Author: mike

Create features in Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition

Artwork by young carers from Lambeth on display at Grayson's Art Club: The Exhibition at MAC Birmingham, November 2022

Create features in Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition

Artwork by young carers from Lambeth on display at Grayson's Art Club: The Exhibition at MAC Birmingham, November 2022
Artwork by young carers from Lambeth on display at Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition at MAC Birmingham, November 2022

Last Thursday evening, a colleague and I had the privilege of attending the private view of “Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition” at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham. Ahead of the public opening the following day, the event brought together dozens of incredible artists whose work – and stories – featured in Channel 4’s popular TV series during March and April 2022, hosted by acclaimed artists Grayson and Philippa Perry.

Our visual art project with a group of young carers from Lambeth was featured during the episode themed “Heroes and Heroines”. Working with our professional artist Rachel McGivern, the young people created three life size “hero(in)es”: Army Guy; Boss Girl; and Ocean Cleaner. You can read more about the project and Philippa Perry’s visit in the blog that we published back in March. Seeing their monumental artwork displayed in the exhibition alongside work by so many other artists including Grayson and Philippa Perry made me feel both proud and moved. Young carers cope with so much in their lives and it was incredibly special to see their creative talent showcased for all to witness and enjoy.

A further highlight of the evening was meeting other artists and hearing their stories. We met Juno Walker on the bus and during the evening, who told us that their powerful image Juno Moons was “like a little blueprint for my future. I’m a non-binary trans man … and I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means for me.”* Seeing their reaction to meeting Grayson was truly uplifting. We met Yvonne Haines who told us that she painted the moving picture of her mum Sun Over the Yardarm shortly before her mum moved into a care home. It is deeply personal and so full of love. I enjoyed chatting with Holly Unwin: she told us that she painted Stop kissing in public it’s mingin’ after she split up with her partner, when she got fed-up seeing public displays of affection everywhere.

Finally, it was so joyful to meet Pauline Farrar and see her glorious The Throne of Succulents, which was stunningly lit in an outside space. She explained: “I am one of the hundreds of disabled artists in the UK. I am also housebound and to combat the isolation I created a very unique garden on my doorstep.”* She continued by explaining that around 100 people a day now visit, giving her connection and conversation. “One person told me they had walked 40 minutes to visit it. I can well understand why. It is gorgeous and we only saw part of it.

In the exhibition catalogue*, Grayson writes: “One of the great purposes of art is to celebrate. … Art helps us cope. One recurring theme in the art sent in was that normal life for a lot of you is tough and making art can help you deal with difficulties, both physical and emotional. … Art is a place in our heads where we can retreat to in times of stress, a sanctuary. … Art can be an act of love. … Art is also a platform from which to broadcast opinion, garner support and express outrage.”

A brief clip of Grayson Perry addressing the audience at the launch of Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition, and a glimpse of the Create artwork

The use of art for all of those purposes was clear to see in the exhibition and the conversations we had: artists used art as a means of self-expression, as a way of coping, as a way of capturing love, as a way of expressing their outrage.

As the founder of a creative arts charity, I am passionate about the power of the creative arts to bring people together, to give people a voice, to inspire, empower and upskill people. This wonderful exhibition, of which we are so proud to be part, demonstrates so powerfully why the creative arts should be made available to everyone.

Creativity is not a nice to have; it is a vital part of who we are as individuals.

Nicky Goulder
Founding CEO

Grayson’s Art Club: The Exhibition is open at MAC until Sunday 16 April 2023.

* Text taken from “Grayson’s Art Club The Exhibition Volume III”

Create on Grayson’s Art Club

Meet Eddie: “I got to explore new things”

Participants from Brentwood at an environment matters project run by Create artist Jenny Leonard

Meet Eddie: “I got to explore new things”

An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester

environment:matters is our project providing SEND children with access to high-quality, interactive, collaborative creative arts workshops exploring the theme of “the environment”.

In July 2022, participants in Brentwood, Greater Manchester, took part in a four-day visual arts project with Create artist Jenny Leonard. The project enabled participants to improve their understanding of environmental issues while developing their social and creative skills and enhancing their overall wellbeing.

An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester
‘God’s Eyes’ drawn by participants in Brentwood

Eddie (19) told us about his experience on the project.

