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Here's what the Bounceback Food team have been up to!

Episode 1

Overview

In the first episode of Share Your Secrets Season 2, host Miriam Rendell introduces the common thread that runs through this season: the publication of fundraiser cookbook Secret Dishes From Around the World 3 and the subsequent book tour. The conversations that will feature on this season took place with artists and organisers who collaborated on this book with Bounceback. The book features different recipes from a variety of countries the recipes are divided into sections based on the country of origin. At the beginning of each section there is an original artwork which represents the featured country.

Miriam starts by talking to Duncan Swainsbury, the founder of Bounceback Food, about the motivation behind creating the book as well as the process of writing it. The focus then shifts to the interviews conducted on the first stop of the book tour, in Manchester, where Miriam interviews the artists Justin P Lees who was commissioned to work on the book by the charity Venture Arts.

The next stop of the tour was the Gap Arts Project in Birmingham, where Miriam caught up with the artist Bayan Moradi who shares how her childhood in Iran influenced the piece that she created for the project. Finally, there’s a conversation with Ella Marshall, a co-ordinator with Gap Arts, who speaks about the importance of how arts spaces can become community spaces.

Listen now: available via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube.

Secrets Shared

  • Bounceback Food released its third fundraiser cookbook which was a collaboration with 20 arts charities and social enterprises from 20 locations around the UK.
  • These 20 locations were chosen because they are where Bounceback is establishing delivery teams as it scales up its community cookery school nationwide.
  • Justin researched Venezuela extensively before creating the artwork for the project. He was particularly interested in the dance, music and natural beauty.
  • His artistic influences include Dr. Seuss, Quentin Blake and E. H. Shepherd.
  • Over the course of working on the piece, he learnt that his mother was born in Venezuela, which gave him an even deeper connection with the country.
  • Bayan’s self portrait which is being exhibited in the Venture Arts Space was influenced by the loneliness that she experienced during the first lockdown.
  • Making her artwork in lockdown helped Bayan to process her emotions.
  • Her artwork was inspired by a memory from when she was a child in Iran and watching a huge wedding procession from a rooftop.
  • She shares the significance of mirrors in a traditional Iranian wedding.
  • Bayan talks of some of her favourite Kurdish foods and the importance of food to Kurdish culture.
  • Ella talks about the inception of the GAP Arts Project and how it centres youth voices.
  • GAP Arts set up vital community aid during the pandemic to provide food and green spaces to asylum seekers and the wider community.
  • Ella reveals the importance of arts spaces as public spaces where people can seek support and community in many different ways.

Resources

Interviewees

Justin P. Lees is an artist who has been illustrating as long as he can remember. He has worked with Manchester City Council, Children in Need and has had his work exhibited across the country.

Website: https://www.justinplees.com/

Podcast: https://www.justinplees.com/podcasts

Bayan Moradi is an artist who works primarily in paints and inks. Her work has been exhibited in the GAP Arts project and she designs items for her online store.

Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BARTISTA

Instagram Store: https://www.instagram.com/bayan.moradi/?hl=en

Art Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bayaan_moradi/

Ella Marshall joined the GAP Arts Project’s core team in 2016 as project manager. Since then, she has worked with the project as an exhibition curator, event producer, programmer, creative workshop facilitator, set designer, community story researcher and venue manager.

Episode 2

Overview

On the second episode of Share Your Secrets Season 2, we hear from Jacqueline Alkema from Women’s Arts Association Wales. Jacqueline grew up in Holland and her paintings are still influenced by Flemish art. She speaks about the importance of women’s participation in the arts, as well as the importance of there being spaces for women to gather to create.

The next interview is with Akulah Agbami, who is central to the international organisation BLACK* Artists On The Move. She explains why global collaboration is so important to the organisation and introduces her show History is NOW, which was created for Black History Month.

