Monthly Archives: June 2015

Here comes the sun…and the Map!

What an amazing day! Heaton Festival 2015, the sun shone and the people came, hundreds and hundreds of them!

It was an early start, I suddenly remembered I needed to print that chicken on Pets Corner! And there was a map to be packed..


Off we go in  – Those of you who’ve helped in the workshops will recognise the eco-friendly Dotty Art trolley. Very handy for transporting projects and equipment:)

Along with the 20 metre square sections of map, we had 70 large pennant flags, 100 small house pennant flags, 100 small blank pennants and a gazillion pom poms in varying shades of green. The idea being that people would make their mark on the map by planting a pom pom tree or placing a pennant in the part of Heaton that they love.


Here’s the map laid out in the sunshine at the start, with one pom pom tree on the Medics’  sports ground on Cartington Road. Look at our lovely Mini Marquee…and the bunting flags printed by all the wonderful workshop participants.


This gives you and idea of the scale of the piece!

As the festival opened more and more people came along to see the map. It was wonderful to hear all the positive comments about the project, and to hear peoples reminiscences of the area. everyone enjoyed finding their home, their school,their church, their favourite cafe or pub. And they made their mark on the map…




We used up all of the flags, I cut another 100 blanks and they all got used up too! people were writing their names, drawing their pets, making lovely designs…and the pom pom trees got more creative as the day wore on!



There was barely a minute without people around the map, it was such a joyful way to spend a day so thank you all for joining in with us:)

Thank you Heaton Festival for giving me the opportunity to make the biggest artwork I’ve ever tackled! ( let me know where you want the map now!)

Big thanks to everyone who helped make this happen…

All the workshop participants : Y9 students at Heaton Manor, everyone who ‘dropped in’ at Martha and Mary’s, the Y4 pupils at Chillingham Road Primary School (hope you win that vote Outdoor Learning at Chilli Road School) everyone at Skills for Life at Trewhitt Road, the lovely ladies and gents at Belle View residential home and the Brownies of St Gabriels.

Steph and Kath were superb on the day, explaining the idea of the map and encouraging people to make their mark (and big thanks to the lovely Rob who dashed off to get more kebab sticks – for the flags and pom poms!) Thanks so much!

Andrea and her Pom Pom army – there was enough for a forest!

Several lovely friends also helped with the final finishing touches so very special thanks to; Clare – for superb painting and printing skills in the ‘Last Push’, Ruth and Ingrid for tea making, pennant printing, inspiring conversation and tea making, other friends I haven’t been in touch with for a month and also a big thank you to my family, Nick, Tilly and Suzy for putting up with the hessian dust and lack of a front room for the last month!

(and for the folks that told me that there is a bit of Ouseburn Road missing and a little street off Jesmond Park West – I’ll add them in….after a bit of a sit down!)

Now its time for that deck chair, wellies, wine and Glastonbury on the telly;)

And if you’d like to pop along I’ll be at the Jesmond Dene Art Market First Birthday celebration on July 11th…come and see what I do when I’m not making crazy huge maps! 

Jesmond Dene Art and Craft Market

(and for my friend John, who thought London might be interested in a map project – Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


Heaton Map – The Brownies take over!

Friday 19th June- the final community workshop takes place with St Gabriel’s Brownies helping to add details to the big map. We talked about the project and established how many people live in Heaton – we had to go up a long way from 100! (It’s about 11000!)

Some of the Brownies go to Ravenswood School, so they were happy to paint their school building in yellow (all the school and community buildings are yellow!)

Here, Benton Road gets a coat of red paint, as it is one of the main roads that runs through our area. This makes a strong contrast with the white streets where our homes are. 

There are still an awful lot of houses to print, the brownies helped to do the ‘Dale’ Gardens in High Heato. (Tawny Owl found her house and printed it in blue!)


The girls all printed a pennant too – this map is going to look so colourful!

So, that’s all the workshops done. Now it’s time to get everything finished off and ready for High Noon on Saturday 27th June! See you all there!


Belle Vue Map Workshop

Today’s workshop with the residents of Belle Vue was lovely. We were in their beautiful conservatory, using the big table as a print table for the morning. So along with printing dozens of houses, we made some pennants and MORE pom-poms! (We need a lot so if you fancy making some green ones for us….)

