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Post Date

06 June 2013


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Peace Camp Exhibition 2013

Dear All,

As we’ve not spoken before, I should introduce myself. My name’s Joe Emerick, and for the last five weeks I’ve been working on the communications desk at Artichoke with Anna, JoJo, and Nicky, typing like a madman, unwrapping pictures, and sending many an email. I’m London-based, graduating from Goldsmiths College in 2011. Since then I’ve been working at ski resorts in France, shaping surfboards, and writing blogs. After Artichoke I’m hoping to stay in communications and keep working as a freelance copywriter. If you want to see a picture of me, there's one at the bottom of the page. Rob Evans' competition winner for the Caemas Bay Peace Camp is just too good...

Anyway, nice to meet you.

As you may know from our news page, there’s a Peace Camp exhibition opening in a few days that will be showcasing the brilliant photography and the heart-rendering poetry that went into the encampments and website over the course of 2012.

What you may not know is exactly how this exhibition has come together, what we’ve all been doing to make it happen, and what you can expect from it.

So I’ll tell you.

     We’re holding it in the Poetry Café, which is run by the Poetry Society. It’s on a lovely side street in Covent Garden, and sells some great tea, coffee, wine, beer, and food. We’ve been in five or six times in the last few months, measuring walls and wildly gesticulating as to what we want going where. It’s the perfect environment for an exhibition about love poetry (and they gave us free coffee last time).

      The images and poems going on the walls are mainly contributions from our website, as well as professional photographers. It’ll also be the first display of the photographs taken by the Amateur Photographer Magazine’s Peace Camp Competition winners[1], as well as original poetry submitted to the website from members of the public[2]. As well as their work, there’s a record of their memories and experiences of the event. We think it adds to the depth of the work (and by extension your overall enjoyment of the piece) when you know what the artist was feeling at the time, and what they’re trying to show with their work.

“I remember being engulfed by maybugs at Peace Camp, there were so many of them they were getting in my face and inside my jacket. Apart from that, it was awesome seeing the Godrevy Island illuminated by the tents.” – Keith Johnson, Winner: Cornwall

When I found out that Cliff Beach was hosting one of the Peace Camps I was delighted. I concentrated on taking as many different photos as possible before sunrise. The warmth of the tent lights and the sounds emanating from inside them, combined with the natural sounds, made for a soothing and relaxing experience.  – Tim Riches, Winner: Valtos (Isle of Lewis)

The photos and poems were chosen from a whole raft of work submitted by the general public, and wowed us to the extent that the word ‘amateur’ didn’t seem to apply.

If that isn't enough to get you interested, the work will be staying around for a whole month, giving you plenty of time to have a look. Whether you’re passing through Covent Garden on a Saturday morning, or out and about with friends, just stick your head round the door and have a look at some truly remarkable photography, beautiful poems and maybe even borrow one of the MP3 players and listen to the soundscape for the full experience. You never know, you could leave with love poetry echoing through your head, and bump into the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with (if your life is the subject of a Richard Curtis film). More likely, you’ll just have had a really nice time.



Artichoke Communications Intern

[1]Competition winners were: Charles Kirkpatrick, Anne McNamee, Claire Leith, Rob Evans, Jon Franklin, Tim Riches, Keith Johnson, and Jacqui Barry.

[2]Poets who’s work will be on display are: Aedin Geary, Amanda Pengelly, Annamaria Murphy, Cate Parish, Dave Young, Jocelyn Murgatroyd, John Currie, Kate Dempsey, Knotbrook Taylor, Marsha Sanders, Simon Peter West, Tony O’Dwyer.

Post Date

01 March 2013


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New Girl in Town

I must admit I started my first week at Artichoke a little bleary eyed, having said goodbye to Cardiff just two days before and my new bedroom in London was still looking a bit like it belonged to a serial hoarder (ie full to bursting with cardboard boxes!)  

Anyway, my first five days getting to know the team at Artichoke have certainly perked me up a bit.  As their new Communications Officer, we are just about to start planning our work for Lumiere, so it’s a good time to start!  With this in mind, Anna packed me off to Durham on Wednesday to get to know the City a little better.  I spent three years studying my English degree in nearby Newcastle so I was very excited about being back in the North East, and I was blessed with unusually bright blue skies during my time there! 

