Mike's memoirs of mentoring

You saw it here first! I finally got Mike to write a blog AND he has promised another. So you better keep checking back. ;)


DASH has been offering mentoring and support to Disabled artists at all stages of their careers for over five years and we have worked with over seventy five artists in this time.

There is no fixed template to our approach to mentoring as the content of the sessions is led by the artist.

The topics most artists want to discuss are:

  • Promotion and getting their work seen more i.e. websites, mailing lists, networks etc
  • Opportunities. Contacts for other organisations
  • Career discussions. Discussing where the artist is and where they would like to be
  • Looking at or compiling portfolios
  • Support with funding applications


The list is pretty endless, but has to be initiated by the artist, even if it is quite a general discussion about themselves and their work

I find mentoring fascinating as a fan of the crime thriller it has similar elements. We often don't know what is blocking our development or what we really want to do, till you have someone who will unconditionally listen to all your moans and groans about how hard it is to be an artist, make a living and all the rest that life in 21st Century capitalism throws at us.


Opportunity: AA2A placements

The AA2A project (Artists Access to Art Colleges) are offering over 100 placements for artists and designer makers!


The opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project using art college facilities eg; workshops, IT facilities, lending library, and lecture programme. AA2A schemes aim to benefit students and institutions through their interaction with practicing artists.


~ Access is free, for at least 100 hours - between October 2013 and April 2014.
~ It is hoped that AA2A can provide a grant of up to £220 for artists who need this to undertake the scheme.
~ Closing dates for applications vary but all are in September 2013.
~ Artists on AA2A schemes run from 2011 to 2012 or before can now reapply.  
~ Applicants must have at least one year's professional practice.
~ Applicants should be able to work with minimal technical support.

To see current AA2A artists' work go to http://aa2a.biz

AA2A particularly welcomes applications from applicants with disabilities, from culturally diverse backgrounds and non-graduates.


Northumbria University (Newcastle) - Application deadline - 22nd September 2013   
0191 227 3412    emma2.hall@northumbria.ac.uk
printmaking, papermaking, wood, metal, ceramics, digital media, photography, video, drawing, painting

University of Sunderland  Application deadline - 23rd September 2013    
0191 515 5517    joanna.o-hara@sunderland.ac.uk
glass, ceramics

Hull School of Art & Design  (Harrogate and Hull)  Application deadline - 22nd September 2013    
0148 248 0970    lhoughton@hull-college.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, textiles, fashion, film, video, sound, music, digital media, photography, graphics, illustration, painting

University of Central Lancashire  (Preston)  Application deadline - 20th September 2013    
0177 289 3959    jpcrane@uclan.ac.uk
printmaking, fashion

University Centre at Blackburn College  Application deadline - 10th September 2013    
0125 429 2562    ofls01@blackburn.ac.uk
printmaking (intaglio, relief, screen), wood, plaster, clay, textiles (digital printing, sewing machines, looms, screen-printing), laser cutter, film, video, sound, photography (digital and film processes), digital editing facilities, graphics, life drawing, painting

University of Salford  Application deadline - 16th September 2013   
0161 295 4630    s.j.ingleson@salford.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, carving, metal, mould making, textiles, fashion, sound, digital media, moving image, animation, photography, illustration, graphic design, installation, painting, drawing

Manchester Metropolitan University  Application deadline - 23rd September 2013    
0161 247 6678    enterpriseadminsouth@mmu.ac.uk
printmaking, bookmaking, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, textiles, embroidery, weave, fashion, digital process and fabrication, laser cutting, CNC cutter, filmmaking, photography, illustration, drawing

Liverpool Hope University  Application deadline - 22nd September 2013    
0151  291  3516    mcgees1@hope.ac.uk
printmaking, metal, jewellery, plaster, ceramics, textiles (construction and print), digital design, painting

City of Liverpool College  Application deadline - tbc late September 2013      
0151 252 4319    john.keith@liv-coll.ac.uk
printmaking (screen), ceramics, fashion, printed textiles, digital imaging, multi media, photography, painting, drawing, life drawing

Sheffield Hallam University  Application deadline - 22nd September 2013    
0114 225 6726    l.jefferies@shu.ac.uk
printmaking, metal, fashion, jewellery, video, interactive media, digital media, animation, photography, typography, graphics, illustration, painting

