Monday, 8 April 2019

Art of Caring Writing Competition 2019

Thank you to everyone who entered the Art of Caring exhibition. ART submissions are now closed. But if you would like to get involved in our Writing Competition then see below. Write 100 words by the 2nd May and be part of the exhibitions.

This year we have an exciting new twist to our Art of Caring writing competition in celebration of the theme for International Nurse Day, “Health for All.’ To reflect a truly international flavour, we have teamed up with the charity 'Nurse Reaching Out’ founded by one of our invited annual writer's competition judges,' Michelle Grainger, (Senior Lecturer at Kingston University and St George's, University of London). Michelle visited Uganda in 2007 with colleagues and was moved to do something more after seeing how pregnant women were unable to access the hospital care they needed unless they bought their own soap, string and a razor - which they couldn’t afford. NRO now provides these items in their maternity packs and the maternal death rate has fallen as a result.

NRO also joined forces with the "Fish and chip baby’ initiative - a term coined after babies born in the poorest areas of Africa were found wrapped in newspaper to keep warm. The mother’s had no clothes for their tiny newborns,  leaving hospital with them still wrapped in the newspaper and with reduced hopes of survival. A knitting scheme was started, involving kind people like Theresa, from Sussex. who describes how her involvement also changed her life: 

'I was going through a difficult time with the loss of my husband and that’s when my friend asked me if I would like to do this knitting. I love knitting and crocheting so it has given me a sense of purpose and satisfaction to knit the jumpers and hats for the newborn babies, using the “Fish and Chip Baby” pattern. It gives me something to do as I love helping others. I also knit shawls and blankets, some of which go to the babies in Uganda. This knitting for Uganda has led me to being commissioned by friends and relatives to knit for their babies, and I have several cardigans and jumpers on the go.I now find that without the knitting, life would be very hum-drum, just being at home or going shopping, whereas the knitting has got me through a difficult time and now I have something to look forward to in life’.

NRO sends the knitted items to Ugandan health care colleagues for those Mum’s and babies in need.  

Michelle’s student nurses have also benefited by enriching their nurse training by visiting the charity in Gulu, North West Uganda, a region still recovering from the devastation of civil war 20 years ago. They recently shared what they learned on this trip with their peers, explaining how new Mothers were forced to use rags after delivery, as they had no sanitary towels or maternity knickers, posing an increased risk of infection. Thanks to the work of the charity - that is no longer the case and access to health care and maternal mortality rates are improving.
Students attending that seminar were invited to come up with one word that they felt reflected the inspirational nursing work done by “Nurses Reaching Out.’ They wrote their chosen word in wool, in their chosen language, reflecting the diversity of our students and the project - reflecting  this years International Nurse Day theme: a truly inclusive “Health For All.” 

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Submissions
Our invitation for this year’s competition is for writers working with written text to submit 100 words maximum, in any format (e.g. poetry/fiction/reportage etc), which must use at least one of the student's words, (see below and can be viewed HERE). The theme of the competition is ‘health for all,’ and your work should mention either knitting, or another aspect of the work of the NRO charity shown on their website. 

Send your written work in an email to collectconnect4@gmail.com by 2nd May 2019

A prize of £50 will be awarded the best entry, judged by a panel including Michelle, KU nursing students and the Knitters. The written pieces will be exhibited at the Art of Caring exhibition at St George's Hospital, Tooting and at St Pancras Hospital in 2019. A selection will also appear in a limited edition chapbook.