We also hear from Bounceback’s Founder, Duncan, about the experience of the book tour and meeting the artists for the first time.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

Secrets Shared

  • Jacqueline shares how Women’s Art Association Wales (WAAW) was started in 1984 to combat women’s exclusion and isolation in the arts and in the community at large.
  • Traditionally female art forms, like embroidery, have long been overlooked by the art world.
  • Although men and children are now welcomed into events, female spaces and female collaboration are vitally important to encourage women to reach their creative potential.
  • Akulah shares how the role of artists in society is now more important than ever.
  • BLACK Artists on the Move* has an agenda of compassion in everything the organisation does.
  • Akulah discusses the centrality of women as caregivers and also recognises the need for women to take risks and tread new paths.
  • International collaboration is integral to BLACK* Artists on the Move and the difference between supporting artists in the UK and the developing world.
  • Akulah discusses the importance of food justice and recognising the inequalities that exist within the global food system.

Resources

Interviewees

Akulah Agbami is a poet, playwright, artistic director and producer. She is has chaired Taunton YMCA, was formerly the editor of Spare Rib magazine and chaired The Women’s Community Forum.

Website: https://akulahagbami.com/index.html

Jacqueline Alkema is a Trustee of the Women’s Arts Association and a painter with long-term interest in traditions of iconic imagery in women’s portraiture often exploring the identity of, seemingly anonymous women.

Website: https://www.jacquelinealkema.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jacquelinealkem

Episode 3

Overview

This week, we speak to Barbara van Heel from ActionSpace, a London-based arts charity that works with neurodivergent artists, such as Thomas Owen, who created the work for the Croatian section of Secret Dishes From Around the World 3. Established in the 1960s, ActionSpace supports artists by providing training, resources and giving access to exhibition and studio space.

Our conversation took place in the fantastic Brigade Bar and Kitchen, a social enterprise founded by Simon Boyle, who we also got the chance to speak with. Simon’s Beyond Food Foundation is a multi-award winning organisation which supports displaced people gain meaningful employment.

The Bounceback team then travelled to Brighton, where we met Jo Offer and Richard Morris in the from Rocket Artists’ studio in the covered market. Rocket Artists is an inclusive group which celebrates diverse identities and art practices and helps individuals realise their creative vision.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Barbara shares the history of ActionSpace and the importance of accessible arts spaces and programmes.
  • ActionSpace supports artists with learning difficulties and it aims to make professional arts careers more accessible.
  • Simon talks about the purpose of the Beyond Food Foundation, his social enterprise which supports people experiencing homelessness or close to homelessness.
  • The Beyond Food programme starts with wellbeing lessons and then moves onto teaching accredited, employable skills. Simon’s restaurant, Brigade Bar and Kitchen, facilitates permanent employment for the alumni of this programme.
  • Simon explains how his love for cooking developed at a young age and charts his career progression, from working in fine dining to becoming a culinary ambassador for Unilever.
  • He reveals how his career changed with the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka, when he travelled over to set up a relief camp. When he came back to the UK, his experiences encourages him to start a social enterprise.
  • Simon talks about his experience pitching on Dragon’s Den in 2008, when the investors wanted profit-led investment, not social-led investment.
  • The Beyond Food Foundation and Brigade Bar and Kitchen have supported 6,075 people so far.
  • The Beyond Food Foundation is now expanding its focus from helping homeless people to seeking ways that homelessness can be prevented.
  • Simon encourages people to make simple acts of kindness, such as helping apprentices get to work by buying a travel card or having a cup of coffee with a rough sleeper.
  • Jo shares importance of the Rocket Artists studio being located the public market as it allows the organisation to engage with the public in meaningful ways.
  • Jo explains how Richard’s artwork was developed with an South Korean organisation called Cis Arts in South Korea.
  • Jo was inspired to work with people marginalised by mainstream education as she wanted to show that people aren’t the problem: the systems of marginalisation are the problem.
  • Richard shares how he draws inspiration from street art, and talks about his pride in his published artwork.

Resources

Interviewees

Barbara van Heel is the co-director of ActionSpace and has been working with the organisation for nearly 20 years. Before joining ActionSpace in 2003, Barbara studied arts management in the Netherlands as well as in the UK, at City University London.

