Art Commission

Over the past four months I’ve been working at Bluecoat Arts Centre with a group of volunteers on their Growing Creativity Project, which is helping people with learning difficulties and disabilities to reshape the Bluecoat Garden and create some unique artwork for the outdoors space.

The Bluecoat Arts Centre is situated in the heart of Liverpool in an 18th Century Unesco World Heritage and Grade One listed building.  The walled garden is a haven within the bustle of the city and I am fortunate to have been asked to take a lead on the growing creativity project.  The aims of the project are to help volunteers to stay active, to contribute, to learn, to connect and to take notice – The Five Ways to Wellbeing.

With this in mind we’ve been working on developing the garden into a more native place, with native plants replacing ones which were put in following redevelopment in 2008.

At the same time we’ve developed some artwork which incorporates designs from the volunteers with people’s memories of the garden – there are people who have been coming here for over 30 years, so the garden sparks a lot of emotion in the heart of Liverpudlians.  The artwork is now being created and will be installed towards the end of October when we hope to hold an open event for you to come and see it.  If you have a memory of the Bluecoat, there’s still time for it to become part of our artwork – just pop into the Bluecoat and ask reception for a Growing Creativity Postcard to fill in.

Drop it in the box on reception and wait for the magic to happen.  All will be revealed soon…….

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I have been very fortunate to work with Groundwork Cheshire on a commission at their Grozone project since October.  The commission is an extended participatory project – working with volunteers and visitors to the Community Garden to create an arts trail using materials from the garden around the theme of Humans within our Landscape.

At the first session we worked together on a creative ‘writing’ exercise (I did the writing and the volunteers did the creative!).  They produced a wonderful poem, which takes in all of the senses and the experience of being in the garden.

Working with each volunteer individually at different times, I helped them to incorporate their ideas of creativity into a coherent plan, using parts of the garden that were disused and also bringing horticulture and ecology into the plan.

What has developed is an evolving series of works including:

  • A Willow Cloud suspended between two trees
  • A Storytelling Circle with suspended wooden glocks (Almost finished!)
  • An Entrance Wall with a poetry puzzle (still in progress!)
  • A Silver Birch Spider fungus sculpture
  • A stacked wooden staircase (Still in progress)

Volunteers have worked really hard to develop ideas and to help shape the garden and the arts trail, as you will see from the photographs.

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As part of the arts trail commission for Groundwork we have been working with willow grown in the community garden at Grozone in Northwich.

Using nature’s own resources and working with the ethos of Groundwork, the garden and the volunteers we used willow cut freshly from the grounds and from the weeping willows along the nearby river along with stunning dogwood, to make a series of interlocking circles to create a large ‘cloud’ to be suspended as an archway through from one area of the garden to the other.  Within the circles we used string to ‘write’ a part of the poem that the volunteers created during our first session together.

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New York – Wall Painting

by Emily Pitts on June 24, 2011

in Art Commission, Inspired by...

Following an enquiry I was asked to complete this commission on a bedroom wall, for a Manchester-based client.  After an initial consultation, I created a series of mock-ups for the client, to give an idea of the type of image which might work in the space.  As the client was unsure of colour, I developed a series of colour samples from which the client chose their preferred image and colour.

The wall, sized approx. 2.3metres x 2metres, sits within a bedroom unit and is the backdrop for the bed.  The commission, which took approximately four days to plan and complete, has been well received.

If you would like a consultation on the colour, design and pattern in your home, or if you are interested in commissioning a wall painting or canvas painting, please contact me:  Contact Page

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A few months ago I was contacted to complete an artwork commission to celebrate the wedding anniversary of a couple.  The piece focused on the time and place that the couple met and gave me the opportunity to create a unique marker of not only their wedding anniversary but also their way of meeting.

The anniversary was their second, which is traditionally marked by Cotton.  Taking this material and using the place they met as a guide, I undertook research about the place, the event and the weather, which culminated in the piece you can see below.  The piece is a summation of the weather, the place and the explosion of excitement that ensued from the meeting.  I used significant colours from the wedding to symbolise the importance of this meeting to their anniversary.

Here’s what Phil, the commissioner of the artwork, had to say:

“I contacted Emily ahead of my anniversary in order to get her to create something made from cotton. With very little direction Emily created a wonderful picture on canvass that really summed up the day my wife and I met! To say I was showered in brownie points was an understatement. Excellent work!”

If you would like an individual artwork for someone special, please feel free to contact me for an informal chat: Contact Page.


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