we go; the soundtrack for a broken world, a world divided into two;
as re-inventing the wheel, round and round we go – the wheels on the bus;
the wheels of the world, a whole world, or a world in a hole, a hole in one,
symbolising a beginning or an end, a new horizon. A space or a ship,

a clean sheet or a clean shirt – the shirt off our backs – but where to now?
Where do we go? The down-ward spiral or slide, like a rolling stone. A deep place
or space, or a shallow hole, a natural place to hide in, a peep or pin or loop hole,
a place to hideout or a place to let go – on the way to somewhere else, with

somewhere else still to go. In or out, two sides of a gap between two holes. So,
where to next? – we’ve got (a lot) to learn, about making holes – and can’t conceive
of the consequences of such a world, where the inhabitants have had to leave,
have all flown, leaving an empty seedpod or shell, like an open door; a conker,
or canker, or this fallen apple, without a core.

Phil Barrett


mosaico

brickwork
brickwork bend
nestle - mend
around the curves
it seeks refuge

Astra Papachritodoulou


Jacquie Campbell As someone who is simultaneously baffled and fascinated by the everyday world, my art practice allows me to explore the questions that niggle at the back of my mind.  Often these questions focus on the entanglement of people, process and place.

​Recently I’ve become absorbed with those overlooked and often fleeting, opportunistic habitats that open up in the cracks and detritus of our built surroundings. How might a passer-by be invited  to experience and get to know these hidden places and processes? Would a different way of knowing our surroundings open up new and playful environmental thinking? For more details see www.jaccampbell.com Instagram @jaccampbellrojo Twitter @RojoArtists

Phil Barrett
taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up. ​​

​Astra Papachristodoulou, artist and poet, is a recent graduate from the MA Creative Writing (Poetic Practice) at Royal Holloway. She has read at poetry events including the European Poetry Festival and The Enemies Project. Her poetry has appeared in small magazines and anthologies including The Tangerine, Eborakon Journal and 3:am Magazine. Astra delivers experimental poetry workshops at the University for the Creative Arts and freelances for the Poetry Society. She won the Pebeo Mixed Media Art Prize in 2016, and her visual work has been showcased at contemporary art exhibitions including the National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre) and the Museum of Futures in London. 



Thursday, 5 September 2019

Sarah Sabin - groving exhibition in Bury St Edmunds


Today we have a multiple of four exquisite works by Sarah Sabin, which have been placed in The Great Churchyard, amongst the trees, gravestones and monuments. Words in response are by Sue Burge. 


Imperative

            twist the pale lid – an anti-clockwise moon
            unfurl the tight spiral of fine weave
            use your unpricked fingertips
            to trace each careful silk-sewn ridge

            wind the ashes of a small and fineboned thing
            you didn’t mean to kill
            into the cloth’s dark heart

            twist the pale lid – a clockwise moon
            suspend your disbelief for seven days
            press your ear to the light tight grain
            listen for a quiet and forgiving flutter
            a ready steady beat

            turn and release

Sue Burge


Sarah Sabin is an artist and educator living and working  in Colchester. My work has been concerned for a number of years with 'digging about under the surface.' I interpret and reimagine places and their histories, through making, public participation, and site specific projects. I use a wide range of media in two and three dimensions. I don't like to pin myself down to a particular material, often choosing what feels to me, most appropriate or with a connection to a particular  site.

Sarah studied BA  Fine Art at  Sunderland University and has an MA fine art at NUA - Norwich university of the Arts. Previous Commissions, exhibitions and residencies include Firstsite, Colchester; the Foundling Museum, London; UCL institute of archaeology;, and a grove residency. She is currently working on a public realm architectural intervention. See www.sarahsabin.co.uk

Sue Burge is a North Norfolk based poet and freelance tutor in creative writing and film studies.  Her first collection In the Kingdom of Shadows was published in 2018 alongside her debut pamphlet Lumiere.
For more information go to www.sueburge.uk


Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Deborah Pipe - groving in Bury St Edmunds


Deborah Pipe's second horse and clay sculpture has found a niche in the abbey ruins in Bury St Edmunds. Two responses have been written, by Astra Papachristodoulou and Amilia Graham.