Simon Boyle is the founder of the Beyond Food Foundation and Brigade Bar and Kitchen. In 2020, he won a special recognition from the Basque Culinary World Prize for helping to feed and support hundreds of vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Website: http://www.simonboyle.info/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chefsimonboyle

Jo Offer is an artist, designer, educator and researcher. She is the director of Rocket Artists and a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, where she teaches the MA in Inclusive Arts Practice.

Website: http://jooffer.co.uk/

Episode 4

Overview

The Secret Dishes Around the World 3 Tour continues, with the team travelling to Coventry and Leicester. Host Miriam Rendell catches up with Duncan, the founder of Bounceback, before she takes the opportunity to interview Lorella Medici. Lorella is the founder and director of Arty-Folks, an arts charity based in Coventry. They talk about the importance of art to bolster mental health and dive into Lorella’s thinking around psychological modelling and how art and peer support can help people suffering with mental ill-health. They also discuss the collaborative process behind the creation of the artwork for the Haiti section of the book.

Moving over to Leicester, Miriam talks to the artist Andrew Petrouis about his creative process and inspiration behind his illustration. He explains the important aspects of humour and narrative in his art, and explains the significant motifs in his illustration for the German section of the book. Finally, Miriam speaks to Selena Blakeley, a project co-ordinator at Pedestrian Arts, who commissioned Andrew to make the artwork for the book. They speak about the importance of cultural spaces in Leicester to provide alternative education and help young people reach their full potential.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Duncan shares the importance of marketplaces in Bounceback’s history, as the organisation began as a market stall and this facilitated important conversations and, ultimately, pushed the growth of the organisation.
  • Lorella shares how Arty Folks began as a self-help group which combined a supportive social environment with arts therapy.
  • She explains how art is a unique method of expression which can change the way that you relate to mental illness.
  • Lorella talks about how we are born with creativity, playfulness and excitement and engaging with different art practises can bring those feelings back.
  • She shared Arty Folks’ process of creating the Haiti artwork for Secret Dishes From Around the World 3 as a collaborative process. The group undertook research about the country together and created collages in response to their research.
  • Lorella discusses how art gives hope to people and how the Arty Folks community gives insight and support. She stresses the importance of communities working together to create change in society.
  • Andrew shares how he enjoys creating striking visual artwork and how he often incorporates humour into his work to make it memorable.
  • He discusses his inspiration for his illustration which sits in the German section of the book. The piece reflects Leicester’s history with its German twin city, Krefeld. The piece features the silk and lace trade which historically tied them together.
  • Andrew speaks about Alice Hawkins, who is the central figure of the illustration. She was leader of Suffragette movement in Leicester. Andrew’s portrait of her includes her Holloway broach, which she wore after being imprisoned for protest.
  • Selena explains how Pedestrian’s outreach programmes and educational classes bring art and creativity to the city in powerful ways.
  • She says that the most rewarding part of working in an arts charity is giving people an experience that they might not otherwise have
  • Pedestrian focuses on pioneering potential; a lot of participants are socially excluded and Pedestrian supports young people in achieving their full potential.
  • Alice Hawkins’ great grandson attended the Leicester book launch and bought a copy of the book for his daughter, so that she could have a portrait of Alice.

Resources

Interviewees

Lorella Medici is the founder and manager of Arty-Folks, and she has been involved in the organisation for over 25 years. She has a degree in fine art from Coventry University.

Andrew Petrouis is an illustrator and comic artist who loves graphic novels. He specialises in hand-drawn illustration and has created a graphic novel.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewpetrouisart/?hl=af

Twitter: https://twitter.com/apillustrated

Selena Blakeley is the Projects and Administration Assistant at Pedestrian Arts.

