Thursday, 17 September 2009

The First Weekend

Saltaire was buzzing at the weekend with people coming to visit the Arts Trail. The sun was out, the streets were packed and there was a lot of warmth and good humour in the air. The general observation was that the quality of all the artwork on the trail was high this year and that visitor numbers were up.

If you didn't get along last weekend, you really are in for a feast. The Open Houses look like 16 individually curated galleries, each with their own style and presence. Look out for the bunting hanging in the doorways, as a sure sign that there are delights waiting for you inside. In every nook and cranny there is something to discover: exhibitions, lectures, films, free activities for children...

Look out especially for lectures by Sue Lawty (Friday 18th) and Janet Bolton (Saturday 19th), and two classic films: Kes (Saturday 19th at 7pm) and The Dresser (Sunday 20th at 7pm).

Saltaire is looking at its best; if you haven't already, come and be part of it, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

As Featured in The Guardian

The Arts Trail was featured in the Travel section of The Guardian last Saturday (23rd August). The piece was on Open Studios in Devon and we were featured under 'More Open Studios'. It's a great little write-up and is fantastic publicity.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Saltaire Village Fete

We had a lovely day today at the Saltaire Village Fete. We had intended to do a drop-in workshop at the fete but in the end decided that a bit of gentle awareness raising was probably as good. So we set up a stall, sold some homemade buns, handed out some leaflets and chatted to passers by. It was fun, lots of friends from the village and children running about. The highlight I'm sure, though, was the line dancing and the belly dancing...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Every Tree Tells a Story workshop

After the success of the drop-in workshop at Cartwright Hall in May, we are holding another one at Kirkgate Studios and Workshops on Saturday 18th July. We had a lovely day at Cartwright Hall and we expect to have as much fun, if not more, at Kirkgate Studios. The photos above were taken in May by Tony O'Connell.

On the 18th, it'll start at 10.30am and finish around 12.30pm, so can come anytime between then. It's free and we'll provide all the materials. During the workshop you'll be able to put your creative skills to good use making tree-inspired decorations for our wonderful recycled tree, which will be displayed at the Arts Trail in September.

Kirkgate Studios and Workshops
BD18 3EH
01274 598928

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Caroline Street Social Club

We had a fantastic night on Friday for the fundraising event. It was absolutely buzzing and the consensus was that it fininished far too early. A little lesson in terms of organising was that we started too early and finished too early; it really should have been 9pm 'til 1am. We'll know for next time. It really filled up from about 10.30pm as people came on from the pub. The dance floor was packed and the tunes went down a storm. We had the hardcore Ska and Reggae 'til about 9.30pm and then the crowd pleasers came out after that.

The raffle was a major hit, the trick there being the choice of quirky off-beat prizes: Elvis jigsaw; plenty of vinyl, which people loved, like The Best of Bread, The Byrds plays Dylan, a double album of Beatles' Love Songs...; a retro mint sauce container...

So a very big thank you to DJ Bamboo and the Fresh Prince of Saltaire (Adam Cole) for spinning his records and to Tony for providing us with some speakers and taking his turn on the decks. And all the people who helped put it on. There was such a buzz that there has been a call for a monthly event. It sounds good to me...

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Fundraising Night

The fundraising night is nearly upon us. Dj Bamboo and the Fresh Prince of Saltaire has been chasing round trying to get some powered speakers, which he's found thanks to a friend of his called Tony. Emails have gone out, posters have gone up and tickets have been sold... There's quite a buzz about it. I bumped into someone in the Post Office this morning, who was very excited, "We've found a babysitter! We're going to come!" I think there is a certain amount of intrigue as to the identity of DJ Bamboo...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Fundraising Night

Tickets are now on sale for our Fundraising Night on 3rd July. It's going to be a fantastic night of Ska and Reggae, and DJ Bamboo and the Fresh Prince of Saltaire is keen to spin some vinyl. Caroline Street Social Club, on Caroline Street, Saltaire, is a great old school venue; come anytime from 7.30pm.

You'll be able to buy tickets from the Spa on Titus Street and Magic Number Three on Victoria Road, both in Saltaire. Tickets are £5 in advance or £6 on the door. If you are buying them in advance, please could you pay by cash or cheque, as it would help Ray and Georgia out enormously.

We'll be launching the Friends of Saltaire Arts Trail, too; so if you'd like to become a Friend make sure you sign up on the night, as we'll have a few little extra goodies to give away.

Come and help make it a great night; it's all in a very good cause. We look forward to seeing you there...

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Selection made

We had a fantastic response to our call for artists for both the Open Houses and the Makers' Fair. The deadline for applications is now past and after much careful consideration we have selected the artists and practitioners that will exhibit in the Houses and Makers' Fair. The quality of the applications was excellent again this year, which made the selection process incredibly difficult. But we are pleased with the results and are beginning to get a little bubble of excitement at the thought of September...

Friday, 5 June 2009

Open Exhibition

For those artists wishing to exhibit in the Open Exhibition, application forms are now available to download from the website. The exhibition will be displayed under the magnificent glass-vaulted roof of Shipley College's Exhibition Building. It's a fantastic location to exhibit, as you can see above. We've increased the number of artworks that artists can submit to three this year, which we think will give the exhibition a little more depth. So, if you fancy applying, Chris is waiting for your application form...