Chesterfield College  Application deadline - tbc late September 2013    
0124 650 0500  ex. 1620    artistsinresidence@chesterfield.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, ceramics, fashion, digital textiles, product design, lazer and auto pattern cutters, performance, film, video, digital media, animation, photography, graphics, illustration, painting

University of Lincoln  Application deadline - 20th September 2013    
0152 283 5239    peastwood@lincoln.ac.uk
printmaking, jewellery, video, digital media, photography, painting, illustration, drawing

Staffordshire University  (Stoke-on-Trent)  Application deadline - 1st September 2013    
0178 229 4407    a.mawson@staffs.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metals (incl. fine), ceramics, laser cutting, resin and plastics, 3D design, textile surfaces, surface pattern design, lens-based facilities, painting

University of Derby  Application deadline - 20th September 2013    
0133 259 3113    j.falconer@derby.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, casting, carving, glass, ceramics, textiles, digital media, photography

De Montfort University  (Leicester)  Application deadline - 20th September 2013    
0116 207 8388  /  8571    cscott@dmu.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, plaster, glass, ceramics, textile printing, laser cutting, CAD labs, photography, video, life drawing studio, painting

Dudley College  Application deadline - 9th September 2013    
0138 436 3633    luke.baker@dudleycol.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, textiles, fashion, performance, video, photography, interactive media, graphics, illustration, painting

Coventry University  Application deadline - 6th September 2013    
0247 688 7020  / 8248    mandy.bisla@coventry.ac.uk
printmaking, small scale metal, ceramics, laser cutting, digital media, painting, drawing

Gloucestershire College  Application deadline - 6th September 2013  
(Gloucester and Forest of Dean)    0145 256 3322    sylvie.johns@gloscol.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, textiles, fashion, product design, performance, film, video, sound, digital media, animation, photography, graphics, illustration, painting

Anglia Ruskin University  (Cambridge)  Application deadline - 2nd September 2013    
0845 196 2317    cassie.lynch@anglia.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, casting, carving, fashion, film & TV production, digital media, photography, animation, illustration, painting

North Hertfordshire College  (Hitchin)  Application deadline - 9th September 2013    
0146 247 1030    escott@nhc.ac.uk
printmaking (screen and lino), wood, glass, ceramics, textiles, knit, fashion, costume, performance, film, video, sound, digital media, animation, graphics, illustration, painting

University of Bedfordshire  (Luton)  Application deadline - 12th September 2013    
0793 197 1322    hannah.birkett@beds.ac.uk
printmaking, textiles, fashion,  laser-cutter, 3D printer/scanner, video, animation, moving image, photography, darkroom, graphic design, illustration, painting

Chelmsford College  Application deadline - 6th September 2013    
0124 529 3031    information@chelmsford.ac.uk   
printmaking, wood, ceramics, mould making, textiles, fashion, video, digital media, animation, photography, graphics, illustration, painting, drawing

University of Hertfordshire  (Hatfield)  Application deadline - 16th September 2013    
0170 728 5327    ad-shortcourses@herts.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, textiles, fashion, art therapy, digital media, film, video, sound, photography, graphics, painting

Camberwell College of Arts, UAL  (South London)  Application deadline - 15th September 2013    
0207 514 7914    d.dutton@camberwell.arts.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, ceramics, product design, conservation, digital technologies, sound, animation, photography, graphics, illustration, painting

Wimbledon College of Art, UAL  (South London)  Application deadline - 15th September 2013    
0207 514 7914    d.dutton@camberwell.arts.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, digital technologies, film, video, photography, painting

Southampton Solent University  Application deadline - 23rd September 2013    
0238 031 9021    avril.gale@solent.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, clay, letterpress, typography, digital media, photography, painting, drawing

Plymouth College of Art  Application deadline - 22nd September 2013    
0175 220 3434    infoservices@pca.ac.uk
printmaking, metals (incl. fine), glass, ceramics, fashion, textiles, moving image, animation, digital media, games design, photography, graphics, painting

Plymouth University  Application deadline - 27th September 2013    
0777 342 0692    rutrlallain@plymouth.ac.uk
printmaking, wood, metal, ceramics, plaster, textiles, film, video, sound, digital media, photography, animation, typography, graphics, illustration, painting, drawing

Free Business Development Sessions For Artists

This series of sessions, facilitated by Elizabeth Hawley - Visual Arts Enabler, is intended to develop knowledge and understanding of the local, regional and national visual arts ecology and the place of the individual artist within this context.


