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November 2, 2011

The Marvellous Mood Lamp Workshops

October 28, 2011

Stu, our Tinkerer In-Residence facilitated some exciting workshops in the Manchester Art Gallery education suite on 22nd and 23rd October.


hand of a young person using the old bike wheel to design their lamp shade

Participants made their own mini mood lamp styled by themselves using an old bike wheel and powered using an old phone charger.

They then took some paper, wire, LED’s and electronics and turned a useless old phone charger into a lamp.

Monique's finished lamp

There was no upper age limit so anyone who wanted to experiment in electronics and art using recycled materials came along and gave it a go!

Check out some wonderful photos from the weekend on Flickr: 


Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite!

October 28, 2011

“Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension — and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we’re caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen.”

Today’s Mood Lamp Workshops

October 22, 2011

Here’s some photo’s from today’s mood lamp workshops.

We had a brilliant day. Everybody left very happy with a fully functional mood lamp for their bed side table.

Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out – you can catch us again tomorrow (23rd Oct) at Manchester Art Gallery between 10.30 – 4pm.

Chris using the old bike wheel to create the shade for her mood lamp

Chris using the old bike wheel to create the shade for her mood lamp


Participants using old phone chargers to power their mood lamps.

Participants using old phone chargers to power their mood lamps.

The bike wheel in action

The bike wheel in action


Some of the finished lamps

Some of the finished lamps

A very pleased participant.

A very pleased participant.

Full Circle Arts Young Artist Development Programme

October 20, 2011

May 20011 to May 2012

‘A twelve month arts development opportunity for 18 to 30 year olds who want to progress in further arts participation, training, education and a career in the arts”

Session 6 – Saturday October 8th

Session 6: Thanks again to Blank Media Collective for hosting and facilitating our sixth session on the Young Artist Development Programme. A session on Critiquetook place on the 8th October back at BLANKSPACE.

blankmedia logo

Blankmedia logo

The session explored Critique, what we mean by Critique, ways of approaching Critique and the importance of Critique for the ongoing development of our work.

John Leyland and Chris Leyland at Blank Media created a positive learning environment that encouraged a sense of sharing and support.

The day began with an informal discussion about the word itself and how it fits into our own practice.

A photo of the young people on the Young Artist Development Programme

Young Artist Development Programme

Some people were more familiar with Critique but everyone agreed they rarely dedicate time for reflective conversations and questioning of their work or others.

“It seems to happen subconsciously most of the time, but today we were given a platform to share, ask questions, consider our work and the work of others in a more focused and constructive way than usual”

Through a presentation by John and a conversation amongst the group, thoughts were raised about what we mean by Critique

Critique – A serious examination and judgement of something

Positive Constructive Feedback

Development Working together Trust and Sharing

Common goals Improve your practice Communication Community

Challenge ideas Reassurance Honesty

Before moving on to the main activity of the day where the group would have the opportunity to Critique one another’s work, John presented some “Do’s and Don’ts for Critique”

DO give your opinion / DON’T presume it’s always right

DO describe your work (show) / DON’T explain it (tell) too much

DO take comments on board / DON’T feel you HAVE to act on

DO express your passion / DON’T get frustrated

DO speak honestly / DON’T hurt people’s feelings

DO get technical / DON’T try to be too clever

DO critique the work / DON’T critique the person

DO critique specifics / DON’T be wishy washy

We then moved into the gallery space to explore the use of positive and negative language, the things we most wanted to hear said about our own work and of course, the things we’d rather not hear.

This exercise encouraged thought about how we wanted our work to be viewed, what was most important to us when we created work and how we wanted our work to be received by others.

post-it notes surrounding the word - positive

Critique Workshop

post-it notes surround the word - negative

Critique Workshop


Young artists sticking post-it notes to the wall

Critique Workshop

As the day continued we moved towards the main exercise of the day.

Each member of the group had been asked prior to the session to bring a piece of work with them, something they would be happy to share with the rest of the group and a piece they would like to be critiqued.

We saw a wide range of work from visual art, performance recordings, jewellery design and products, scripts, websites, blogs, business and project outlines.

A water colour painting of racing dogs

Critique Workshop

Here a picture based on the theme of movement using watercolours.

Greta shared some of her artwork, speaking about her influences, how she approached the images and her opinion of the work.


A piece of jewllery by monique  - one of the young artists

Jewellery by Monique

The image shows of one of Monique’s unique pieces of jewellery.

Monique presented some of her jewellery designs and shared her website with us, Monique spoke about her passion, what inspired her and how she was currently promoting her work and received feedback from the group about her products and overall profile.

Small focused groups were held that supported a sharing of practice and constructive critique.

The group left feeling reassured and supported with a new sense of confidence in sharing their work with others, ideas that could support development and also a perspective other than their own about their work.

A huge thanks to everyone in the group for sharing their work and for leaving themselves open to critique. We saw work at the beginning stages of development, work that was created a year ago and work people desperately wanted to gain feedback, advice and guidance on.

