This Girl Codes Curiosity Academy

Recently, I was really excited to be asked to participate in the Curiosity Academy project run as part of Junction Arts This Girl Codes project.

This Girl Codes is based around a “series of taster sessions, pop-up heritage STEAM labs in historic houses, castles and caves as well as festivals, trips and events during school holidays.

Bad plants!

I was asked to run a Bitsy game session around the theme of Creswell Crags, and the witch marks they’d found there a few years ago. Since submitting a Bitsy game to Creswell Crags Winter Folklore Festival in 2020, I’d wanted to follow up and do something more with them. So, it was great to be asked to participate in this programme of events. Similar to a session I ran at Feral Vector, I thought it would be a nice idea to get everyone to collaborate on a game, and it worked so well. I really wanted to see what story and characters they would come up with themselves, and the end result was a lot of fun. The participants created their own characters, game narrative and settings based on the folklore and history of Creswell Crags. And after that (proving that Bitsy is really easy to get to grips with), one of the participants was inspired to make her own game, and I helped finish it off. I wasn’t able to travel to Creswell Crags, so I did this all virtually with the support of the project co-ordinator and artist, Amy and Cora.

You can play the game, Mother Grundy’s Protection, on the This Girl Codes site. It’s “based around the myth of Mother Grundy, rescuing a local boy from poisoning, with the help of herbs, animal guardians and tree spirits.”

You can also read more about how the game was created in this blog post.

Looking at the rest of the activities during the Curiosity Academy, I was very inspired by the focus on the overlap between physical and digital art made by local communities, and also the making process itself. Also tied in with the strong folklore and nature theme, it was a project that was right up my street and I loved being involved in it.

Off the back of this, projects created as part of this programme of events are on display in the interactive exhibition, Sweep Away The Silence, at Creswell Crags until 5th October (closed Monday 19th September). It includes “light paintings, spell poems, audio recordings, incredible artefacts found within the caves and much more.

Get down there if you can. 🙂

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New game: a 3D interactive folktale

Every year, when winter is almost at its peak, a house grows in a clearing in the old wood. Fuelled by the frost and sun, the tangle of branches sprouting from its roof glisten in the cold air. And every year, a spirit of the wood grows within it too. A creature whose responsibility it is to ensure that the guardian of winter is able to rest well for the following seasons, and that his sister has all she needs for her period of guardianship over the coming spring.

I’ve released another free to play browser game on itch.io, called Sister Spring, Brother Winter. It’s a 3D interactive winter folktale about the changing of the seasons – collect pieces of the fallen sun to help Sister Spring wake the world.

It features a 3D style that gives a nod to the ZX-Spectrum of the early 1980s, including games such as Jepac and Atic Atac.

I used 3D Bitsy to create it – I just find it so fun and easy to create little narrative games using this game making tool. 3D Bitsy is made by aloelazoe, which is built on Adam Le Doux’s Bitsy.

You can play it at https://ashg.itch.io/sister-spring-brother-winter

NINABYRON #2 – a non-binary art e-magazine

I’ve recently contributed to NINABYRON: a non-binary stable #2, which is an art magazine co-ordinated by artists AnimaeNoctis, who are Silvia Marcantoni Taddei and Massimo Sannelli. You may recognise their names, as they also contributed the PRIDEPRIDEPRIDE video piece to the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices exhibition.

I’ve contributed non-Binniry flags 1 & 2, which features one of my best friends in digital art form, and also The Midnight Detective Club book cover.

NINABYRON #2 features Daniel Rothbart, Natalia Fernandez Diaz-Cabal, Nurdwi Subagyo Katong, Klaus Lutz, Giussepe Chiari, Daisuke Tsukuda, AnimaeNoctis and myself.

It’s fantastic to be able to contribute to this e-magazine, especially with its gender non-conforming focus, and also to be alongside a lot of great and original art pieces.

You can find NINABYRON #2 here.

NINABYRON #1 can be found here.

