Work experience students give their views

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During January and February, The Creative Collective was host to 4 French students on work experience all the way from Avignon.  The Lycee Professionelle Vincent De Paul provides opportunities for their students to visit the country of their choice – depending on the second language they may have chosen – to improve their spoken language skills and to gain experience of the work place.  Whilst in Kent, the young people stay at Kipps Youth Hostel in Canterbury and are placed with companies in the area.

Yousra, Marion, Natacha and Anais very quickly familiarised themselves with Ashford and the work we do at the gallery and provided valuable support by doing much needed research about all things arts and creativity.  In our many very interesting conversations, it was clear that they are all passionate about politics, their country, multi-cultural society and women’s causes and issues.  We asked them to tell us a little about themselves so here are their stories:

IMG_2725Yousra is 18, she was born in Morrocco and studying for a BTEC.  Like the others, she has chosen English as a second language.  In her spare time Yousra likes to listen to music, spend time with friends and watch TV series.  Yousra wants to be an interpreter and work for a commercial firm, and hopes to live in Canada or Australia.  Yousra says: ‘life in France is expensive.  The people are sad and politics are not very constructive.  But our education system is good because we study lots of subjects’.

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Marion is 17 years old and was born in Paris.  She has also opted for English as a second language.  In her spare time, Marion likes drawing and horse riding.  She will be going to university to study graphic design and hopes to work for an advertising company.  Marion says: ‘French people are negative and life in France is very expensive.  Those who finish university, have a hard time finding work’.

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Natacha (and yes it is spelled like that in French) is 18 years old and was born in Strasbourg.  She wants to be an English and Spanish interpreter because she loves the two countries and the cultures.  She would like to live in Australia.  She says: ‘Life in France is expensive and politicians are soft.  Although the education system is good, there is a lot of bullying in schools’.

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Anais is 21 years old and was born in Rochefort-du-Gard in Avignon.  She is also studying for a BTEC and planning to go to university and become a veterinarian because she loves animals and wants to take care of them.  Anais is an athlete and likes to shot put, throw the hammer and walk.  She would like to travel to Asia and Latin America – Argentina in particular.  ‘French politics are a mess, the French president is hopeless’ says Anais.

It has been a pleasure working with the students who will be living us tomorrow.  A month already? They have produced really valuable work.  They spend a few hours interviewing some of the artists and art students in the gallery so we’ll be posting the interviews in a later blog.

We would like to wish them well in their journey and hope they will stay in touch and tell us what they’re up to for years to come.

Brit Classic coming to Ashford

Simon Boswell

Simon Boswell – Photo by LG White

Making Soundtracks

Musician and artist Simon Boswell is coming to Ashford on Friday 12th February from 6:30pm to present some of his most famous film work.  From the theme to 90s Brit classic Shallow Grave, to his choral music with the Pope, Simon’s fans include Hollywood big shot Quentin Tarantino.  You can find out more about Simon and his work HERE or watch a trailer of Shallow Grave HERE.

Following a screening of Shallow Grave (starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox), Simon will present excerpts from his incredible video art project, BLINK.  Read more about BLINK HERE.

See famous faces like Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe and David Beckham as you’ve never seen them before!

Join us for what promises to be a unique and exciting event.  See you here, The Team

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The Who: The Making of Tommy

 

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Great news for fans of rock legends

On Wednesday 27th January, in partnership with Featurebank, the gallery is hosting a film by Director Martin Smith, The Who: The Making of Tommy.  Martin will be joining us at the Gallery for a Q&A session after the film.

The Who’s seminal double album ‘Tommy’, released in 1969, is a milestone in rock history. It revitalized the band’s career and established Pete Townshend as a composer and Roger Daltrey as one of rock’s foremost frontmen. The first album to be overtly billed as a ‘rock opera’, ‘Tommy’ has gone on to sell over 20 million copies around the world and has been reimagined as both a film by Ken Russell in the mid-seventies and a touring stage production in the early nineties. This new film explores the background, creation and impact of ‘Tommy’ through new interviews with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, archive interviews with the late John Entwistle, and contributions from engineer Bob Pridden, artwork creator Mike McInnerney plus others involved in the creation of the album and journalists who assess the album’s historic and cultural impact.

1968 was a time of soul searching for hit making British Rock band THE WHO. With three badly performing singles behind them they needed a big new idea to put them back at the top and crucially to hold them together as a band. Pete Townshend’s bad experiences with LSD and his questioning of the cult of celebrity lead him to seek answers. He looked for spiritual inspiration from Indian Spiritual Master Meher Baba who had kept a vow of silence since 1925. Baba’s message of love was simple, but the deeper message of discovering reality through different states of consciousness without relying on our natural senses, inspired Pete to create the character of Tommy, the “deaf, dumb and blind boy”. Again inspired by Baba, Pete gave his creation extraordinary powers as a Pinball Wizard who soon gathered around him a band of loyal devotees. THE WHO were broke and fragmenting when they started recording and they stayed on the touring treadmill to generate the cash that would pay for the studios and keep their passion and the project alive. When completed the album went on to sell over 20 million copies and it was an exuberant and renewed band that took this unique album on a triumphal tour. It put them firmly back on the musical map and as gigs sold out it became clear that far from losing their magic this most iconic of bands had created a character and a redemptive narrative that struck a chord with fans and non-fans alike. They toured it to vast acclaim and even when the band thought it was a bad gig the audience loved it! Tommy wowed them at Woodstock and at the Isle of Wight Festival. It elevated Pete Townshend from a tunesmith into a composer and crystallised Roger Daltrey into one of the world’s leading front men and launched his acting career. Ultimately the story of Tommy has a happy ending both for the fictional character and the band who brought this extra-ordinary being to life. This fascinating film, made with the total co-operation of the band, tells how The Who struggled to create the first Rock Opera – and how its success changed their lives.