Episode 5 

Overview

Sheffield and Bradford are the next stops on the tour. Host Miriam Rendell starts off by speaking to Josh Garcia about the creative process behind his artwork for the Ireland section of Secret Dishes Around the World 3, as well as how his autism influences or affects his work creatively. Following on, Miriam talks to arts coordinator Dominika Rojeska about how ArtWorks South Yorkshire offers incredible opportunities for aspiring artists with learning disabilities or autism – such as workshops, exhibitions, national competitions and real-work commissions. 

Next stop on the tour is Hive in Bradford: a community arts charity that supports new and aspiring artists. Miriam talks to Joy Hart about the impact of Hive in the community, sharing how these art classes aid in people’s well-being as a part of potential recovery after being referred to the charity – helping people gain confidence, for example. Hive partnered up with Roshni Ghar, a mental health charity for South Asian women, to make the artwork for the Bangladesh section.

Miriam speaks to three women, firstly Najma Ashraf, a mental health and wellbeing coordinator for Roshni Ghar, who explains the collaboration with Hive and how the women in the sessions found the art activities therapeutic in their journey to recovery. Then, Miriam speaks with Sobia Iqbal, a support worker, who aided in the process of the artwork for the Bangladesh section. They discuss the process and meaning behind the ‘feet’ imagery that runs through the artwork. Finally, Miriam speaks with Shamin Akhtar, who discusses why she came to Roshni Ghar and how being a part of the artwork has aided in her recovery journey.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Josh describes the inspirations behind his artwork for the book, relating to traditional Celtic traditions, such as a woman playing the harp.
  • He describes ArtWorks as a place to be creative and explore anything he wants, as well as be able to gain his confidence along the way as he aspires to make his art a business. 
  • Josh shares how valuable art is to him as an autistic individual, as it is like another language for him to communicate.
  • Dominika explains how the artists she works with have such a unique style and artistic perspective that even when they are studying other artists, they recreate art in their own unique style. 
  • She goes on to highlight ArtWorks’ vision: to challenge people’s perspectives of learning disabilities and autism through celebrating the creativity and ambition of these artists.
  • Dominika shares some upcoming projects for ArtWorks including a big Christmas advert, light installation in Middlesbrough and curating & marketing with Wentworth Woodhouse. 
  • Joy explains to Miriam how Hive started almost 40 years ago for the unemployed, providing practical skill classes and workshops, such as motorcycle maintenance, as a way to keep active and engage with other people until the 1980s in which it was decided that the charity should focus on art and wellbeing. 
  • She explores the relationship between art and wellbeing and how art can keep you in the moment and allow you to open up to yourself about certain issues you might have. 
  • Joy and Miriam discuss the symbolisms and imagery behind the Bangladesh artwork for the book, using the feet as a way to symbolise putting one foot after the other in times or darkness and illuminating hope.
  • Roshni Ghar means house of light – Ashraf explains its meaning and highlights how the charity has a house to house feel, with lots of warmth, and a comfortable feeling inside to give a homely feel.
  • Sobia says how being at Roshni Ghar allows people to be free and be themselves, and art aids in that by people being able to keep their minds occupied and busy.
  • Shamin Akhtar shares how before embarking on the artwork project, she had never experienced working with a needle in that particular way. She explains how rewarding it felt to see her progress and finished product published in the book.

Resources

Interviewees

Josh Garcia is an artist and member of ArtWorks South Yorkshire, specialising in retro 1930’s, 80’s and 90’s toons.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joshgarciaartworks/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshgarciaartworks/ 

Dominika Rojeska is the arts coordinator for ArtWorks South Yorkshire, having been a part of the charity for 5 years, firstly as a volunteer, during and after her studies in BA Fine Art and MA Arts and Cultural Management. 

Joy Hart is the community arts manager for Hive and has been a part of the Hive family for 11 years.

Najma Ashraf is a mental health and wellbeing coordinator for Roshni Ghar.

Sobia Iqbal is a support worker for one of the attendees at Roshni Ghar, aiding her with the sessions and classes that she attends.

Shamin Akhtar participates in the charity, and took part in the creation of the Bangladesh artwork. 

