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…….


Oakwood School Art Competition WINNER…

by Emily Pitts on June 24, 2012

in Art Projects, News

And the winner of the Oakwood Art Competition is….Jane.

Congratulations to Jane, who produced some lovely drawings and worked hard to put into practise new techniques learned whilst on a school trip in the Dordogne, France.  She was really willing to try out new things and to develop her thinking and her skills in all areas.  She persevered and using a limited palate of materials that we had brought with us for this task, created the interesting image you see above.

The trip, which took place last month, in Beaulieu sur Dordogne, included visits out around the local area to sketch and observe the peculiarities of a provincial French town with seven young people from Oakwood High School in Salford.  As an accompanying artist I travelled with and stayed with the young people Sunday – Friday, incorporating a derive walk through the suburban landscape, sketching in cafes and developing work in response to the Fauve movement, looking particularly at colour and re-interpreting some of the ideas of the fauves using collage, with limited a self-imposed limited palette of resources, to inspire thought and questioning amongst the group and to stretch their thought processes whilst creating the work.  One of the things that worked particularly well was five-minute sketches.  The young people felt that this was something new they could try that was fun and brought different results that you don’t necessarily get when you work for a long period of time on a piece.  It can also help you to plan other drawings more easily and to see what the most important parts of a drawing might be.   Give it a try and let me know how it goes:

The results of the competition and the sketch sessions were excellent, with a really wide range of thoughtful and exciting interpretations of the landscape of the town, which you will see from the pictures attached to the blog.  Aside from the work for the competition, the young people developed and particularly enjoyed the sketching sessions, more time for which will be incorporated into future trips.  Some young people chose to continue to sketch outside of our session times, finding it relaxing and quite a consuming activity.  Congratulations to everyone who took part and for working hard.

Later this year I will be working with another small group of young people on a project focussing on Russian Constructivism/Rodchenko and Popova and bringing together creative, mathematical and construction skills to create another provocative and high quality collaborative artwork.

Here are just some of the images produced on this trip:


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.


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.


STOP PRESS:  Santa is officially visiting this Saturday’s Craft Fair at Inspire – Saturday 3rd December 12-4 – so don’t miss out on your chance to meet him and have your photo taken to take home and remember your visit.  He’ll be arriving to a super duper grotto at Inspire at around Midday, so come along and meet him and bring all your friends.  You can even have a photo with you, your friends and Santa!!

Where:  Inspire Levenshulme, 747 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme.  M19 3AR

When: Saturday 3rd December 2011: 12-4pm

Also on… badge-making with the wonderful Laurie Pink, bracelet-making and much more fun for kids !!!

Come and join in!


Buy Art Fair 2011

by Emily Pitts on October 27, 2011

in Art Exhibitions, Latest For Sale, News, Offers

This week sees the fourth Buy Art Fair, taking place at Spinningfields in Manchester.  If you’re in the market for some high quality art at an affordable price then this is the place for you.

Galleries and individual artists from across the country are coming together to show you the very best in original and affordable art, from limited editiion prints, to acrylic paintings, conceptual artworks and sculpture.  There is something for everyone.

Preview night: Thursday 27th October 5-9pm

Opening Times:

Friday 28th October: 11-7

Saturday 29th October: 11-6

Sunday 30th October: 11-5

Venue: Situated directly adjacent to the Opera House and on the free Metroshuttle bus route, the Fair couldn’t be easier to get to.

Address: Quay House, Quay Street, Manchester.  M3 3AQ

Win Free Tickets

I have 5 pairs of free tickets to give away to the first people to email me:  Get in quick for your chance to see the best art of the UK for free!

Come and visit me at stand 18 with code ‘Cake is Heaven’ for a 5% discount on purchases of my work.

I look forward to seeing you at the Fair.


4 Week Class Starting September 5th

This class will run every Monday evening for 4 weeks, for beginners and those who have some experience of drawing and painting.  The course will introduce you to the basics of acrylic painting, making use of sketching, investigations in colour and a range of techniques to develop your own methods of creative expression.

