Arts Derbyshire


Artcore June 2021 Newsletter

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At Artcore Gallery, we are exhibiting “Circling the Square: Visions of an Unmade City” by artists Ryan Heath and Katy Hawkins. The exhibition is an accumulation of what the artists have been working on during their residency with us at Artcore.

Coming up in June, we also have a talk by Ryan and Katy, a new exhibition opening of “52 Cameras in 52 Weeks” by Tony Kemplen, and an exciting exhibition at Charnwood St, “Shape Your Future”. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming events and exhibitions which will be advertised on our website throughout the month.

At Artcore, it is still our priority to keep our community, friends and colleagues safe. Therefore we ask that when you do attend our galleries and workshops, please abide by the safety measures outlined on our website.

We are very much looking forward to you joining us for our exciting events this summer.


June Programme Overview – Summer Dream

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Despite the wet & windy weather in May, there is no denying that summer is fast approaching! In the month of June, we celebrate Midsummer & the longest day of the year so let’s hope we have the sun shining down for the solstice celebrations that take place worldwide. At Artcore, we have plenty of crafty classes, focused photography & experimental endeavours for all ages & abilities so make sure to sign up to join our artists, staff team & mindfulness coach in our free activities as we explore, support, make & create together. All sessions are free but must be booked in advance to secure your place as we have reduced numbers due to social distancing.

Sign up at:


Cabin Fever: Small Personal Stories

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To kick off June, Artcore Gallery hosted an exhibition in the Cabin showcasing the work of our Artists in Residents for Cabin Fever, Nicki Dennett and Dan Webber. Thank you to everybody who joined us for the opening, we had a great time watching Dan’s performance in the square, seeing Nicki’s fantastic book and joining in on some activities in the Cabin.

As part of the exhibition, there was a series of short films, cyanotypes by Nicki and Dan, a performance by Dan Webber and copies of Nicki’s booklet which includes the stories and artworks from the participants of the Cabin Fever workshops.

About Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever is a series of one month long residencies over a duration of six months. The residency offers artists the opportunity to test out ideas and make new work within an old retail cabin, located on Osnabruck Square just outside Artcore Gallery.

Cabin fever (noun) – is a state characterised by anxiety, restlessness, and boredom, arising from the prolonged stay in a remote or confined place. The residency aims to provide local artists with the time and space to create new work in response to Derby’s city landscape.

So far, the artists have creatively engaged with members of the public through workshops and conversations, animating the area with exciting new work. Look out for our upcoming residency artists and workshops during the next few months.

Keep your eyes peeled for future events and workshops happening as part of Cabin Fever on Osnabruck Square!

Nicki Dennett:
Dan Webber:


Circling the Square – Visions of an Unmade City

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Artists: Ryan Heath & Katy Hawkins
Exhibition Dates: 4 June – 19 June 2021
Where: Artcore Gallery, 7 Albert St, Derby

Thank you to everybody who came along to the launch of  Circling the Square: Visions of an Unmade City on Friday. We had a fantastic time and it was really great to see everybody joining in with the participatory activities during the exhibition.

If you missed the opening, the exhibition is open until 19th June, Monday – Saturday 11-5pm. Everybody welcome!

About the Exhibition

For the past two months, artists Ryan Heath and Katy Hawkins have taken up residence with Artcore Gallery as part of Circling the Square: Visions of an Unmade City. During their residency, the artists were invited to critically interrogate the situation that is Derby. Situation meaning a set of conditions in time and place – a convergence of site, non-site, place, non-place, locality, public space, context, past, present and future.

What is the purpose of public space in the City Centre in a post-retail world, where social gatherings are a thing of the past, and where indoor social spaces are out of bounds? In this exhibition and through ongoing participatory activities, both Ryan and Katy reimagine the potential of Osnabruck Square for the city of Derby.