Episode 6

Overview

This week on the podcast, Duncan Swainsbury, founder of Bounceback Food, talks about his plans for 2022 and beyond. He talks about his gratitude towards people who supported Bounceback Food over the Christmas period, as well as the upcoming expansion of the organisation. Then host Miriam Rendell introduces the next leg of the book tour, which went from Wakefield to Leeds. In Wakefield, she speaks to members of the arts organisation Inspire Arts, Chairman Jo Cottam and Treasurer Diana Ellis. Inspire Arts is a community arts group that focuses on promoting mental wellness and creating a relaxed environment for participants. They share how the artwork for the America section of Secret Dishes From Around the World 3 was created as a collaborative process.

Then, moving onto Leeds, Miriam speaks to Alice Clayden from Pyramid of Arts, the organisation that Bounceback partnered with in Leeds. They commissioned the artist William Stapleton to create the work for the French section of the book. This book launch event was held at Café Leep and Maisie Hirshorn shares her experience of working at the café. Miriam also catches up with Mandy Haigh, the Project and Development Manager of Leep1 – the community organisation that founded Cafe Leep. Mandy tells us more about the organisation, as well as the local clothing brand ‘AND’ (standing for Abilities Not Disabilities).

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Duncan talks about the plans for Bounceback to establish volunteer teams across the UK in 2022 and encourages listeners to volunteer.
  • Jo Cottom talks about the importance of promoting mental wellbeing with Inspire Arts.
  • Jo shares how Inspire Arts’ illustration for the book celebrates multicultural America, including Cajun and Creole cultures, hence their decision to focus on both Mardi Gras and a roadside diner.
  • Diana stresses the importance of the social aspects of the peer arts group for mental wellbeing and a sense of community.
  • Lockdown made the members of Inspire Arts realise how important the group is to them, as it gives them a sense of belonging.
  • Alice shares how Pyramid of Arts is passionate about helping volunteers to push their own creative practise.
  • Pyramid of Arts’ primary aim is to help people with learning disabilities to access the arts. The artists complete term-long projects which culminate in an exhibition.
  • Alice speaks about the importance Creative Expansion over Creative Perfection.
  • She explains the importance of Disrupting socio-institutional barriers to Pyramid Arts.
  • ‘Disrupt’ means making things more inclusive – especially in terms of barriers in art world (i.e. careers and also making exhibition spaces more accessible).
  • Mandy talks about how Café Leep started as a suggestion from their members. The café gives employment opportunities and opportunities to gain accredited qualifications.
  • Leeds1 stands for Leeds People First, an advocacy organisation that helps adults with learning difficulties to have a voice in the community.
  • Mandy tells us about AND’s book launch and its aim to change perceptions of people with learning disabilities. AND is a group of 8 social entrepreneurs with learning disabilities who run a fashion business.
  • Maisy Hirshorne takes us through what a job at Cafe Leep means to her, and the tasks that her role involves.

Resources

Episode 7

Overview

This week’s episode follows the Bounceback Team on their book tour, stopping in York and Hull. First, Miriam talks to Duncan, the founder of Bounceback Food, who gives some sound advice for applicants thinking of applying for the 2022 Social Enterprise Internship. In York, they meet the team from Accessible Arts and Media (AAM), including Kirsty Halliday. She shares the importance of their Sing and Sign Choir and discusses the impact music can have on participants with Dementia. Choir leader Claire Houseman speaks fondly about her time at AAM and her involvement with the Libyan artwork, which was organised by the artist Adam Higton.