“I took part in a Create painting project. I painted the grass and the sky, and we also did some threading. I drew a ‘god’s eye’. We also did a special painting where you scratch [the shape] and see all different colours and creations. I scratched out a snail and named it after my best friend. We also created a big mural with bees and butterflies and fireflies. Did you know that a firefly has a tummy that glows?

“I thought the theme of the environment was really good. You have to capture a creature without disturbing its delicate ecosystem. It’s wrong to harm its nature in such a barbaric manner.

“I really enjoyed the project and learnt that to be a real artist you need to be spontaneous and passionate. The project made me feel good. During Covid I was homeschooled so my mum taught me a lot of stuff, like drawing and painting, but it was nice being back in school with everybody.

“Working with Jenny was great, she taught me everything I know, along with Matt [Create Project Manager]. Working with the rest of the group was great too, I got to explore new things. When I was younger I wasn’t into art, but after doing the project with Jenny, art is on my résumé as one of my hobbies.”

This project is supported by BNP Paribas Foundation Dream Up.

BNP paribas dream up logo

Read more about this project

An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester

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Create launches partnership with Anthropologie

Anthropologie banner

Create launches partnership with Anthropologie

Anthropologie banner

We are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Anthropologie.

Here at Create, we know just how much the arts can bring hope and inspiration to people’s lives – a vision shared with Anthropologie. The brand, which curates a mix of clothing, accessories, gifts and home décor for the ‘creative, worldly woman’, seeks to offer its customers an escape from the everyday; and to be source of joy and creativity.

The company will support our work in key ways in the coming months, enabling us to increase the impact of our work across the UK.

Through the partnership, Anthropologie will initially fund three projects in November and December 2022, enabling us to deliver inspiring, collaborative creative arts workshops with older people, young carers and adult carers in the run-up to Christmas. Plans for further activity in the festive period are currently being developed.

“partnering and supporting a charity like Create really is the perfect fit for us.”

Matt Hilgeman, Anthropologie’s Managing Director International

This is such an exciting partnership for us here at Create. The projects planned for November and December will ignite participants’ imaginations, offer them an escape from everyday life and a break from their responsibilities, and help them connect with others.

Matt Hilgeman, Anthropologie’s Managing Director International, said: “Art and creativity are at the very core of the Anthropologie brand, so partnering and supporting a charity like Create really is the perfect fit for us. It’s a huge privilege to be working with such a worthwhile charity and I look forward to our journey together over the next year.”

We will be working closely with Anthropologie to expand our partnership into 2023, and I can’t wait to see how it develops. Create extends a huge thank you to Anthropologie’s staff and customers for their support of our life changing work.

Nicky Goulder, Create Founding CEO

Partner with us

Meet Anushka & Freddie: “I learnt what climate change is”

Artwork from an environmental project, environment tales, at West Lodge Primary School in Pinner

Meet Anushka & Freddie: “I learnt what Climate Change is”

Artwork from an environmental project, environment tales, at West Lodge Primary School in Pinner

environment:tales is our multi-artform project that gives a voice to neurodivergent children. We are currently delivering it in Leeds, London and Manchester. The project explores the theme of “the environment”, inspired by the speeches featured in Greta Thunberg’s 2019 book “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference”.

Here you can hear from two participants who took part in the project.

Meet Anushka

Artwork from an environmental project, environment tales, at West Lodge Primary School in Pinner
Artwork in progress at West Lodge Primary School

In September and October 2022, students from West Lodge Primary School in Pinner, North West London, worked with Create ceramicist Sam Haynes and Nurturing Talent artist Alisa Ruzavina to make sculptures and other artwork inspired by Thunberg’s speeches.

Anushka (8) took part in the project.

“We have made models out of clay. I learnt what climate change is and how the Earth is getting hotter when people are doing pollution and cutting down trees.

“I enjoyed shaping the clay and painting it. It made me feel calm. It felt really nice working with Sam and Alisa because they were very friendly. It was very nice working with the rest of the group because I got to make new friends.”

Meet Freddie

In September and October 2022, students from Ashgate Specialist Support Primary in Manchester worked with Create drama artist Ben Mellor to write and perform a drama inspired by Thunberg’s work.

Freddie (7) took part in the project.

A photo from Create's environment tales project at Ashgate Specialist Support Primary School in Manchester

“In the first week we read The Lorax [by Dr Seuss]. It was good. The next week we started to think about the rainforest and under the sea. We chose the theme ‘Under the Sea’ for our story.