Student's Words (language/translation/author)

Love (English)
Rudo (unknown)
Mommy (English)
Comfort  (English)
Joy (English)
together (English)
Comfort  (English)  by Tayo Oke
LOVE (English)  by Kimmone Shain
Bambino (Italian) baby by Jacinta Tsitsidzashe Kanengoni
10 Smiling (English)  

11 Care (English)
12 Life (English)  by Mercy Ewieke
13 help (English)
14 WARMTH (English)
15 Care (English)
16 Upendo (Kiswahili) Love by Esther Wangonde
17 Toto (unknown)
18 heart (English)
19 Sunshine (English)  by James
20 Purl (English) by Karen

21 Wool (English)  by Charnate Lewis
23 Cherish (English)  by Zoe Hoons
24 Nurture (English)  by Sarah Haines
25 Apwoyo (Acholi) Thank you by Alessandra Cerri
26 Unify (English)  by Ruby Mae Harris-Stewart
27 Gift (English)
28 Hope (English)
29 Comfort (English)  by Lucy Walsh
30 Bebe (French) Baby 

31 newborn (English)
32 OMO (Yoruba) Child
33 Toriro (Shona/Zimbabwe) Hope by Tapiwa Sahendo
34 Pamoja (Swahili) Together by Mulumba Kapami
35 Growth (English)  by Rachel Tettey
36 Love (Nepalese and Englsih)
37 IKIGAI (Japanese)
38 NIAMASTE (Nepalese) Hello
39 Lou (Ugandian) Mother by Whitney Soutier
40 Guarded (English)  by Mabinty Ann-Marie Sesay

41 Embellish (English)  by Fabienne Zoucouba
42 Webalenyo (Luganda) Thank you
43 (see image) (Arabic) Health
44 Kushi (Urdu) Happiness
45 Tot (English)
46 WIAOO (Nigerian) Thank you
47 Comfort (English)  by Ellen Kateya
48 Aye (Yoruba) life
49 Care (English)  by Paul
50 Comfort (English)  

51 Hope (English)
52 Movement (English)
53 Welfare (English)  by Gloria Kabati
54 Wholeness (English)
55 Caafimaad (Somali) Health by Faisa
56 Care (English)
57 Livity (Rastafarian) Everliving Living by Kryst-Ann
58 Creacion (Spanish) Creation by Michelle Moya
59 Warmth (English)  
60 Santaie (Jersey-French) Health

61 Change (English)
62 (see image) (Unknown) Art and Tradition
63 (see image) (Tamil) Mum by Niruja Selvanesan
64 (see image) (Arabic) Love by Arysha Qadeer
65 Rapport (English)
66 Compassion (English)  by Rachel Sullivan
67 Community (English)  by Jessica Lewsey
68 Mort (French) Death by William Annis
69 Suubi (Aluganda) Hope
70 Warmth (English)  

71 Gift (English)
72 Joy (English)
73 Baby (English)  by Michelle
74 Mahal (Filipino) Love by Silvani Buccat
75 Eweganda (English)  by Jack Sherry
76 humanity (English)  by Vivien Clarke
77 Care (English)
78 Warm (English)  by Deepi Jayachandran
79 Cwtch (Welsh) Hug/Cuddle by Lloyd Morgan
80 Peace (English)  by Rachel Childs

81 Snug (English)  by Joanne Calver
82 Joy (English)  by Naomi Mills
83 Comfort (English)  by Louise
84 Kindness (English)  by Orlanda Swallow
85 Magic (English)
86 Comfort  (English)  by Kate Habers
87 Chance (English)  by Louise Galley
88 Building (English)
89 Christmas (English)  by Nikki Urmila
90 Love (English)  by Vito Erasmo Cassandro

91 Zest (English)
92 Behandlingsret (Norwegian) The right to receive treatment by Anna Agnette Back
93 Kind  (English)  
94 Rodzina (Polish) Family by Bogusia Redford
95 Gift (English)  by Miriam Cima
96 Umul (Somali) Noun - a woman who has recently given birth
97 Mabuhay (Filipino) Long Live by K1612863
98 Cosy (English)  by Molly Rasmussen
99 Maa (Urdu) Mother
100 Nurture (English)  by Fran Eaton

101 Support (English)  by Raman Sharma
102 zestasiĆ” (Greek) warmth by Erini Singk
103 Amor (Portuguese) Love by Karla Lawanda
104 Generous (English)
105 baby (English)  by Louise Congress
106 Small (English)
107 Share (English)  by Reema
108 Love (English)  by Kelly Lleigh






Sunday, 3 March 2019

Last Day - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Thank you to everyone who has supported our Love Tokens and Bad Pennies exhibition. From artists to writers, and not forgetting all of you who have been out looking for artworks and getting involved online. After placing artworks out on the streets for 30 days we reach the end of the exhibition. Today we are posting the final artworks, some have written pieces to accompany them and some exist on their own. We will try and write an update in the next few weeks, visiting some of the locations and see if the artworks still rest in the #unsettledgallery spaces.