Next, Miriam had the chance to interview Sean McAllister, the documentary film maker and curator of Hull’s City of Culture Opening. Sean talks about his documentary film ‘A Syrian Love Story’ and why he the artwork he created with Amer Daoud for the Syrian section of the book. Then, Miriam catches up with the head of Creative Programming at Absolutely Cultured, Lindsay Stockley, who fills us in on how much Hull has changed since becoming city of Culture back in 2017.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Duncan shares tips for applicants for Bounceback’s 2022 Social Enterprise Internship Programme, including researching Bounceback’s mission beforehand and taking time on the application process.
  • Kirsty shares her excitement for the upcoming 40 year anniversary of Accessible Arts and Media’s (AAM’s) opening.
  • She discusses how AAM is lead by its participants, including training programmes and becoming group leaders.
  • She reveals the importance of singing groups to people with dementia, speaking about how people suffering from the disease can become lucid for periods of time when they connect with a particular song.
  • She finds the most rewarding part of her job witnessing as the participants flourish and become more confident.
  • She talks about artist Adam Higton’s participation in the project for Secret Dishes From Around the World 3, including research into Libyan food and music.
  • Sean talks about his childhood and adolescence in Hull and how it influences his career now.
  • He talks about his process of becoming a film maker and travelling to Syria and finding Amer there, who would become the subject of his film ‘A Syrian Love Story’
  • Sean tells the heartbreaking story of the love between Amer and Raghda, and talks about the impact that Raghda had on the people around her.
  • He shares why documentary films are the perfect medium to catch the unpredictability of reality.
  • Lindsay talks about the impact that the City of Culture status has had on Hull and how the city has become unrecognisable.
  • She shares the importance of bringing communities together through artwork and food.

Resources

People

Kirsty Halliday is the Development Officer for AAM. She has been the Director of a youth music development charity, produced an award-winning community opera and worked on dozens of festivals and arts projects.

Sean McAllister is an award-winning film maker whose documentary The Liberace Of Baghdad (2004) won the Sundance Jury Prize. His latest film, Northern Soul (2018), examines life in Hull, the city where he was brought up.

Lindsay Stockley is the Head of Creative Programming at Absolutely Cultured. She has been a circus ringleader, a creative director of festivals and a professional DJ.

Episode 8

Overview

The tour heads further North, with Newcastle and Sunderland as the next two stops. Miriam firstly catches up with Duncan, who reflects on his time as a student at Newcastle as well as the early days of BounceBack in which he got his first grant to test out the buy one give one scheme. He then introduces the new Food Poverty Innovation Award that is now open for applications. 

Miriam talks to Breezy Willows (Johnny Fawcett) about his creative endeavours and inspiration behind the Indonesia section of the book, including his particular interest in the traditional East-Asian designs of wood block printing and irezumi tattoos. Having irezumi tattoos of his own, Breezy Willows takes great interest and inspiration behind East-Asian design and artwork and strived to capture the rich culture and inherent history of Indonesia. Breezy Willows rents a studio space via The Biscuit Factory Foundation, a charity which aims to nurture and develop the practice and appreciation of art in the North-East of England through creative opportunities.

Sunderland Family Arts Network is a group of cultural and creative organisations dedicated to bringing art and creativity to families. Through this network, the artwork for the Malaysia section of the book was commissioned to More Than Grandparents: a Sunderland-based charity ran by and for kinship carers and their families. Miriam talks to Karen Grey, who discusses how More Than Grandparents creates easy access to support and answers to reassure her and ensure she’s not alone. She says how the artwork for the recipe book, the Mask of Malaysia, really excited and engaged with all the children and she plans on trying out a few of the recipes in the book during a session with everyone. Miriam also talks to Karen Davidson, who shares her feelings about how More Than Grandparents acts as a safe space with a real sense of community for like-minded people. She explains how her kinship granddaughter, Katie, was able to open up a lot whilst she was creating her section of the art piece, giving them the opportunity to connect and have fun together.

Lastly, Miriam talks to competition winner Lily about the Mask of Malaysia artwork. Lily used colouring pencils to draw a bird, butterfly and flowers to contribute to the collaborative art piece, and won a trophy and art set from the competition. She explains that she loved how she could identify all her sibling’s and friend’s contributions to the artwork and seeing it all put together as the final piece. 