“We learnt that the plastic in the ocean goes to a big garbage patch, the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch. The ones that get recycled go to the tip, with the cardboard and metal.

“In the story we made we met Greta. She’s famous for going to America to have a meeting with all the world leaders about the environment. In our story, she tells the sea creatures to ‘stop blaming each other’ for the litter in the ocean. She told us it was the humans’ fault.

“It was good to make a play with my classmates. I think I’d like to make a video game of the underwater story, for Xbox and PlayStation.”

environment:tales is funded by the Aesop Foundation and Kusuma Trust.

Kusama Trust Create partnership
Aesop Foundation Create partnership
A photo from Create's environment tales project at Ashgate Specialist Support Primary School in Manchester

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Meet Ruben, a young carer from Lambeth

Young carers on a Create dance project

Meet Ruben, a young carer from Lambeth

Young carers on a Create dance project

In August 2022, young carers from Lambeth Carers Hub took part in a three-day dance project with Create’s professional dancer, Beth Coleman. The project enabled the young carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities, have fun, learn new skills, build relationships and express themselves.

We spoke to young carer Ruben (13) about his experience.

“The project taught me to talk to people.”

Ruben, a young carer

“I have probably been caring since I was eight years old. I care for my dad. He got into an incident a while ago and he’s been needing a bit of help, so I help him out.

“Over the last few days, we’ve been learning dance routines and creating our own moves, doing mini performances. The project was fun and very interactive. It taught me to talk to people. I asked them for their ideas, they asked for my ideas, so I actually got to socialise a lot more than usual.

Young carers on a Create dance project

“I really enjoyed the freedom we had to do what we wanted to do. I learned that you can make dance out of anything, that you can put any ideas into some sort of performance. Working with Beth was great too. She likes cooperating with people.

“I like being creative in my free time, I draw a lot at home. I think it’s important to have the chance to be creative. I hope that more children get to take part in Create projects, especially people that aren’t used to socialising, because the workshops are very interactive.”

inspired:arts Lambeth was funded by The Taylor Family Foundation.

Our work with carers

Young carers on a Create dance project

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Freelance Project Managers

Create is Seeking freelance ONSITE project managers in London and the North West

Create is seeking dynamic, energetic, people-centred individuals with significant levels of experience of managing creative arts projects in education and community settings to join its pool of freelance project managers – both in London and the North West.

This position would suit someone with a passion for the arts – and the power of the arts as a transformational tool in challenging community settings – who has direct project management experience gained in the arts or charity sector.

The recruitment process includes:

  • application
  • first and second interview
  • references and DBS check
  • online induction
  • project shadowing
  • a trial project

Please note: to apply for this role you must be available during Easter, summer and half-term school holidays as these are our peak periods. To be considered for the pool in the North West, you must also be based in / around Greater Manchester / Merseyside.

HOW TO APPLY

Download the relevant application packs below, which include full job descriptions and person specifications.

~ Application pack for the London pool
~ Application pack for the North West pool

This is an open application period with no fixed deadline. 

To apply for either pool, please send a completed application form using the job description and person specification as reference with a short email providing a telephone number where you can be contacted in confidence.

Completed application forms can be emailed to georgie@createarts.org.uk (please type the job title in the subject field).

Create is committed to a policy of equal opportunities embracing diversity in all areas of activity and welcomes applications from disabled people and people of all ethnicities.

No agencies / consultancies.

Meet Susan, an art:links participant

Participants on a Create ceramics project with older people from Islington

Meet Susan, an art:links participant

Participants on a Create ceramics project with older people from Islington

art:links reduces the isolation of vulnerable older people. The project aims to build skills and confidence, giving participants a chance to express themselves and connect with others. For four weeks in July 2022, members of Age UK Islington took part in ceramics workshops with Create artist Sam Haynes.

Susan (60+) told us about her experience on the project.

“I gave up being a perfectionist some time ago.”

Susan

“During this project we’ve been using clay, and I for one hadn’t used it since I was at school when I made a clay pot. We were helped and encouraged and shown how to do things. I don’t know what to call what I’ve made. It could be a holder for joss sticks, those long straw-like things. Or if family came to dinner I could put some breadsticks in there.  I started the project feeling really tense but I felt very relaxed by the time I’d had my hands in the clay for a bit. It was really nice.

