I came to Skimstone Arts as a film maker, striving to achieve my Gold Arts Award. During the process, I became involved in a small group project called Landmarks, where I picked up the basics of photography.
After completing my Gold Arts Award I stayed with Skimstone Arts as a founding member of the Young Artist Collective (YAC) Leadership Team. One of my first roles in the team was to facilitate the group carrying out an external project called Writing Britain at Newcastle City Library. As a part of this process I interviewed artists to choose the most suitable candidate to work with the YAC on the project. The result of this was a project, which led to the creation and launch of the very first young person’s created archive and exhibition, at the Newcastle Arts Centre. I worked in clay for the first time in this project, and celebrated the work of the local artist Thomas Bewick. I also had a trip to London with the YAC to see the wider national Writing Britain project.
As an alumni of Arts Award, and to help me gain more leadership experience, I was invited to take up the position of Arts Award Youth Network Leader for the North East. In this capacity I attended regional and national conferences, advocating Arts Award from a young person’s point of view. I was also included in the development of the young person’s online magazine Arts Award Voice, and the app Arts Box. I was a paid editor of the magazine and also arranged and ran events that introduced young people doing their own Arts Awards to other young people doing Arts Awards at different centres.
Throughout this time, I further explored photography and film in another two projects with the YAC. The first was called Expectations which was housed at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts. The second was called L.I.E which was held at Skimstone Arts’ Studio.
After a consultation with the YAC, the group decided to embark on a music project. Alongside other YAC members who had never played an instrument, I began to learn to play the keyboard. This led to me composing own pieces, and even learning another instrument – the ocarina. Out of the YAC formed the band Reality Boots, of which I am now a member. I feature on the band’s debut album Louder Than Words. For the album launch, I produced a short documentary, following to formation and progress of the band and creation of the album.
During the Youth Music project, I became a trained Arts Award Advisor for bronze a silver, which I now use to help other members of the YAC.
As a short interlude to the music project, for one month we carried out a film project, which let me dust of some old long lost filming skills! Two short films were created in the November Film Project.
I am now working in a paid capacity as a creative writer, photographer and musician in the Natural Anthem project, alongside members of the Skimstone Arts Ensemble.
I am looking forward to completing my training as a Gold Arts Award advisor, and to take up a leading position for the evaluation of the next stage of the Youth Music project.
My time at Skimstone Arts has been invaluable, and it has helped me to develop as a practising artist. I am taking a more active role in looking at the work of other artists, and I am now producing photography as a hobby in my own time.
Reality Boots / Juice Festival
Louder Than Words / Juice Festival
A Natural Anthem
November Film Project
L.I.E (Limitations Imitations Emulations)
Silver Arts Award Training
Bronze Arts Award Training