Vietnam

November 22, 2012
I've just returned from a fantastic 3-week trip to South East Asia and am now sorting through the thousands of photos that I took on my trip. I'm hoping to add some galleries to this site over the next few weeks, but in the meantime here is a selection of pictures from Hanoi, Halong Bay and Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam.

 
 

Put Your Best Pencil Forward

November 21, 2012
Put Your Best Pencil Forward was a Big Draw project - a national campaign to encourage more people to get actively involved in drawing - run in partnership by Voluntary Arts Ireland and the Lewis Glucksman Gallery.

There were over 230 entries from all over the UK and Ireland which were displayed on the Facebook page. Curators from the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork then chose their favourite 20 drawings to be exhibited in their prestigious gallery space later this year.

To my amazement ...
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Epic Awards deadline is looming!

November 21, 2012
One of the initiatives we've recently launched at Voluntary Arts is Running Your Group - a one-stop shop for instant guidance on all aspects of running a voluntary group. If you haven't already signed up, go to runningyourgroup.org and create an account to get loads of brilliant free resources.

You can find out more in our Running Your Group weekly webcast, which goes through some of the benefits of signing up and gives you top tips on different subjects. This week, I was speaking about the fa...
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Twelegram

October 4, 2012
The artist Caroline Jaine has come up with a brilliant idea for an art exhibition. 'Twelegram' is a display of messages sent in by Twitter users from all over the world using the hashtag #twelegram. Caroline has made these messages into printed telegrams which are being displayed at Cobbles Yard Post Office in Cambridge from 4th - 20th October 2012.

I was very excited when Caroline tweeted me to say that my twelegram was going to be featured in the exhibition! Here it is in all its glory:
 
 

Car...

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Schwellanangst - 'Fear of the Threshold'

September 21, 2012

This week, the Chair of our Board, Peter Stark popped in to visit us and we had a very nice conversation (and some lovely M&S bakewell tart biscuits!). One of the things he said really got me thinking. He told this little story...

Peter has always wanted to go into a betting shop and put a bet on a horse. He's a self-confident, extrovert, middle-aged older man [his words, not mine!] who helped develop The Baltic and The Sage, was awarded an OBE and ran a successful company in South Africa. So ...

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Epic Awards 2013

September 20, 2012
It's that time of year again when we (by which I mean Voluntary Arts, the organisation I work for) are on the look out for groups from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales who can demonstrate 'Epic' amateur arts / crafts activity in 2011 - 12. This could mean improving life in their local community, working across generations, using technology in a creative way or simply achieving something really special with their artform or craft.

The Epic Awards are free to enter and groups have until 30...
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Honorary Geordie

September 17, 2012
I have just returned from a mini-break in Northumberland with my friend Emma. (By which I mean we stayed overnight in Bamburgh and then worked our way back down the Northumberland coast the next day). We had an amazing time and I couldn't quite believe that all this gorgeousness is on our doorstep.

 

When I first moved to Newcastle, about 12 years ago, I was a bit disappointed as it was a lot smaller than Manchester and London where I'd lived before. But over the years, I've come to realise ...
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SEO Briefing

July 3, 2012

In my work with Voluntary Arts England I have written a number of Briefings designed to help people who run amateur groups get to grips with various topics. I have just co-written a Briefing on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which I hope lots of people will find helpful. It covers:
  • How search engines work
  • Optimising your website (Title | Description and keywords | Writing good copy | Images)
  • Making connections (Link building | Directories | Forums and blogs | Offline marketing)
  • Social networks ...

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Amateo

June 28, 2012
Last week I was at 'Everyone's a Winner' - the Amateo 2012 conference held at Cecil Sharp House in London taking photos to record the event.

Amateo is the European network of national amateur arts support bodies (equivalent organisations to Voluntary Arts, who I work for), of which Voluntary Arts was a founding member. Members take turns to host the conference, and in this Olympic year it was our turn.

The programme consisted of 3 strands:
  • 2012 Cultural Olympiad
  • The impact of amateur arts act...

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Young At Art

June 20, 2012

Today I have been taking photos of some wonderful paintings by Ken Clasper and Bill Moore in preparation for the YOUNG AT ‘ART exhibition in October which is being organised by my friend Sheila Swinburn.

Ken will be 90 in October and one of his unfulfilled ambitions was to have an exhibition of his paintings. This led Sheila who had no knowledge of art let alone how to organise an art exhibition, to try and fulfil an old man’s dream. For advice she made contact with the Disabled Arts Club ...
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