Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter April 2018
Read all about our current work, get in touch for more info and please share with a friend or colleague to help us spread the word. 
Director's Blog

It is with despondency that I see there are yet more cuts enforced on the arts industry. This time at the hands of Arts Council Northern Ireland. I started my career in Belfast, running a theatre company with a group of friends, and have a love for the place and its people. It is a beautiful, inspiring, hugely entertaining and provocative place to work and visit, and it is such a shame that colleagues there are facing such a savage funding environment. This comes only months after the cuts imposed by Creative Scotland, and brings into focus the necessity for organisations and employees in the arts to be resilient, both financially and emotionally.

I feel very lucky, then, to be part of Boosting Resilience, one of four Arts Council England funded initiatives, encouraging and upskilling organisations to be more resilient through income diversification, entrepreneurialism and resilient leadership. 
This initiative is led by The School for Social Entrepreneurs, and on our most recent residency, one topic, that is again in the headlines today, was at the forefront of our conversation. Less than a fifth of employees working in music, performing and visual arts are from a working-class background, a new report claims. The study reveals a "significant and longstanding lack of social mobility" in the creative industries. At Creativity Works, we put the Creative Case for Diversity at the heart of our work, and much of our delivery is focused on those with mental health issues, and those from a low socio-economic background.   Although 'socio-economic background' is not a protected characteristic, it is a matter that is included in ACE's work on equality and diversity. Whilst, however, there now seems to be endless tick-box options for what race you are, and an increase, quite rightly, in the reporting factors for gender and sexuality, there are no questions on their monitoring forms for socio-economic background. Is it too difficult to think of questions? Are people afraid of offending participants and audiences by asking what their background is? We wondered whether asking about free-school meals, or where you were schooled could be relevant questions. But it didn't seem these would give us satisfactory data. It is no longer adequate to gain such insight from postcodes, especially in areas such as London, or indeed Frome where I now live, where many traditionally poorer areas are now gentrified.
Interestingly, we work in partnership with the Adult Learning Service (one of the biggest providers of arts activity in the country) on a variety of projects, and they do ask questions concerning receipt of benefits and employment status.

I continued this same discussion at our recent co|Create steering group meeting, where the members of the group, all artists themselves, felt that direct questions were legitimate to ensure that we as a sector are indeed reaching those from a poorer socio-economic background. It has been very well articulated by a member of our Somer Valley Co-Producers group, working alongside The Naturals to deliver the arts development commission in The Somer Valley, that price is one of, if not the, biggest barrier to participation in the arts in that area.
I certainly don't have the answers, however I do think that the debate around class, diversity and inclusion needs to be kept high on the agenda. Please do get in touch with me if you have an insight into this area of work, or know of relevant and progressive solutions to the problem of gathering data around people's backgrounds to inform organisations' reach. There may well be some fantastic work going on out there that I am totally unaware of.  We at Creativity Works, will definitely keep striving to be as accessible and diverse in our approach as we possibly can be.


Director, Creativity Works
GDPR - Changes to the data protection act
You may be aware that a new data protection act comes into force on the 25th May this year. You may have noticed that other newsletters you subscribe to have been asking you to opt-in to receive communications from them. We carried out this op-in exercise last year and have made changes to the way people now sign up to this newsletter to hear from us. We now have a double opt-in process as we can't send you anything unless you've given us consent.

We are updating our policies and are committed to ensuring that all data we hold is protected and everything we do is in line with the data protection act. If you have any questions with regards to this - please email us at Thank you.
Made in Foxhill
Made in Foxhill, a new arts project made with the residents of Foxhill, has kicked off and now has it's own website and facebook page where events and project progress is being shared. 

To follow what's going on go to the website and/or the new Facebook Page:

The first community event will be taking place on Saturday 12th May called 'Meet the Makers' and it's opportunity to meet some of the different artists involved with the project, try out some new creative experiences, connect with friends and neighbours and share stories.

For the full list of what's on that day visit:

Do you live in Foxhill and want to get involved? We are looking for creatives, people with a story and anyone who wants to get involved in helping to shape this project.  For more info contact Hannah
Foxhill Photography project
Do you live in Foxhill or Combe Down?

