Anti-Slavery week – 2014

Breaking the Chains

Breaking the Chains

 

A close friend and artist Jo Tidey told me about this show coming up for Anti-Slavery week. I still had mosaics around the theme of the sex trade and human trafficking which I was eager to exhibit and continue to raise awareness for, I applied and heard a reply pretty instantly from artist Chris Simpson. They were keen to have me be a part of the show which made me happy as it has been a while since I was involved in the campaign of anti-trafficking.

 

This is England = Claire Heath ART

This is England = Claire Heath ART

 

table

table

 

I asked my old colleague Jess Gelear from The Medaille Trust if she would like to attend the opening night with me, like old times when we used to do a lot of fundraisers and awareness campaigns together.

 

claireandjess

claireandjess

 

I was asked if I would do a radio interview around my mosaic pieces, I was happy to be asked and felt it would be a honour to talk about such sensitive issues in Anti-Slavery week you can listen here:

Scroll down to find the correct show, you will see my mosaic piece.

http://radiopete.org/radio-archive/2014-features/

‘The Tower Gallery based at the Memorial Community Church on the Barking Road is hosting an art exhibition called Breaking the Chains.  Looking at the issues of human trafficking and modern slavery, NuSound Radio 92FM went down to the opening night.’

Broadcast 23/10/14

 

antislaveryday

antislaveryday

 

The show was successful and I was so happy to be able to be a part of the movement to end slavery again as it is an issue I hold close to my heart after my years of working as a support worker in a safe house with vulnerable women and children, you can see a blog I have written in the past about my work for The Medaille Trust in the archive on this sites homepage.

 

BAAM – British Association for Modern Mosaic  

 

baam

baam

 

Tiki Love Truck

Tiki Love Truck

There is also an amazing talk by Carrie Reichardt around ‘The Disobedient Objects’ exhibition which was in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here she is at the British Association for Modern Mosaic talking about the rise of political mosaic making and mentions the pieces I have shared on this blog which I am so thankful for. Watch the talk here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvKcFMfp3Zk

Bless The Medaille Trust, The Salvation Army and all the other charities, organisations and campaigns which exist to stop this cruel trade of humans for slaves.

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum ‘Disobediant Objects’ Show – Friday Late ‘Making Trouble and influencing people’ 29/08/2014

dis objects sign

dis objects sign

 

Obviously when asked if I wanted to come and help out with the Friday late at the Victoria and Albert Museum I was well up for it! The night was titled ‘Making Trouble and Influencing people’ I would be helping with some political art workshops with The Treatment Rooms Collective along side Carrie Reichardt and the Tiki Love Truck which was exhibited in the Disobedient Objects show.

 

Tiki Love Truck

Tiki Love Truck

 

The Workshops for the evening were: Letter writing to Kenny Zulu Whitmore who is currently in solitary confinement –

Michelle Rutherford, Whitmore’s attorney in his federal suit, said in a prepared response, “Warden Cain’s statement confirms the allegations Mr. Whitmore makes in his civil rights suit: he has been held in a 9 by 6 foot cell for over 35 years because of his political beliefs, not because of any demonstrated violent or disruptive behavior.”

‘Solitary Confinement is torture. There is no-one else besides Albert Woodfox held in solitary confinement in Louisiana longer than Kenny Zulu Whitmore. The background for being kept on solitary confinement for so long is due to his political beliefs and his friendship with the “Angola 3,” being  a member of the Angola Chapter of the Black Panther Party.’

So so mental that this still is happening right now. I wrote to Zulu a couple of times and plan to write again soon maybe after this blog actually….. the guys a genius and a revolutionary who should be a free man not cooped up in some cell till he dies.