The sessions are interactive and designed to offer advice, collective problem solving and to encourage ownership and pro-activity towards career development as an artist.

Coventry Artspace - Monday 9th September 2013

Worcester Museum & Art Gallery - Friday 20th September 2013

Grand Union, Birmingham – Monday 23rd September 2013

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery - Monday 30th September 2013

Wolverhampton Museum & Art Gallery - Monday 7th October 2013

AirSpace Gallery, Stoke - Thursday 17th October 2013

Each session runs from: 10.30am- 1.30pm.

Business Development follow-up sessions:

We are also holding two follow-up events, facilitated by Elizabeth Hawley designed for those who attended the business development sessions in January and February this year. This is an opportunity to revisit, discuss progress and offer advice in a group setting.

Coventry Artspace - Monday 9th September 2013

Grand Union, Birmingham – Monday 23rd September 2013

Each session runs from 2-4.30pm.

There are a maximum of 20 places per session, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Light refreshments will be served.

To book please email Annabel Clarke on annabel.clarke[at]bcu.ac.uk quoting which session you would like to attend.

Lots of opportunities

Here's a selection of interesting opportunities for artists, cartoonists and graphic novelists from across the web.


Opportunity for artists:

SpArC Theatre in Bishops Castle is looking for new exhibitions of work for the upcoming autumn/winter 2013 exhibition series.

The gallery at SpArC provides over 33 square meters of exhibition space in a long gallery setting over a series of large wall mounted panels as well as in the recently renovated foyer of the Theatre. The gallery benefits from a large amount of natural light through the use of angled windows as well as panel specific overhead lighting and overlooks a natural meadow area on both sides.

Exhibitions run on a monthly basis and the gallery is available free of charge to showcase artists' work with commission charged at only 15% if sales are made.

Any artists or groups who are interested in exhibiting should contact Arts Coordinator Cait Leach on cleach@bishopscastle.co.uk or call her on 01588 630321.

 Submissions Opportunity - The Poetry Of Shropshire:

Offa's Press is publishing an anthology of the poetry of Shropshire, edited by Simon Fletcher and Jeff Phelps, in October 2013. We intend to include heritage material by A.E.Housman, Wilfred Owen and Mary Webb plus other well-known 'Shropshire poems' as well as a strong selection of contemporary voices from Shropshire or using Shropshire as a subject.

Poets interested in submitting work should send up to 4 poems (max 50 lines each) including extracts from longer poems (max 50 lines also) plus a brief biographical note (max 40 words) to Offa's Press, 2, Ferndale, Pant, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 9QD between June 1st and August 31st. Submissions outside this window will not be considered.

Poets might like to consider the following topics: landscape, history, geology, flora, fauna, local history, characters, childhood memories, folklore, legends, sacred places, rivers and so forth.

Please include an SAE if you want your work returned. We are unable to enter into any correspondence and the editors' word is final. If you haven't heard anything from us by the end of September you can assume your submission has been unsuccessful.

Please watch out for the launch events in October/ November. There will be no fees but all successful contributors will be sent a free copy of the anthology and invited to one or other of the launch events. Copyright remains, of course, with contributors.

Any queries please email: info@offaspress.co.uk.


"Impostor" Competition for Comics Artists, Cartoonists and Graphic Novelists:

The competition is opening on August 15th!

"Impostor" is the competition for the best unpublished comics based on the play by Friedrich Schiller "Demetrius". "Demetrius" is the incomplete drama by the German playwright F.Schiller based on the life of Demetrius. The central figure is the character of False Dmitry, the Tsar of Russia who was one of the three impostors (Russian: самозванец 'samozvanets', "impostor") and who claimed himself to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, tsarevitch Dmitriy Ivanovich. The False Dmitriy is one of the notable characters in Russian history and his personality still attracts the attention of historians, writers and poets its ambiguity and mystery.

ENTRY DEADLINE: We strongly encourage all entrants to send in their comics as soon as possible.

The sooner the comics are available online, the greater their level of public exposure and their chance of winning the award.

The entries are accepted before September 7th. The results of the competition will be announced on September 10th.