“It’s very unusual for me to do something like this. My job is sitting in a chair talking to people. My children are quite artistic but I’ve never been tempted to do anything myself. I think you get to a point at a certain age where you don’t want to do things badly, but now I’m past caring. I’m just enjoying it. I gave up being a perfectionist some time ago but this is the first time I’ve done anything like this so I didn’t expect too much, I just thought ‘enjoy it’. I know I’m not going to be really good at it but I really enjoy doing it.

Artwork from a Create ceramics project in Islington

“I’ve enjoyed meeting the other people and seeing what they’re doing. I enjoyed meeting Oli [Create Project Manager] and Sam. She’s very clear, and you don’t feel like you’re not getting enough attention. She’s very good. She has a nice, clear voice as well.

“I’ve learnt that there’s a lot to learn. I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to do it, but I enjoyed it, so I’ll look out for a class. It’s just a very nice, relaxed atmosphere.

Making creativity accessible

“In a typical week, I’d be meeting friends and going for a walk in the park, or to an art gallery. I think my favourite gallery is the Courtauld.

“I don’t normally get a chance to do creative things, unless you count cooking something interesting, but actually holding material and creating something, I don’t get many chances. So it felt very good and it was fun! I’ve learnt that it’s okay to enjoy [the process] and not make everything perfect.

Artwork from a Create ceramics project in Islington

“I think when you get older, you don’t want to go and try something when everyone’s much younger in the room and knows what they’re doing. So [Create projects] make it feel very accessible. It’s nice to meet different people, too. When you’re my age a lot of your friends start falling off the perch. If I bumped into any of my fellow participants in the future, I’d stop and talk to them.”

This project was supported by The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington (via The Mercers’ Company).

Our work with older people

Artwork from a Create ceramics project with older people in Islington

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Meet Frankie, A creative:tandem participant

Artwork from creative tandem at Aquarius Ward, a project for young people living with mental illness

Meet Frankie, a creative:tandem participant

Artwork from creative tandem at Aquarius Ward, a project for young people living with mental illness

In August 2022, our professional artist Sam Haynes delivered a five-day visual arts residency at Aquarius Ward in South West London, an inpatient service for young people aged 12-18 experiencing a mental health crisis.

The residency was part of creative:tandem, our multi-artform project empowering young people admitted to mental health units due to serious conditions, including psychotic or depressive episodes, anxiety and eating disorders, self-harm or suicidal thinking.

We spoke to Frankie, a young patient who has taken part in multiple Create projects.

“Being creative helps us to do something productive and meaningful.”

Frankie

“I’ve been taking part in a Create visual art project with an artist called Sam Haynes. We’ve done block printing, collage, painting, making masks, a whole range of artistic things. During the project I’ve created four tote bags, all with dinosaur designs because I love dinosaurs. I started making a mask too, and I did some collage on paper with lots of different magazine cuttings.

“At home, I do lots of art. I embroidered a frog on a tote bag at home. It was the first bit of embroidery I did so I was really proud of it because it was actually quite good. I get very bored of things so I switch between so many different hobbies: embroidery, sewing, watercolour, origami. In hospital, though, we don’t have as many chances to be creative.

“I enjoy taking part in the Create workshops because it gives me something to do while in hospital. It takes up some of our time and we get to do something productive and meaningful. It was nicer doing the project in the room downstairs as it gives us a break from the ward. It feels more normal than being on a hospital ward.

“It’s important for people to do creative things in hospital because it gives them something to do other than stare at the TV. It keeps us engaged with something and gives us a product at the end that we can take home once we leave this place. It helps us make some positive memories.”

This project is supported by The Prudence Trust

Our work with young hospital patients

Artwork from creative tandem at Aquarius Ward, a project for young people living with mental illness

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Leading fashion illustrator Bil Donovan runs Create fundraiser

Bil Donovan at his fundraiser for Create

Leading fashion Illustrator Bil Donovan runs Create fundraiser

Bil Donovan with Nicky Goulder and others at fundraising event

America’s leading contemporary fashion illustrator Bil Donovan took part in a live illustration on 17 September 2022, with proceeds from two of the works created being donated to support Create’s work.

Donovan was appearing at an exhibition of his work at Cromwell House, London, curated by Gray M.C.A, an international gallery that specialises in original fashion illustration. The exhibition, entitled ‘The Art of Elegance’, showcases a selection of Donovan’s original artworks and runs until 29 October 2022.

