Past Present Future
As practicing artists ourselves we believe that creative momentum is one of the key factors in the process of developing new concepts. Having to down-tools and travel to restock materials or seek technical advice can be disruptive to the flow of ideas.
In response to artist’s requests we set up The Wick Art Store at Stour Space Arts Centre to serve artists and designers in the arts community of Hackney Wick and Fish Island in east London. We offered a free delivery service, a materials resource, and technical information and advice.
Through it’s natural evolution The Wick Art Store developed a Creativity in the Community programme of events and the Pen Pushers workshops.
Stour Space Arts Centre and The Wick Art Store served and supported the local creative community. We created Pen Pushers workshops for young people of all ages, encouraging them to be creative, have fun and be as imaginative and inventive as they can be. Our Pen Pushers workshops are wide-ranging, adaptable and versatile platforms that can meet the ambitions of the next generation of artists and designers. Our workshops can also be designed, in consultation with artists and teachers, to meet the needs of particular projects and creative activities in the community, schools and colleges.
“Pen Pushers responded really quickly to a brief to engage families in festive activities on the Park during December. The large scale Christmas cards were a great success with children and adults having fun taking photos of themselves in the cards.”
Claire Gevaux, The Olympicopolis Charity
“John Atherton and his Pen Pushers provided and ran excellent and engaging workshops for Your Park, Your Big Draw in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I was impressed by his efficiency, professionalism and attention to detail. Most importantly he provided activities that were supremely popular with both adults and children, perfect for the family audience that The Big Draw attracts”.
Sue Grayson Ford, Campaign for Drawing
The ‘Whitecross Street Party’: ‘The Rise of the Nonconformists’ started back in 2010 when a small team of disorganisers took inspiration from the local dissenter’s graveyard. This hallowed ground where William Blake’s spirit was laid to rest provides the perfect setting for the event which encourages peaceful non-conformists to rise once again.
The lively street art party and two month exhibition is choreographed and curated by City YMCA London working with artist Teddy Baden. The annual event is supported by the London Borough of Islington, and is one of London’s most unique street art experiences. It’s been providing London with that rare cocktail which can only be made with interactive community spirits, mixed with a heavy splash of urban art and a large dash of the unexpected. Not to forget a very large self-deprecating cherry on top! It’s a brilliant family-friendly event for both the avid art lover and those that like something a bit different.
Artist communities, such as the one in Hackney Wick in east London, arise through the artists’ need for inexpensive spaces in which to work. Unfortunately, in most major cities these ‘safe havens’ have a limited shelf life restricted by rising property prices and development. In response to the demand by artists for a safe place to work removed from the pressures of city life we have set-up the Herrljunga Artist Residency.
The Residency will offer living accommodation, equipped studio spaces and an artists international exchange programme linked to the local creative communities, schools and colleges in this part of Sweden. The Residency is housed in traditional Swedish cottages and the studios occupy a very spacious, cathedral-like barn, dating to around 1895. It is sited in a unique rural location in the Swedish countryside. The Residency is surrounded by a rich and diverse landscape and ecology.
Our main aim is to provide a dedicated working environment for professional artists and designers, creative practitioners of all sorts, art school graduates, post-graduates and local community groups, schools and colleges. We also plan to open our facilities to writers, musicians and composers for quiet working retreat as well as musical performances and workshops.
With an overarching ecological focus, the residency will celebrate an organic way of life; a liberating experience for artists that are used to working in fast paced, city environments. The residency will provide a unique opportunity to combine artistic practice with self-sustainability.
Some well known writers, musicians, artists, designers and architects have already shown their support for our project by offering to give masterclasses, workshops, musical performances and lectures.
Meet The Team
John studied Graphic Design at the Glasgow School of Art, he has recently been running The Wick Art Store (Stour Space East London) and Pen Pushers, an interactive creative workshop platform for young people. As well as curating exhibitions in London John is a practicing artist himself and artist assistant to David Noonan. He will be furthering his own artistic practice at the Royal College of Art from 2017-2019.
Teddy studied Fine Art at UWE Bristol. He is the founder and creative director of Whitecross Street Party and Rise of the Nonconformists annual public art exhibition in London (now in its 8th year). He was art tutor at an LBI pupil referral unit, trained in ‘Team-teach’ and conflict resolution. Teddy also worked as social mentor with disaffected youth for the Children’s Social Services. He is an experienced curator and creative facilitator, while continuing his own painting practice.