I Predicted Both 

Out of rubble
stones turn

into tableaux-

The horses were rising

A horde of limbs
recast as a
unified body.

Anthem for a new form.

Amilia Graham



metamorphoses

moving sand horses
caught in moving land
moment to moment
lands caught in manic
rage of moving lands
moondrifts the horses
moonshines the sand
concrete sand-drifts
creating momentum

Astra Papachristodoulou


Deborah Pipe focuses on the dynamics of clay and considering the responsiveness and tactile opportunities of other 3D materials. She is currently investigating the often grotesque images and marginalia found in early manuscripts and in architectural features. After a career working in mental health services she is highly conscious of art as a media for social change and a form of self-expression and healing. The multi-disciplinary and responsive nature of groving and opportunity to make social comment made the invitation to join this project particularly attractive and exciting.

Amilia Graham is interested in the way capitalism informs relationships between humans and nature. She works across all different mediums, but is primarily drawn to time-based practices such as writing and film. Her research draws from psychoanalysis, film theory, feminism and Marxism. She has completed a foundation in art and design at Central St Martins and will soon begin a degree in fine art and history of art at Goldsmiths. See www.amiliagraham.uk and Twitter @AmiliaGraham

Astra Papachristodoulou, artist and poet, is a recent graduate from the MA Creative Writing (Poetic Practice) at Royal Holloway. She has read at poetry events including the European Poetry Festival and The Enemies Project. Her poetry has appeared in small magazines and anthologies including The Tangerine, Eborakon Journal and 3:am Magazine. Astra delivers experimental poetry workshops at the University for the Creative Arts and freelances for the Poetry Society. She won the Pebeo Mixed Media Art Prize in 2016, and her visual work has been showcased at contemporary art exhibitions including the National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre) and the Museum of Futures in London. 


Alban Low - groving in Bury St Edmunds


Alban Low's second sculpture, I would prefer a fair trial, under the shadow of the noose, is skulking in Whiting Street, words by Amilia Graham and Tim Welton.

Foreign Bodies

I have seen the weird animals
and the little white flowers
with divine appendages

In the whites of the eyes-
I have seen them in your eyes.

Hold them inside, under the skin.
Let rot.
Go stale.
Let them in.

Amilia Graham 

----------------------------------------------
In the land of Cockaigne
The triple towers of Mammon
Rise to the clouds
From roots in grow-bags
Of corporate snow
Dead presidents
Scowl
From their lofty penthouse
At pavement trash
 In the shadow of the noose
Eager hearts
Chattering like parrots
Trade weightless pounds
At the speed of electrons
Ignoring the dull cries of
Doorway beggars
Feeding from the same trough
 Binary lives
Ones and zeros
Side by side
High flyers and street bums
Drop a dot and slide down
The smoking chimneys pots
From skyscraper to street
The climb is slower than the descent
But one end to the other
Is just a step away

Tim Welton


Alban Low is involved in many creative projects including album artwork, publishing chapbooks, making films, maps, conceptual exhibitions, live performance and good old drawing. He is artist-in-residence at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's University of London. Low spends his evenings in the jazz clubs of London where he captures the exhilaration of live performances in his sketchbook. This year he is working on a walking project about London Musicians from the 1920s-1940s. In 2018 he spent a week at grove with Kevin Acott where they published two chapbooks. See http://albanlow.com

Amilia Graham is interested in the way capitalism informs relationships between humans and nature. She works across all different mediums, but is primarily drawn to time-based practices such as writing and film. Her research draws from psychoanalysis, film theory, feminism and Marxism. She has completed a foundation in art and design at Central St Martins and will soon begin a degree in fine art and history of art at Goldsmiths. See www.amiliagraham.uk and Twitter @AmiliaGraham

Tim Welton is a theatre practitioner who, as an actor and director has worked on numerous productions including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Royal National Theatre) London Road (Royal National Theatre) Dancing at Lughnasa (Garrick Theatre) and Cabaret (Lyric and Savoy Theatre and National Tours).

He has written for theatre (Carnival UK) and online digital media (BBC Radio Jam) and is currently developing and writing new musical commissions with Three Pin Productions, the brainchild of West End Performer Ruthie Henshall and Musical Director Paul Schofield.