Non-Binniry flag 2

It’s Alive! LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Has Launched

Today’s the day. The LGBTQ+ Positive Voices online exhibition has launched in time for Pride Month. I’m so pleased to be able to open it up and share all the inspiring and wonderful contributions from the 26 artists and creators from around the world who chose to get involved. đź’–

The following pages feature on the site:

  • About – list of creators, thanks, background to the exhibition.
  • Exhibition Entrance – go here to explore all the artworks and details about them.
  • Comments Book – leave your positive comments here.
  • Support Page – I realise some of the pieces in the exhibition may generate difficult feelings for some people. So, it was important for me to direct them to professional organisations who can give them support and advice if they need it.
  • Artists pages – an individual page for each of the wonderful contributions from each of the artists and creators.

You can also find out more about the artists and creators pieces via Twitter.

Here’s a teaser trailer for the exhibition.

All shares of the exhibition site are greatly appreciated: https://www.lgbtqpositivevoices.org/

LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Exhibition Launch (19th June)

Earlier this year, I put out a call for LGBTQ+ artists and creatives, inviting them to contribute to an online exhibition, which would be a celebration of their positive experiences, lives and perspectives. Thanks to everyone who shared this open call, the response was inspirational, and as a result the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices online exhibition has been created.

The creators included in this exhibition are Ana Iribas RudĂ­n; AnimaeNoctis (Silvia Marcantoni Taddei & Massimo Sannelli); April Winter; ​Bryony Mair; ​Caren Jo Shapiro; ​Charmaine Chapman; ​Ethan Moss; ​Frankie; ​Geoffrey Doig-Marx (GDM); ​Giridhar Raghunathan; ​Guillermo “Wildo” Zayas IV; ​Jeremy Martin; Anonymous; Konrad Natthagel; Kryštof NovotnĂ˝; Leon Clowes; Linhtropy; Naomi; Paty RodrĂ­guez; Poppy Ash; Rik Versteeg; Robin Swift; Rufus Isabel Elliot; Salome Zhvania; Stefani J Alvarez; Terry Gregoraschuk.

This celebratory exhibition includes videos, dance performance pieces, paintings, digital artworks, audio pieces and games. They represent a broad spectrum of sexual and gender identities from 26 fantastic artists and creative contributors from around the world. I am very proud to be able to share these unique personal perspectives. The range of creative pieces and art in the exhibition is wonderful. And each share a short unique thought-provoking and often emotional personal story alongside them that is a positive reflection of being an LGBTQ+ person.

The exhibition site will launch on 19th June (12 noon, BST) at: www.lgbtqpositivevoices.org.

You can follow the launch on Twitter and other social media, and help spread the word by using the hashtag combination #pridemonth #positivevoices .

You can also find out more about the exhibition at the online launch event on 23rd June (6.30 pm BST). This will be held as part of the Festival of Pride and Knowledge 2021, and will feature content from the exhibition. Free tickets can be booked via: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/festival-of-pride-and-knowledge-2021-tickets-155920447255 

See you there.

LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Submissions So Far

I just wanted to post a short update about the online LGBTQ+ Positive Voices exhibition. I’ve had a fantastic response and steady submission of creative pieces from people around the world. And every time I see a new submission appear in my in-box I’m excited that someone else wants to contribute to this project, and I’m excited to find out what that contribution might be and why it represents a positive experience to them. And when I see the submission piece and read their words it always moves me, simply because all the pieces are so personal, beautiful, unique and positive. I’ve received performance pieces, digital artworks, digital copies of paintings, audio pieces and games, representing asexual, bisexual, gay, gender non-conforming, non-binary, polysexual and trans perspectives. Thank you to everyone who has contributed already. It is wonderful to know that this idea has struck a chord with so many people.

Even if I don’t receive any more submissions, I will be extremely happy to have only these creative pieces in the exhibition launch. But I am also happy to welcome even more submissions representing more voices within the LGBTQ+ community. And those submissions can be anything creative that can be hosted online (eg visual, audio, creative writing, videos, interactive pieces, whatever). I want to emphasise again (and again and again) that contributions from amateur, hobby, DIY artists, crafters and creatives, those who do not consider themselves to be artists or creatives, and those who have never submitted to an exhibition before are especially welcome. And if you aren’t open about your sexuality or gender identity you can also submit your piece anonymously.