The Mask of Malaysia was cleverly brought together by Hannah Rich, an award winning creative and illustrating artist.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Want to make a difference in your community? Apply before 31st May 2022 for our Food Poverty Innovation Award and bring your idea to life! The winner will receive a £250 cash grant, start up support and mentoring from our central team to help tackle food poverty in your community. 
  • Johnny Fawcett took on the name Breezy Willows as it connects him to his home and heritage, as well as appreciating the visual imagery behind the words too. 
  • Irezumi tattoos are associated with figures of bravery and spiritual protection.
  • Hindu mythology was at the forefront of Breezy Willows’ mind when creating the artwork, which can be seen by the inclusion of the Garuda: A Hindu mythical bird that symbolises strength and fortitude.
  • The Garuda, in Hindu mythology, was designed as Lord Vishnu’s carriage for travelling between heaven and Earth. The bird is also featured on the Indonesian flag.
  • When asked about what’s next in the pipeline, Breezy Willows explained that he’ll be taking a focus on his music as well as selling at the local markets.
  • Karen Grey’s daughter, Natalia, created the flowers on the forehead of the Mask of Malaysia.
  • Karen Davidson discusses and explores the psychology behind children and artwork, saying how children engrossed in creating art seem to be more open and talkative.
  • Lily talks about how art calms her down and acts as a way to get and feel inspired.
  • She also explains how she likes to draw a picture to give to any new person she meets.

Resources

Interviewees

Breezy Willows is a multimedia artist based in Newcastle who specialises and enjoys taking inspiration in East-Asian inspired mediums and designs.

Karen Grey is a kinship mother to Natalia, and a member of More Than Grandparents

Karen Davidson is also a member of More Than Grandparents and is a kinship nan to granddaughter Katie.

Lily is the winner of the competition that More Than Grandparents ran alongside the Mask of Malaysia artwork project.

Episode 9

Overview

This week on Share Your Secrets, Duncan speaks to Ashlynn Wardle from Able Arts CIC about setting up a Social Enterprise during a pandemic. Able Arts is an organisation that works with people with autism and learning Disabilities to gain experience in the creative industries. They created the artwork for the Chile section of Secret Dishes From Around the World 3.

Bazooka Arts is a charity which improves health and wellbeing through arts projects, prioritising participants most affected by inequality. Participants from Bazooka Arts produced the artwork for the Ukraine section. Miriam talks to Bryony Murray, co-founder of Bazooka Arts, who explains how the name for their artwork ‘The Sharing Table’ not only describes their piece for the Ukraine section of the book but also the fundamental way in which they work. Artist Gail Robinson explains her idea to use lino- cutting and printing for the piece and how it has led to further projects, and member Karen Calpin bravely shares her story about what a lifeline Bazooka Arts has been for her.

Listen now: available via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube.

Secrets Shared

  • Duncan shares how listeners can become members of our Community Cookery School, by signing up for our online Cooking and Nutrition Portal.
  • Georgia researched Chile before creating the artwork representing the country.
  • Ashlynn shares the difficulty of starting the group during the first lockdown, and how they overcame the challenges.
  • Bryony shares the process of Lino Cutting, the technique that they used to create the artwork for the book.
  • She talks about how the artwork was inspired by Ukrainian folk artistry.
  • Bryony discusses how successful the project was to bring the group together, and how the lessons learnt from the project continue to influence Bazooka Arts.
  • The Sharing Table represents the collaborate process of Bazooka Arts, and how it can facilitate important conversations and support.
  • Arts organisations can work to promote mental health and wellbeing.
  • Bryony shares that all of Bazooka Arts’ programmes are therapeutic projects that aim to support the participants through reducing isolation and encourage community building.
  • Gail talks about the process of assembling the artwork and how the different elements of the culture and the food came together.
  • Miriam prefaces the next interview with a caution that the subject matter could be emotionally difficult to hear.
  • Karen shares how her redundancy impacted her mental health and how painting initially helped with stress relief. Creating art has become a form of therapy whilst family illnesses began to severely impact her life.
  • Karen became involved with Bazooka Arts through her Carers’ Group and it hugely helped her through a dark mental health period.