Bringing it up to date a bit as this was an event last year, The Treatment Rooms Collective are now launching another mosaic car well actually its and old skool London taxi! to raise more awareness of this horrible injustice.

zuliu poster

zuliu poster

 

taxi in porgress

taxi in porgress

 

 

taxi progress

taxi progress

sian and carrie

sian and carrie

Keep up to date with this amazing project via (click) Facebook Intsagram

Check out the kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zuluvoodootaxi/the-zulu-voodoo-liberation-taxi

See the finished Zulu Vodoo Liberation Taxi at UK festivals this summer: Standon Calling, Boomtown Fair and Shambala

Back to the V + A event spill :)

Other workshops on The Friday Late included Lady Muck of The Treatment Rooms who done a recycled workshop making framed quotes.

upcycle workshop

upcycle workshop

lady muck

lady muck

 

Political poster making:

 

poster making

poster making

 

poster making

poster making

 

poster making

poster making

On the same floor as us was the Reel News – Reel News is an activist video collective, set up to publicise and share information on inspirational campaigns and struggles – not just in this country, but across the world. We are doing this through producing a bi-monthly newsreel, made up of a number of videos short enough to use in union and campaign meetings. – See more at: http://reelnews.co.uk/about/#sthash.e00qTmES.dpuf

reel news

reel news

The workers of the Victoria + Albert Museum held a protest the same night as the event due to their cut in salary. This added another level of activism to the already explosive evening see here for details: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment_archive.cfm/museum-workers-in-disobedient-protest

The whole evening was just something else and the exhibition was just mind blowing. Entering the V + A to a sounds system and people raving is something I wont be forgetting for a while. I didn’t manage to get any footage of it but it was pretty epic seeing a load of punks and ravers busting it out in the entrance.

The Disobedient Object show has been on tour  and is set to be showing at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum October 30 2015 through February 14, 2016.

This is a pretty quality article here: http://www.mosaicartnow.com/tag/disobedient-objects/

 

history is a weapon

history is a weapon

 

steps to v+a

steps to v+a

 

‘The intervention on the steps and façade of the Museum was made in response to the exhibition Disobedient Objects. It reflects the idea of a people’s history of art and design from below, and it invites us to consider activist social movements as a significant part of our culture.’

Go see the steps for yourselves over at The Victoria + Albert Museum!!!

 

 

 

Boomtown Festival 2014 OLD TOWN

OLD TOWN!!!

old town!

old town!

I was so stoked to be applying for a shop window display at Boomtown fair! The year before I had been fly pitching ceramics round the campsites and this year I was a legitimate part of the decor crew.

suitcase sales

suitcase sales

It was by chance one of the shop window displays themes was to be shrunken heads the story has it that the pirates had set sail and caught a tropical illness which turned them into babies. I worked with Vito (Window Art Curator) to create an interesting design for the window.

initial ideas for window display

initial ideas for window display

My window was the old infirmary shop which meant I had some investigating to do into these era of time.

old style infirmary

old style infirmary

I wanted to explore the anatomy of my sculptures as they look a lot like Siamese twins. I done some research in to old scientific illustrations to get some inspiration.

conjoined sculpture

conjoined sculpture

Siamese anatomy

Siamese anatomy

conjoined sculpture

conjoined sculpture

Siamese illustrations

Siamese illustrations

I was keen to expand on my mosaic making and wanted to create a prop for the shop window using ceramic transfers. I experimented with some DIY ceramics transfer paper which made the process much cheaper and faster.

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

ceramic transfer DIY

Some other props came up last minute such as glass jars which I could use for potions and put ceramic limbs in to them to give that old style doctor surgery feel.

ceramic limbs in jars

ceramic limbs in jars

I decided to go up early to help with the Old Town set build and décor as I had not had experience in this before I thought it would be a good opportunity to get stuck in.

The fish monger

The fish monger

Plague doctor

Plague doctor

After lugging a huge suitcase, rucksack and portfolio filled with ceramics and mosaics I finally arrived in Winchester where I was greeted by Dan Borg (Creative Design Manager). The Old Town set was well on the way and I got to work the next morning.

I enjoyed being part of the process and seeing the set flourish to completion. I especially enjoyed challenging myself and picking up old skills I thought were lost. I made last minute signs and props to bring my window up to standard.

medicine sign

medicine sign

brain leek

brain leek

After some long days of grafting the Old Town set and my window display was ready to go LIVE.

front on view

front on view

medicine list

medicine list

window view

window view

I even managed to do a bit of fly pitching around the festival again which meant I could get a bit of cash and some good trading when all my booze supply ran out!

campsite jokers

campsite jokers

necklace sale

necklace sale

All round was a great experience and I would be keen to do some more window art at Boomtown Festival again.. I met some wicked people and was very inspired by the determination and creativity of a team of mainly volunteers!

