Discussions / Reviews / Suggestions

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely guys at The GAP Arts Project(When I mean lovely, I really really mean it). These guys work tirelessly to run the project, and plan its ever-amazing adventures, events, mini-projects, exhibitions and so on…

The team at the GAP work really hard to bring: exciting and innovative ways of supporting young people through arts activities. Bringing young people and the rest of the community together for some intriguing adventures, creative encounters, meaningful conversations and lots more.

GAP in the Market

The latest programme of activities, adventures and chances for you to get involved with arts and culture led by the team is… (drum roll please)…  The GAP in the Market.

GAP in the Market

GAP in the Market is a festival of creativity, arts and play. Located within the midst of the vibrant and exciting Bull Ring Indoor Markets, the GAP is quite literally ‘filling a gap in the market’ with a space for creativity. Here’s how the team describe the programme:

‘a tightly-packed (quite literally!) programme of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, performances, talks and tours, including all manner of content – from craftivism and cultural resistance to play readings, clay mapping and the much loved Great Brum Grub Crawl. And all this squeezed into a tiny, collectively-created arts space in a Bull Ring Indoor Market stall in Birmingham!’

GAP in the Market, now about to enter into its second week, has been really cool so far, and I 100% reckon you should go and check it out! The second week of activities is set to include: script development, photo walks, clay city (this looks ace), films, playreading, a grub crawl, craft workshops, poetry, colouring (ahhh), board games, rug making and so much more!!

I’m ridiculously excited to get involved next week, (especially with the Disability and Labelling in the Arts discussion on Thursday!) And no doubt I will be blogging more about this as I check out some of the events! If you’re in Birmingham and you’d like to get involved you can find Week 2’s programme of events here:!week-1/c7tk 

Also, keep up to date with the team over on Twitter! @GAPArtsProject

Wednesday 8th July I was asked to conduct some vox pops/interviews at the mac birmingham. I felt pretty lucky to be a part of the #BrumIsGreat event, in which I was able to immerse myself amidst individuals who have a large influence on the development and growth of Birmingham. With stakeholders focusing on initiating conversations city-wide there was a great deal of discussion (in fact, all the discussion) focused on the positive, defining aspects of Birmingham. With guests asked to utilise the hashtag: #BrumIsGreat 

I had a really nice time interviewing people who clearly felt very strongly about the city of Birmingham. Birmingham is, in my opinion, a fantastic, vibrant city. There is so much opportunity – something I’ve learnt through the various jobs and research I’ve undertaken, as well as through the individuals whom I met today. It was lovely hearing stories, and positive reflections of the city, as well as learning about aspirations and visions for Birmingham in the future.

I thought I’d list (some) reasons as to why I think #BrumIsGreat… I grew up in Essex, yet I feel incredibly at home here in Birmingham, and I really have grown to love the city.

#BrumIsGreatJoin in with the conversation over on Twitter, using the hashtag #BrumIsGreat

Birmingham City CentreAmidst my rap-fueled walk to uni this morning I was singing along to some new music (in my head, of course…) trying to motivate myself for the day ahead. I woke up mega early this morning to do some washing, and all that generic stuff – in which I randomly met two girls in the lift at my halls (in my, ‘I’ve just woken up’ haze) they eagerly asked me loads of questions about uni, studying my Masters (or – as they said.. WHAT’S THAT?!) They left me in an ace mood – they reminded me of when I used to be in the Air Cadets and I used to explore pretty much everything – the girls were part of a much larger group who are currently staying at my halls as part of their NCS (National Citizen Service). Anyway… the point is they reminded me of my 14 year old self who used to get excited by everything… which left me in that mood where you’re walking down the street – listening to the ultimate playlist and loving life, and then you stumble across little pieces of inspiration (such as the image above) and you’re ready to conquer the world…

Happy Tuesday…  

I was really, really lucky to work from Birmingham City University’s new build yesterday. It hasn’t opened to staff, students and the public yet, so I was running around like an excited child looking at everything (making use of the quiet!) Some departments have already moved over and the final touches are underway, and it’s really really special. I’m very proud of my University, this is the second new build that I’ve been lucky enough to experience, and quiet honestly the new library within the Curzon Building is most likely going to be my new home! (It’s that cool haha).

