Thursday, 24 December 2009

Sports writing project

Last week I began a new project supporting six Creative Writing students from Bath Spa University to work in partnership with four coaching students from the University of Bath to deliver sports writing sessions to young people aged 11 – 14 yrs in schools in Bath. The students are developing work initiated by the Write Team (Bath Festivals) and broadcaster and writer David Goldblatt, exploring how creative writing in schools can develop pupil’s confidence. The students are also being supported by Greg Sharpe from the University of Bath and Emma Metcalfe from the Write Team. Sessions in schools will begin in February 2010.

The project will include an evening inset session for teachers led by David Goldblatt at Watershed. As well as a Sports Writing Day’ for pupils and teachers led by David Goldblatt at Watershed in May 2010.

The students we're working with are really enthusiastic. They have loads of great ideas for how they can personalise the sessions and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

BBC West Sports Awards 2009

On 6 December Tim Vyner, Anthony Head, Marhaba Mujahid and Peter Critchley from Bath Spa University’s School of Art and Design put on light projections at the BBC West Sports Awards at the University of Bath. The projections were based on sporting illustrations by artist Tim Vyner, inspired by his trip to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. They were on display near the event entrance and inside the VIP area. 1020 people attended the event in total (800 members of the public and 220 VIPs).

Furthermore 13 Bath Spa University student volunteers worked at the event as part of the behind the scenes crew, helping everything to run smoothly. They took on a variety of roles including operations and preparing the venue, car park management, security, ticketing, backstage production, liaising with press and media and looking after VIPs.

It was a great event and we really hope to be involved again next year.

The Celluloid Games: a season of sport themed films during Bath Film Festival

Congratulations to the Celluloid Games student team

Our team of four student volunteers from Bath Spa University have successfully completed their RELAYS volunteer placements with Bath Film Festival, which ran for seven months from June to December 2009. All the students demonstrated a very high level of commitment, attending at least twelve project meetings, two events and four film screenings. They also took individual responsibility for a number of project related tasks which they performed in their own time. Each student devoted more than 60 hours of their time to volunteering on the project and will receive a well-deserved Gold Certificate in Volunteering Achievement signed by the Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University.

Ana, Elspeth, Gemma and Jet - thanks very much, it's been a real pleasure working with you.

In a few months time I'll be meeting up with the film festival team to start planning the project for 2010. We've learnt a lot this year and really looking forward to the second time around!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Relays films on this week in Bath

Our student programmed season of sporty films (Celluloid Games) is currently in full swing as part of Bath film festival
On Sunday we screened some short films in a black gazebo at Green Park Station (pictured above) which went down a treat with approx 130 people stopping by. It very nearly didn't happen as we had a minor catastrophe with the gazebo on Friday night. The strong winds caught it and blew it over, but fortunately Chris from the festival was able to fix it in time for the event.

We also screened The Belles of St Trinian's on Sunday at the Little Theatre which was very popular. Tonight it's Lords of Dogtown at Bath University, followed by I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer on Thursday evening at Bath Spa University.

Winter Garden at Lumiere

Here's a pic of Winter Garden, a newly commissioned artwork by Simon Corder at Lumiere, taken from underneath Elvet Bridge. I liked it because it was so simple and very effective.

Lumiere in Durham 12 - 15 Nov 2009

Last week I travelled to Durham to attend Lumiere - four magical winter evenings celebrating light, organised by arts events company Artichoke in partnership with SkyArts. It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the artworks and apparently over 75,000 people attended the event in total. It was pouring with rain on Friday night when I was there but that didn't seem to put anyone off.

There were over 20 artworks on display around the city. The biggest that I saw was a massive light projection show on the Cathedral called Crown of Light by projection artist Ross Ashton. It was inspired the history of Christianity in the North East and based on visual material drawn from inside the Cathedral and the Lindisfarne Gospels.

There were also some great smaller installations such as Dress (for five people)by Korean artist Tae Gon Kim, a beautiful dress made of fibre optic cables on display in a vacant shop window.

Seeing the possibilities has really spurred me on to press ahead with plans for our Bath Festival of Illumination in Nov 2010.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

My visit to Illuminating York 2009 Part 2

The second artwork I saw was called Vespertine - a sound and video installation themed around nocturnal wildlife, created by Bright White. The accompanying soundtrack featuring animal noises gave it a suitably eerie feel and worked really well in the enclosed courtyard space.

My visit to Illuminating York 2009 Part 1

Wall of light - live art light projections

Last week I attended the fifth Illuminating York and found it very inspiring. The festival ran for just over a week from 23 Oct-1 Nov 2009 and three unique works were commissioned for 2009. I saw two of them on the night I was there.

The first was called Wall of Light, a collaboration between arts companies GaiaNova and OMA International. Using the Tagtool - an interactive drawing board -professional artists as well as audience members were invited to see their doodles, words and pictures brought to life and projected live onto the Multangular Tower in Museum Gardens. This was accompanied by live music which really added to the event, giving it a festival feel and attracting passers by.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Students select sporty films for Bath Film Festival

As you may have heard, Students from Bath Spa University have teamed up with Bath Film Festival to program a series of extreme sports films, known as Celluloid Games, to be shown on the big screen during the festival from 12-21 November 2009. The film programme for Bath Film Festival is now online, brochures are being distributed and we're gearing up to promote the films on campus over the coming weeks.