Would you like to:
  • Know more about your local community by exploring it through a lens?
  • Experiment with digital photography
  • Share stories about the social history of Foxhill/Combe Down
  • Learn new skills and creative ways to express yourself
  • Take part in a short walks and discussions
Then why not join our Foxhill Photography Project as part of Made in Foxhill!  No previous experience necessary.
These creative sessions are facilitated by a professional photographer Sally Collister and are aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing for residents of Foxhill/Combe Down. 

When: Thursdays from 3rd May 1pm - 3pm for 12 weeks
Where: Foxhill Community Centre
What to Bring: A camera / smartphone / tablet if you can
Cost: Free
To register:  Contact Max either via email: or give him a call on 01225 316199
B&NES Creative Wellbeing Courses & Groups
A new series of creative workshops aimed at supporting your wellbeing through creativity

Spring into Sculpture
Have you always wanted to have a go at creating 3D art?

Now's your chance! Come and learn how to make models, reliefs and assemblages from clay, card and found objects with artist Helen Grant on this 6 week course. 

We'll be covering the basic techniques of how to make three dimensional art.  Materials provided. 

When: Starts Tuesday 5th June 
Where:  Odd Down Community Centre, Bath 
Time: 1.30 - 3.30pm
Cost:  £2 per session
To register:  Booking essential contact the Wellbeing College 01225 831820 
These sessions are part of the weekly Get Creative group. To find out more about the artist running this visit her website here - Helen Grant
Postcards from Keynsham
Capture the stories of Keynsham through a lens

Do you live in Keynsham? Are you interested in Photography?

Join us for a 10 week participatory photography project to share your own experience of living in Keynsham through photographs. Working with professional photographer Sally Collister, we will look at how to share stories through images and captions, and each participant will produce a final photo story.

Learn some basic composition techniques and photography skills, make visual stories, discuss social history.

When: Wednesdays 11 - 1pm Starting in June. 
Dates: 6, 13, 20, 27 June, 4, 11, 18, 25 July, 1, 8 Aug
Where: One Community Trust, St.John's Church
To register:  Booking essential contact the Wellbeing College 01225 831820 . This project is for Keynsham residents.

FreshArt@ FAB18 - Exhibition and creative workshops

FreshArt@ Bath 2018 has created a collaborative multimedia exhibition inspired by the collections of the Holburne, No. 1 Royal Crescent and the American Museums in Bath. These artworks will go on show at Bath Artists studios at the end of May.

During the exhibition there will be free creative arts, health and wellbeing workshops as part of the engagement programme. For more details please call  01761 438852 or contact

The FreshArt@  project promotes positive wellbeing by engaging with cultural settings and community to create artwork to enliven clinical environments and is supported by Creativity Works, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWP), Bath Museums and Virgin Care. After the exhibition the artwork will be donated to the RUH in Bath.
Join Creative Perspectives and expand your creativity
The peer-led group are keen to welcome new members

Creative Perspectives is a peer-led visual arts creative group in Bath. We offer an opportunity to meet others, learn and share creative ideas and skills, gain confidence in a safe and friendly environment and contribute to the planning and continuation of the group.
The group is planned and run by members for its members with occasional facilitation by visiting artists. It is suitable for those who would like to support their wellbeing through creativity.
There is no set tuition but a volunteer artist is available to assist when needed and all group members have a wide variety of skills and experience in many different mediums.
The group meet on Friday afternoons in central Bath.
This is not a drop-in group but if you are interested in becoming a member please contact: - 01761 438852

Help support the peer-led group Writing Space

Copies of the Writing Space Anthology booklet are now available to buy via our website, with all profits going to support the continued running of the group.

The anthology is an A5 soft cover booklet with 18 original works written by Writing Space members.   Each copy is £3.50 and includes P&P to any UK address (if international postage - please contact us) . I f you would like to buy more than 5 copies, please contact us directly to combine p&p costs.

All profits from the sale of these booklets goes towards supporting the running of the group.
Please allow 14 days for delivery. THANK YOU for your support.

