Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Exciting news: I Love West Leeds!

There's a fab festival in Leeds, called the I Love West Leeds Festival. As the name suggests, it celebrates everything in West Leeds, with loads of events going on through July, and a mahoosive festival day which moves venue every year (this year it's at Farnley Hall Park, on Sunday 4th July). There are loads of activities and lots of entertainment for the whole family.

I'm going to be a part of it. I'm going to be doing a drop-in Foldageddon event throughout the day, working alongside proper proper artists, at a massive festival. I'm very scared, but also very very excited.

I get an area (which may or may not be in a shed, depending on numbers) so I'm currently making a few decorations to jazz my space up a bit. I'm going for an underwater theme so I'm making fish, seahorses, shells, crabs and turtles; then on the day I'll be making fish and boats (plus bangers because what says a family festival more than kids running around making lots of noise?)

If you're in Leeds, pop over and have a look at what's going on!

One hundred...

Today is one hundred days until Light Night Leeds, so it seemed a good time for a little retrospective.

I started out my project for Light Night thinking it would be nice just to be involved in something that I really enjoyed last year.

Since then, I've made friends, been to budgeting meetings, got involved in arts festivals and been funded by the Council to put on my installation. I've gained confidence and the whole thing has really helped me settle in in Leeds.

There's still 100 days to go, who knows what that will bring...

Monday, 28 June 2010

Quick reminder

Foldageddon is next Monday, the 5th of July.

I made new flyers, but I really like it so I might keep it/adapt it for future foldageddons:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The results are in...

I've got in. Not only have I got in, I've got in with full funding.

I'm doing Light Night.

Now it's sorted (in terms of being 'approved'), it's all become a bit more real. The eagle eyed of you will have noticed the totalizer rocketing up this week - well that's because I'm panicking slightly!

I know I'll be alright, and I'm really really excited about doing it, it's just a little daunting. But isn't that what it's all about?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Meetings two and three

First of all, apologies! I've kept you all on the edge of your seats about how my presentation went...well here it is.

It went a bit crap.

I turned up at the second meeting and the first thing I did was trip up the stairs. So, you know, that was a good start. Despite wearing my lucky socks, I fumbled and stumbled through my idea; the room was really light so you couldn't really see the LED inside Blue Canary and a few people threw questions that seemed like they hated my idea. I was feeling really down, and thought they were just going to say "well you tried, but we think it would be best if you just went home and came to Light Night as a visitor"...but the feedback I got from people was pretty good. Good enough that I'm not going to get thrown out anyway!

Both the second and third meetings had a lot of good ideas, and I'm really looking forward to going ahead and getting to know the people involved. I should hear this week about the funding, and then I just have to get on with the folding!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Meeting number one

I went to the first of the budget meetings yesterday, and got to hear about ten of the proposals for Light Night.

There were over 200 submissions sent in, with 56 of those asking for funding. Of those 200, 75 will take place, and 30 will be funded. I'm in that 30.

Some of the proposals were really good, some (I thought) were rubbish. As with most art stuff, some I just didn't "get". However, it did bring home how diverse the range of projects at Light Night, and how diverse the people involved are. There were inclusive projects for youth groups, people asking for student volunteers and people like me who are doing something creative for the first time.

It was all very informal, and I think my powerpoint presentation was mahoosively overthinking it, so I'm going back to the drawing board on that one. Tomorrow is my presentation, so I'll let you know after I've done it what I decided to do!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Nerves are kicking in

The budgetary meetings start next week. I had planned on just getting up and reading out my submission, but then I started thinking about what I would like to see. I certainly wouldn't like to see someone with little confidence stumbling over words, and if you can't be confident in front of a few people, how can you feel confident in putting on an art exhibit?

So I thought, and thought, and thought. I practised adapting my submission into a "speech". I tried it out on my dogs. I incorporated Blue Canary, my prototype. It was so much easier to show people what I meant, rather than trying to tell them.