9.30am to 5pm, Monday 9 September. The New Art Gallery Walsall. Free Gallerycamp is the free 'unconference' for people interested in discussing the future of galleries (and arts + cultural organisations more broadly) and the increasingly important role of digital stuff (ideas, projects, innovations) in this. There are no keynotes speakers. It's open to anyone: public/private/whatever sector and you don't have to work in a gallery.

Danny Beath Exhibition

There are just 10 days left, make sure you don't miss out.


The memorial exhibition of Danny Beath's photographs will be on display at the Hive in Shrewsbury, until Monday 9th September. It's been the most popular exhibition which the Hive has hosted and really is worth a look. Come and see it at 5 Belmont, SY1 1TE

Courses from Herbert Open Learning

There are a fantastic range of four day courses on offer at the Herbert this Autumn - helping you beat the autumn blues.


Discover the life of a solider in WWI, the dramatic story of the rediscovery of ancient Egypt's civilisation, the achievements of drawing through history, learn about and create needlecrafts or push your skills as a creative writer using the collections in the Herbert as inspiration.

Book now to ensure your place as numbers on courses are limited!


We look forward to seeing you.

Job opportunities with Disability Wales

Disability Wales/Disability Arts Cymru have two job vacancies currently available - Business Development Manager (Disabled Person) - and Policy and Public Affairs Manager (Disabled Person).


Business Development Manager (Disabled Person):

NJC 35-39, £29,236 - £32,800 - 35 hours per week.

Closing date: 2nd September 2013. Interviews: 13th September 2013.

Policy and Public Affairs Manager (Disabled Person):

To cover Maternity Leave, minimum of 10 months.

NJC 35-39, £29,236 - £32,800 - 35 hours per week.

Closing date: 2nd September 2013.  Interviews: 12th September 2013.

For more information and to apply:

Telephone: 029 2088 7325

Email: info@disabilitywales.org

Website: www.disabilitywales.org

Cocktails and clothes

Bring your unwanted, unloved clothing and/or accessories to the Victorian themed cocktail bar, The Alb - and Hey Doll! Art and Craft Collective will assist you to revamp, redesign and upcycle your items - using various techniques, from our box of tricks!


You'll fall in LOVE with your old bespoke pieces.

However you do have the option of swapping (swishing) your items with other participants. 

So a fun and creative night awaits you!

There will be a waiter/waitress taking your drink orders.


Email or call us to book via the details below.


Please note this event is on the 1st floor (restaurant) and there is no wheelchair access.

What's On at the Willow Gallery

The Willow Gallery is excited to welcome you to join us for a wonderful variety of exhibitions, events and workshops over the coming months.



Sheila BensonDunbabin Gallery:

Shelia's new series of unique, vibrant and contemporary paintings are currently on exhibition in the Dunbabin Gallery, adjacent to the main Willow Gallery. Follow the signs!

Natural Selection exhibition - featuring 'The Art Crew':

Saturday 7th September through until Saturday 19th October.

Preview on Friday 6th September from 7pm.

'Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better' - Albert Einstein.

An open exhibition of contemporary, innovative and traditional works of art, in a wide range of media. This fascinating exhibition will explore our relationship with the natural world, address current conservation issues and celebrate the local landscape and heritage.

The Art Crew includes three professional artists working on the Welsh Borders; Ray Perez, Katharine Laird and Jean Briers.

Affordable Art Exhibition: 26th October though until 30th November.


LIVE @ The Willow Monthly Acoustic Music Nights;

Friday 20th of September - Libby Gliksman at 8pm.

Tickets £5. Stunning singer Libby Gliksman will be performing emotional and jazzy music with pianist Dean Ames.  Songs will include carefully selected covers of Etta James, Adele, Norah Jones, Cher, Abba and many more great artists. Libby and Dean have been performing together for just over a year, with Libby's Adele cover nights being exceptionally popular. Find out more information about Libby on her website www.libby-gliksman.webeden.co.uk

The Willow Eatery will be providing a selection of delicious, freshly prepared Italian treats for the evening of Friday 20th September. This will include a special selection of light bites, main meals and, of course, delicious desserts, as well as wines, beers, cider and prosecco. Tables will be limited therefore bookings from 7pm onwards are being taken and pre-orders are required.

Please email lindsay@willoweatery.co.uk for further information and menu options. Please book in advance to reserve a table. 

 Upcoming  Performances:

Friday 20th December at 8pm - The Gregory S. Davies Band – Back by Popular Demand!