The final selection includes worldwide features: British classic The Belles of St Trinian’s, Australian cricket horror spoof I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer, American skateboard biog Lords of Dogtown featuring the late Heath Ledger, and recently released Sugar, about a young Dominican’s pursuit of the American Dream through baseball.

We'll be kicking off with Running Shorts – a free rolling programme of sporty short films presented in the Black Gazebo in Green Park Station on Sunday 15 November. The short films include College starring Buster Keaton and Jan Svankmajer’s Virile Games alongside others featuring ladies soccer, the Tour de France, skateboarding and freerunning.

Illuminating York

I'm off to York on Thursday to visit Illuminating York
We're looking to establish a festival of Illumination for Bath so it'll be great to see how they do it. I'll let you know how I get on.

Well Done Team!

The Celluloid Games team: Gemma James,Elspeth Hinde,Anastasia Hellewell and Jet Winyard

An excellent night was had by all at the Students Union on Friday. The team behind 'A Night at the Oscars' did a fantastic job and made £200 towards the Celluloid Games project which we're delighted with.

The Oscars theme seemed to go down well - we had a red carpet, fairy lights, and people turned out in some brilliant costumes including Lara Croft, Ghostbusters and Toy Story. We had compiled an ecelctic mix of film and sports related paraphernalia for the raffle and lots of people went home happily clutching their prizes - even the desktop shredder was gratefully received!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Night at the Oscars

Night at the Oscars!
Friday 23 October, 8pm - 12
Bath Spa Students Union, Newton Park
Entry: £3 or £2.50 for fancy dress

Whether it’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Superman; come dressed as your favourite film character and enjoy the limelight for a night. Or just come along for the fun…

This night is a fundraiser for Celluloid Games – a series of sport related film screenings during Bath Film Festival, organised by Bath Spa University Students and supported by RELAYS. Fingers crossed that we get a good turn out!

(Terms and conditions apply see

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Freshers Fair!

Wow it was certainly an experience! Hopefully we managed to get our message across and some people were really keen to volunteer - we got approx 80 email addresses so I'll be following up with them. Having free stuff to give away is really helpful for attracting people - Relays badges were especially popular! Also a great chance to raise awareness of Celluloid Games - our film screenings as part of Bath film festival.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bath Spa Freshers Fair

I'm getting ready for the Bath Spa Freshers Fair which takes place on Weds 30 September. Up to 4,000 students are expected to attend so it's a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of RELAYS and recruit volunteers to work with me on planning events.

Four students who are involved in the film programming project with Bath Film festival will be joining me to hand out flyers. We'll be promoting the fundraiser student club night in October as well as the four screenings during the film festival in November. More on that to follow when I return from leave at the end of September.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


I'd really love to work with Bristol based artists antiVJ on the Bath festival of Illumination. They do amazing light projections onto buildings. Here's a film of a piece they did in Brussels in 2008:

AntiVJ & Crea Composite: Nuit Blanche Bruxelles from AntiVJ on Vimeo.

Bath Festival of Illumination

I'm developing an extremely exciting idea to create a new Bath Festival of Illumination. Taking place in 2010 and 2012 it will be the highlight of my RELAYS activity. The event in 2010 will be small in scale and will build up to a large-scale outdoor arts celebration in 2012 to mark the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our inspiration for this festival is the Fete des lumieres in Lyon which attracts 4 million visitors to the city.

I will work with Bath Spa University students to plan and deliver the event. We'll commission artists and creative practitioners to work with young people to develop new site specific artwork, music and performance that will be exhibited at various points around the event site in Bath City Centre. The festival will also feature street theatre, circus performers, torchlight processions and conferences/ panel debates. Watch this space for updates on how the plans develop!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Film programming project with Bath Film Festival

It's a real pleasure to be working on a film programming project in partnership with Bath Film Festival. Five students from Bath Spa Uni are programming four film screenings themed around sport within the film festival which runs from 13 - 21 Nov 2009. It's a fantastic opportunity for them to learn about selecting, screening and promoting films with support from Chris and Lynne from the film festival. We're meeting fortnightly as a group over the summer and at the moment the focus is on researching films and venues. The film festival brochure goes to print in early September and after that we'll be concentrating all our efforts on marketing. We'll be at Bath Spa Uni's freshers' fair and are also planning a student club night fundraiser in October.

Big Top Festival film update

The RELAYS short film about the Big Top Festival at Bradon Forest School is currently in post production. Swindon filmmaker, Gurch Singh, is working with young people and staff from the school in Purton, Swindon. The film will showcase the highlights of the festival, raise awareness of and promote the event. The film will be completed by September 2009 and is intended for distribution online, through young people’s film festivals and the BBC Big Screens network. We'll also hold a screening in School assembly in September.

Pictured are Gurch Singh, Chloe Tennant, Zoe Jackson and Chris Deeley. Luke Stewart sadly missed the photo!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I'm really looking forward to checking out the Big Top festival at Bradon Forest School on 9 - 12 July. Relays is supporting local filmmaker, Gurch Singh, to work with students and staff at the school to make a short documentary film about the festival. There's a packed programme of music, theatre, dance and circus performances, including The Dacoits and Circomedia on offer.

Circus skills

Here are some pics from a circus skills workshop run by Circomedia at the K3 Games on 12 June at the University of Bath

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

What is Relays?

This blog is to keep people up to date with Relays projects and events taking place in the north of the South West Region - Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire.

Relays is a programme of linked sporting and cultural events in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics. The project aims to inspire young people and their communities to get involved in local events and develop their skills.