Join Writing Space!

Keen to welcome new members, Writing Space is a creative peer-led support group for anyone who has some experience of writing and would like to meet with others in a friendly informal group to develop and share ideas. You don't have to be a published writer! This group is fun and welcoming to all and is suitable for anyone that would like to develop their writing skills. Bath: Tuesdays 1 - 4pm.

This is not a drop-in group but if you are interested in becoming a member please contact: - 01761 438852

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer call out for The Creative Summer Wellbeing Challenge

Are you interesting in creativity for wellbeing and love using social media?
Do you have any design / film making / marketing skills?
Would you like to be part of a creative project this summer?

If you have any of these skills, we'd love to hear from you as we'll be running our Creative Summer Wellbeing Challenge again this August and are looking for some creative volunteers to get involved. We need your help to make it bigger and better than last year! 

The volunteer role would start in mid June (exact date tbc) and run until the first week of September, with a minimum commitment of 7 hours a week.

If you are interested, or would like more information, please send an email telling us a bit about yourself, your experience and what you'd be able to add to the Summer Wellbeing Challenge.
Email Morwhenna - by Wednesday 30th May.

Artist Call out: Be one of our 'Take-over' Artists this August.
We are also looking for artists who'd like to do a social media 'Take over' as part of our Creative Summer Wellbeing Challenge. 

The challenge, which runs throughout August, is a free programme of daily creative activities that are linked to the 5 ways to wellbeing.  As a 'Take Over Artist' you'll have a great opportunity to share your work and practice with a wide audience and inspire them to join in and explore their own wellbeing through creativity. 

We are looking for 8 artists to be involved each taking over one of our social media channels for a day in August.

Please get in touch if you are interested in being one of our take over artists - We'd love to hear from you - so drop an email to by Wednesday 20 June telling us a bit about yourself and your artistic practice. If you like to be involved in another way - please get in touch!

Artist Profile: Ali and Megan of M2 AIR

Each month we'll be shining the spotlight on an artist that we are currently working with. This month, we've the pleasure to introduce artists Megan and Ali who are M2 AIR. G rab a cuppa and enjoy ;-)

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourselves (and your artistic medium)

We're Megan Clark-Bagnall and Ali Brown and w e share a studio space in Bedminster, Bristol called M2 which is how we met 5 years ago. Since then we've collaborated on a few projects together; sharing tools, skills, conversations and cups of coffee. M2 AIR is our first joint brain child.

Megan:  I make fun/ny projects with people.  My work can result in large-scale installations, sensory experiences, almost-performances, events and celebratory happenings. I make work via deeply interactive and carefully curated participatory processes. My interests encompass scale and size, the kitsch, the present day, the past (and historical references), the future, the mundane and most recently, the pineapple, Elvis Presley and Little Chef restaurants. I enjoy making work that is accessible, questioning, fun, humorous and often a little bit ridiculous. My commissions include; building haystacks from shredded anxiety (Needle In The Haystack, first shown at Bristol Biennial 2014), turning commuter routes and public spaces into social meeting spaces (An Everyday Party, Bristol, 2015), establishing positive letter writing dens inside a National Trust property (Type Away, Surrey, 2012) and turning a swimming pool into a pool table with the help of a young swimming team dressed as pool balls (Pool in the Pool, Crewe Council, 2012).

Ali: I am a Visual Artist and creative collaborator.  I create objects, moments and installations with people, through collaboration we create a space to explore ideas, and tell our stories.  These collaborations often happen in creative workshops and result in work for galleries, public spaces, and community settings.  My work is about connecting the threads that join us all and marvelling at the magic that happens where they meet.

What project/s are you currently working on with Creativity Works?

We established M2 Artist In Residence in 2016 to offer children an opportunity to work as a professional artist for two days inside our shared studio space. With time, resources and us acting as Sous-Artists, the children envisage and build a project on a ten pound budget, which results in a uniquely orchestrated exhibition (more often than not, accompanied by Ribena in wine glasses). Look out for our POP UP M2 AIR ART STUDIO, coming soon to Foxhill! We're looking to work with four talented young local artists to create inspiring new artworks for everyone enjoy. Help us to host  the future artists of Foxhill.

