‘Growing Up’ European Commission and British Council Film

August 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

‘Growing Up’ is a new short film exploring issues around becoming an adult, created by all of the Future Fires artists (including me!), with film-maker Sam Twyman and members of the local community. Growing Up has been funded with support from theEuropean Commission and British Council.




Spot the difference!

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

I did my Reeltimes interview to be featured as part of the film and answered a series of questions on adulthood, what it means and what it entails. The interview was filmed by Sam Twyman who has showed me the power of enhancing images!

Image 1: Natural beauty!

Image 2: After a little bit of enhancement!


Evaluation Report? No sweat…

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

It has been a while since my really exciting training session with Gerri Moriarty which looked at Monitoring, Documenting and Evaluating work and well, I have to be honest… I was dreading it a little! It was only when I forced myself to sit down and write for a full day  – on the sofa, in my pyjamas with plenty of snacks to keep me going – that the realisation kicked in: I quite like doing evaluative reports!

Sounds mad I know… but there was something really rewarding about analysing data and listing what it is people gained from the project. I included a mix of images, quotes, tables and text and it was quite exciting finding links between everything. Here are some snippets of information from my report:-


The age difference between the eldest and youngest participant is 42 years.


I met a broad range of people from various backgrounds and cultures, allowing invaluable learning, enriching my understanding of diversity, and developing long lasting networks and relationships.


‘Just a quick note to thank you for the tickets for the play you organised for me. Great choice! I took my mother yesterday and she absolutely loved the theatre and the evening – apart from getting out she met people she knew and even knew a couple of the people in the play.’
Quote by participant on their gift


‘I think the workshop was very valuable as it gave people space to share their experiences. It showed us that we all have similar experience no matter what age we are or where we come from. I found it amazing listening to people’s life experiences and feeling that I too had experience something similar.

I loved the task where we had to put down a list of all the beds we’ve ever slept in, it was a shock, it made me realise that I had done so much in my life and been to so many places. It also made me think about the other people who had slept in that bed and how we had shared some journey or experience even though we had never met. I felt like I was part of a community even if that community was ever changing. I really enjoyed the day and meeting new people.’
Quote by workshop assistant on group activities

Overall, I am pleased with my evaluation document and have submitted it nice and early, within deadline. The document will not only serve as a reminder for the successes of the project, but also as a useful resource for sending to funders and other stakeholders in the future!

Long time no write…

March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

So I have to admit I’ve been pretty terrible with the blog updates over the past few weeks but that is because so many amazing things have been happening!

The highlists:

  • I was invited to speak in the Represent Room at International Women’s Day alongside industry experts in the arts, media and sporting worlds which was an absolute honour and privilage.

    CLICK FOR BROCHURE:International Women’s Day!

  • I spoke at the Contact board meeting and presented my (re)integration project findings to the trustees/governers which led to some amazing leads which I will follow up in the next couple of weeks after submitting my evaluation report
  • I did an interview for MojoLife and have been asked to repersent them as an ambassador which is a huge honour and privilage


  • I have recently attained another job working 2 days a week with Xtrax arts supporting with tour booking, general administration and online marketing

    Xtrax website: www.xtrax.org.uk

  • I have begun filming for Reeltimes alongside the other Future Fires! More information on this coming up…

As well as all of this, I had visited Lancaster University to deliver an alumni speech to the next cohort of graduates (my 2nd in the last 6 months) which is always a pleasure.

As the Future Fires project comes to a close, I am busy with evaluation and working towards the final film. Things are progressing well and I’ve got my final mentor meetings coming up in the next few weeks… I’ll be sure to keep updating in more detail.. watch this space!

A few images from the workshop…

February 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Images by Oona Mae


January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

A quick blog update on the workshop on Saturday! Overall it was absolutely fanastic! The participants seemed to enjoy themselves and the group and I engaged in some really exciting debates! The hard work the evening before (see angry blog below!) really did pay off and the participants also seemed to enjoy their personalised gifts 🙂

The workshop started off great – I was incredibly nervous but the participants enthusiasm soon put me at ease. We began with some simple introductions and it became immediately clear why I was doing this project. The participants were looking at one another with such understanding, completely empathising with their struggles and experiences like no one else had been able to before. We then moved onto some great socio-metrix excerises that I learnt from my training with Baba Israel; really simple but effective session! I was basically reading out snippets from each of their filmes and the group physically responded by standing in the middle of the room, meaning strongly agree or further out towards the walls, meaning strongly disagree. I’ve caught it all on film and think it would make an exciting contribution to the final DVD!

We then played the ‘impossible task’ of listing every single bed we have ever slept in (this was fun!) and recreated on which conjured up the strongest emotion, but not necessarily the strongest memory. We then had some lunch (yum!) and watched the ‘No Bed of Roses’ performance in the museum, courtesy of The People’s History Museum. This was well received by the participants and again, lead to some interesting discussion. Finally, we head back to the learning studio and did some evaluation and wrapped things up. It was then that the group decided they would like to meet again and has inspired the idea of a storytelling event in Manchester, targeting those who have at some point, left and returned back to Manchester.

I’ll be uploading some pictures taken by the professional photographer at the workshop and will provide you with some exicting information what on happened in the workshop! Here are a couple of evaluation posters that came out of the workshop:-

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Today I have been busy with a skype meeting with my artistic mentor, Rajni Shah and have been writing my O2 Think Bigger funding application… fingers and toes crossed! I will keep you up to date!


January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just thought I would do a quick blog update. It is 00:54 and my disks have an estimated finish time of an hr. Doesn’t seem to bad? Well that is where you are wrong! Even the simplest of tasks are proving to be an absolute nightmare. Keep in mind that I paid £150 to attend a course on interviewing on camera – little good that did me. See my first blog entry – I think I’ve finally found a useful lesson for them to teach; and having been on hundreds of online forum help sites all looking to solve the same problem, I think they’d really be onto a winner.

So what’s the big problem? Well, I thought I was being really clever buying a super blue-ray HD producing camera with its build in projector. Little did I know it is sooooooo high tech, that it is incompatible with EVERYTHING. I’ve tried FIVE computers. It won’t work on any of them. I can’t edit. I can’t burn disks. I can’t convert files. Sometimes, I can’t even play. After a failed visit to the IT guy at work, I searched the internet long and hard hoping for some wisdom from somewhere to guide me. And it did – kind of. After downloading and uninstalling about 4 programmes and trialing the demos, I decided to PAY to get a software during my 3:00am desperation for resolve. Today, I received my unique code and user name in my inbox and was pleased that I could finally do what I used to think was a 2 minute job: BURNING A VIDEO ONTO A DISK.

Excuse the capitalisation – I know it is infuriating to see posts full of them, but I just cannot help it. I’ve had to convert the files twice because the first time the files were still too big. Oh, and I forgot to mention, each file takes about an hour to load. I’ve got 3 left….

Was I nervous about my workshop tomorrow? At some point, yes. In fact I would go as far as to say I was petrified – so much so that I even hired an assistant as well as my usual volunteer. Now, frankly, I can’t even think about the workshop. All I want is my bed. And yet, despite my desire to feel my soft pillow under my head and the warmth of my heat blanket, I remain in my living room staring at the download bar, urging myself NOT to throw the computer across the room. If this isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is!!

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