Film @ The Willow: Sunday 20th October from 7pm.

Showcasing a selection of contemporary artists films in connection with the natural selection exhibition. A wide variety of unique films will be on display in the main gallery – for this night only!

Craft Fairs: 

Autumn Craft Fair - Saturday 26th October

Winter Craft Fair – Saturday 30th November 

A celebration of local creativity. Around fifteen stalls showcasing a wide range of handcrafted products from local artists and makers will be on display for you to browse and buy. Demonstrations and children's craft activities throughout the day. A perfect excuse to do some early Christmas shopping! 

Artists working in The Willow:

Sue Christian will be weaving in the gallery on Saturday 28th September.

Internationally renowned oil painter Karl Robinson-Bray is currently working daily in a historic studio space adjacent to the Willow Gallery where a wonderful variety of his atmospheric landscapes and scenes of rural and village life are being exhibited.

The Willow Gallery has several bright, spacious and historical studio spaces available to rent and can also offer artists the opportunity to run workshops and courses, have their work promoted within the Willow Gallery and on the website and publications etc...The gallery also runs Artist in Residency and Artist in the Gallery schemes.

The gallery is launching an exciting program of 'Artist in the Gallery' and we are very keen for you to be involved. Every Saturday or Wednesday we are hoping to have an artist being creative in the gallery. This could involve sketching, painting, sewing, knitting, hand throwing pots, card making, silk painting, etc... This will be a great opportunity for artists to be able to share and further promote their work. This will also enable gallery visitors to gain an insight into the creative process and the time and skill involved in hand crafted items. Any artist working in the gallery will be promoted on the what's on and gallery website/blog. If you would like to be involved then please contact the Willow for further information.


Printmaking Taster Session with Ben Partridge.

Saturday 21st September between 10:30am and 4pm. Unlock your printmaking potential in this lively introduction to a variety of printmaking techniques. Get to grips with process and discover the exciting variety of printmaking methods at your fingertips. Suitable for complete beginners or those that haven't pulled a print in a while. £35 including materials.

Introduction to Printmaking: Collagraph and Drypoint with Ben Partridge. 6 Fortnightly Friday Sessions . Starting: Friday 27th September. (5pm until 8pm)

Get to grips with two accessible and versatile printmaking processes through these informal weekly sessions.  Participants will have the opportunity to incorporate collaged materials into rich, textural collagraphs and explore line and tone through the medium of dry point. Materials will be provided and participants will have the opportunity to create a small edition of a print of their choice. Suitable for beginners or those wanting to extend their printmaking repertoire.

£15 per session or £75 for 6 sessions

Stained Glass Decoration Workshop with Jenny Newall: Saturday 28th September - 9:30am to 4:30pm - Age 16+  

Create your own unique piece of stained glass decorative artwork using traditional copper-foiling techniques under expert guidance from professional stained glass artist Jenny Newall.

£45 including all materials

Animals & Wildlife in Pastels with Katherine Laird: Saturday 5th October - 10.30am to 4pm.

This is a fantastic opportunity to explore a wide range of soft pastel techniques with the expert guidance of professional artist Katherine Laird.

£38 per person  including all materials.

 Introduction to Oil Painting with Tereska Shepherd. Tuesday 1st October to Tuesday 3rd December. 5 sessions, 10am to 3pm - £70 for 5 sessions (£60 concessions and early bookings).

Discover the exciting world of oil painting through this inspiring starter course. Ideal for those who wish to learn and develop skills in a variety of oil painting techniques and gain confidence with this medium. The sessions will also cover advice on materials, colour mixing and the exploration of a range of subject matter and painting styles. Throughout the course we will study the work of historical and contemporary painters. Demonstrations, group discussions and individual advice and assistance will be given. Enjoy having time to be creative. 

This course is an Aberystwyth Lifelong Learning Course, and therefore provides the optional opportunity to gain 10 credits towards a certificate in Art and Design, equivalent to studying for the first year of a degree.

For further information and to book a place on this course please contact Lifelong Learning: 01970 621580. Email:learning@aber.ac.uk. Web: www.aber.ac.uk/en/sell

 Painting with Felt: Feltmaking Workshop with Sue Mulcock: Saturday 5th October, 10.30am to 4pm.

Create your own unique felt artwork with expert guidance from professional artist Sue Mulcock. Bring your own photograph or image to inspire your exploration with colour and texture. A variety of felting techniques and British wool types will be explored.