There’s more information about the exhibition here, along with the submission form.

The call for submissions closes on 31st May 2021.

The exhibition will go live on 19th June 2021.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva from Pexels

I’ve Been Selected For The Museum of Wild and Newfangled Art

I’m very happy to announce that one of my small narrative Bitsy’s has been selected for inclusion in the Museum of Wild & Newfangled Art Biennial Exhibition. This online exhibition features 100 global artists from a wide range of creative backgrounds. To get a flavour of the exhibition take a look at the teaser video below. It’s such an interesting leftfield and (as the curators cari ann shim sham* and Joey Zaza say) wild mix, and I’m so pleased to be included in with such a creative group of people.

In the curators own words…

The 2021 mowna Online Biennial is an exhibit of an international pool of artists selected from 44 countries gathered through a free call for submissions process that ran from January through March of 2021. mowna’s largest show to date, the Biennial includes all forms of art made from 2019 to 2021, inviting artists to consider new ways to exhibit their work online and how their artworks translate best through mowna’s digital platform. To kick off the Biennial with opening night festivities, mowna will host a special screening of the feature doc “The Faithful: The King, The Pope, The Princess,” by Annie Berman on April 30th at 9 PM ET. It will be followed by q&a, the mowna party room, and a first look entrance to the Biennial.

The online exhibition runs from 30th April to 22nd September 2021 and is paid entry, with artists receiving a percentage of the entrance fees.

It will be hosted at www.mowna.org and tickets can be purchased here.

LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Exhibition – Submissions Open

Today I’m launching the call for submissions to an online exhibition that will be a celebration of LGBTQ+ people’s positive experiences, lives and perspectives.

Contributors aged 18 and over are welcome to submit visual or audio art and creative works to the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices exhibition. Contributions from amateur, hobby, DIY artists, crafters and creatives, those who do not consider themselves to be artists or creatives, and those who have never submitted to an exhibition before are especially welcome.

It’s partly inspired by my experience of visiting LGBTQ+ exhibitions, and engaging with collection items and art works that helped me gain a better understanding of myself by seeing others like me represented in them. At the same time, some of the personal stories shared alongside exhibition items made me feel as if I had a positive future as a trans/gender non-conforming bisexual person. I want this exhibition to be a space that will allow other people to share and experience creative works that are a positive reflection of being an LGBTQ+ person.

The call for submissions will remain open until 31st May 2021, with the online exhibition opening mid-June 2021. For more information and to contribute visit: http://ashgreen.uk/lgbtq-exhibition/

Photo by Alina Blumberg from Pexels

LGBTQ+ Positive Voices – An Exhibition

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I’m currently organising an online exhibition as a follow up to the Create Place programme. The intention is to use the space to share creative positive stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

The idea was sparked by the reassuring narratives I encountered when I attended exhibitions such as the Museum of Transology and Transworkers Photographic Exhibition. At a time when I wasn’t sure what lay ahead of me when I was coming out, there were stories in exhibitions like these that made me feel hopeful that I would have a positive future.

In the exhibition I’m organising I want to give every LGBTQ+ person an opportunity to tell part of their positive story. I want everyone in the community to feel they can submit something creative or artistic, whether they’re a professional, amateur, hobbyist, DIY or bedroom maker. And when I say creative or artistic, that could include anything (as long as part of it can be shared in a digital format) – including but not only painting, drawing, writing, music, video, games, digital stories, interactive pieces, crafts and textile arts, performance. The key thing is it just needs to be creative and share positive experiences of being an LGBTQ+ person.

Even though this is starting out as an online exhibition, in the long term I also want to be able to share these experiences in a physical exhibition as well.

I’m discussing the ideas behind this project in a Voluntary Arts Creative Network session on 17th Feb (5-6pm), which is open to everyone. During the session I’m also looking for input into how I can develop this project as a safe online space for LGBTQ+ people to share and discover these positive stories.

If this sounds like your sort of thing I look forward to seeing you on the 17th.

And keep an eye on this blog for updates and calls for submissions.