As the months continue on the Young Artist Programme Full Circle Arts will continue to promote those on the YAD programme and their work.

Participants left session 6 with a clear understanding of what Critique is, how and why it is used and the positive benefits to their own practice.

Participants left having taken part in critical discussion, observing and observing positive and negative approaches to critique.

All Participants were given a platform to present their own work, received and contributed to peer critique.

Some comments from the group……….

“ I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to present my work to a group of people before and receive positive and constructive feedback that will help it develop further”          

“ today felt really supportive, it was really interesting to get to know the others more and hear about their work”

“I would not usually show my work as a working progress and think that this has gave me the confidence to take a step back to consider my work”

“It helped motivate me to develop my work further”                

“Was a challenging topic, but because of the presentation and the exercise where we looked at positive and negative ways to critique I think it helped for the main task of critiquing others work”

“Gave me new ideas and direction for my work”

“I have never done anything like this before; it is something that I think I will seek out in the future”

“From the discussions about my work it helped me think of new ways [techniques] to work”

“If we do it again I think that we would go to the next level, have more in-depth critique, we are still getting to know how people react to their work being discussed in this way and see the development of the groups work/projects”

“I received some really useful comments about my work, I feel reassured too”

“I’d like us to do these peer critique sessions again or fit them into future sessions”

Full Circle Arts would like thank Blank Media Collective for hosting this month’s Young Artist Development Session and the group for their ongoing commitment and contribution to this programme.

Next Month we will be hosting our Young Artist Development session at the Zion Arts centre on Saturday 12th November.

We will continue to post info about our sessions here and on twitter.

You are welcome to join us. Professional artists and organisations may have some links, info, opportunities and advice to pass on to the group; other young emerging practitioners are welcome to join the conversation here. Follow@full_circle_art  #fcaYAD



Steve Jobs

October 10, 2011

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005

Jared Nessa

October 10, 2011

Over the next few months we will be doing our bit to promote those on the Young Artist Development Programme – please see previous blog posts for further information about the project including the latest write up about the most recent workshop.

Jared Nessa

Jared Nessa, a passionate, enthusiastic results driven individual who occasionally enjoys referring to himself as a third person, is seeking opportunities which expand his experience as a creative practitioner, that draws upon his extensive experience in successful community development. Founder of Creative Change Makers, which comprises of a passionate group of individuals that aim to be a catalyst for change, to design, develop and deliver positive and progressive opportunities. These opportunities & projects will improve the social and cultural environment that we live in through collaborative working with other change makers, such as artists, community practitioners, promoters, photographers and volunteers who use creativity to influence and help the world around them. If you want to find out more, just ask!!! 

There is an art to social change and there are a special few who are at the contemporary creative heart of it. One of our upcoming projects is focused on devising the The Art of Social Change Award which will be developed to recognise & raise the profile of North West based individuals who use creativity to influence the world around them.


Jared’s experience of the project so far…

Being a recent graduate and striding towards developing a foundation called Breaking Barriers to help young people access the arts I have experienced the effects of severe austerity measures within the arts and community work. Not being able to access development support to devise projects or training programmes in order to up skill myself, as I fall under the wrong age group or tick box. I was fortunate to find out about the Full Circle Artist Development programme via their newsletter, it certainly came as a relief having found a programme that was accessible after nearly 2 years of searching for suitable opportunities to strengthen my abilities as a creative practitioner.

Over the short time I have spent on the programme and each time we meet once a month, workshops are delivered to aid our personal & professional development, some workshops I have found to be more relevant than others as is expected. This being said the artists feed into the process of what workshops are scheduled in order to benefit not only as an individual but, as a group. This is complemented by a training budget which each of us have the opportunity to invest in our own personal development. This helps to create a renewed sense of confidence, self worth and direction in striding towards my goals with purpose in every step. The Full Circle Artist Development programme facilitates & inspires you to aspire, breaking down barriers traditionally associated to accessing development programmes such as age, ability and postcode.

Whilst we live in the age of the internet and austerity measures where people speak behind avatars & lead parallel lives, more and more resources are being placed on line with less and less being provided off line. Programmes such as the Full Circle Artist Development Programme provide a rare & invaluable opportunity to enhance your own personal and professional development and adds value whilst offering what no amount of on line resources or automated tools can by creating a real time environment where like-minded individuals can stimulate each other’s meaningful personal and professional development. To date I have created my very first blog, it’s a working progress and in my very first post I ask the most important question of all time which can be viewed at:

Feel free to leave a comment, also I’ve taken advantage of the Personal Development Sessions which are proving invaluable to my professional development and am currently in the process of undertaking an Arts Award Advisor course to help diversify my experience & expand my skill set, should you wish to get in contact, explore a potential collaboration or just chat feel free to email me at

Alternative you can view some our upcoming projects via Facebook;