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

The Who: The Making of Tommy

 

Tommy 2

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

Tommy 3

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

 

 

A series of Creative Workshops for everyone

From January, The creative Collective will be running a number of four week creative writing workshops for anyone interested in telling stories in any form.

Samm Short

Samm Short is a writer, artist and mentor. A published academic and creative author, she helps fellow writers discover the stories inside them and gives them the tools to unleash them into the world.

From Sunday 10th January 2016, from for 4 weeks, Samm will be running a Guerrilla Poetry Workshop.

‘Poetry is for school children and academics’ ‘Poetry is too rigid’ ”Poetry is pretentious and confusing’ ‘You have to be clever to write poetry’ ….Sounds familiar?!

This 4 week course sets out to smash the barriers that prevent so many of us from playing with this liberating form of self-expression. We’ll find a way back to our primal desire for rhythm, rhyme and image, and see what happy mayhem we can create in the process, using words as our weapons.

From Tuesday 12th January for 4 weeks, join us for a Children’s Story Writing Workshop.

‘Sure it’s simple, writing for kids…just like it’s simple bringing them up.’ Ursula Le Guin’s ironic take on writing for children just makes us want to do it more.

Childhood magic, wonderment and insight – who wouldn’t want to write for children? On this course learn about narrative structure to hold your story together and explore the reasons why you want to write for children in the first place – and how a clear vision can help you produce the story you’ve dreamed of writing.

We will continue in the New Year with an Art and Writing Project and a Beginners Fiction Writing Project and will inform you of dates as soon as possible.

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket”

 

Beginner’s Fiction Writing – A 4-week course to re-discover the well of inspiration you have inside and around you. Perfect for new writers or experienced writers feeling stuck in their work.

Learn how to court inspiration even in the unlikeliest of places, and get to grips with the basics of plot, structure, character development and point of view.

An activity-filled course including time to reflect on inspiring quotes and passages from other writers, guaranteed to give you a tonne of new material to work with and the tools to shape it into your very own dream-child.

‘It’s like learning to ride a bike; at first we’re banging our knees and scraping our shins, learning how to use these tools – sometimes a bit awkwardly at first – but in a week’s time we find they’ve crept their way into our writing without us even knowing it, and we’re better writers for it.’ David, June 2015 alumni

Remember we have a number of young artists with design and illustration skills who can then help make any book you write more interesting.  We’ve also asked a friend of ours who runs a self publishing business to come and talk to you about publishing your book without the restraints, complications and financial implications of using a publisher.  We’ll give you more details nearer the time.

Finally, if you’re a fan of poetry and film, you can join us on the second Wednesday of every month for our Poetry Jam Sessions and read or simply listen to poetry to give you some inspiration; or come and meet Directors and critics and watch an independent film with us on the last Wednesday of every month, bring your own drinks and the we will provide the popcorn and it will only cost you a fiver.  The first film we’re showing is Amir Amirani’s Oscar nominated We Are Many and you can find out more about it HERE.

For more information please contact us on 01233 421589 or email us HERE.

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.

Poetry Jam Session banner

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.

Poster 2

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.