Starfish Festival – Lewes

starfish sign

starfish sign

The Skatehouse was approached to be involved in a local festival last July 2014 called ‘Starfish’ it was organised by the local youth group called ‘starfish’ which engages young people in making music and supplying sound and recording studios on the Phoenix Estate which is neighboring to us. See http://www.starfishlewes.co.uk/ for more info on what they are about.

starfish-in-the-park

starfish-in-the-park

We were advised to apply for a pot of funding from a local funder called ‘Chalk Cliff’, see – http://chalkclifftrust.org/. We were able to obtain £5000 to provide a portable mini ramp for the starfish festival as well as merchandise and promotional materials. Although the original plan for a mini ramp to be taken did not happen the the skatehouse team were able to take some smaller ramps to teach. A larger size mini ramp was built and taken to Boomtown Fair 2014 so the money ‘Chalk Cliff’ funding money ended up being well spent. I wanted to do a clay workshop at starfish festival so I decided to do a clay starfish making session keeping in theme.

portable mini ramp

portable mini ramp

portable mini ramp

portable mini ramp

portable mini ramp

portable mini ramp

It was a successful day for both The Skatehouse and my clay workshop! This was my first workshop in Lewes and I enjoyed to feel part of the local community.

hand painted sign

hand painted sign

clay workshop

clay workshop

clay starfish

clay starfish

clay workshop

clay workshop

I managed to make a bit of cash to pay for the cost of the kiln and pay my friend who helped out for the day. Sadly I lost my notebook which had the names, emails and phone numbers of all the kids and parents which participated in the workshop so it was impossible to contact anyone when their clay creations were ready to collect!! The workshop was cheap enough so I can only hope everyone felt like the experience on the whole was worth the £1.50 fee. My plan is to make a mosaic out of the leftover pieces and donate it to ‘Starfish’ so they can display it at their premises. We would love to be involved again this year creatively and physically with the skate ramps. Watch this space…..

klined pieces ready for mosaic

klined pieces ready for mosaic

SKATE HOUSE

 

Front of Skatehouse

Front of Skatehouse

After leaving my home town of Southampton in January I thought a blog was due to describe the new life I have entered in Lewes SKATE HOUSE. I was aware of a free workshop space coming up in the SKATE HOUSE and after spending some time with friends around Phoenix place and sleeping on the floor of a van and in a caravan for a bit I saw how much potential there was to working here and being part of the community which exists already.

Salute to the van!

Captain Tarren

My cosey caravan

My cosey caravan

Friends and artists of URBAN SHAMAN TRIBE Tarren and Becky were drawn to the place after visiting Lewes on bonfire night, this is a nation wide famous event in Lewes the local go ALL out!…. The workshop space available was a corner of a room already inhibited by Tarren and Becky. They are festival installation artists and general hippy folk travelling the lands and hitting up most of the UK festivals and some European festivals too.

Bonfire night and burning of the effigies

Bonfire night and burning of the effigies

Tarren n Becky 'Urban Shaman'

Tarren n Becky ‘Urban Shaman’

urban shaman

Zu studios attracts many artistic types and houses an array of talented and magical beings with skills in alchemy see Mark Gouldings Mandala Art on HEALING MAGIC, gold leafing see Rachael Linton at SOUND VISION STUDIO, poetry, sculpture by Helen Hockney, and a clown collective called the AUTONYMOUS CIRCUS COLLECTIVE. This is situated nest door to The SKATEHOUSE which is a nice opportunity for me to wonder inside and see what’s new or if there are any lectures, workshops or activities which interest me. I took an exciting adventure to the booth museum with HELEN HOCKIN who makes amazing doll mix media sculptures using wax.

 

Mermaid from booth mueum brighton

Mermaid from booth mueum brighton

Pickled bats from booth museum

Pickled bats from booth museum

                  

mark goulding

acc

Weebles' set design

Weebles’ set design

zu studios

This project, to build an indoor concrete skatepark for skateboarders, came to life when the Don (Ricardo Atxukarro) identified a national competition with the chance to win a pot of funding. He told local skateboarder Ollie Swayne about the opportunity, who then wrote in and pitched his idea for an indoor skatepark in Lewes. One month and 930 votes later Ollie was announced the grand winner of £20,000 in competition funding. Since that point SKATEHOUSE has had many volunteers come in and help build the place this is a community interest company ran entirely by volunteers. With the do it your self nature it makes it totally unique and a really special place to work in.

