Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Shuttle has landed

Did you think I was talking about this one?

No, Nelson now has it's very own version! And here it is, 10, 9, 8, 7... you get the idea...

It's still a building site and you won't be able to touch it until 20th August.

Here it is with it's creator - David Palmer.

Look at the lovely glass, to represent the threads I believe. And can you see the footprints?

And here is the view of the top - must have been taken from the crane.

So, the piece seems to have divided people, a bit like marmite! Which by the way I love. So what do you think? I like it, and may even grow to love it, these things do take time, as Phil Collins aptly said. (Phil Collins and aptly in the same sentence, who'd have thunk it!).

Oh and a number of people think is has rusted already, but it hasn't it is meant to look like that - it's the same material as The Angel of The North, below...

Oh I love it so... It makes me feel inspired and protected as the same time, wonderful!

Ta Ta


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

New Exhibitors

As promised, here is a sneek peek of the artists we will have exhibiting over the next 12-18 months. I don't have all the titles of the work so I am just putting the artists name down. Enjoy...

Geoff Brindle

Fashion Designs by Nudrat Mughal

Photograph by Paul Floyd Blake

Photograph by Graham Dean

John Bradbury

Gosha Gibek

Charlotte Carman

Joe Hesketh

Kaite Helps

The Georgian Dragon, Art Collective

Sharon Chadwick

And this is just a selection, there are more! I am really excited about seeing all the new work and getting to know all the artists.

I hope you are too?

Ta Ta


Nelson Monopoly flyering

It's Monopoly of course! After a recent call out for artists to come up with a moveable project/artwork to accompany walk the planks art car parade, we started the Nelson Monopoly idea. It's all the brainwave of local artist Roger Hesketh and here he is...

Roger, above in one of the approximately 3000 poses the local press photographers wanted him to do! Poor Roger!

Anyhow, here is the idea.

To celebrate opening the high street in Nelson back up to cars, on the 20th August, there is going to be a large art car parade (See a gallery of images here) and we wanted a local artist to come up with an idea that could engage local people and interact with the parade itself.

Roger came up with creating a Nelson version of monopoly based on peoples own photographs of Nelson. He would make the giant playing pieces and then a giant board which will be played on the 20th August in the centre of Nelson.

So - we needed to collect the photographs from people - and what better way than by making the giant pieces and wandering around Nelson handing out flyers which tell you where you can submit your Nelson photographs. Email is or you can find the page on facebook by searching Nelson Monopoly Parade. Please do send us some pix.

So here are some pictures of us out and about, enjoying ourselves a lot!

Hanna, Town Centres Officer, modelling the dice hat.

Hanna, showing that the dice hat does fall off!

Paul, Assistant Economic Development Officer, again pretending to be the dice

Paul, in the best hat.

And here is Roger, with some handy photogenic children we managed to stumble across, in one of the many press photo poses

And Roger again posing with the hat.

I hope you enjoyed, I know we did. I think it is a brilliant idea and am going to post the pictures we get sent so you can see them too.

Ta Ta


Friday, 22 July 2011

Do you know what it is yet?

This is what we have been doing today. Sorry for the not so great picture backgrounds but I haven't time to crop them! (You can slap my wrists later!)

Go on, have a guess!

Very obvious or not so much?

Ta Ta


Sheila Smith and Project Pride Comments


Here at The ACE we always like to see what people think about the exhibitions and here are some of the current comments...

Sheila - liked the portrait and the church in particular.
Sheila - enjoyed all your art-work.
Good work and good project! Well done to everyone involved.
Seems loads of fun was had, do more! 
Sheila - your paintings are amazing :-)
Fantastic Project

And then...

Hi Sheila, Great stuff, Dave Dingle is trying to get in touch re his 60th!!! Birthday party. Roger - email address provided (but don't think I should post it here).

Has anyone heard of people leaving personal messages in comments books before - I have to admit I was quite surprised!

Ta Ta


Monday, 18 July 2011


Hi Peeps,

Sorry not managed to post as much as normal this week - been very busy choosing artists for next year in the gallery. Think we have finally decided and promise to put some sneak peek pictures on this week.

Ta Ta


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Nude from back by Sheila Smith

Sheila discussed another work with me.

This is an image that Sheila did during a life drawing class. She explained “I was feeling really inspired and really liked the lighting in this session, as it was more gentle, less harsh than usual”

The entire work took Sheila between 30 minutes and an hour. And here it is….

Nude from back by Sheila Smith

I hope you enjoy hearing the stories behind the work, I know I enjoy finding out about them! Next up; I'll be posting comments and a few other recommended blogs and art websites.

Ta Ta


Farm Buildings Wycoller by Sheila Smith

I asked Sheila to talk a little bit about this work.

Sheila started this work because she wanted to do something different, “I usually do figures and fancied moving into landscapes a bit more. It was the texture of the buildings and the things on the skyline that drew me to this image, and, it’s not the usual touristy image of Wycoller”.

Close up of farm buildings

Close up skyline of the work

I asked Sheila about how she was feeling during the creation of this work. “I usually approach the whole work, but here I spent a lot of time getting the farm buildings in the corner right.” (See image above). Sheila has been working on this picture for months, she struggled to get it to a stage where she was happy with it. Sheila had been working from a photograph she took of the view and thinks that had the photo been better she may have found the process quicker! This was the image that Sheila was up to 2am finishing before we hung the exhibition.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Full Guide and Pictures - Sheila Smith


Sheila has very kindly given me permission to put almost all the images on this blog, so you can see the majority of the exhibition...