The next exhibition is the Art of Caring at St George's Hospital in May (and then onto St Pancras Hospital in July). The deadline is 7th April 2019 so please send in your artwork (It's free to enter) and support the nurses, carers and the NHS. http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html

Tracy Boness - #unsettledgallery No.8, London Bridge
Art - Tracy Boness / Words -  Francesca Albini

Precious and frayed,
Tangled and free,
Caught in a net,
Sparkling diamonds,
Our love
Eternal

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Melanie Honebone
Art - Melanie Honebone / Words - Ed Arantus 

That knot in the pine brow
A cut near the front eye
The moon is high; from sides of the world where nightmares grow
You made all my fears and,
You held them in raptures
But there's no magic without death you said
You are a belief, short rotting
A prophecy dying on a dull mind
You can save your second coming,
I'm not the kind you need to pray for

Now I know where we went wrong
Growing green branches from dead wood
And I still swear that you can’t save me
Even when push, came to push, came to shove
Well you can swallow that sweet breath baby,
Until your death is the magic of love.

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Stella Tripp
Art - Stella Tripp / Words - Kevin Acott

One World

People have asked me what Nelson would think about Trump and all the hate swirling across the earth. Sometimes I tell them they should listen to The Three Great Alabama Icons by Drive-By Truckers. Sometimes I tell them Nina accused Nelson once of being 'no better than the rest of your people'. Sometimes I ask them why they really want to know.

The first and last interview I did with Nelson, he was drunk, drunker even than other people had led me to expect. We were in his room in some crappy hotel in Mile End and at one point he started talking about desire and Muddy Waters and - of all people - Bertrand Russell. He said Russell was convinced desire dictated everything we did, good and bad. To Nelson, Russell’s ‘desire’ wasn't about sex. He meant, instead, that even when we try to do good, it's because of desire: our desire to possess, to compete and overcome other people, to look good in the eyes of the world, to have power over ourselves, others, the whole world. To become, ultimately, God.

He told me all this and I listened and tried to follow and tried to make notes and then I watched him tip gently back onto the bed and start snoring.

So. We want the best for others because we want to become God. Nelson's 'Kissinger Blues' was, I'd always thought, simply about how there's something evil in each of us, a Kissinger, a Hitler, a Trump. But in that East End hotel, I suddenly realised it wasn't that straightforward: have a look at/listen to the YouTube video of Nelson playing it at Glastonbury in '75 and the extra, rambling verses and see what he does with the song he'd once vowed never to play again: he's saying (I think) that by pretending to have good motives for being good, rather than accepting the universality of desire, of egocentricity, we not only miss the point, we find ourselves unable to truly fight racism, hate, division. I could tell you I'm writing this purely because I want to convince you of the genius of Chopsticks Nelson and help preserve his memory. But I also want to accrue, to possess, I also want you to respect me and give me power and a way of being, however temporary, that makes me feel good. And - if we can both accept that – we can eventually find peace and love and the joy of singing a single, shared song. 

From the epilogue to 'Chopsticks Nelson: A Southern Life' by Kevin Acott (2019).