About the Artists

Katy is interested in exploring ideas of performing in the public realm, and claiming it as a place for personal and collective ritual. During their residency with Artcore, Katy takes leave from the situation and spatial realities of Osnabruck square and its upcoming redevelopment – to include a potential renaming to ‘Friendship square’. They ask, ‘What would it look like to design in and for friendship?’.

Ryan is interested in psychogeography and the built environment. As part of his residency with Artcore, Ryan has completed a series of workshops with the local community, one workshop included designing a guardian for the city of Derby. This collaboratively made guardian features in Ryan’s new single-channel video, Ritual Practice, 2021.

Look out for an Artist Talk on Thursday 17th June at 6pm, available to book via our website.

We look forward to having you join us!


Evening Sessions

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Ceramic Throwing Workshops

Join ceramic artist Kathryn Borg for five weeks in an introductory pottery course at Artcore starting 1st July 2021. This course is ideal for beginners who are interested in ceramics and would like to build the knowledge and skills of working with clay. Over the five weeks, you will learn handy tips and techniques to create beautiful ceramic pieces, try your hand at pot throwing and meet new people in a relaxed evening environment.

The price of the five-week block included everything you will need to take part from tools and tuition to clay and a cup of tea or coffee.

There are limited spaces on this course and you must book in advance.
Click here to register or contact if you have any questions.


Teddy-Bear Making Course

Join artist and upcycling enthusiast Dawn Campion for four weeks in a fun and interactive Teddy-Bear Making course at Artcore starting 30th June 2021. This course is ideal for adults of all abilities who would like to build their knowledge and skills in creating bespoke teddy-bears. During the four weeks, you will learn the tips and techniques to create your cuddly companion through guidance from a local maker and license to experiment with different textures all in a relaxed evening environment.

The price of the four-week block included everything you will need to take part from materials and mentoring to conversation and a cup of tea or coffee.

There are limited spaces on this course and you must book in advance.
Click here to register or contact if you have any questions.



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With a very exciting start to the month, we had two Maze Experiences as part of the Reimagine project- one with Year 4 students at St. James’ and one with Year 5 students at Zaytouna Primary School!

For this, we co-created a maze using insulation tape, sounds and lights to build a path focusing on overcoming challenges. We also rebuilt our home, imagination and pathways pods which were so much fun and provided reimagined spaces within the school hall and library for the students to relax, create and explore!

Our artists Chris and Connie had such a fantastic time working with the schools and learning a lot with the students so we really hope we can get creative together again soon!


Future Endeavours

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In May, we are started a whole new block of Future Endeavours with exciting fun classes run by artist Kathryn Borg. For these, we split into two groups, one for those aged 10-13 and one for those aged 14-18, as we explored natural organic forms, looking at how plants and flowers are grown. There were plenty of creative activities to follow on from the theme of Inspiring Surroundings using paint, papercraft and clay work!

Check out some of the very impressive work our participants made over the last few weeks! You can follow along with how the groups are using STEM subjects through art each week on our website at

For more information on the project, you can visit: or sign up to join at:


Express Yourself

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We have a very fun and messy few weeks during our Express Yourself sessions with artist Jane Dearden creating our imaginative self-portraits on canvas and on t-shirts! Participants used all kinds of materials from acrylic paints, watercolour pencils, markers and pens to bring their self-expression to life and develop their own mottos.

Jane is now working with the group to create a giant painting which everyone will work together on to design, develop and decorate! We have included a sneak peek of the first stages which was conceived by two of our lovely participants.

Make sure to keep posted on how it progresses through our weekly updates at: or visit: to join our next workshops.


Shape Your Future

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In May, the lovely Sixth Form students from Horizons finished their final session with artist Fiona Adamson and they have been very busy! This group have been working with Artcore artists since September 2020 and during that time have worked with many different mediums!

In June, we will be holding an exhibition of their work which the students will co-curate with us. Our Assistant Curator Aisling and Project Coordinator Catriona met with them to start this process, choosing favourite pieces and planning where to display them. It is safe to say that everyone is excited to showcase! Exhibition launches on 17th June 2021!