Who inspires you? (and why)

Megan: Vivienne Westwood is a long standing hero of mine. Firstly, because she's from Derbyshire (like me) BUT also because she's a true beacon of strength and style. I saw her speak about Climate Change at Glastonbury Festival in 2014 and she made me cry. It was my birthday (and I was hungover) and more emotional than usual but she's so softly and convincingly spoken that when she speaks she paints pictures. I just saw the artic melting in my mind's eye and the western world filled with fracking devices and I felt full of sorrow. I LOVE that she's roughed the world up a bit with punk but I love even more how pro-active she is. Her political stunts are brilliant and don't get enough air time in the media. I love how she truly takes ownership over her brand. I went to the cinema recently and watched 'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist' and I've been trying to write a 'hello' letter to Viv ever since.... I should have spoken about her below really but Grayson is an equal inspiration to me...

Ali: The Everyday Heroes I meet in the projects I make. The people who are curious enough to notice and brave enough to say yes to taking part - even though its scary.  In my current project Kindness is Everywhere, I have been blown away by the stories people contributed to the project sharing incidents of kindness that they have noticed. These tiny acts of kindness have been so inspiring.

What book or exhibition has inspired you recently?

Megan: Grayson Perry is an inspiration to me. I was lucky enough to be invited on the Private View Preview Tour of his exhibition at Arnolfini. He was BRILLIANT. There was something mildly ironic about him saying 'I want to make art for everyone' as you peered past the tapestries to the cobbled streets outside where ticket holders were queued round the block waiting to come inside and meet Grayson. But not that ironic, the doors did open and Grayson said he took more selfies that night than ever before. That's what I like about him. He's in touch, he watches telly and he uses words I don't need a dictionary for. I've never seen an artist with such a following. It was amazing to see an art gallery filled to the brim with people everyday.

Ali & I went together to see his talk on 'Masculinity' in Bristol's Colston Hall. I was super impressed with how he managed to have a dialogue with such a massive audience. Normally art talks are one artist talking and a bunch of groupies listening to their creative leader but Grayson's brilliant at opening up conversation. He asked the audience to tweet him 'masculinity is....' And during the second half he went through as many tweets as possible and sent the microphone to the tweeters in the audience. I just thought 'what a dude'. He's not a preacher but a proposition-er.

Ali: I am re-reading Maya Angelou 'And still I rise' after what would have been her 90th Birthday last week. Her poetry is just amazing, full of heart, rhythm and power.  Maya Angelou is one of my heroes and this book is one of my favourites.

What's been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?

Megan: When I was at school in Year 4 I painted a watercolour picture of some flowers in a vase. It was quite abstract. My class teacher Mrs Savage asked if she could keep it and I was SO FLATTERED. My mum even took me to her house so I could see it on the wall in the frame. If it wasn't for that moment I don't think I would have considered being an artist. A boy called Adam in my class was so good at drawing that it made my attempts look terrible. Mrs Savage encouraged my out the box thinking and slowly I realised that being an artist is about perspective but not in the drawing sense.

Ali: Showing up everyday and creating, listening, responding.  I was thinking about this just the other day... For me the biggest achievements aren't actually the big things - the big projects. The biggest achievement is keeping going even though sometimes it's really really hard, as well as when everything is easy, brilliant and you feel like you were made to do this. This keeping going and showing up is so often overlooked and deserves some airtime I think, both in life and work!

What are your creative aspirations? (with or without Creativity Works)?

Megan: Hhhmmmmm...... I want to shake up the education system in the UK and change it from the outside in. M2 AIR is a firm believer in Bob & Roberta Smith's quote 'Art Makes Children Powerful' and we come from the standing point that arts should have equal rights within the educational system.  In addition,  I recently built 'The Curiosity Museum' which is 120cm squared in size and can only fit 2 people inside at one time. Described by one young person as 'a sort of time machine' The Curiosity Museum (and accompanying workshop) were designed and created as an alternative outlook to career advice, inviting two young persons at a time to explore the museum and identify their own curiosities to find out what makes them tick. This artistic form of career advice comes from the starting point 'what makes you curious?' as opposed to the old fashioned approach 'what do you want to be when you grown up?' I'd like to see this change within the National Curriculum.