Before shot of pre skate park build session

Before shot of pre skate park build session

Recent Skate jam and photo of mini ramp

Recent Skate jam and photo of mini ramp

The concrete bowl, first thing to be built!

The concrete bowl, first thing to be built!

I shifted my ceramic studio from Southampton ARCHES STUDIOS in to SKATEHOUSE excited about what the future holds. After un packing and making myself at home in my new workshop I have been getting to know the area and taking in all the views and architecture of Lewes. Situated in East Sussex and surrounded by hills and old castle walls this was a big change to Southampton and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Although Southampton is picking up in the Art scene with the XWWX boys art shop and the HAHA gallery opening up!

River view

River view

Head in antique market

Head in antique market

 

Unpacked studio

Unpacked studio

Organised studio :)

Organised studio :)

Working on clay mask

Working on clay mask

Donated kiln

Donated kiln

 

I have discovered that Lewes has an appreciation for art and artist and are very open and welcoming to try out new things. After some strolling around Lewes keeping an eye open for anywhere I would think may be interested in my ceramics I stumbled across a pottery café called LAPORTES. Laportes was an old pottery studio which was renowned for selling clay, making pottery and resident potters. This was later taken over by a mother and daughter and is now a café which still holds its roots of selling handmade wares and ceramics. They now have some of my work on sale there and have done for the past two month.

Laportes

Laportes

Sculptures for sale in Laportes

Sculptures for sale in Laportes

I even managed to find a place that would take my ceramic baby head pipes. I was a little unsure any where would give them a go but one sold within the first week of it being there. TIZZ’S is the only shop in Lewes with a head shop attached selling smoking paraphernalia so this was clearly going to be the place to take them if any.

Tizz's

Tizz’s

Ceramic pipes for sale at Tizz's

Ceramic pipes for sale at Tizz’s

Selection of ceramic pipes

Selection of ceramic pipes

I have helped SKATEHOUSE with its recent Skatejam where I held a clay tile workshop. Now I am awaiting to put these in the kiln and make a mosaic for reception. Myself and volunteers have been salvaging tiles from tops tiles bin across the river and using them to make recycled mosaic to decorate reception with.

Skate Jam

Skate Jam

Directions to art room

Directions to art room

View of art space

View of art space

Clay tile workshop

Clay tile workshop

Clay tile workshop

Clay tile workshop

Clay tiles

Clay tiles

Suz tile bin diving!

Suz tile bin diving!

'Never stop pushing' design by suz

‘Never stop pushing’ design by suz

Volunteers and skateboarders helping to get the mosaic made

Volunteers and skateboarders helping to get the mosaic made

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

We currently have a screen printing workshop, Graphics Designers, 3D Model Maker, Carpentry, BMX and Motercross racers, Skateboarders, Skate coaches Ceramicist and Mosaic Artist. With an array of talent, artist and hard workers on board the project I think its going to be a fun and productive summer!

 

Hunch Workshops

Hunch Workshops

Ben Peters Screen printer

Ben Peters Screen printer

Skateboard fixing

Skateboard fixing

Weardoe' girl night session

Weardoe’ girl night session

Grant painting up the front

Grant painting up the front

 

‘Riot here, Riot now’ Exhibtion in W3 Gallery, Acton, London.

1421060_10152007384925903_349880644_o

Back in late October I was contacted by Lucy Sparrow aka sew your soul she is a felt artist who makes beautiful felt creations replicating day to day items such as a can of beans to more controversial war grenades and weapons of mass destruction hanging from a large periodic table. You can see her current show in Camden, London, Camden High street 159 along with street artists DRB and ATM who were also in the ‘Riot here, Riot now’ group exhibition. Check out Test Space Collective to find out more about Lucy Sparrow, DRB, ATM and other current art in Camden town.

baked beans -- lucy sparrow

baked beans — lucy sparrow

periodic table of mass destruction

DRB

DRB

1381818_1463028493921406_1226312716_n

DRB

ATM

ATM

Lucy had seen my ‘This is England’ mosaic on facebook via our mutual friend and artist Carrie Reichardt. Carrie is a mosaic, ceramic, renegade potter and political activist based in a mind blowing mosaic house in Acton, London. Carrie has been an inspiration to me for some years now and offers wisdom and support to artists and the community which is appreciated by many. To follow Carrie and her artist movements catch up on her adventures on her blog . she is currently in Chile with her apprentice and artist Sian Wonnish Smith showing Chile how British anarchist mosaic artists roll!! I was asked to participate in the show ‘Riot here, Riot now’ which was set to be a political craft group show in W3 Gallery, Acton, London. I of course said yes as this is exactly where I wanted my new mosaic to be displayed along side lots of other strong minded artists who wish to speak out about political issues through their art.