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Dean Reddick
Art - Dean Reddick /  Placement - Walthamstow

To see all the posts from this exhibition in one thread then click here - http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/search/label/Love%20Tokens%20and%20Bad%20Pennies




Saturday, 2 March 2019

Lesley Cartwright - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies


Lesley Cartwright
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Artist - Lesley Cartwright  / Words - Ginny Reddick

Pass On
Old heart, pass on,
Grandfather, Father,
Son,
broken,
pass on
unbroken, pass on
divided and melted, pass on, pass on
sickened, pass on
lessened, pass on
mended and filled and pass on, pass it on.
You can borrow its beat Until it's time to pass on. If we're lucky, Grandfather, Father, Son.

Lesley Cartwright's Love Token on a communication box in Walthamstow
Lesley's Love Token lays on this battered box in a quiet residential road in Walthamstow. Waltham Forest is currently the London Borough of Culture and many parts of the Borough are undergoing extensive change with rapid housing development and large scale gentrification. 
Lesley Cartwright was born in Liverpool but later moved to Essex to run a Hostel for homeless teenagers. She made her name in the commercial graphic field and music photography until she developed MS and now paints portraits from her Billericay studio. Cartwright is a multitalented artist who is not bound by genre nor convention. Cartwright has been exhibiting with CollectConnect since the Cardboard City exhibition in 2013.ttps://twitter.com/ley9
Ginny Reddick is a writer and educator. She was one of the artists who exhibited at the first ever CollectConnect exhibition, Open Fridge, in March 2010. Although there has been a 9 year hiatus between that exhibition and this one she has curated numerous CC projects including the Walthamstow street art favourite HideBird.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Francesca Albini - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Francesca Albini
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Francesca Albini / Words - Ed Arantus

Her beautiful silver skin,
the light a moon could spark off
I found her lying round
I fell in love with the way she shone
next time I see her I’ll make her mine
leave me broke
take my breath
away and keep it close
a dream of Penny


Francesca Albini
Francesca's artwork sits on a  brick wall at #unsettledgallery No.3 near London Bridge. The #unsettledgallery is a gallery which includes, railings and gates, as well as spaces between bricks, in gullies and beside drainpipes - basically anywhere an artwork can rest and be seen by the public. Placing original artworks in these everyday public spaces sharpens our appreciation of our environment and brings into focus the context of the art object.


Francesca Albini divides her life between literary and artistic endeavours. She is a PhD in Classics, and has worked in publishing for her entire adult life, as a translator, author and editor. She is a self taught artist and photographer. Her work is inspired by folk art, but also by design. Albini is a collector of memories, and uses any medium that allows her to remember and share, express feelings and narrate stories. From line drawings to plastic cameras, from collage to upcycled jewellery and dolls. "My work is playful and dreamy, child-like but also philosophical. I fall in and out of love with many styles and tools, but I'm always me, whatever I do."

Ed Arantus is no stranger to art and writing, he first published his work in the Censored Zine (July 2010) and has exhibited his work ever since at venues like the Contemporary Arts Research Unit in Oxford (2014). Last year he exhibited his poem 'Google If' at the Museum of Futures as part of the Enemies Project.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th



Thursday, 28 February 2019

Barbara Dougan - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies


Barbara Dougan Love Token


Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Barbara Dougan / Words - Dean Reddick


MotherDaughter

28 Slides, magnified x1000.
28 views through a telescope to see into the past.

Close-up crumbs breed across the disc, each one a mote, vital, discarded.
Or spread across light-years, painting a galaxy.

Zoomed in, great chunks of toast that could not be managed.
Or asteroids tumbling, silently, forever.

Intimate, the eye close to the bacteria
and beyond reach black holes, coloured dwarfs, wait to go supernova.

Clear crystals of chemicals sparkle, star-like.
Spilt liquids are dust clouds, congealing with gravity.

Two crusts dance, touching and spinning.

28 days, one every morning.

A film created by Barbara Dougan accompanies this artwork



You can find Barbara's art work on a strange derelict box in Wood Street, Walthamstow. These broken remnants of street utilities can be found throughout our villages, towns and cities, hinting at some recent past but no longer functional.
Waltham Forest is currently the London Borough of Culture and many parts of the Borough are undergoing extensive change with rapid housing development and large scale gentrification. 

