Live music at the Gallery

The Creative Collective is now an established arts venue in Ashford offering exhibitions, events, film and poetry nights, volunteering and work experience opportunities and a hub for creative networking and collaborative working.

More recently though, live music, or jam sessions, have become part of our daily lives.  This is essentially thanks to young musicians who grace the gallery with their talent on occasion.  Ashford has a magical music scene with a great number of bands who regularly play in pubs, bars and events.  From what we have seen, it is a tight knit community of talented musicians of all ages and they make Ashford more of a great place to live and be.

With regular live performances and Open Mic and Jam nights at a number of venues across the town such as the George Pub, The Windmill Inn,  the Auction House Bar, there’s plenty for every taste.

Recently, we were introduced to a group of five local young musicians.  They are Himali Blues and we’d like you to take the time to get to know them and  listen  to their music on their website because they have a lot to say and their message is about compassion, friendships and community.  They have just recently released their EP and are looking forward to bigger and better things to come.  The EP will be on sale at The Creative Collective from next week so come and buy your copy here and support them.

10-001

We’ve never seen a group of young men so energetic, so passionate and so keen to take their music to another level.  They’ve attracted crowds of supporters, volunteers to help with their journey, and lots and lots of fans around them.

Oh, and how about checking out the guitar that Anmol is using in the band. It’s been pimped by Stan Hollingworth so, if you fancy having your guitar get a makeover, visit Stan’s Page and send him a message or just pop into the Gallery and we will give you all the details you need.

So if you’re a local band and would like to jam in the gallery do get in touch. If you would like to join us and play at next year’s ArtiGras Festival in May, do let us know as we are starting to recruit. And if you need help with your journey, come and see us and we will help you as much as we can and steer you in the right direction.

Meanwhile, do pop in and say hello. We’re always keen to help.

Take care.  The Team

Summer at the gallery

It’s been a very busy year for the gallery with a number of exhibitions and two festivals – ArtiGras 2015 and 2016, an art fair in September last year, a Mad Hatters Tea Party, an exhibition to celebrate the music of The Beatles, and South East Open Studios for the first time, and much much more since we opened in May last year. We have decided to have a quite summer so that we can all recuperate and work on the amazing events coming up in the Autumn.

Since opening, we’ve had over 80 artists exhibiting art and photography; 100 or so volunteers working on a number of projects: have shown 8 independent films which have led to meeting wonderful, talented directors who’ve  joined us at the gallery and spoken about heir work; we’ve made many new friends in the community; have worked with talented musicians who have performed at our festivals; have collaborated with a number of local schools as well as Ashford college and been part of the success stories of some of our exhibitors.

We have also become part of a tight knit community of independent traders who have now joined us in Park Mall, namely Happy & Glorious, GlamRUs, Made in Ashford, Emporia Fabrics and Crafts, and very recently Snap Jewellery. We are very proud of the success of our projects and truly grateful for the dedication of our volunteers who are mainly young people; they’ve shown so much dedication, passion for their community and talent. We want to thanks them for being part of The Creative Collective family.

All of our marketing materials, posters, flyers, music stages, props, decorations, event and special photography are designed and produced by very talented creative young people so think about us if you’re starting a business or need materials for an event or project. We do offer value marketing and branding solutions to the community to help and promote the work and value of self employed creatives connected to the gallery. Here are some examples:

To make the summer a little more exciting, We are offering children’s Arty Sessions from 10am to 12am very Monday and Wednesday in August.  These are for children 8 years and over to produce projects over two days so they would need to attend the Monday and Wednesday of a week of your choice.  We also offer Saturday children’s art drop in sessions from 11am to 1pm, for children 10 years and older.

We have lots of exciting projects coming up from September so do subscribe to our newsletter if you’d like to know what is happening.

For now, a massive thanks to all of our volunteers, guests, followers, supporters and the very talented musicans and artists we work with. We wouldn’t still be here without all of you. We are now off to Ashford Festival in the Park to support a great cause and enjoy more local talent.  Have a lovely weekend all.  The Team

SEOS 2016 in pictures

This year South East Open Studios are celebrating their 20th anniversary.  A large number of artists in the South East open the doors to their studios and galleries to the public from the 3rd June to the 19th June.  Some even offer workshops and demos to try and interest the public in taking up creative workshops and courses.

img019

The Creative Collective is pleased to be part of the SEOS for the first time this year, exhibiting work by four artists:

Milan Limbu – architecture student at UCA

Morag Newens – retired full time artist

Maria Khatchatourian – (posthumous work), silk painter.

And Eric Boadu

Our Private Viewing was held on Friday 10th June from 6pm to 8pm, although we stayed until 10pm and enjoyed the great music and the wonderful company of our visitors.  The Himali Blues, a group of 5 young musicians, entertained us with their blues tunes.  Visitors enjoyed the food and drinks. Altogether, the night was a great success.  Here are some pictures of the event for those of you who couldn’t join us …

 

Do come and join us for our next event.  We will keep you posted on our Calendar and future blogs.

