Walt Shaw, Gong Man, during our Loughborough University Fruit Routes Gong Workshop preparing to honour the new trees planted in the Barefoot Orchard on February 11th 2015 with a Gong Ceremony and performance.
Walt gave two inspirational workshops and it's only now after the event that I find we have a mutual connection in that we both had the privilege of working in the past with the late great Lol Coxhill.
Here's Walt with Mahood and Lol performing at the Lamp Tavern in Birmingham in 2006:
A spade used during the February planting of an additional 32 trees in the Fruit Routes Barefoot Orchard at Loughborough University. The planting was followed by a gong ceremony and performance, new type of wassail, to celebrate and bless the trees, the ground.
The planting and gong ceremony form part of artist and environmental activist Anne-Marie Culhane's ongoing work Fruit Routes supported by Loughborough University Sustainability Team through Jo Hasbury-Shields
Loughborough University Barefoot Orchard
'The Set Up' - Jeffrey Kaufman and Tony Nelson
New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
Leicester, January, 2015
Jeffrey Kaufman and Tony Nelson unpacking and setting up the banners that form part of Leicester's Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 Exhibition. The banners explain about the Holocaust and other genocides. They accompany an exhibition of excellent artworks from pupils at Rushey Mead Secondary School that runs from the 22nd January to the 3rd of February 2015.
The exhibition was curated and hung by artist Claire Jackson.
I enjoyed very much working with Claire, Jeffrey, Tony and everyone else involved in putting up the show.
The Loughborough Reminiscence Group has published a new DVD 'Early Memories of Asian Residents’ as part of its continuing work to capture elements of Loughborough's rich history through people's stories.
The 2 disc DVD features nine interviews with members of some the Asian communities of Loughborough. All the people interviewed arrived in Loughborough between 1963 and 1975. The contributors are from the Gujarati Hindu, Punjabi Hindu, Punjabi Sikh and Bangladeshi communities.
The DVD provides fascinating insight on Loughborough's rich multicultural heritage and also features over a 100 photographs of family life and community events that the participants took part in during their time in Loughborough.
The DVD package contains excellent source material that local schools could incorporate into many areas of their curriculum but that any other person, from Loughborough or not, will find interesting.
Copies of the DVD cost £10, and are available from Loughborough Reminiscence Group by calling Mike Jones on 01509 843433.
Know Your Onions
Rushey Mead School
The guys from G4S arrive back at work at Rushey Mead Secondary School in Leicester to find all their onion tops eaten. They are perplexed. Is it mice? Rabbits? Maybe the pigeons? It's a mystery. Not downhearted they resolve to hoe the ground and try again. Maybe netting the crop would help? A pigeon pie might just do it!
The land is on the developing Rushey Mead Kitchen Orchard site which at the moment is just a twinkling in the eyes of cultural forager Paul Conneally and the management of the school. An orchard in the footprint of the old kitchen and dining rooms. An orchard of heritage apple varieties associated with Leicestershire. This forms part of the wider vision for the school grounds as an edible landscape.
The Polarity of Matter and Spirit No.2
Hughes and Conneally
New Parks, Leicester
"No dead shark or calf ... a person waiting perhaps for the number 14 ... only willing to be photographed when shown how the surface of the shelter would actually make her hard to recognise" The Polarity Of Matter And Spirit is a series of portraits taken in The New Parks Involuntary Painting Bus Shelter Photo Booth. It comes out of work through the ongoing Involuntary Painting Movement initiated by artists, Millree Hughes (New York, US) and Paul Conneally (Loughborough, UK).
'Involuntary Painting' is a term coined by Hughes in 2014 to identify and explore what an alien that landed on Earth, programmed with all the knowledge of art but never having seen any, might possibly mistake for a painting. This notion is used by Hughes and Conneally, along with a growing group of artists, to explore the nature, history and future of painting, space, place, time and more widely, art in in the twenty first century.
The Polarity Of Matter And Spirit portraits are photographed by Conneally through the scratched and marked perspex side of a bus shelter on Charnor Road, New Parks, Leicester. It is this surface that is the involuntary painting, not the portrait photograph itself. The subject is photographed through the involuntary painting which acts as a lens come filter in in the physical space between the digital camera, in this case an iPhone, and the subject in the bus shelter.
The Polarity Of Matter And Spirit identifies the bus shelter on Charnor Road, New Parks, Leicester, UK, the bus shelter towards the New Parks Social Club end of the road and on the same side of the road as Forest Lodge Primary School, as the first Involuntary Painting Photo Booth. Hughes and Conneally are in the process of identifying, with others, similar Involuntary Painting Booths around the world.
A further series of portraits taken in the New Parks Involuntary Painting Bus Shelter Painting Booth will be undertaken in 2015 by Hughes and Conneally as part of Involuntary Painting 1 New Parks : New York with and for Soft Touch Arts, New Parks Library and members of the New Parks community.
"Karl Brown - pro basketball player, coach and community champion - also a former student of mine at Moat Community College in the early 80s - these days it's a pleasure to do work with and alongside him exploring the interface the liminalities between sport culture art spirit ..."
Parking the car just off King Richard's Road, my son and I walk the mile or so to Leicester City's King Power Stadium.
Today they play Manchester City, the current football champions of England.
It's a crisp December afternoon. The sun is out, the pavements are frosty, slippy in places, we expect to lose.
By Liberty Island, down by the canal, we stop and buy lamb burgers from the Barge Burger. Steam and smoke from the grill at the rear of the boat rising with the pre-match crowd's excited chatter as they walk on by towards the stadium over Walnut Bridge.
Just enough time for a bit of banter with the women who run this unique burger outlet.
As to the match, a good one even though we lost to the sky blue shirts of Manchester City by one goal to nil.
after the match a pint of Tiger to keep out the cold
Apple Peel Poetry Installation - Paul Conneally 2014
During artist activist Anne-Marie Culhane's Fruit Routes Harvest Celebration at Loughborough University, Conneally invites visitors to peel an apple, trying to create as long a single piece of peel as they can They then measure the peel in centimetres and find the page number equivalent to the length of peel in a book of collected Wordsworth poems. They count down the number of lines equal to the number of letters in their name, copy it out on a label replacing one word with the word apple and hang the peel and poem up across the gable end of a garden shed.
Stonehouse Seedstore created by Anne Marie Culhane in Stonehouse, Plymouth, UK.
‘Anne Marie has been working with residents from across the area to collect individual stories about our relationships to plants through growing and eating. The Seedstore also includes plants that are, or have been important in the story of Stonehouse, gathered through conversations with residents and historians. She has use these to create a seed store as a community resource, a connection to the natural world and a celebration of diversity in Stonehouse.’
The plan now is to keep the Store at Union Corner for people to see and read the stories, to go out to events, and for the swapping of seeds.