Art & Coffee in a new venue

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Well, it’s been a long while since our last blog and we do apologise for that.  We were busy planning our new venture and moving out of our premises in Park Mall.  We’re now all settled and are open for business.

The gallery in Park Mall, although a wonderful space for art and creation, was never really the right venue for us.  We felt we needed a space that would allow visitors to enjoy tea or coffee, have a bite to eat and be able to take time to view the lovely work by local artists without having to rush to the door.  Well, we believe we’ve achieved just that with our venture, Bauhaus Cafe & Art Gallery.

The Cafe/gallery is situated on the first floor of the old Merchant Chandler’s building in Ashford (2 North Street).  The whole building has gone through a lot of loving care and is looking fabulous.  We are one of a number of tenants in what is now called The Collection Ashford.  The art has moved in with us too and many of our artists are the same but we also have new artists who’ve joined the gallery to display their work.

The Cafe is a CIC (Community Interest Company) and is a hang out for artists, musicians, techies and budding entrepreneurs.  Wi-Fi is free, but Saturdays are our Wi-Fi free days so we leave our phones behind and, instead, make new friends and work on ideas and projects together.

As I am writing this blog, Bisal is playing his bass, and Michael is designing our very first quarterly magazine.  They are both part volunteers. part paid staff.  We’re just had our first live music evening with Dulcie May Moreno in this awesome space. The event is one of many we will be running, and is funded by The National Lottery Celebrate programme.

Here are some pictures of our new space.  We’ll be back soon and tell you more about our evening, our menu, special offers, events and ArtiGras, our May festival.

We look forward to welcoming you here.  The Team

 

Supernatural 8

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Friend of the Collective, Melody Kennett, has produced the film which will be screened at the gallery tomorrow evening.  Tune in to Radio Ashford tomorrow from 3.30pm on the Steve Monk show to hear producer Melody Kennett and participant Nic Whitham of Banyan Retreat talk about the film and this Friday’s exciting reveal….
“This next screening at The Creative Collective is a bit different and special for lots of reasons not least because I’m going to be both host and producer.  Supernatural 8 is an idea conceived by my good friend and film director Bob Hickey.  He has a lifelong interest in the paranormal and wanted to make a film that explored the nature of belief and the shades of grey that exist in our understanding of the world. The premise is whether a Mayan shaman, physical medium, spiritual mentor or Reiki group can affect an unexposed super 8 mm cine film. It’s a short documentary featuring interviews with those who participated in the experiment, including acclaimed medium Scott Milligan. The as yet unseen results will be revealed at the end. The film should be black.
In another interesting twist the screening on Friday will not only be the reveal for the experiment (I haven’t even seen the film yet as it’s only just been returned to Bob!) but we will also be filming with some of the participants, who are coming to the screening, to see what they make of the results. Their interviews will make up the final part of the film which will be screened in it’s entirety in October.  We’ve really tapped into something with this subject area and have been getting a lot of interest both online and locally. We hope this film will be the first of many.”  Melody.

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

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.

 

 

We Are Many

It’s not every day we can say that a small gallery in Ashford is able to show a film as important as We Are Many. We are very proud to be screening Amir Amirani’s masterpiece for the launch of our independent film night this Wednesday (25th). Join us from 6.30pm for an intimate evening of film and review at The Creative Collective, 16 Park Mall.

Filmed across seven continents over a period of 9 years, We Are Many tells the true story of the people power movements now sweeping the world, from opposition to the Iraq War, to the Arab Spring and Syria.

We Are Many has been screening at festivals and cinemas around the world and is on the Oscar long list for best documentary. The film has just been showing in New York and Los Angeles with celebrities and critics queuing up to offer support including Russell Brand, Stephen Fry, Tim Robbins and Richard Branson. It’s had a profound effect on those who’ve seen it particularly those who took part in that historic march in February 2003 all around the globe.

With the events of the last few days, namely the attacks in Beirut and Paris, it is important for us to remember the unity and compassion shown by those who walked and supported. Although the outcome was unexpected, millions marching in the cold of London and other cities proved that people united are a force to be reckoned with. It is also important not to give up or lose hope. Humans, by nature, are peace loving and caring. We have proven this on occasion when adversity challenges communities and we all come together and find solutions, grieve together and fight for causes. On a much larger scale, We Are Many is proof that, when we come together, we do make change, even though it can seem otherwise.

Melody will now tell you more about the film and why you should come and see it.

I have known director Amir for many years. He first contacted me at ITN in 2010 when he was looking to source news footage of the antiwar marches in 2003. I marched against Blair and Bush’s war in Iraq and felt, like many of us, that it had made no difference at all. Amir’s film shows why that is not the case. In his own words: “Over the past 12 years, we have seen both the shockwaves of the protest and the devastation of the war, and we continue to live with them. But as, I hope, the film shows, we can also see that day in a new light, for the impact that was not, and could not have been, apparent to us then.”

The film has attracted many high profile supporters On 17 November, Tim Robbins, best known for his portrayal of Andy Dufresne in 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption, tweeted: “@WeAreManyMovie This is the most important film of 2015. It is about your power, your potential to create peace. Will you be able to see it?”

The UK launch in May saw the biggest ever social media thunderclap for a film as Russell Brand (9,755,147 followers), Stephen Fry (9,719,681 followers) and Sir Richard Branson (5,603,463 followers) helped the message “Join the march to cinemas and see the story of the biggest protest in history #WeAreMany” reach 37,400,689 people.

We Are Many executive producer and comedian, Omid Djalili, said: “Good films are about good stories, and boy do we have a story. We have widespread, mainstream support, it’s not just hippies, activists or emotionally unstable men like me.”

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I was lucky enough to be at the film’s premiere at Sheffield Docfest, the atmosphere was electric and as Caroline Frost from The Huffington Post put it, it was the only film she’s ever watched where the audience started clapping halfway through!

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Check out the trailer and see what other people have to say about the film: 1) Trailer  2) UK audience reactions 3) UK Premiere reactions and then come along on Wednesday and see for yourself.

Our Film nights will continue on the last Wednesday of every month but, occasionally, we will be screening films on other weekdays to make sure those who can’t always make Wednesdays also get to see a film.  So keep your eyes on our calendar, blogs and newsletters for more information and dates.

Thanks for reading.  The Team