Tag Archives: artist

Noah’s Ark

The summer term is our busiest term of working outside on great projects. We have been spending the last 3 weeks working with one school on a large scale arts project involving all of the curriculum and resulting in a performance – you can read more about the project from one of the jelly team here

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark 2

Noah's Ark 2

The pictures don’t even begin to convey the scale but the whole school took part, 19 sculptures created and the end finale was a dramatic performance of sound, acting and spoken word with a sculpture trail (permanent) thrown in.

This coming week is a bit of a wind down week for us, the term time activities end this week and the the week beginning 27 July all the holiday programme starts so next week we are working with a few individual clients and shifting our heads into summer workshop programme node.

Sarah, one of our team is leaving in the Autumn to continue studying in London and we will miss her (but secretly we hope she will eventaully return!)

Make sure you all have a good summer, if you’re stuck for things to do, you can always join us in jelly or we will soon be stocking online the wonderful Rosie Flo drawing books.

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A quick update

So many things have happened since the last update including viewing four buildings, three for temporary homes and one for a long-term home, plus working on our big project for the end of the month but firstly we’ll update you on our long-term home, the studios.

The future studios building is the Old British School on Southampton Street, “At a meeting held at the house of Mr Letchworth to consider a plan submitted by Mr Lancaster for the education of poor children held this 27th August 1809. Resolved that such a school be established and that the same be a free school.” Reading Lancastrian School Minute Book 1809.

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The Grade 2 Listed Old British School on Southampton Street was built in 1810. It is the only surviving building in the United Kingdom of its type from the period and in the Winter of 2000/2001 a competition run by the BBC decided that it is one of the most important buildings in the country.

jelly has been fortunate enough to be working with an individual who is putting time and care into returning the building to its former glory. Eventually it will be part of a larger residential development but the main studios will have their own street facing entrance with small network/ exhibition space plus space for about 10 artists in the main studio. The brickwork has been re-pointed, the roof replaced and a major clear up of the interior which had been left to home the pigeons for many years has been undertaken.

Here are some glorious interior shots:

entrance to studios/ network/ exhibition space

entrance to studios/ network/ exhibition space

sneak preview of main studio area

sneak preview of main studio area

We could bore you with photos all day, and we are currently fighting the urge to post more and more of this lovely space. This is a long drawn out job of painstaking, built by hand and last week when we visited individual bricks were being marked that needed extra care.

beautiful brickwork

beautiful brickwork

The front aspect of the building shows an upper floor, that will be a flat available for rent (not from jelly) – how fantastic to live there. We used their stairs to take this image looking down into the main studio area.

View from the upper floor

View from the upper floor

The studios will be home for 15 years, we will keep you updated here on where we are at with them (and maybe even post some more photos!).

We are also in negotiations on another temporary space in Reading to be used for exhibitions – the property is currently victim of the economic climate and is in administration but thanks to the jelly’s 16 year love affair with using short term properties and the recent Government public announcement for supporting artists in empty shops we are working towards something fantastic. It will be run like Gallery 10 and will be an exhibition space for many groups and artists in the area. It is 7,00sq ft of space right in the middle of town.

sneaky peek, Floor 2, jelly2 space

sneaky peek, Floor 2, jelly2 space

The other two buildings are only for 2 weeks and will be used as part of
Changing Reading for the Day: Town Centre Day Friday 29 May 11am – 4pm; Exhibition from 4-5.30pm.

jelly, with the help of Reading artists, will be helping anyone and everyone who wants to become an Artist for the day.

To celebrate 20 years of the Children’s Festival jelly wants to create a town full of artists and artists in the making for the day – it is a hugely ambitious project, with many artists already signed up to help. jelly is providing materials, the expertise and anyone will have the opportunity to be creative. The event is free and will take place in Town Hall Square ~ we are looking to recreate the Freeze exhibition of 1988 and create our own stars of the future, culminating in a mass art exhibition and changing the face of Reading for the day.

The exhibition of works created on the day will take place using the railings around Town Hall Square and the John Soane monument. Alongside this there will be window exhibitions of works by the artists helping us. The works will be housed in 27/28 Market Place (opposite the Post Office) and 173 Friar Street (in Town Hall Square) from Friday 22 May until Friday 5 June inc. All this has been made possible by the generous help and support of Reading artists, Reading people and businesses, including Sainsbury’s, Haslams, Fryer Holt.

Come along and join us on the day and help us Change the face of Reading.

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Tom Cartmill


a short statement about my work

My work deals with visual perception, in particular the fact that we can receive conflicting information from a given visual stimulus. The preconceived assumptions of eye and brain are challenged, raising questions about the subconscious and how we interpret what we are looking at.

Change through time and the inevitable accumulation of experience are themes that have underpinned my practice from early on. The way for example that buildings, much used objects and faces age, weathering and transforming with the passage of time, is a constant source of inspiration. I try to evoke a patina of experience in my pictures. This also directly relates to the methods used to make my work.

I incorporate a variety of materials in each picture, from paints and inks, to gesso and earth, which are applied in numerous layers. Each strata of material is laid down in varying thicknesses and finishes. A textured surface is produced, where the layers are often rubbed away unevenly and evidence of previous activity can be glimpsed.

I have spent much of my adult life living and travelling overseas. Four years in New Zealand was shortly followed by stints in Southern Europe. These experiences have fed directly into my work. My years spent in Southern Spain and Sicily, where I became interested in the Moorish history and in Islamic art in general, had a profound impact on me and my continuing fascination with Islamic art has been another significant reference point in current work.

Tom Cartmill 2008

An article was recently published in Berkshire Life about The Reading Foundation of Arts acquisition of two pieces for their collection.

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Gone visiting

Beauty Box, Kirsten Jones 2008

Beauty Box, Kirsten Jones 2008

It wasn’t really a visiting day in the sense of popping by but more of a day of collecting more work for the  Affordable Art Fair.

First stop, Kirsten Jones.

Kirsten Jones in her studio

Kirsten Jones in her studio

Here is a little bit about her work “Kirsten Jones paints collections of objects, imaginary gardens and quirky arrangements of  treasured possessions such as shoes, clothing, crockery and observed still life.  Using layered fragments of maps, dictionary references and stamps from around the world she creates a beautiful, subtle narrative of secret histories, which evoke a memory or sense of place which relates to the objects depicted.”

washing line, Kirsten Jones 2008

The Washing Line

This series of paintings is based on a walk through the streets of Downalong in St Ives. Outside one of the fisherman’s cottages was a washing line hung with every type of garment.. all shapes and sizes (shoes and all!). It was as if a very big wave had unexpectedly soaked a whole family. The image seemed to capture the essence of holidays by the beach. This idea continued following a trip to New York in 2008, and Kirsten began painting a series of pieces exploring ideas around fashion.

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