Workshop suitable for beginners and improvers - £38 per person, including materials.

Pinhole Photography Workshop with Ben Partridge - Saturday 19th October. 10:30am to 4pm.

Discover the intriguing world of Pinhole Photography, learn how to make your own cameras and create unique photographs. £35 including all materials.

 Clay Animal Workshop with Willie Carter : Friday 1st November – 10.30 to 4pm.

Experiment with a variety of clay modelling techniques with expert guidance from professional potter, Willie Carter.

 Oil Portrait Painting Course with Internationally Renowned Artist Max Baccanello. Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November, between 10.30am and 5pm.

Max Studied fine art in Florence, Italy, and has recently had work shortlisted for the Royal Society of Portrait painters exhibition in London. Throughout the course he will be teaching and demonstrating a variety of portrait drawing and painting techniques and participants will have the opportunity to create their own oil portrait painting on canvas.

A selection of materials will be provided however if possible please bring: Oil Paints : White, ivory black, orche, ultramarine blue, raw umber, vermilion red. Canvas approx 40 cm x 30cm. Paint brushes, paint palette, easel.

 Â£120 for two days. (£50 deposit required on booking).

For all courses and workshops please book in advance as places are limited

Children's Events & Art Workshops. Young Artists Workshops on Tuesdays starting 24th September - 3:30pm until 5pm

For ages 6-12 - £6 per session, including all materials. £30 for 6 sessions.

Have fun exploring a variety of artistic techniques to create your own original artwork with expert guidance from professional artists and educators. Projects will include: book making and decoration, printing, sculpture, sewing and much more. Learn about different artists and techniques with like-minded young artists. 

 Giant Insect Sculptures - Saturday 28th September - 11am to 1pm, 6-12yrs - places £6 (siblings £3).

Weaving with Recycled Materials and Fabric - Saturday 12th September - 11am to 1pm, 6-12yrs - places £6 (siblings £3).

Giant Mask making Workshop - 28th August & 30th August, 6-12yrs, 11am-1pm - places £6 (siblings £3).

Featured Artists:

Sue Mulcock: Atmospheric felt paintings created from a variety of British wools and beautifully embellished these wonderful works of art capture the subtle colours, atmosphere and topography of the British landscape.

Steve Ferguson: Creating vibrant and painterly works of art, Steve channels his inspiration from nature, texture and form. He is particularly influenced by Cornish artists and sculptures. A selection of Steve's paintings of Birds in Acrylic on reclaimed wood, will be exhibited throughout July and August.

Lyn Evans: Lyn Evans captures the essence of local scenes and areas of natural beauty through her bright and eye catching collages.

Boo: Free flowing ephemeral paintings of fish from a underwater viewpoint glimmer, glisten and shine in the sunlight that streams through the surface of the water. Boo's use of metal leaf adds to the reflective quality of the work. 

Gerald Dewsbury: Gerald Dewsbury is known for his intricate and beautiful oil paintings of trees, woodlands and surrounding hills. His paintings combine vivid colours with his distinguished style resulting in a unique representation of nature. 

Llewellyn Cummings: With his timeless style and dynamic use of oil paint he captures the atmosphere and essence of the landscape.

Ostinelli & Priest: Renowned sculptors Ostinelli and Priest are currently exhibiting a selection of their unique animal sculptures, including dogs, bulls and horses. Their distinct techniques and delicate colour pallet enables the artists to embody the character and personality of the animals in a way that is unique to them.

Allanah Piesse:  figurative acrylic paintings reflect aspects of mythology. She creates stories through the juxtaposition of objects and figures. The concept of time, past, present and future become intertwined in these surreal and sometimes eerie paintings.  Colour and texture are also an important aspect of Allanah's work. 

Judith Harrison: Judith Harrison's subtle and detailed Collographs are inspired by landscape and Celtic myths and legends.   

Alison Holt: Skilled combination of freehand machine embroidery and silk painting, by this internationally renowned artist, capture the subtle colours and details of the natural world.  

Willow Gallery Shop:

The gallery shop showcases a wide variety of unique, handcrafted products and cards by local people including decorative stained glass, ceramics, wood turning, woven willow items, jewellery, textiles, woven rugs, clay and wooden sculptures and much, much more!

If you have any handcrafted products you would like us to consider for our gift shop please get in touch.