Art has the power to chip away at something from the outside until suddenly you can see daylight through the hole. I hope I can do that!

Ali:  To change the world through making, connecting and creating.  To make more spaces for people to think with their hands and find out what they really think about things. The world needs more voices sharing their own unique perspective and I believe that creativity and connection is the way to find your voice and hear others.

What advice would you give an emerging socially engaged artist?

Megan: Be Social and listen. It sounds simple but it really is key. Chat to people in the street, extend conversations, watch telly, go to a nail bar, listen to the radio and generally tune in! All of this helps to keep you socially informed. You need to connect to the world around you and the people who live in it.
I also find it really useful to build/create a basic framework in which various unfoldings can happen within.

Ali: Notice what you notice, then share it. Stay curious. You will find that there are themes that come up again and again. Notice what they are and build on them.  As artists we are often on the edge of things, working on the edge of organisations and communities. This offers a unique opportunity to see things that you might only see looking in from that edge. So ask questions, and shine a light on the unnoticed. Share these things in new ways that help other people to see things differently and ask questions and notice too.
The Art of Creative Journaling - A Review
A wonderful day was spent last month exploring how artists can use creative journaling to support their practice. One participant shares her experiance with us.

A day exploring THE ART OF CREATIVE JOURNALING with Jill Carter by Sara Firman

What if 'breaking out of the box' were to involve 'opening a box of treasures'? The kinds of treasures that many of us might overlook: from old seed packets, to photos from the past of someone you don't know, to buttons and feathers, and silvered threads or strange scribbled notes. Could you use these gathered and found things to revive thoughts and journeys and happenings with the freshness of unanticipated discovery? And if you did, might you find that even the least of your experiences matter far more than you imagined; that they have a creative life of their own?

Questions like this spilled out as ink on a pristine page. You had to be brave and fearless to make that first mark or to splatter your carefully colour-coordinated dream with outrageous bling. Our guide Jill was skillful in pushing each of us (playfully) over our own brink in just the right way. No need to start on the first page; start in the middle, or at the end, or wherever you wish. It doesn't even have to be book-flat - it can be three-dimensional or multidimensional. Episodes of your life now unconstrained by time lines; no joining up in orderly fashion needed.

Some scribble and hide; others sew then fold; then tape or twist. There's an opportunity to add or take away from an experience whenever and however you choose. Trust that looking at your story (or her story or his) later will bring new perspectives and offer unexpected insights. 'Let your mind go from the place that you previously inhabited,' said Jill, and we did, each in our own ways. 'It's nice to be excited without being told to calm down,' one of us exclaimed. 'I was feeling drawn out and now I've drawn things together,' explained another.

It made sense in ways you'd know if you tried it, and we left there invigorated, ready for more.

Want to make a real and lasting difference in B&NES? Join our board as a Trustee...

With exciting plans for 2018-22 we are looking for Trustees with a strong background in finance, law, HR, IT, business development/social enterprise or property acquisition.

The Board meets six times per year and is a friendly and committed team.

To apply please send a letter outlining your interest and a CV to our Director, Oliver Jones: by 31st May 2018.

"It's good to know that I'm a part of something that has such a huge positive impact for the participants we work with" - Existing Trustee

Creativity Works is a registered charity no.1075812
Dates for your diary 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week 14th - 18th May. 
Activities will include music, art, food, wellbeing advice and more. Free events will be running in and around Bath - look out for our posts on social media to let you know what's on nearer the time

Creativity Works Summer Wellbeing Challenge: 01 - 31 August.
We are looking for volunteers to get involved! See call outs in this newsletter

World Mental Health Day: 10th October
Simply click through Give as You Live every time you shop online to raise money for Creativity Works

Thank you for reading our newsletter. If you would like to follow our updates in between newsletters remember that you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest

With Best Wishes,

The Creativity Works Team

For more information:
Tel: 01761 438852    Email:  

Supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Arts Council England

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