The exhibition includes Donovan’s early works in collage from the 1990s; promotional artwork for Estée Lauder; a series of Christian Dior studies commissioned for The Christian Dior Suite at The St Regis Hotel in New York; and a new series of paintings commissioned exclusively for the show. He commented:

“Artists are solitary creatures, making work hunched over a drawing table or moving paint on an easel. Ideally, we make the work because we must, it’s an obsession and a passion that nourishes our creative soul. For me it is like breathing. It is most artists’ intent to share the work outside of the studio and there is no more an ideal venue than a solo show, my first, The Art of Elegance.”

Live illustration

At the live illustration session, guests were able to watch Donovan create a series of spectacular illustrations in real time, with the model dressed in couture. Two of the illustrations are now being sold to support Create’s work. Create’s Founding CEO Nicky Goulder attended the event and spoke briefly about the charity’s work and the importance of creativity in building skills, reducing isolation and enhancing wellbeing.

“It is such an honour to be chosen as the beneficiary for the sale of Bil’s incredible illustrations,” Goulder said afterwards. “Create’s work is very close to Bil’s heart and it was magical watching him create a series of exquisite pieces in front of our eyes. The funds raised will support our crucial work empowering lives across the UK through the creative arts. A huge thank you to Bil and to Ashley and Connie from Gray M.C.A.”

Connie and Ashley of Gray M.C.A said: “Bil Donovan specifically selected Create to be the named charity for this very special event. He, as we are at Gray M.C.A, are in awe of the phenomenal work Create does in supporting and inspiring young people who would otherwise not have the resources to engage in the creative arts thereby giving them an opportunity to express themselves and help build their self-esteem.”

To set up your own fundraiser for Create, click here.

Meet Elena, an adult carer from Lambeth

Create sculpture workshop

Meet Elena, an adult carer from Lambeth

Create sculpture workshop

creative:voices is Create’s multi-artform programme that enables adult carers to take a creative break from their caring responsibilities, build trusting relationships with their peers and develop communication skills, new interests and confidence.

During February to March 2022, carers from Lambeth took part in six weeks of ceramics workshops with our professional artist Sam Haynes.  

Adult carer Elena told us about her experiences.

“Being with other carers gives you more energy.”

Elena, an adult carer

“I care for my son, who has some learning difficulties. His condition was very manageable at the beginning, but over the last three years he has gotten worse and as a result, there have been a lot of changes in my life. I’ve learned a lot and I feel like I can help others learn more about my son’s condition.

“During this project I got to play and make things with clay alongside other carers who were like me. I like working with clay because the texture makes it flexible, you can handmake whatever shape you like, dry it and keep it forever. It was great working with Sam too. She explained everything very well and in a simple way. Over the course of the project, I made a tile and three pots! I really enjoyed it.

Finding a safe space

“everyone is dealing with something at home. When you hear a shared experience, it helps.”

Elena, an adult carer

“It was great working with other people on the project. They were really friendly and I made friends. One of the ladies is caring for three people. I’m only caring for one. Hearing her story made me realise that there are people in more difficult situations than me. While it’s not nice, it reassures you that it’s okay because if they’re coping well, I can have some more confidence in my caring role.

“It’s nice having people who understand. You feel more open to speak about a loved one’s condition with them. You can tell them the things that you can’t tell anyone because they understand. We share our experiences and sometimes little things help. You learn a lot from other carers and they give you more energy. It sounds simple, but everyone is dealing with something at home. When you hear a shared experience, it helps. Just to share what you are dealing with helps.

Sharing your creativity

“I don’t often have the chance to do creative things. At home I struggle to keep up with chores, the children and taking them to all their activities, so there’s no time for creativity. When I have the chance, I try. This project has taught me that I can do better than expected and create some beautiful things. It’s all about trying something different, and it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. Art is just about doing something.

“When I look at all the pieces I made on this project, they look beautiful. I feel relaxed, it was a good experience. I’m excited to take them home, and to take some clay home to use with my children. We can try different things, it’s relaxing and good for your mind. We don’t always need to be rushing around and doing things. I think they will love it. I used to do art with them when they were very little, but not anymore. Now they’re grown up they are into football, but I want them to try something creative, even if it’s just a couple of hours once a week.”  

creative:voices Lambeth was funded by Arts Council England

arts council england logo

Our work with carers

Create sculpture workshop

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