Sian creating new work in Chile

Sian creating new work in Chile

Carries new mosaic in Chile

Carries new mosaic in Chile

Carrie mosaics home in London

Carrie mosaics home in London

I was excited to have been contacted for my mosaic piece being it I am very new to using mosaics as a median to express. I had recently been part of a group show within my studio The Arches where we had the theme of flags to follow. I saw this as an opportunity to try out mosaics as I had always been curious and thought I could add more of a clear message in my art.

This is England = Claire Heath ART

This is England = Claire Heath ART

I was working as a support worker for victims of human trafficking in a charity called The Medaille Trust. I had been here for nearly two years and felt quite knowledgeable and over whelmed with the stories I had listened to and comforted victims for hours with. I wanted to be able to express these emotions I had developed over this time in a piece of art that holds a strong meaning for me and that I can put out into society to feel too. I decided to make the English flag to show how trafficked illegal immigrants come to England and what can often be in store for them on the other side. We pride ourselves as a strong and rich country and this is what other countries believe to be true also however the truth of it is very different for certain individuals who are tricked into coming to the UK for a better way of life and to earn more money. They will arrive and are instantly in debt and trapped with their traffickers they are mentally and a lot of the time physical enslaved. ‘This is England’ for those people.

I started by salvaging plates from the safe house I was working in which the women would eat from as I knew I could use those in making mosaics. I wanted to get some ceramic transfers printed of some ‘tart cards’ these are sex cards found in phone boxes. Mike Emberson head of Medaille Trust and an ambassador of anti-human trafficking had given me thousands of these phone cards so I finally realised a higher use for them. I smashed up all the plates in a material bag with a hammer and began the puzzle of laying the broken pieces into a St George English flag I had drawn out onto a piece of wood. It was a lengthy process and the uneven plates made it very tricky to get an even and tidy finish but over all I was satisfied with what I had created. I had created a piece which carried depth, political value and emotion. I could even use my ceramic baby heads in there to provoke the idea of what some of these women who are forced into prostituting themselves happens to them i.e pregnancy, abortions and rape. If you look closely you will see some love hearts these were created by some of the women in the house when I would hold clay workshops with them and take them to the local pottery shop (which you can read a published article on page 7 here). I think its amazing and inspiring that these women who have been through so much have the strength to move on and appreciate and put their trust in charities like Medaille to create and push for a better life for themselves away from harm and cruelty.

1014222_625851724122168_245886369_n

I created another mosaic to accompany the flag piece, I found a coffee table in the skip and used it as a surface for a mosaic. One of the most common ways of women being trafficked into the UK is through ‘Lover boys’. A lover boy is someone who will pretend to be their boyfriend in their home country for sometime before they move to the UK. The women fall in love with this man and the man will make a point of meeting her family and any one else who is important them. The women is encouraged to move to the UK. On arrival into the UK the women are still under the illusion that the boyfriend is in love with them even when the boyfriend tells the women that she must prostitute herself to be able to pay back the money it costs to travel to the UK. Sometimes the women will put up a fight but this doesn’t last long, they are scared into thinking if they run away then the police will put them in jail for being in the country illegally and on top of that the boyfriend (trafficker) will threaten to kill their families back home. Sometimes the ‘Lover boy’ will have numerous women in love with him in as they are brainwashed to believe he loves them and is looking after them as they have nothing or know one else in the UK. I decided this coffee table piece should be titled ‘Ill give you my heart on a plate’ hence how the women give their fragile hearts away, I think this is represented in the fragility of the ceramics and the use of plates within the piece. When women come into the care of anti-trafficking charities either pregnant or with babies born through rape they are supported in their process of recovery its is a slow recovery but with the right support they can learn to be independent again and cope with becoming a parent.