We got through a lot of wet wipes as that red printing ink is very sticky! Luckily no one seemed to mind😄

In all, about half a dozen residents were involved with the activities, with several others keeping an eye to make sure we did a good job. It was interesting to find out where people lived before they came to Belle Vue; Second Avenue, King Edward Street and Warwick Street were all mentioned. 

We chatted about what we liked to do in and around Heaton too, deciding that it’s a lovely area, with great shops, lots of cafes and all the green spaces. People enjoy shopping, watching the dogs play in the park and stopping in one of the cafes for a nice cuppa!

  Pom Pom earrings anyone?

What has been lovely about this project has been working across ages and abilities. Everyone has enjoyed getting involved with making the maps and I hope that lots of people will come along to see the final outcome on the day of the Festival – JUNE 27 Don’t Forget!!

The final workshop is with St Gabriel’s Brownies on Friday – see you ther Brownies!

Heaton Map

Well, it’s two weeks until the Heaton Festival – so it’s full steam ahead- today has been spent painting roads, naming streets and printing cafes- maybe I’ll do some ‘research’ in those cafes next week☕️😄

Two workshops next week, on Wednesday and Friday, I hope you are looking forward to pom-poms and printing:)

But now it’s nearly 🍷⏰ enjoy your weekend everyone!

Heaton Map – Whirlwind Wednesday 

Well that was one busy Wednesday- two workshops for Y4 at Chillingham Road Primary in the morning and one with the Skills for Life group at Trewhitt Road in the afternoon.

At Chilly, Y4 split into two groups with 14 working on the map before break and then 15 more after break. We were set up in the lovely dedicated art room, ably assisted by Mrs Feare, Mr Russell and Melanie, visiting from Benton Primary, also part of the Ouseburn Learning Partnership.

I set the room up with different workstations and the children rotated around each activity, painting the streets white, printing on more houses, painting parks and the river, printing individual pennants and a lucky few got to make pom-poms with the amazing pom-pom makers!

The pupils all worked really hard and we got a lot done in a short amount of time (without getting  too messy!)


The map uses simple colours and linoprints to show the different features of Heaton – so there is a print of blue church with a spire wherever there is a church on the map, a brown cafe for all the places to eat out, a black shop print – lots of those on Chillingham Road😄. There will be footprints to show footpaths, dogs to show where dogs go walking and cars in the car parks. So hopefully the map will look decorative AND be accurate! Can you guess what the pea pod represents?


Pom-pom makers in action!

I had to do a quick pack up at the end of the morning, using my trusty trolley to carry the equipment and materials from Chilli’ Rd to Trewhitt Rd.

How Eco- friendly is that😉

At Trewhitt Road the Skills for Life Learners are going to use their map making workshop to launch a series of activities based around maps and knowing the local neighbourhood. Isn’t that lovely?


Once again we had different workstations so people could try out the different activities. No streets to paint as the children had done them all in the morning – but lots of houses to print and pennants to make. 

For the pennants, every workshop participant gets to choose the Lino block and the colour that they want to use, then they print their choice and write their first name under it, a nice way of recording how many people have taken part😄

After all that I needed a cup of tea and a biscuit  ☕️🍪 however instead I went home and made a 6 layer rainbow birthday cake for my daughter🎂. It’s a busy (& colourful) life! 

Oh, and the pea pod shows where the allotments are🌱

Heaton Festival Map…Week 2

I think I need a bigger workspace…

This is just four sections of the map laid out to check alignment- on doing this I realised that the Ouseburn Road was missing!! It’s not on the map I’m working from! So I’ll be using a certain well known map app to check other sections😄

For the next couple of days I’ll be in my workroom finishing off these sections done in last week’s workshops. Then I’m on the road again – Chilli Rd Primary get your painting overalls ready!

Whilst I’m thinking about Chillingham Road Primary have you voted for their project? Creating an Outdoor Learning Space is a bid for funding to give this urban school a touch of the great outdoors. Please spare a moment and cast your vote using the link here in blue! They’ll be very grateful 🌻😄

Heaton Map – paint, print and Pom poms at Martha & Mary’s 

This afternoon the second map making workshop took place. This time it was a Drop In session at Martha & Mary’s Cafe on Chillingham Road.

Ready for Action!  
I’d selected the section of the map with the cafe in it – with the proviso that a certain primary school was left for the pupils to complete next week – see you next Wednesday Y4 at Chillingham Road 😄.

I made good use of my bargain new ‘Spotty Dotty Shopping Trolley’ to carry over the materials – but I may have to fit wheels to my fold up table- that thing is heavy!

