Sunday, 27 September 2020



Its been a while since my last blog because life has been nonstop. As soon as I was allowed out again after shielding, I spent time catching up with friends and family. I am glad I did as it looks like we are in for another tough few months.
Since I last caught up I’ve managed to get myself headed in new directions we all have to work differently in these times and artists are finding it quite the challenge as many of the usual routes to market are shut down.

After finally finishing my MA I have secured an internship with Bright Ideas in Nottingham creating schools learning resources with an art twist relating to the cotton trade and working conditions for children in the Derwent Valley. Bright Ideas have worked on some fabulous projects take a look here.

Over the summer I had the honour of working on creating offline activity packs with Derbyshire County Council, for those that do not have access to the internet due to their circumstances be that refugee status or living in care homes. They were sent out with all the materials needed to complete each activity and I have heard they were most welcome. The packs focused on telling the story of the Derwent Valley and you can see the project here as well as have a go at them yourselves. My favourite to do was the artist book made from a cornflake packet!

That project then led to another collaboration between, me the council, and Cromford Mill. Last year I worked on a feasibility study for art workshops at Cromford Mill which was all planned and organised for this year but as we know Covid19 has changed everything so holding  30 art lovers captive in a classroom is now not possible! Cromford Mill still wanted to do something and Derbyshire County Council wanted to promote the Derwent Valley for Discovery days so what has transpired is very exciting. Last Wednesday I went up to the top of Scarthin Rock and was filmed painting Willersey Castle with Adrian Farmer filling in on the history. We were all excited to be outside and away from the computer screen actually doing something hands-on and not talking via zoom! After an hour it absolutely poured down with rain so the finishing touches to the painting will have to be done at home! The film will come out soon and I will share it with you. It will promote my Plein Air painting experience held at the Mill on October 25th there are only a few spaces left so if you want to book do so quickly here.

Another thing I am proud to be working on is the Being Human Festival, ‘Being Human is the UK’s national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. Look again at Derbyshire’s rich heritage as a global industrial powerhouse via a series of online events celebrating the history of one of the UK’s most overlooked areas. The University of Derby‘s hub programme is rooted in partnerships with museums, archives and schools, and will include digital illustrated talks, ‘draw-a long’s, public performances and ‘citizen curating’ of some of Derby Museum’s most sensitive collections.’
My contribution is to create a craft video as part of a discussion around historical maps where I hope to encourage others to create their own maps which will form a future part of the Derbyshire Record offices collection. More details to come!

Next weekend I am back with Medley again at Cromford Mill (I love it there!) We will be in the schoolroom next to the big marquee and we will have a great mixture of wood, glass, textiles, photography, and art for you to socially distance around! Id really like to sell a few things so it would be nice to see you as I have not been able to get out and sell much since March!

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says "Autumn Medley A Group ofLocal Crafts People Medley Autumn Oct 2-4 Cromford Mill Ground Floor Mill Yard Building next to the marquee"

I am exhausted writing all this down I have many other things going on, but I think I have written enough wordage for now! 
I really hope to see you next week! 
Take care
Ruth x

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