'Ill give you my heart on a plate'

‘Ill give you my heart on a plate’

'Ill give you my heart on a plate'

‘Ill give you my heart on a plate’

Claire Heath

Claire Heath

A fellow artist and sculptor from The Arches studio Chris Cudlip was interested in the show I had been invited to exhibit in. He had a carved wooden badger holding a gun which happened to fit perfectly into the theme of political craft so it was good news for both us artist to make our way to London together for the show. Look into anti-culling to see what exactly is happening to badgers at the moment, its pretty horrific.

Chris Cudlip Badger

Chris Cudlip Badger

I was exhibiting along side some incredibly talented street artists, sculptors, ceramicists, felt artists, permaculture artists, mosaic artists, painters I was truly flattered and appreciative to be surrounded by such inspirational people. I am on the look out for space to be able to tour this show as I think the work in it has some incredibly important messages which all classes of society needs to see and feel. Below is some photography from the show I hope you can get an understanding of some of the messages within the art.

Webbo orc activist jars

Webbo orc activist jars

Webbo orc activist scene

Webbo orc activist scene

Lady Muck glass from London RIOT badge

Lady Muck glass from London RIOT badge

Lady Muck recycled keyrings

Lady Muck recycled keyrings

Tony Blair - Carrie Reaichardt

Tony Blair – Carrie Reaichardt

Mad in England - Carrie Reichardt

Mad in England – Carrie Reichardt

lizard queen - Carrie

lizard queen – Carrie

 
Cyber women - Spunky

Cyber women – Spunky

Another artist talks out about the closures of traditional workshops in Portmouth University

Bouke de Vries 'War and pieces'

Bouke de Vries ‘War and pieces’

Ceramic artist Bouke de Vries held a lecture in Porstmouth Aspex gallery where he said it was very short sight of the University to close down the ceramics workshop. I strongly agree with this and being that I hadn’t written anything on this blog to do with my experiences on the matter I thought now would be a good time to document a few things.

I studied at Portsmouth University. I done my foundation year there and then follwed on to do the BA Fine Art degree. I found myself working with clay half way through my second year and really taking advantage of the ceramic workshop. Without this facility I feel I would have been loosing out and potentially not having the passion for art I do now. When I graduated I continued on to do a voluntary internship within the ceramics workshop along side the head technician. Within this time I got wind of plans to cut the ceramics workshop, small metals/ jewelry workshop, BA 3d design degree, Foundation year alongside all the job losses which would accompany this. Obviously I was very upset by this and felt it only right that people should know this secretive and destructive information.

Me with my degree show piece 'ceramic totem pole, brand baby nation'

Me with my degree show piece ‘ceramic totem pole, brand baby nation’

front of eldon

Front of Eldon building, Portsmouth University

I began by informing the students within the University of these planned closures and cuts. To my surprise not many people had a clue about the closures which seemed very sneaky to me. The meetings I held among students began to make some impact so it was agreed a peaceful protest would be held outside of Eldon building on Wednesday 26th October 2011. We held banner making workshops, students designed anti cuts prints and stickers the whole thing was very peaceful and pleasant. A few days before the protest I was told I was to loose my voluntary internship due to a facebook group I had created to invite and inform people of the cuts within the uni apparently it was a conflict of interest to my internship. This was quite a distressing time for myself and many of the lecturers within the uni, everyone was on edge of loosing their jobs and I think after seeing how easily I was dismissed this made people even more nervous. I had much support from the lecturers union and outside support from socialist workers and other union members. My past tutor John Molynuex supported myself and lecturers through out this period who I am very grateful with his kind words and efforts to attempt tp prevail these closures.

John Molynuex mask I wore to speak out his statement out one of the demo’s

Made by Rachal Victoria Wisniak student on the Fine Art degree

save tradit

Follow the links to some articles written by local newspapers and student newspapers.

Below taken from Portsmouth student newspaper. A photography student writes in complaining of cuts and closures.

http://www.galleonnews.com/2011/10/no-eldon-cuts/

eldon-protest-1

Below taken from Portsmouth student newspaper. An article to inform people of the protest to take place over the cuts and closures to the arts..

http://www.galleonnews.com/2011/10/students-plan-arts-cuts-protest/

eldon-protest-3

Below taken from Portsmouth student newspaper ‘The Galleon’. Describing the protest and also the sacking of me from my internship.

http://www.galleonnews.com/2011/11/staff-and-students-fight-arts-cuts-in-series-of-protests/

Below taken from Portsmouth local newspaper covering our first peaceful protest outside of Eldon building.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/education/protest-against-cuts-to-arts-at-university-1-3185170

speaking out about the cuts!

speaking out about the cuts!