Class Size: 4 people maximum.  The class will be small and offer one to one advice and support for you to develop your practice as an individual.  Each week we will take a single object or subject and focus on using different ways to produce a creative response.  Below are some images of the art class currently running at Inspire in Levenshulme every Friday.

Venue: The class will run at my home studio in Denton:  3, Balmoral Drive, M34 2JT.

Cost: £70, including materials (paint, paper, pencils and any other materials required.  There will be an additional cost for canvas, if you choose to produce work on canvas during the course).  Payment can be made by Bank transfer or cash by August 26th.

How to sign up: If you would like to join the class, please email me at  You will be sent a confirmation email with joining instructions and details of payment.



For the duration of the Chorlton Arts Festival a selection of my work incorporating text will be on exhibition at the Nip and Tipple in Chorlton, Manchester.

The works span from 1999 to present, offering a precursor for other work being developed for the Buy Art Fair in October at Spinningfields in Manchester City Centre and for private commissions.

The work exemplifies my interest in language, communication and materials, exploring issues and themes that include identity, culture, relationships, gender and mental health.  The use of text is minimal, bringing into question meaning and legibility, whilst the scope of the breadth of the works challenges the notion of the artist maintaining a single identifiable form throughout their work.  One work includes cutting of the canvas, whilst another uses hair, an ephemeral and tactile material.  These investigate both their individual themes and the wider theme of boundaries between a ‘painting’ and ‘sculpture’. At what point is the line between the two crossed and why do we feel a need to put art into such narrowly defined boxes?

If you’re interested in Art and text or just like the idea of perusing the work with a beer or coffee in hand, make your way to the Nip and Tipple, Upper Chorlton Rd from 19th to 30th May.

You may also be interested in the discussion on 23rd May entitled Wordy Women – 7.30pm at Chorlton Library.


Following a full day film shoot on Thursday 5th May with a talented and skilled crew and cast, I can confirm the Film Screening of ‘An Intervention in Chorlton’, a concept developed for Chorlton Arts Festival by the Internation Intervention Clash Mob, of which I am a part.

The project centres on the concept of bringing two everyday ‘worlds’, the home and the bus stop, together to re-engage the public in their spaces and explore familiar places afresh.  Thanks to a skilled cast, the public responded wonderfully to our work on the day and have provided the basis of a fascinating and insightful film which documents the day’s events and explores the ideas of collaborative working, public art and performance outside of traditional spaces.

The film will be screened at Oddest, 414 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton. M21 0SD on Thursday 19th May at 7.30pm

The event is free and open to all, so please come along.

For more information, you can contact me by email, phone or the contact form below.


New Art Class Starting at Levenshulme Inspire – May

Following a series of successful classes before Easter I have commenced a new series of classes on Fridays 10-12 at the wonderful venue of Inspire in Levenshulme.  Situated on the A6 only 5 minutes from Levenshulme station, the venue is in a converted church, with a cafe where you can grab a coffee to bring into the relaxed and stimulating classes, which run for 2 hours every Friday.

The class is a flexible and engaging class, where you are invited to bring ideas and develop your own interests.  I encourage everyone to develop their skills in drawing, painting and sketching.  At present we are looking at individual objects, with the aim of building up an arsenal of skills to create a whole composition and hopefully to exhibit some work in the cafe area of the Inspire centre in the future.   We have beginners and people who have painted before, so whatever your level of experience and skill, you will receive a warm welcome and encouragement in my classes.

If you feel this class is for you, take a look at the photos below and either email me or turn up at 9.50am on Friday to join the class.  You can join the class for 30 minutes for a free taster if you would like to see if it is for you – try us out!

The class costs £28 for 4 weeks.  This includes all materials and equipment as well as one to one attention during the class, focussing on you and your particular interests.

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