The Willow Eatery:

Open Monday to Saturday: 9.30am - 5.30pm.

The Willow Eatery is the newly refurbished cafe at the Willow Gallery. Under new management since April 2013, it is run by Lindsay Chaplin from Lindsay's Cakery. Serving a range of fresh, tasty home-baked cakes and lunches including quiches, soup with homemade rolls, paninis, wraps, locally sourced Treflach Farm free-range pies and more. Drinks available include fair trade coffee made with organic milk, loose-leaf speciality teas, milkshakes and soft drinks. Catering for the individual; Gluten-free snacks, decaf tea and coffee and soya milk available. 

Drinks, cakes and a selection of lunch options are now available for Takeaway too!

We are now offering 'Afternoon Tea at Willow Eatery', so please pop in or email us at willoweatery@gmail.com  to enquire about enjoying a relaxing afternoon full of scrumptious delights within the Willow Gallery. Afternoon Tea vouchers make the perfect gift. (Please book Afternoon Tea at Willow Eatery at least one week in advance. Time restrictions may apply).

Please contact the gallery for further information on anything listed above. 

Birmingham Museums Trust seek Creative Practitioner

Creative practitioner required to facilitate a project in which people with visual / motor impairment will be consulted and develop new resources for the HLF-funded Staffordshire Hoard Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.


As part of this major new development, Birmingham Museums Trust seeks to employ a creative practitioner or organisation - to deliver elements of a community-based project for people with visual / motor impairment to develop new interpretative resources.

Participants will be consulted about aspects of the new gallery plans before producing a resource designed to improve access to the gallery.

The project will include the following elements:

  • A short programme of consultation workshops for people with visual or motor impairments at which different approaches and resources can be piloted. For example, participants will be invited to handle different types of replica artefacts and asked to describe their responses and ways of conveying these responses to other people.
  • Development of at least one new gallery resource to address the specific access needs of people in these groups in a targeted way. For example, resources could include representations of the Hoard's historical context accessible to people with visual impairment. Resources could also highlight an understanding and appreciation of different sensory ways of accessing the Hoard other than visual means alone. Discussions will feed into the development of general gallery interpretation.
  • Development of a template for future sessions and services for people with disabilities.

Key tasks of the creative practitioner or organisation will include the following:

Attendance at initial set up meetings with BMT and partner organisations.

  • Development of a clear initial strategy for the delivery of the project in partnership with BMT and partner organisations.
  • Planning and delivery of 7 workshops sessions with participants in partnership with BMT and partner organisations; including plenary session and consultation session with project participants.
  • Development of workshops and resources which will meet the general guidelines of the brief.
  • Development of a template document.
  • Participation in the evaluation process as required.

In addition, the Creative Practitioner will be asked to assist with the following additional tasks:

  • Assistance in the development of the resource brief
  • Scoping, planning and development of the resource, in partnership with BMT and partner organisations
  • Providing relevant assistance and support to BMT in the production of the resource

Programmes will be a mixture of in-reach and outreach delivered in partnership with museum staff. The creative practitioner or organisation will meet the following specification:

  • Experience of facilitating creative projects with people with disabilities, including visual and motor impairment
  • An understanding of the needs of people with visual and motor impairment
  • An understanding of the barriers to access to museum displays faced by people with visual and motor impairment and of ways of overcoming these
  • Experience of working at a professional level within a relevant field such as exhibition design or the development of interpretation or artwork within an exhibition or display context
  • Used to working organically with groups i.e. intuitively able to respond to individual and group needs
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Used to working with diverse groups and an understanding of cultural differences
  • Interest in the Staffordshire Hoard and knowledge and understanding of its history
  • Availability during October 2013 – March 2014
  • Current CRB certificate and Public Liability insurance

Planning and delivery of the project will take place between September 2013 and June 2014, with the bulk of delivery taking place between October and December 2013.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Thursday 12th September. Your response should include:

  • Qualifications, experience and track record in the areas described in the person specification and CV
  • Details of how you would approach the project
  • A breakdown of fees, costs and timeline of your proposed working schedule allocation
  • Any commitments you already have for this period of time
  • Contact details (phone and email) of two referees

How to apply:
For any queries regarding this brief, please phone Richard Statham on 0121 303 2782. Interested parties should submit their proposals by email to: Richard.statham@birminghammuseums.org.uk