Which led me to wondering...was there a way to show people what I meant? A presentation done via powerpoint, or something similar, wouldn't just take the heat off me somewhat, but it was also different, exactly what I wanted.

Only one problem. I can't use powerpoint. Or anything like that.

At the moment I've storyboarded it, and I'm going to work on it over the weekend. Another thing I need to sort out is if I can even use powerpoint at the meeting - will there be facilities? There's a spark of an idea there, I just need to work at it to get something practical.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Foldageddon: The Sequel

Foldageddon!! was such a success, and I had so many people saying they'd have liked to come but couldn't make it, I've decided to go again.

Foldageddon: the sequel will be held Monday 5th July at 6.30pm in Leeds city centre at The Victoria on Great George Street (back of the Town Hall) - tell your friends! There'll be many new exciting models to make, including MODULAR origami!

Please let me know in the comments, or via email ( - a new email address, but the old one still works too), or on twitter (@gazpachodragon) if you'd like to come, so I can make sure there's enough space and paper. The more the merrier is true, but it got a bit squished last time so we could've done with an extra table!

The event will be free, but there will be a donations box if you want to contribute towards the cost of materials (and allow me to keep getting nice patterny papers for future Foldageddons!)

If you can't make this one, but would like to be put on the mailing list for future Foldageddons, please drop me a line with your email address at

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Sunday was my day at Testspaceleeds and it went well. Due to the fact that it was a drop in workshop, and the idea of testspaceleeds being rapid-fire creativity, I kept the models simple and limited.

I’d made up worksheets by scanning in origami at various stages (hopefully these will be available as pdfs on here this week) for the penguin, the box, and the yacht. These are all easy models that I’ve been folding since I was tiny, so I was pretty happy that everyone could have a go. Armed with paper, my worksheets, and Blue Canary (so I could explain my Light Night project), I set off.

It’s not the first time I’ve been involved in workshop/festival type things like this, but it’s the first time I’ve done origami at one, and I was pretty nervous, made more so by the fact that everything had been arranged by email so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I got there and arranged for a couple of tables, set out my stall and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long. Apparently people had been asking about the origami workshop (I’d billed it as Foldageddon!! again, but that hadn’t caught on!) so soon people were dropping in regularly. Also, origami was the only ‘interactive’ thing (there were video screenings, and a lady demonstrating hatmaking) so anyone coming in for a look tended to want to ‘have a go’, which I loved. Soon there was a pile of origami at the side of me:

By the end of the day there was a veritable waddle of penguins (seriously, I googled it - a group of penguins is called a waddle!):

One gentleman (hey Henry, if you’re reading!) came in who explained he wanted to buy some art. However, on a limited budget and with not much for sale (most stuff was being sold at another site), he was a bit stuck. Whilst the organisers had a look round for stuff, he sat with me and asked if I could show him how to make a crane. Although I wasn’t really showing cranes (it makes it difficult if you’re halfway through one and someone comes in and wants to join in), he’d asked especially so I said yes. We sat and made cranes together, then he decided he wanted to buy a couple. He gave me TEN POUNDS for the two cranes, asking me to take out whatever I was charging (I wasn’t! I wasn’t planning on selling any!) and give the rest as a donation. However, he then also wanted a piece of cake that was being sold, and in the confusion of sorting out change for that etc. all the money got put in the donation box. So I did sell some artwork, but I didn’t get to keep the money!

It was a good learning experience for me, and they’ve asked me to take part again in July, so I’ll have to have a think about it. Unfortunately I’m really busy for the rest of the week so I won’t be able to check out the other stuff going on, but if you’re around it’s worth having a look.

Just a quick FYI – I’m planning on holding another Foldageddon!! at the start of July, so register your interest now!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Foldageddon!! on Culture Vulture

Foldageddon!! has been featured on Culture Vulture, the Leeds arts and culture guide.

Check it out here