Friday, 22 May 2009

Janet Bolton

I am delight to say that Janet Bolton has agreed to exhibit her work at the Arts Trail this year. She is an extremely popular textiles practitioner, who has been making charming work for over 30 years. She has been on the Crafts Council selected index of makers since 1985 and her work is in many private collections, including The British Council Collection, The Crafts Council Permanent Collection and the Embroiderers Guild Museum Collection. Janet is very keen to come and talk about her work, so we are in the process of trying to make that possible...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Final call for artists

There's just over two weeks to go now until the deadline for applications for both the Open Houses and the Makers' Fair. The programme looks fantastic again this year, so, if you'd like to be a part of it, make sure you download an application form from the website and get it to us by 5th June.

The events are coming along nicely. 15 houses have been confirmed so far for the Open Houses. We've got a long list of classic films that we'd like to show, including, Rita, Sue and Bob, too, The Dresser, Room at the Top...; all literary adaptations and all filmed in Yorkshire - all we need to do now is choose our top four. And there are some great leads for both the textiles exhibition and the lecture series, which we are following up. So, all in all, it is looking like a very full and inviting programme.

As soon as we firm anything up, we'll let you know...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Every Tree Tells a Story

Looking for something to do with the kids this half-term? We will be holding a free drop-in workshop in the magnificent setting of Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, in Bradford, on Friday 29th May from 12pm - 3pm.

In September, as part of the Children's Mini Trail, the Every Tree Tells a Story project will feature a magical tree around which will be poetry and story-telling workshops. So, we have our tree but it is bare and we need it to blossom with fantastic tree-inspired creations. At Cartwright Hall on the 29th, the kids will be able to create leaves, birds, acorns (anything to hang in the branches a tree), made out of textiles and other recycled materials, with which we will decorate the tree.

To compliment the workshop, the Lister Park ranger will take the children on guided tours of the award-winning Lister Park to discover and investigate the wonderful diversity of trees, birds, bugs and insects...

It should be a great free day out for the kids and for you, so come along and help the Every Tree Tells a Story project burst forth...

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery
Lister Park
Telephone: 01274 432711

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Fundraising Night

We are going to be holding an Arts Trail fundraising night on Friday July 3rd. It'll be a fantastic night of ska and dub reggae, with DJ Bamboo and the Fresh Prince of Saltaire on the decks playing some of those old-fashioned records. It should be a lively event and a lot of fun, so come along and bring your friends. The venue will be Caroline Street Social Club, on Caroline Street, in Saltaire from 7.30pm; £6 on the door and £5 in advance. Advanced tickets will be available in Saltaire, we'll let you know where soon.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Salts Mill

I had a meeting with Maggie Silver at the end of last week and she has generously agreed that we can hold our lectures in Salts Mill. We are absolutely delighted. Salts Mill currently houses the world's largest permanent collection of the work of David Hockney and, if you haven't been, it's a fantastic place to visit. As you can see, it's a spectacular building, built in 1853, spectacular partly because the architects were so lavish in their use of glass due to the repeal of Window Tax in 1851. The Arts Trail will benefit enormously from being able to use the wonderful facilities at the mill - we now hope we can attract some great artists to come and talk...
Images courtesy of Education Bradford's NGfL.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Last night, I had an extremely constructive conversation with Amanda Chinneck, who has agreed to co-ordinate the lecture series we intend to put on this year. She has a passion for contemporary art and textiles, having worked at the Crafts Council and now as Exhibitions and Displays Manager at the National Media Museum, Bradford, and she has produced a short-list of some very interesting artists we'd like to approach to speak at the Arts Trail in September.

All the artists we've chosen use textiles in some way within their work. It might be in a cultural and historical context, like Yinka Shonibare; as mark making, in the paintings of Michael Raedecker; or in the agit-prop art form of banner making, like David Jacques.

We have a short-list of six from which we are looking to find two to speak in September. I am going to see someone this afternoon about a venue and, if they agree, the prospect of these lectures is very exciting indeed.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


I was looking up various bits and pieces earlier on today, seeing what I could find, when part of the name of one of my lecturers at college popped into my head. It took a bit of time to bring Suky Best to mind but it came eventually and so did finding two very different animations. The first is hers, Early Birds, a hand-drawn rotoscoped animation commissioned for Channel 4, and the second, which also appeared on Channel 4, is just totally charming and is by Barnaby Barford, called Damaged Goods.

We have put a call out for artists today for both the Open Houses and Makers' Fair. This is when the Arts Trail starts to pick up momentum - seeing the applications coming in and examples of some of the fantastic work that is being produced. It's a time of promise...

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Guy Sherwin

Typically with these things, I post a link to where you can find 'Railings' and the link fails... So I've scooted around this morning trying to find it at another location, to no avail unfortunately. I have, though, come across another film/performance by him, the film part of which was originally made in 1976, called 'Man with Mirror'. It's just a beautiful piece of work.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


We want to try to make this a place for you to interact with, as well as keep you up-dated on the development of the Arts Trail. So, we are keen to show video and audio work or for you to point us in the direction of anything that you feel is of interest. It might be a talk or discussion that you've come across, a piece of text that you've read somewhere or an exhibition that you enjoyed (or didn't). If there's a link to it, and we like it, we'll post it here on the blog. You can email us via the 'contribute' box on the right...

I was shown this film a dozen years ago while I was at college and was absolutely blown away by it. It's called 'Railings' and was made by Guy Sherwin in 1977.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Welcome to the brand new Saltaire Arts Trail blog. Here we'll keep you up to date with the all latest events, news and useful information about the Arts Trail.