Barbara's film, waiting to be collected in Walthamstow 
An interest in the environment informs Barbara Dougan's work, along with an ongoing exploration of constraint, change and adaptation. For two years she collaborated with choreographer Darren Ellis and dancer Hannah Kidd, leading to films Tea Break and Living Room, and a participatory work Unentitled: channel your angst in the Edwardian Cloakrooms in Bristol. Currently she is collaborating with fellow artist Henry Driver. They are artists-in-residence with Collusion, developing TEO for a showcase which will bring together all the innovative interdisciplinary work commissioned from artists. Work will be installed at Cambridge Leisure Park from 5 - 14 April 2019 with the public launch on 5 April. 

Dean Reddick is an artist, an art therapist, occasional lecturer and editor on the Art Therapy Journal ATOL. He has a small studio space at his home in Walthamstow where he works on sculptures and drawings often based on his fascination with birds and trees.  

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Natalie Low - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies


Natalie Low

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Natalie Low / Words - Dean Reddick

I decided to bag it and keep it despite what you said.
I plucked each thin dark strain out of dreams in your head
(often when you were asleep in my bed).

The net I knitted as the hairy mat grew.
Somewhere to keep private my tribute to you
(some things are too sensitive for the public to view).

I love the slight bulge, the frizz and the curl.
The little tight knots make me feel all secure.
Night after night I will take each small glory

'Till your hair is all gone in the grey of the morning.

Natalie's art work nestles on a broken brick wall at the
#usettledgallery near London Bridge.
Natalie's artwork nestles on a broken brick wall in the #unsettledgallery; a gallery which includes, railings and gates, as well as spaces between bricks, in gullies and beside drainpipes - basically anywhere an artwork can rest and be seen by the public. Placing original artworks in these everyday public spaces sharpens our appreciation of our environment and brings into focus the context of the art object.

Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). Natalie is an adept artist often using traditional techniques and everyday materials to create intriguing and sometimes unsettling art works.
Dean Reddick is an artist, an art therapist, occasional lecturer and editor on the Art Therapy Journal
ATOL. He has a small studio space at his home in Walthamstow where he works on sculptures and drawings often based on his fascination with birds and trees. 

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th
April 2019. More at http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Chris Brown - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Chris Brown - Walthamstow
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Chris Brown / Words - Ed Arantus

Wise fingers that scratch the numbers
Take your name and eat your thunder,
Brown ball come weave and whirl
Cracked your nut in teeth of squirrel.

non plus
non plus
non plus
Pluto

Quick minds that flick with fire
Burn like lies in amber tyres
More to turn all hope to sadness
A sombre dream of dying planets.

non plus
non plus
non plus
Pluto

non plus
non plus
non plus
Pluto

Chris Brown
Chris' artwork rests on top of a communications box in Walthamstow. The morning sun slants across it as the UK bathes in this unseasonally warm weather. Perhaps the sun's unwavering gaze has shrivelled this burnt offering to the size of nut. Waltham Forest is currently the London Borough of Culture and many parts of the Borough are undergoing extensive change with rapid housing development and large scale gentrification. 

Chris Brown is an artist and filmmaker. He has worked as an art therapist in the NHS and as a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is currently a freelance clinical supervisor and an editor for ATOL: Art Therapy Online,

Ed Arantus is no stranger to art and writing, he first published his work in the Censored Zine (July 2010) and has exhibited his work ever since at venues like the Contemporary Arts Research Unit in Oxford (2014). Last year he exhibited his poem 'Google If' at the Museum of Futures as part of the Enemies Project.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th

Monday, 25 February 2019

Bryan Benge - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Bryan Benge - #unsettledgallery in Walthamstow
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Bryan Benge / Words -  Natalie Low

If my heart was a badge, I’d pin it on my sleeve.
Not just through my sleeve, but through my arm-skin too.
Yap! It would hurt. And bleed too probably.
But that would be alright cos I’m doing it for YOU.