Resources

If you’re having a difficult time or have been affected by any of the issues raised in today’s podcast:

Samaritans Call 116 123 for free, day or night, 365 days a year

Episode 10

Overview

On the final episode of Share Your Secrets Series 2, Duncan reflects on the success of the book tour and expresses the sense of achievement he felt visiting each of the 20 organisations. He also looks forward to the future work of Bounceback Food, as we begin to establish teams across the UK to fight food poverty nationwide. Next Miriam speaks to Char Binns Festival Director of Homotopia, the arts and social justice organisation we teamed up with in Liverpool. Char shares more about their Queer Core programme, Young Homotopia and what to expect from their annual Homotopia Festival, the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA arts and cultural festival.

Then, moving onto the final location of the tour Belfast, Miriam speaks to Rong Gen Yin the artist who created the artwork for the Chinese section of the book. Transtaled by Miao Wang, Rong Gen discusses his passion for traditional Chinese watercolour and what his piece ‘Lotus’ represents. Miriam also catches up with Nisha Tandon, Founder of ArtsEkta. Nisha shares how ArtsEkta brings together communities in Belfast and beyond to create projects that inspire audiences to engage with the diversity tastes, rhythms and sights that make up the multicultural life of Northern Ireland.

Listen now via SpotifyApple Podcasts and YouTube. If you want to support the podcast further, please share the podcast with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts!

Secrets Shared

  • Duncan reflects on the success of the book tour and explains how it gave him a renewed sense of urgency to grow an organisation, which is capable of tackling food poverty in the UK.
  • Char Binns tells us how the Homotopia Festival has a reputation for excellence in Queer Arts and Culture not just locally but internationally too.
  • The Homotopia Festival 2021 had something for everyone including film shorts, a visual arts programme, a week residency in the theatre, poetry, performance workshops plus family friendly events.
  • Representation, community, celebrating queer joy and dealing with queer drama are important elements of the work Homotopia does.
  • Char discusses how there have been steps forward but there is still a long way to go to improve the representation of Trans and QTIPOC people in arts and media
  • QueerCore, Homotopia’s artist development programme provides individuals or groups advice, support and funding over 12 months
  • Young Homotopia partners with GYRO to run workshops, rehearsals and performances for young LGBTQIA people. They use comedy, dance and cabaret to communicate important messages in a fun and thought provoking way.
  • Christian Asare’s Ghanaian heritage and fine art skills made him the perfect artist to be commissioned for the book. He is also a choreographer and contemporary dancer – a multi talented creative!
  • Homotopia were able to pivot and adapt during the pandemic and continued to bring entertainment to the community despite the arts sector being hit hard. Local Queen Filla Crack surprised nominated family members with a live performance during lockdown to cheer them up!
  • Rong Gen explains to Miriam that the pronunciation of Lotus in Chinese means calm, friendly and peaceful, hence the name of his artwork.
  • Rong Gen wanted his artwork to help people understand more about Chinese culture. He teaches local student to paint and thinks it is important to pass on the Chinese watercolour style to future generations
  • Ron Gen was delighted to receive a copy of the book around his 60th Birthday, a fantastic present!
  • He is actually a chef who specialises in Shanghai Style cooking.
  • Nisha Tandon shares that ‘Ekta’ is an Indian word, which means ‘unity.’
  • Mela means ‘gathering’ and the Belfast Mela is an opportunity to bring people together, bring their culture to the forefront and learn from each other.
  • Nisha talks about their outreach programmes working alongside refugees and how they use music to unite participants.

Resources

Interviewees

Char Binns is an activist and community organiser with 15 years’ experience working in the third sector. She is Homotopia’s Festival Director.

Christian Asare is a Black British multidisciplinary artist of Ghanaian heritage based in Manchester.

Rong Gen Yin is an artist who teaches traditional Chinese watercolour techniques.

Nisha Tandon OBE is a social entrepreneur, founder & director of ArtsEkta.

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