Dystopia: The Exhibition

From Monday February 15th, The Creative Collective is hosting an art exhibition entitled Dystopia.

There are many definitions for Dystopia, here are some of them:

‘A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and 1984. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems and various forms of active and passive coercion. They are often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens. Fictional dystopias are often set in the future and involve technological innovations not accessible in actual present reality’

‘A society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding’.

‘An imaginary place where everything is as bad as it can be’.

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Ashford Young Artists and The Creative Collective wanted to give artists of all ages the opportunity to create work that would reflect what could be our own interpretation of dystopian society as we work so hard to create change through art and creativity.

The work is very strong and meaningful and we hope that visitors will take their time to look at the paintings and make some observations and comments in our exhibition book.  There will be a private viewing with drinks and nibbles on Friday 19th.  You can meet the artists and talk to them about their work from 6pm to 8pm so please come and join us then.

Here are some teasers:

We look forward to seeing you here.  The Team

 

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.

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

Exciting new happenings at the Gallery

We are excited to tell you about two new monthly events that will be hosted at the Gallery.  We’ve worked very hard to make them happen and we are now nearly there, and over the moon with the reaction and comments from members and friends.

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If you like poetry, our Poetry Jam Sessions are just the thing for you.  They will take place second Wednesday of every month from 6:30pm to 9pm at the Gallery.  For the first session, Wednesday 11th November, bring a poem you like by any poet you like and read it for us.  If you’re not used to public speaking and aren’t sure, we can help or someone will be here to read it for you.  From then on, we will have a theme every month and you could bring your own poems of course and read them with music in the background, or not, do it as you feel it.  These sessions are pop in so no need to book, just pop along, have a tea and biscuits, or bring your own drink.  We would appreciate a donation towards the refreshments.

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The Visual Treats sessions will take place the last Wednesday of every month starting on Wednesday 25th November from 6:30pm to 9pm.  If you like independent films and would like to meet critics, directors and others with great knowledge of film, come and join us for the adventure.

The first film we are presenting is We Are Many.  We Are Many is the story of the largest protest in history. On February 15th 2003, over 15 million people marched against the war in Iraq in over 800 cities around the globe. We Are Many is a historical document of a day that changed the world forever.  There will be free tea/coffee and popcorn.  The entry fee is £5 only and you will meet like-minded people and make new friends too.

Come and join us for an informal and interesting evening.  Hope to see you here soon.