Thanks.  The Team

A Volunteer’s Perspective – Part II

So Georgina is back talking a little more about the work she has been able to do whilst volunteering at The Creative Collective, and the experience she’s gained.  She’s now involved in writing bids to make her dream of helping young people volunteer abroad and here in the UK become a reality.  Georgina’s a totally different person now, confident, happy and ready to tackle anything …

1. Bid writing

giphy10

“We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them.” Michel Foucault

There was always this assumption that bid writing was a long and tedious proccess, with no creativity. The person would be typing away, without any reward and there was not any colour to it; its all boring and structured. From the moment when The Creative Collective introduced me to Bid writing, it allowed me to understand the potential of bids. After being sent to a bid writing workshop at Social Enterprise Kent it made me realise: If you have passion towards the aim of the bid, it will allow you to construct a dream in writing. You aren’t creating a fantasy novel, you’re creating potential prospects built on facts that intrigue you.

2. Erasmus

giphy11

“Confined on the ship, from which there is no escape, the madman is delivered to the river with its thousand arms, the sea with it’s thousand roads, to that great uncertainty external to everything.” Michel Foucault

Finland is always going to the place that I refrence to, as an example of how Erasmus builds on possibilites. Coming back from an experience filled with culture, where better to fuel this passion than The Cceative Collective. My mind was set on one thing, that EVS is the only thing possible under Erasmus; and its a common assumption amongst many people that it only supports education. Being within the Collective, allowed me to explore new corners for Erasmus, making me realise that my dreams were limiting me. There are Training programmes, Exchanges, Research projects, Political discussions. If there is a need for a project, with a strong impact, then there is potential. It’s expanding reaches further afield, to places like Romania, Germany, Spain, Greece, Finland, France and more.

3. Entrepreneur

giphy12

giphy13

“There are times in life when the question of knowing if one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive differently than one sees, is absolutely necessary if one is to go on looking and reflecting at all.” Michel Foucault

By definition a gallery is ‘a room or building for the display or sale of works of art.’ The gallery is booming with entrepreneurial work, it a place to showcase skills, business cards and become inspired by people with innovative ideas. It has allowed me to network with people, provided me with a place to display greeting cards www.littlebig-cards.xyz – (Watch this space-June 2016) and even practice social media marketing skills, gained from WEKent. A very helpful volunteer, who specialises in architecture came up with a creative poster to be used on twitter to advertise cards. It is a hub of skills, that can share experience and knowledge. And the best thing about it is the flexibility of hours and the commitent- you work to help others; which I believe to be a dying asset in the modern day society.

4. Creative Writing- Blog writing

giphy14

“Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same. More than one person, doubtless like me, writes in order to have no face.” Michel Foucault

At the end of 2015, I attended a creative writing class at the Collective by andsoshethinks.co.uk to bring out my confidence in writing. And guess what this is: Its a blog post and you’re reading it. Wow, thank you for getting this far and I’m in shock that a post of mine has reached you. Usually, I write, I post; but I post in hope that it remains hidden. How you write is a protayal of your own character, the useage of your words, syntax, grammar and punctuation is unique to you. At the workshop, we listened to each others’ stories and styles, realising our strengths and weaknesses. I began to understand that telling your story can be enjoyable, even if its structure isn’t up to scratch.

Quotes by – 5. Michel Foucault

giphy15

“Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.” Michel Foucault

This name appeared in a discussion one day, at the gallery. Inputting the name incorrectly into my ‘tasks’ list, I went home and typed ‘Michelle Focus’ into google and to my surprise a bald guy appeared- you gotta love accents. Having studied philosophy, at SKC, it was quite enjoyable reading through his beliefs and understandings created from his life experiences. He is most interesting to me, for his challenges towards power and discourse, having been quite influential to critical theorists in the struggle against inequality. Up for further discussion in areas of history, politics, psychology and philosophy?  Come find us at The Creative Collective. Or you can find me on here: futurelearn.com/courses/inequalities-in-personal-finance

Free Writing for Wellbeing Workshop

As part of Voluntary Arts week, and to kick off events before our ArtiGras Festival on Friday May 20th and Saturday May 21st, The Creative Collective is running a FREE Writing for Wellbeing workshop for all ages on Saturday 14th May.

The workshop will be facilitated by Francesca Baker.  Francesca is a journalist and event organiser and is passionate about writing and has previously delivered a succesful writing workshop at the Collective.  To find out more about Francesca visit her website HERE.

Come and join us for what promises to be an amazing workshop, from 10:30am to 12:30pm on 14th May at The Creative Collective.  Although the workshop is FREE we would appreciate if you could book HERE so that we can organise ourselves.

Thanks.  The Team

Slide1 (4)

A volunteer’s perspective – Part I

We met Georgina Cooper over a year ago when she popped into the gallery to see how she may be able to offer her time to help us out.  She was interested mostly in European Voluntary Service and how she could work with us to encourage young people to volunteer for projects in Europe and vice versa.