Head and Torso by Sheila Smith

Seated Nude by Sheila Smith

Seated Nude by Sheila Smith

Portrait by Sheila Smith

Nude from back by Sheila Smith

Reclining Nude by Sheila Smith

Nude with outstretched arm by Sheila Smith

Farm Buildings, Wycoller by Sheila Smith
Waterolour Gouache Ink

Renaissance Church by Sheila Smith
Watercolour Gouache Ink

And there we have it! Sheila did tell me more details about two of the paintings and I will post the details soon.

Ta Ta


Monday, 11 July 2011

Interview with Karen Alderson

As promised here is the interview with Karen Alderson.

Karen Alderson

Kirsty: So Karen, which do you prefer, ham toastie or cheese toastie?
Karen: Neither, I don’t do bread!

Kirsty: What inspires you in three words?
Karen: Paradox, Power and Intensity.

Kirsty: What was the last thing you dreamt about?
Karen: It was a nightmare actually, there was something about a loss and a threat, it was very frightening, I woke up full of heart pounding fear. I had to get up and get out of bed.

Kirsty: When did you last cry?
Karen: I cry regularly, I am very emotional. It was yesterday listening to a talk on feminism and the loss of sisterhood and the connection of women with women on Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

Kirsty: What makes you laugh?
Karen: Surreal humour, watching people and listening to peoples conversations when you shouldn’t, and odd bits of art, especially when people put it in places you wouldn’t expect.

Kirsty: Describe your workspace or studio?
Karen: I have three rooms in my own house; a textile room, a paint and print room and a thinking room. The thinking room isn’t calm, it’s very colourful, a myriad of colours. I also walk everyday and use that as thinking space too.

Kirsty: How do you come up with the titles of your work?
Karen: They usually present themselves, it’s a meditation process and things just come to me, from my subconscious.

Kirsty: Are there any other artists we must check out
Karen: Doris Salcedo, view her work here

Kirsty: Visually, can you recommend a film?
Karen: I don’t do films.

(I don't do many films either, and am always gettng teased for it! Love Karen all the more now)

Kirsty: How do people get in touch with you?
Karen: They can email me at

Kirsty: What is the most frustrating thing about being an artist?
Karen: I don’t feel frustrated in the main, I feel blessed. But it can be difficult to find work sometimes.

Kirsty: And the best?
Karen: The variety and enabling self expression in other people. I feel like I am touching humanity on a regular and deep level.

And on that wonderful sentence I’m signing off.

Ta Ta


Quick Photoshoot


Just been posing for pictures for the Lancashire Telegraph, cheesy smile next to pictures, cheesy smile holding jelly baby bag - and then can you climb behind the dress, balance on one leg and lean out smiling the cheesy smile!

Did feel a bit silly!

Ta Ta


Friday, 8 July 2011

Project Pride Opening

Here is a pic of the lovely ladies responsible for this art work...

It was a good launch last night, lovely food and got chance to do a bit of sewing!

Ta Ta


Monday, 4 July 2011

Project Pride

This is the project pride exhibition.

Karen is an artist and facilitator who has been working on project pride. First let’s take a look at the work of project pride and later on I will post an interview all about Karen and her work as an artist. 

Project Pride has worked with a group of 14 female year 9 students from Marsden Heights Community College to look at the history of trade in Nelson and how that has influenced how Nelson is today.

Project Pride Nelson’s aims are 
-to enable young people involved in the project to learn about how Nelson has developed through the growth of trade and industry to be the place it is today. 
-to uncover never before told stories, unsung heroes and secret histories of the town centre, the shops and markets
-to re-tell these stories in a way that is accessible to the public so that the local community can share them
-to give the local community and project participants good reasons to be proud of where they live and shop.

Read the full Project Pride blog here

The project itself was research based to start with and the students went to Nelson Library, participated in history walks, went to the Lancashire recorids office and looked at various artifacts, like old textiles and maps.

The girls then went and interviewed women from their families and talked about their shopping habits in Nelson and how these have changed over their lifetime. Karen explains how she was helping the group to begin to look at identity construction in a local capacity and this is how they came to the concept of a wedding dress that references female identity.

Here is the finished work

Here are the accessories (to the left in above picture)

The dress itself was bought second hand and once they had it, the group started to think about how they could change the dress to show people what they had learnt about Nelson.

One of the main things they had discovered was that one of the very first suffragettes came from Nelson. Selina Cooper (WIKI link) was actively involved in Nelson politics for over 50 years and yet only a small blue plaque commemorates her locally.

Images of Selina are around the bottom of the dress.

The group were inspired by this lady who changed history.

All the patchwork on the side of the dress references the textile industry.

There is a section on the front of the dress that is designed to show what the students wanted for women in the future – respect and safe community spaces – which are similar aims to the suffragettes all that time ago.

The houses on the back of the dress reference the terraces of Nelson.

And the dress folds itself represent Pendle Hill.

 Here is the dress from the back.

The whole project took about 4 months from start to finish, and overall I think it is a wonderful piece of art, that means so much more once the story is explained!

I will be posting the interview with Karen shortly, so keep checking back.

Ta Ta