(Perfect for Art Workshop Transportation!)

It got quite cosy in the back room of the cafe with about a dozen women from local churches and the mosque all squeezing in to paint and print up the section of map.

That long red stripe you can see is Chillingham Road!

There were a lot of houses to print on this section – but that’s not surprising as there are about 11,000 people living in Heaton – if they all come to the festival we are going to need a lot of pom-poms- talking of which…


These participants are using the new pom-pom makers, clip together plastic semi-circles that really speed up the process – if you want to make some green Pom-poms for us these kits can easily be found online😉

As with yesterday’s session at Heaton Manor, I asked everyone to note in my ideas book why they like living in Heaton, and also to print a small piece of fabric that will be used as a marker on the day of the Festival (June 27th – don’t forget!)

So for the next couple of days I’ll be in my studio finalising the map sections done this week and prepping the metre squares ready for next week’s workshops. I’ll post pictures here.

Thank you to everyone who joined in today – hope the fabric paint washes out of your clothes! I look forward to seeing you again on the 27th.
And a BIG thank you to all at Martha and Mary’s for hosting this afternoon’s workshop!

The First Heaton Map Workshop.

I’ve had a busy few days preparing for the workshops…a 30 metre roll of hessian has been delivered to my studio, along with fabric paints, printing ink and Lino.

The first task has been to cut the hessian into metre square sections…hard on the knees and very dusty! (Attischoo!)

I’ve scaled up the map and started the task of drawing it onto the hessian. This involved lots of measuring and converting millimetres to centimetres – anyone who thinks artists don’t need to be numerate – you’re so wrong!

I’ve also prepared some Lino blocks of buildings, vegetables and pavement architect…are you intrigued yet?

With everything prepared it was off to Heaton Manor School this morning to work with eleven year 9 pupils and their teacher. Our aim was to complete four sections of the map in the time available. I brought them the map second that feature their school.

First task, using white fabric paint, to paint in the streets, this immediately gives structure to the map and helps us plan where to put in the details. The paint works best  on the hessian when diluted about 60:40 with water.

Next we started adding in some of the green areas – we are lucky in Heaton to have lots of beautiful parks, Paddy Freeman, Jesmond Dene, Armstrong and Heaton Park all bring nature to our part of the city. The students painted in a bright green for the park areas and then over printed with a traditional wooden block carved with a leaf design. They’ve also added in the Ouseburn river and the Paddy Freeman pond in blue. 

That bright red stripe across the section above is the Coast Road. It cuts through between Heaton and High Heaton linking us to the city and the sea. You can also see where the students have started to print little red houses along the streets. Occasionally you might spot a house that is a different colour – that’s because one of the workshop participants lives there! 

I had to do a bit of rapid Lino cutting to make a tower block to add to the Spinney!


Once the maps were mostly complete, I asked the students to do a couple of other tasks – firstly to write a note for me about something they do in Heaton; one girl goes to dancing classes, another goes to girls’ brigade, one of the boys is a scout, others like to eat chips at the bus stop! These notes will feature in the final map….

I also asked the students to print a Lino block of their choice onto a piece of white fabric – these pieces will become flags to be added to the map on the day of the festival.


So now the four sections of map are hanging out to dry off before they get ironed to fix the paint. (It couldn’t possibly rain on our parade could it?!)

Thanks very much to the students and staff at Heaton Manor, you made me feel very welcome and you all worked really hard to get the job done😄.
Tomorrow I’ll be holding a drop in workshop at Martha and Mary’s Cafe on Chillingham Road, come on in and help us complete the big map project! 

The Heaton Festival Map Project

I have been invited to deliver a Community Art Project for the 2015 Heaton Festival, organised by all the churches in Heaton. The aim is to create a large map that can be used to record audience engagement with the festival.

It sounds straight forward doesn’t it! The project involves turning a small map of the area of Heaton covered by the festival into something quite monumental – the final piece will be made up of 24 sections of map, each a metre square. Each section will show the streets, houses and shops of that part of Heaton and also record activities that take place in the area. 

Here’s the map…

That’s a lot of Heaton! 

I will be working with different groups to create different sections of the map over the next few weeks. I will record the progress of the map here. Perhaps you will be able to come along and see the finished artwork at the Festival itself on Saturday 27th June from 12 noon until 7pm?

The map will be made on hessian, chosen because it is durable and has a loose weave so we will be able to stick flags, and other items into it, at the festival.