Here’s the view from the top floor (exec. suite, ooh la la) – it’s pretty impressive. I reckon on a sunny day this view is even more amazing. 

I just want to say a massive congratulations to Birmingham City University! Keep shaping the world! 😉

Birmingham City University

BCU Curzon Building

I haven’t spent a day ‘off’ in Essex for a while. I was home last week, however I was working from home on a marketing project (and research) whilst recovering from a tooth extraction. (It was as fun as it sounds haha!) Though the work wasn’t that bad! Plus, the perks of being at home mean I have my cat annoying me every five minutes, endless coffee and my incredible parents buzzing around in their own crazy worlds.

Well, every year my dad helps out at the Blackwater Country Show – a fantastic show that takes place in Essex. (In fact this year was its tenth anniversary.) My dad helps set up – and he really enjoys himself, he gets to drive all the fancy farm machines (don’t worry he’s legally allowed!) Every year I’ve been jealous that I’ve not been able to help out, nor have I been able to attend. Though I haven’t been able to help out this year I did manage to attend on the big day – and it was Fathers day, so it was an ace day!

The sun was shining, and situated in between two lakes, with loads of horses, sheep and so forth – it really was a pretty glorious setting!

I really enjoyed myself, and my family did as well! It was so lovely to have a day where I could escape, stroke some lambs and hold some chickens. (Also, the food and cider was an added bonus…) The atmosphere was really lovely, with display teams and showcases… my favourite of course was the Essex Police’s Dog Unit – they put on a really impressive display (though I am of course biased, with policemen in my family).

Here are some of my favourite photos from the day:

Working as a copywriter is really fun (for me), working as a copywriter within a higher education institution has enabled me to work on some pretty cool, and ‘out-of-the-box’ projects. Most recently (today in fact) I’ve been writing up a document concerning one of our postgraduate courses: Professional Voice Practice. 

I’ve been gathering information concerning this course (and many others) for a few weeks now, and last week I interviewed the course director (who was ace) and now I’m making the final touches to the copy. I’ve really enjoyed writing copy for this course as voice practice is something which I’ve always been interested in. I trained as a vocalist when I was younger, and have always been fascinated by certain aspects of the vocal anatomy. (I think it’s ace that some people can sing/can’t sing, etc.) And I am absolutely in love with so many different singing voices – it’s always the voice that I go for when it comes to music genres.

When I’m writing copy for subjects I’m not too familiar with I always do my research and gather an understanding of the topic – to ensure that I don’t make any inaccurate statements. Yesterday I learnt a great deal about the English Renaissance, and the British Tradition of theatre. (As you can probably tell I’ve been working with the Birmingham School of Acting). Today I’ve been vamping up my knowledge of voice practice – learning all about the anatomy and physiological principles that govern healthy vocal practice and much much more…

I’ve also learnt about ethics, phonetics, philosophical issues and so forth. And I absolutely love it!

I’m not going to start preaching about professional voice practice (my knowledge isn’t really that vast… but if you do want to learn then you should take up the course ;] ).

I just think it’s really cool that I’m learning such an oddly diverse bunch of subjects through my role as a copywriter, and it’s pretty fun!

I don’t do book reviews, I’m not cool enough (plus when it comes to reading I get very drawn into the books I read, so I’d just be praising everything.) But, after reading Matt Haig’s recent publication Reasons to Stay Alive I decided to read some more of his stuff, and quite honestly I did judge a book by it’s cover – the word CAT was in the title, so I was sold.

To Be A Cat is an ace little book; it opens your imagination into strange new depths – and I must admit it made me question my own cat (hahaha, honestly!) It is – in my opinion – such a strange read, yet it’s gloriously good and if you like cats, and you like escaping into your own imagination then I’d recommend it to you!

There are actual, real (and better) reviews about Matt’s book here. (They may give you a better insight!)