When not pretending I was Orienteering (map on clipboard in hand) I also met with two of the companies who will be creating work for the festival.  We’re keeping who they are under wraps for the moment, but I can tell you they were both from outside the UK and one of them was wearing particularly impressive orange leather trousers.

With me and Anna both hailing from the Land of our Fathers, we’ve both been celebrating St David’s Day in the Artichoke office today.  Any suggestions on where to find emergency supplies of Welsh Cakes are most welcome.

Post Date

28 January 2013


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Lumiere’s biggest fan?

Yesterday was Monday. We turned up to the office in the morning with all the expectation of an average Monday. Imagine then, if you can, our absolute delight when we received an email from a Lumiere fan who had spent several hours out in the recent freeze constructing his very own "snow cathedral" in tribute to Lumiere. This was no ordinary Monday...

Snow good!

This is the fabulous creation of Florian B. Soulard who decided to take advantage of the recent flurries of the fluffy white stuff by crafting a miniature version of Durham's iconic Norman cathedral. Florian is a PhD student at Durham University studying Digital Holography so we can see where his excitement for Lumiere comes from. Not only is the snow cathedral impressive enough, but Florian achieved the ultimate effect by projecting images from a video projector to create an amazing homage to the son-et-lumiere Crown of Light seen on Durham's cathedral at Lumiere in 2009 and 2011. Click through the pics below. Inspired!

Florian said: I enjoyed the light shows in 2011, in particular the projections of manuscripts and stained-glass windows on the cathedral. Inspired by the recent snow falls, I built a "snow cathedral" in my garden (I thought it would be more original than a classic snowman!). Looking forward to Durham Lumiere 2013!

Look how happy he looks. We love this. And even though we're still a bit shivery from the cold, this truly warms the cockles. From all of us here at Artichoke, thanks Florian!

An InTents Moment

After a whistle-stop tour around the UK, InTents popped up along London's South Bank as part of Southbank Centre's National Poetry Day Live.

As part of this summer’s poetry project Peace Camp, we launched a UK-wide schools project with over 400 students taking part. Made possible by our Learning and Participation Producer Miriam Nelken, InTents was facilitated by some of the UK’s best artist-educators, with children and young people, from the Isle of Skye to the tip of Cornwall, taking part. Inspired by the themes of love, language and landscape, groups of students wrote poems and made art installations to be explored in specially commissioned bell tents.

On Thursday 4 October, seven of the tents were brought together from all corners of the UK as part of Southbank Centre's National Poetry Day Live (NPDL). These ‘pop-up’ poetry tents formed a trail along the South Bank and delighted many a passer-by. As well showcasing their tents, the students also opened the festivities by reading poems they had created during the InTents project. This marked the first time that young people had taken to the stage during NPDL and it was so successful that Southbank Centre said they would welcome more in the future.

We thank the schools, staff, and students for wholeheartedly being involved in Peace Camp. The tents will return to their respective schools to be kept as a memento - they represent a fascinating portrait of the lives and loves of young people across the UK in 2012.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Post Date

23 August 2012


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Exploring Poland for LUMIERE

Preparations for the next LUMIERE festival are already well underway and our production team are investigating new opportunities for collaboration in Europe. Artichoke Associate Producer Hannah Standen is currently in Poland investigating the potential for future co-operation.

Hannah is studying for a European Diploma in Cultural Project Management with Association Marcel Hicter. As part of her yearlong course, Hannah is required to complete a comparative study in another European country. Hannah has chosen to undertake her study in Poland and is currently there carrying out research into potential light artists for the next Lumiere, learning the language and meeting with arts practitioners.

Not that we had any doubt, Hannah is proving an excellent student, working hard, and finding out more about the climate in which Polish producers and artists operate and the social, economic, and political factors affecting their work. In addition to attending language classes at the School of Polish Language and Culture in Cieszyn through the University of Silesia, and discovering some incredibly good ice cream (!), she has also met with arts organisations in Gdansk and at the weekend will attend the Skyway light festival in Torun.

Hannah said: “It is hard work but I am really enjoying exploring the country, talking very bad Polish with everyone and drinking very good iced coffees! A challenge in 35-degree heat but someone’s got to do it right?”

35 degrees, Hannah? Are you sure you didn’t pop over to Spain instead?

In September Hannah will return to Poland to present Artichoke’s work to practitioners from across Europe and to debate the function of art in public space as part of an event organised by the ARTLOOP Sopot and Grolsch ArtBoom Festivals.