Interviews include
Pete Townshend – THE WHO
Roger Daltrey – THE WHO
Des McAnuff – Director of Broadway version
Richard Barnes –Author “The Story Of Tommy”
Jan Wenner –Founder of Rolling Stone
Richard Stanley – Film maker and friend of Pete Townshend
Mike McInnerney – Illustrator of the album cover
Richard de Curtis – American Rock Journalist
Bob Pridden – Engineer on album recording
David Wild – Rolling Stone journalist
Chris Welch – British music journalist
From the Eagle archive – Chris Stamp (1942-2012) Co-manager of THE WHO 60s-70s
From the Eagle archive – John Entwistle (1944-2002) – THE WHO

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Here’s an interesting video to get you started:

 

And a piece in Popmatters about the film HERE.

As the film will be very popular, we ask you to book your tickets HERE in advance to avoid disappointment.

So come and join Martin Smith and other music lovers for a great Visual Treat.  We will of course provide the popcorn so feel free to bring your own drinks, relax and enjoy the film.

See you here.  The Team

Film Night at The Gallery

On Friday 15th, The Creative Collective will be showing another great film, as part of our Visual Treats.

‘Lessons in Dissent’ paints a vivid portrait of a generation of Hong Kongers committed to creating a new more democratic Hong Kong. Schoolboy Joshua Wong dedicates himself to stopping the introduction of National Education. Whilst former classmate Ma Jai fights against political oppression on the streets and in the courts. Catapulting the viewer on to the streets of Hong Kong and into the heart of the action. The viewer is confronted with Hong Kong’s oppressive heat, stifling humidity and air thick with dissent. Filmed over 18 months this is a kaleidoscopic, visceral experience of their epic struggle.

Here’s a preview of this great film for you to enjoy and some interesting links about the film:

We will be joined by Director, Matthew Torne, who will answer any questions you may have.  Here is a Q&A with Matthew in the Huffington Post.

As usual, feel free to bring your own drinks and we will serve the popcorn and the good company in an intimate venue.  Tickets are £5 payable at the door.

Lessons in Dissent

Hope to see you here.

 

 

A Creative Year in Pictures

As 2015 is nearing its end we’d like to share some of the fabulous things that have happened at The Creative Collective.

In the 7 months we have been in our new space in Park Mall Shopping Centre, we’ve held a festival, ArtiGras, in May; in September we started our very successful film (Visual Treats) and poetry (Poetry Jam Sessions) nights; we’ve had a number of learners attending our art and creative writing courses; organised a number of exhibitions namely Alan Chapman, EXPOSED, Marshian Landscapes and VISIONS; participated in the Warnborough College Conference on the Arts; held an Art Fair in September; exhibited work by over 50 local artists; were joined by 15 talented young artists who regularly volunteer at the gallery; produced a calendar for charity; formed a number of creative partnerships and held some great events. So here are some photographs of our time here so far for you to enjoy:

ArtiGras 2015

Exhibitions:

Warnborough College Conference on the Arts 2015:

Art Fair September 2015:

Mad Hatters Tea Party, December 2015

Hope you’ve had some fun looking at our pictures, maybe you even saw a snap of yourself at one of our events.  We’ve had an amazing time and are looking forward to doing more of it in 2016. So come join us and help us create bigger and better events.  We have some exciting things planned for you all.  We’d like to thank everyone who has been with us and helped this year in any way, too many to name.  We really love and appreciate every single one of you.

We’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a happy New Year.  May 2016 be the best year so far.  Hope to see you at one of our events.  The Team

 

 

Celebration of the Park Mall Indie Retailers

Melissa has been going around collecting items for a Christmas photo shoot to highlight the independent retailers who take up space in Park Mall at the moment so have a read, and come support us this festive season and beyond. Thanks

Aye Aye

Christmas photo shoot celebrating the wonderful independent retailer that are setting up shop in Park Mall, Ashford. Including Made in Ashford, The Creative Collective Gallery, Glam-R-Us jewellery & Accessories, Emporia Fabric & Craft and the newly opened Happy & Glorious.

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Mad Hatters Tea Party

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To celebrate the festive season, the Gallery is hosting a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Saturday 19th December.

We wanted to create a special space and put on an event which would be fun, lighthearted and enjoyable by everyone.  The young artists in the gallery have worked really hard to produce props and decorations that would make the day even more colourful and special.  We have been busy making, drawing and painting all things Wonderland and we want to share it with you.

Here are some mushrooms made by a local artist:

 

But that’s not it, we have so much more we would like to show you and are keen for you to find out more about the work we do and how it impacts on the community so come and talk to us, enjoy tea, sandwiches and cupcakes – especially made by Everyone Loves Cupcakes – and take an A4 size picture of your day away with you to cherish.  The cost for the event is £10 and includes everything.  Just make sure to wear a costume and have a fab time.

Here are some photos of the china we’ve been decorating especially for the day:

So we’re ready, are you?

See you on Saturday.  The Team