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We have just completed our first block with artist Dawn Campion and our fantastic Un-Aware participants who focused on creative ways of saying no to discrimination and sharing the things that made them proud of who they are! Each participant created an abstract coat using paints, needle felting, sewing, upcycled fabrics and anything else they could get their hands on and the final piece was completely unique to each individual and highlighted their journey in life, their achievements and their true identities!

A massive thank you and a huge well done to our participants and to Dawn who worked very hard to empower one another and themselves each week both on Zoom and through our onsite sessions!

We have also just started a new block with photographer Ray Gumbley where attendees have the opportunity to produce a piece of artwork through the medium of photography based on life post-lockdown.

Find out more about the sessions at: or sign up to join at:


Creative In Common

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In May we started with a whole new block of Creative In Common with artist Nicki Dennett onsite for the first time in 2021. We had our crafty sessions adhering to the government guidelines maintaining social distance, sanitising and having our masks mandatory. In the first session, the participants began weaving to make a small tapestry. For the further sessions they are going to work on vegetable printing on paper or fabric and mono screen printing.

You can keep up-to-date with our weekly sessions at: Our classes are currently fully booked but you can sign up to join our waiting list for our next block at: or visit: for more information.


In Our Thoughts

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In May, we were working on the In Our Thoughts Memorial Tree to which anyone can participate and contribute their responses to the the pandemic which we hope to share with Derby and Derbyshire people. Each week, we have had an amazing team of volunteers, including artist Dawn Campion, who have worked together to help bring a collective idea to life.

If you would like to contribute, you can send us a personal response by email or on social media. You can also pop into our Artcore Shop to fill in a leaf that we will add to the tree for you – everyone is welcome and encouraged to have their say included!

Find out more about the process of tree building and the In Our Thoughts project at:


New Started – Aisling Ward

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I am the new Assistant Curator here at Artcore and I am really excited to work on our upcoming programme, residencies and exhibitions. My ongoing research focuses on digital art, choreopolitics, and socially-engaged practices. Alongside Artcore, I am an associate of the New Midlands Group and an artist member of BACKLIT studios in Nottingham. A recent MA graduate in Fine Art & Art History at Edinburgh University, I am interested in continuing to explore how local communities can build creative and collaborative methods of research.


Opportunity – Open Calls

New Midland Group Development Programme
Collaborative Project Bursaries in Partnership with Artcore

Application Deadline: Monday 5th July 2021, 12 noon
Responses Sent: Monday 12th July 2021, 5pm
Artist Fee: £2000
Production Fee: £500

About New Midland Group

New Midland Group (NMG) is a consortium of three artist-led organisations located in Nottingham: Backlit, One Thoresby Street and Primary. We work together to develop the profile and sustainability of contemporary visual arts in the Midlands, through research, activity and opportunities that are additional to the three organisations’ work.

About Artcore

Artcore is a visual arts charity with a group of professional artists working within communities locally, nationally and internationally. We endeavour to operate as a culture hub, fuelling active engagement for a diverse range of communities in Derby, East Midlands and beyond.

For more information please visit:

We look forward to hearing from you.


Volunteer Fundraising

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Amy Higginbottom – Artcore Volunteer

“I’m aiming to travel to Nakuru Kenya in August 2022 where I can help build and decorate new facilities as well as interact and teach the children at the selected Academy’s (Jubilee Academy and Cherish). This trip is organized through the African Adventures Company, who host similar events and trips, aiming to leave a positive impact within African countries.

I have to raise all the money required to embark on this trip (£1720) and, as such, I have organised various fundraising activities such as ’24 hours of just dance’, sponsored shirt wearing, illustrating a book of poems and selling bits and bobs that I didn’t want anymore.”

Amy has created lots of opportunities to help with fundraising and you can support through purchasing an e-copy of her book of illustrations which is available here:



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