If my heart was a trolley token, I'd get out a double-size one,
And we'd never give that baby back.
Checkitout! I'd fill it up to the brim
With forever groceries and stuff for YOU

If my heart was a coin, I’d push it right in your slot,
And choose the best chocolate bar in the machine.
Ker-lunk! I’d reach right up inside if I had to,
And then I would unwrap it and give it to YOU.

If my heart was a button, I’d fasten it up tight,
(there”d be more than one) all the way up to your chin.
Uhuh-uhuh! But I'd undo the top one to let you breathe,
That's the kind of thing I do for YOU.

You don’t ask me to do these things.
I do them in SPITE of you not asking me to
And that’s love!

Bryan Benge
Bryan's Love Token rests gently on a wooden bench in Walthamstow. Perhaps it has slipped out of a pocket or a child has dropped it, has love been lost forever. Or are we looking at it the wrong way round, perhaps someone is going to be lucky enough to find love today. Waltham Forest is currently the London Borough of Culture and many parts of the Borough are undergoing extensive change with rapid housing development and large scale gentrification. 

Bryan Benge is a practising artist, currently exploring digital media in his Fine Art practice.
He has always been an exhibiting artist. In 1992 he became a Member of The London Group.
Bryan's first involvement with CollectConnect was at the Open Fridge Gallery 89 in March 2010. Since then he has enjoyed working alongside his colleagues Alban, Dean and Stuart.
The philosophy of CollectConnect sits alongside his belief that creativity and all its outcomes need to be encouraged and supported for all ages and backgrounds, that is without sanctions of selection or application of a personalised aesthetic.  To enable artists opportunities to exhibit their work, free from barriers and gatekeepers.
From all the CollectConnect collaborations the one that stands out most for Bryan was CollectConnect’s collaboration with the Foundation students at the University for the Creative Arts, Surrey (UCA). Bryan worked for 15 Years as a Senior Lecturer/Course Leader where he managed the Foundation course at UCA.
During 2013 the students produced artworks  which were reproduced in the Future Bound book. This gave these young students exposure for their artwork for the first time outside academia. To this day some of the students are in contact with his colleague Alban encouraged by that collective experience.
http://bryanbenge.co.uk

Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She also appears in this exhibition as an artist/maker.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th




Sunday, 24 February 2019

Debbie Chessell - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Debbie Chessell

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art -  Debbie Chessell / Words - Dean Reddick

It is a heavy thing, this locket, this lock.
Guardian of a gate to the other end
but without a key.
Jewel crusty and gaudy gold on the up side
you can feel the heat seeping through.
I clench it in my fist like brass knuckles
ready to swing at the would be Angels
who declare what love is.
They blind themselves and forget.

Love is the fire which we all dance around.

Debbie Chessell's Token at the #unsettledgallery Dogend site

Debbie's artwork nestles in a flowerbed at the Dogend site in the #unsettledgallery which includes, railings and gates, as well as spaces between bricks, in gullies and beside drainpipes - basically anywhere an artwork can rest and be seen by the public. These spaces change and evolve on a daily basis although some artworks survive for a longer period of time. 



Debbie Chessell is an exciting new artist breaking onto the public art scene. As a Kingston University student she launched a non-profit campaign on confronting rape culture that brought together groups of artists, activists and designers in a series of workshops, art exhibitions and publications. She is currently collaborating with Kingston Council running a drawing and painting course for the Centre of Community Development, which focuses on outreach with Kingston residents especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Speaking about her burgeoning career so far, Debbie said: "I have loved drawing and painting since I was a small child. My artworks have been exhibited across the UK and feature in international collections including the Suzzallo Library in Washington USA and St George's Hospital in Wimbledon London." 


Dean Reddick is an artist, an art therapist, occasional lecturer and editor on the Art Therapy Journal ATOL. He has a small studio space at his home in Walthamstow where he works on sculptures and drawings often based on his fascination with birds and trees.  


Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html