Below taken from the second protest rallied outside Eldon. Written by Portsmouth local newspaper.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/education/portsmouth-students-keep-up-protests-over-arts-cuts-1-3208725

Breaking new

Below is taken from the supposed to be ‘glam’ photo shoot of Sheila Hancock,Vice Councillor John Craven and Dean of Eldon building Simon Claridge breaking the ground outside of the university to show the beginning of the new build but no mention of loss of jobs and closures of workshop in order to make this new build. Myself and a group of other activists sabotaged the shoot with a great interview from student and comrade Sam Bogg.

sheila

Sheila Hancock ‘breaking ground’

http://www.galleonnews.com/2012/02/ground-broken-at-new-eldon-building-site/

Also a video was recorded on the day of the shoot putting the vice Councillor John Craven and Dean Simon Claridge on the spot to ask some questions over the cuts, job losses and my unfair dismissal. Thanks again to Sam Bogg.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylo5UoEstg0

Continuing the no cuts to eldon campaign 

Myself and some friends from the university including Johnny Haymer organised a music and art evening to get people together to discuss tactics on keeping the workshops from being axed. We walked along side 3000 people in Portsmouth on the 30th November 2011 for a national day of action in protest against government plans to change public sector pensions where I stood up and expressed my concern with Portsmouth Universities politics and how it treats its staff and students.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/striking-workers-stage-guildhall-square-rally-1-3293804

3000 strong in Portsmouth guildhall

3000 strong in Portsmouth guildhall

332666_10150430008280903_117497626_o

music and awareness night

music and awareness night

me and mo the best ceramic technician EVER

me and mo the best ceramic technician EVER

Bouke_mask1 copy 2

bouke de vries

Bouke de Vries Speaking out along side Grayson Perry

I find it quite ironic that a University who has dismissed its ceramics is then to invite a ceramic artist to talk to its students. I took the below quote from the ticket purchasing site https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/artsouth-talk-bouke-de-vries-tickets-8348991057?utm_campaign=event_reminder&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=event_title

‘Commissioned as part of artSOUTH : collaborations by the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries in collaboration with Portsmouth City Museums, Archives and Visitor Services and aspex, Bouke de Vries has selected a single 19th century glass from the collection to create a ‘ghost’ vessel on exhibition ataspex.’

See the artist Bouke de Vries here http://www.boukedevries.com/

Grayson Perry with one of his pots

Grayson Perry with one of his pots

After artist Bouke de Vries had finished the lecture I had a friend ask his opinion of the workshop closures to which he replied ‘I think it was very short sighted of the university to close the workshops as ceramics is becoming popular again’. This was a similar response to what his friend Grayson Perry replied when doing an interview with ‘The times higher education’. As Grayson Perry attended Portsmouth University when it was a polytechnic receiving his BA in Fine Art saying “To make good objects you need to have a relationship with the material. When I was a student we were allowed to use any department – woodwork, ceramics, painting”. Read here the article with Grayson Perry –

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/disquiet-over-plans-for-portsmouths-school-of-art/418114.article

Another article by Artlyst and Grayson Perry speaking out about the cuts.

http://www.artlyst.com/articles/grayson-perry-decries-portsmouth-plans-to-cut-crafts

Article by Portsmouth News over Grayson Perry talking out about the cuts.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/education/turner-prize-winning-artist-hits-out-at-cut-to-university-of-portsmouth-arts-courses-1-3235656

Time to let go

Although the ‘no cuts to eldon campaign’ was becoming strong, I was becoming weak. I had moved back to my hometown of Southampton where I found myself a nice spot in a pottery studio. I had begun making art again which I loved and I was loosing my fight. The decision to close the workshops had been made and the motions were going forward. It was sad to let go of the campaign but it was starting to bring me down, I had been treated very badly by certain staff at Portsmouth University and for that I will always remember. I am unsure of how the University is now and what progress has been made I only feel bad for the students within it who have not the luxury of these great workshops which once were. As student fees go up it seems the quality of the education is coming down, what a backwards thing that is.

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