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Aug 08 2016

It’s that time of year, the buzzing of carnivals and festivities across the UK and ailleurs, and now more connected than ever – we can feel part of, regardless of place and time.

I have been quiet on the website- admittedly it’s easier to post updates on facebook and instagram (the new addition) and to continue working out the wonders of twitter.. so I’ve decided I will take this evening to load up the latest gigs and adventures and take it from the roots!

The LEF –  a fantastic opportunity, and very much a challenge. Many lovely connections made and it definitely has made me think “business”. It was an inspiring evening and I personally achieved my goal to rethink the way I think about business and what I have to do to sell it. Some brilliant pitches, successes for all, and I am now reconnected with the biking world- thanks to a very kind gentleman who listened and put his hand up. Along with many other supporters- very thankful for pledges made, and the interest in the journey of making.


Two of my asks were for a cutting table and a hoover: I now have an incredible 4m cutting table and a hoover thanks to the world-wide-web and Battersea boot! As usual things arrive when they have to. A little faith goes a long way.  And definitely some elbow grease required. Most importantly though- keeping your eyes open and keeping active. Next on the list- an industrial sewing machine and a walking foot machine, and perhaps a bandsaw.


So (during and..)after the LEF… what was on the cards?

I spent the most part of May and June in London supervising the making of props for Central School of Speech and Drama’s Applied Drama first year students production for the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. This was much fun and I was thrilled to witness some amazing work in Education with over 70 students and a very coherent team. The show was full of very bouncy colourful moments and nothing broke which meant we enjoyed the sunsets over the Atlantic with rose tinted glasses. Here is a little taster of #RocketGirl:



In amidst craters and rockets I found myself pattern matching a rather over sized gingham, and trying very hard to make bellies  look like crotches for the Patron’s Lunch Kinetika Design Studio commission , where I patterned and made the costumes for the boy and girl puppets created by Tony Mason with the help of some talented sculptors and painters and our incredible Edwina Rigby. Smoking apples got them boogying to “these boots are made for walking” and we all had a giggle wearing their shoes.

I’m sure you’ve all seen them but here they are again with percy and the gruffalo:

Patron's Lunch puppets with Gruffalo and Percy Pig sm


And as happens, one finds themself in the middle of a Devonshire Field with a TV crew and a load of  moody morris dancers, and a green man dancing around a fire. I really enjoyed getting these guys transformed into character- here is Wandering Tiger with Director Luke Jeffery, super talented designer Sarah Vigars, and local artists pushing the boundaries and raising the flag for quality arts in the South West. Thanks Akira for the photos!



Then up to Liverpool for the NewVoices conference and Liverpool Carnival where Giles Agis, Ray Mahabir and Brouhaha International had us whipped up into Carnival shape.. This year it marks 15 years since I first joined the carnival scene in the UK, first and last time that I wore a costume on a parade- I tell you- I love it! Backstage may not be so backstage anymore…. Take this wicked pic by Mark Lycett– who dedicates a positive thought to our wellbeing each day! thank you for the edgy stripey look!



What I look forward to every year is making Costumes for Bloco.. Last week I delivered these gorgeous costumes  to Kinetika Bloco who had them in time for the Night of Festivals Parade this past Saturday and who will be performing in them this year at carnivals all round the UK. Catch them this Friday at the Royal Festival Hall, marking their 15 years- celebrating culture, talent, youth and music. From Bahia to Brixton follow the link for date and time. Tamzyn French- you are incredible, and I always feel so lucky to be here with you all, 15 years later!!! Hats off (or on) to our very stylish designer Lesley-Ann… Talented people of today and tommorrow, inspiring all generations on many levels.



And what next…?

Commissioned by DOCA to come to Devizes Carnival, collecting leaves made by elders to make a majestic tree that will be processed on Saturday 3rd September. Workshops are every Friday at Devizes Leisure Centre- do come if you are in or near the area… And certainly join us the week of the 29th of August.



But that’s not all… I have just received my letter of offer, accepting my grant application to work with El Carnaval del Callao in Venezuela. Words cannot express…. This is my first ever application the the Arts Council- I am speechless. Read more about this project here.



Hope I haven’t bored you all.. There is actually so much more to say, about life the universe and everything.. but for now- I’ll be back with more stories to tell sooon! Love to you all xxx

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