Georgina came accross as shy and lacked confidence but we saw tremendous potential and were excited to have her join us as part of our team.  She has blossomed since the first time we met her and she has done so much great work and we’re hoping funding will arrive to enable us to take her on as a Project Manager for a project she has herself created.  That’s enough of us now, we’ll let you read it in her own words.  Enjoy.

  • The Creative Collective
  • Name: Georgina Cooper
  • Current location: Megabus
  • Time: 1 hour late- Typical
  • Destination: Scotland

This 7-hour journey, to everything-deep-fried-land, is now going to officially be a self-reflectory period of the previous year or so, spent volunteering with the prestigious Art Gallery in Ashford, Kent -The Creative Collective.

In 2014, I was back from Finland, going through some wafty Culture Change and, making lattes at a cafe, like there’s no tomorrow. My days started merging together and my Creative nymphs started creeping out. I was fishing for a way to explore and was faced with nothing but beans, strange policies and late uni deadlines.

Thus, I showed up on the doorstep of The Creative Collective feeling slightly damp in spirit, but completely open minded to what was to come. The aim of the visit was to get other people in Kent, to become more aware of EVS; to find a way of getting involved in an Erasmus project. I am now involved with much, much more.

First impressions of The Creative Collective were set out pretty well, their fantastic ArtiGras Festival was taking place in the town, with live music and magical amounts of colour everywhere. I thought to myself: ‘this must be the busiest time for them’ and oh how I was wrong, there is never a time when events aren’t being planned.

A particular event planning stage that stands out in my memory, was for the Alice in Wonderland event. I came in spurting ideas about setting up a greeting cards company, and a friendly character that I had never met before, informed me to look into Waitrose/John Lewis to get support for them. I had made a new connection, but that wasn’t what had fascinated me (I’ll mention connections in my next post). What made me feel good, was the positive environment that I was in. I was in a place where great advice to pursue dreams, can be given, just by friendly conversation, and this is hard to come across.

Have you ever heard of HITRECORD by Joseph Levitt? He gets artists, videographers, script writers to join together. He gives them a theme and then people join together to make amazing pieces. We could do this; in fact, The Creative Collective already does this. There are tons of creative people down there already. I’ve heard all sorts of great ideas, like glow in the doodles going all over the walls. Do you have some eccentric ideas? pop down, we’d love to hear them. In your own time, you will progress in areas that you have passion for.

To be continued….

The Beatles event: A Volunteer’s perspective

Sebastian Lacey is a member of The Creative Collective’s team of volunteers.  He is currently studying for a Masters in Marketing and he is with us one day a week working on marketing campaign as well as writing funding bids.

Sebastian helped with the Beatles exhibition and this is his view of the event:

“The preparation for the exhibition started a full week beforehand.  Many friends, resident artists and exhibiters all came together to contribute their work. Two walls were covered with beautiful artwork from resident artists. The residents range from 18-80 their work was mainly portraitures, group pieces, a collage, a photomontage and alternative perspectives from The Doodle Man. Many mediums were incorporated including giclee limited prints, watercolour, oil on canvas and mixed media

Two walls were dedicated to the schools competition, we received 43 portraits from year 7 and 8 studentsat North School.  All needed to be judged and 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded by the Mayor of Ashford, Councillor Geraldine Dyer.

Other contributions included the original company framed certificate of registration for the Beatles.  An acoustic guitar was donated as the main prize for the raffle other raffle prizes also included 2 hours music studio time, art from The Creative Collective, succulent in a glass and a necklace from GlamRUs Accessories. The gallery was lit up with a projector and sound system displaying a Beatles compilation DVD on loop, this was a re-mastered anthology with original film restoration of Beatles backtracks.

Doodleman (Sam Cox) the ‘Graffiti Spaghetti’ specialist had his own corner to do a live painting which was due to be filmed throughout the event. There was an A2 comments board festooned with cartoon characters to be filled in with visitor reflections.

On the day large quantities of nibbles and were purchased and a lovingly prepared spread of food was made up. Janet, our volunteer, prepared cheese, ham and chicken sandwiches with salad humus and crisps. From 6.00pm people started arriving and the gallery was buzzing with music.  Soon after 6.30pm the musicians took the stage, they announced the raffle and took any song requests. By 7.00pm the gallery was full.  Doodle Man was situated in his corner producing an artwork. The resident photographer was documenting the event and judging had started for the winners of the school competition. The atmosphere was electric, bodies were spilling out into Park Mall Shopping Centre and people were getting into the spirit of the occasion. The Beatles subject was a fantastic vehicle to achieving an entertaining night of revelry. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of interest in the competition with children and their families eagerly anticipating the outcome of the judging. The raffle was also going very well with well over 100 tickets being sold, with the grand draw taking place at 8.00pm. Overall the evening was a roaring success with everybody leaving positive comments and feedback.”

If you were here on the night, please leave a comment, it really matters to us. If you are interested in volunteering for us, please call 01233 421589 or pop into the gallery.

Many thanks.  The Team