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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!