“I believe in the power of music and art in all its guises to enhance and improve our lives”.
Janet Wolstenholme is a multi instrumentalist musician and composer. She works worked at Seed Studio in Old Trafford Manchester where they help people express themselves through making & recording music and writing songs.
Janet has tons of experience recording and producing music, sound and spoken word. She grew up in Wythenshawe, Manchester, 54 years ago. Since an early age she has been inspired by recorded music and its power to change and enrich life experiences.
When Janet was ten years old her older sister, Julie got a guitar for Christmas, but it was Janet that became passionate about it. Since then she has been exploring music in all its wonderful forms and deep ways.
Through most of the 1980s and 1990′s Janet toured the world with pop and rock bands like Bandit Queen, visiting America, Europe and Australia. Here she is performing with Bandit Queen:
Since retiring from the rock and roll world, Janet’s worked as a music facilitator and project coordinator in community and mental health and wellbeing organisations, as well as caring for friends and family.
She continues to find great joy in music, and composes and writes her own music and songs. Here’s a mix of some of the recordings she has done spanning over 17 years:
Jason began to make films in 1996 when working in Manchester as a stand up comic. He came runner up in the North West Comedian of the year 1996 and 2000. But he found he enjoyed the experience of directing so much he quit stand up and went on to University to study film and photography graduating with a 1st Class honours degree. During his time as a student he began to enter short film competitions and subsequently won the best animation category in the Exposures film festival.
This led to a BBC mentorship position and further accolades including Virgin Media Shorts Grand Prize Winner 2011, Virgin Media Shorts People’s Choice Award 2010, Best Documentary First Light Movies 2012, Audience Award and Best Drama Exposures 2002 and Best Animation Exposures 2000.
He is currently developing his prize winning film with the BFI and recently added to his awards by winning the best documentary category for his First Light Movies ‘Homelessness’ in which he mentored women in supported housing to make a documentary on the issue of homelessness. He’s also begun working with BBC Comedy North developing a number of pilots and taster tapes including two panel shows, one sitcom and two character comedy projects.
Karen’s the creative producer for the Poppy project. Karen conceived the idea for Poppy last year, and is delighted to be seeing her vision being put into action. Karen is the director of Lets Go Global and has over 15 years experience of delivering digital media and broadcast projects with artists and people.
Karen’s part of the alumni of Salford University, BA (Hons) Media & Performance and MA Creative Technology. In 2012, she launched the start of London 2012 Games Time in the North West and won the Be Inspired Award for her outstanding contribution to the Cultural Olympiad, and her work with the communities of Greater Manchester.
“I enjoy walking and looking and being outside in any weather”.
Caro has two main strands to her work. She produces small books with community and groups, finding the process telling their own stories incredibly satisfying for people, hence her enthusiasm for the Poppy project!
“Through engaging with each other and ourselves, and using recordings, film, photography and artwork, we explore themes and ideas of importance to us”.
She also works with paper made with plant fibres which she makes herself. Since completing an MA in Design in 2009, Caro has explored experiences through this medium of hand made paper – how it interacts with light and the marks naturally occurring in the paper. Caro uses light and shade in the finished installations to evoke a sense of drama and tension. She finds paper a wonderful carrier of meaning, in its raw form it conveys qualities of transience, fragility and strength.
Caro shares the qualities of hand made paper and light with community groups in workshops. She creates structures in public spaces with the collaboration and input of people who connect to that space. For example, an LED illuminated sphere, about 1 metre in diameter, constructed from 20 circles of multi layered paper is soon to be installed in a quiet room in a hospice.
Adrian McEwen is a creative technologist and entrepreneur based in Liverpool. He has been connecting devices to the Internet since 1995—first cash registers, then mobile phones, and now bubble machines and lamps. He founded MCQN Ltd. an Internet of Things product agency and is co-founder of DoES Liverpool, a hybrid co-working/makerspace that is the home for tech startups in Liverpool. His book Designing the Internet of Things was published by Wiley in late 2013.
He was one of the first employees at STNC Ltd, which built the first web browser for mobile phones and was acquired by Microsoft in 1999. Now Adrian concentrates on how the Internet of Things intersects with people’s lives and how heterogeneous networks of devices should work together. He lectures and speaks on these issues internationally. You can find him on the Internet at www.mcqn.com, or follow him on Twitter as @amcewen.
Mat is a freelance filmmaker based in Manchester, UK. He makes promos, mini docs and music videos. His short films have been screened at festivals around the world; his short ‘Kiss’ was selected for the New York Independent Film Festival, won the Best Director award at NIFF2012, and the film is now in competition for Best Foreign Short at the American Online Film Awards 2014.
His other short ‘Run’ has gained 100,000 views online after being selected by websites shortoftheweek.com and ainticool.com, as well as gaining critical acclaim. Mat’s latest film ‘Radio Silence’ is now beginning its life on the festival circuit.
Mat’s currently writing his first feature film script and is also branching out in to documentary and photojournalism.
Andrew Farrell Readman
“I’m interested in developing new writing for all”.
Andrew is a playwright and Theatre Director with twenty years experience. He left School at 16 and spent 6 years in the Royal Navy as a technician serving in the Falklands War of 1982. In 1985 he attended the RSAMD and graduated with prizes in 1988.
In 1989 he won the prestigious Regional Theatre Young Director Award and became Assistant Director at The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh alongside Ian Brown. He co- directed and directed many productions for the company as well as producing the Independent Newspaper Theatre Conferences, The Feet First Dance Festival and Writers About, an innovative writing in schools project,
Moving to Manchester in 1994, he took part in the City of Drama Festivities directing The Big Splash on six stories of a Multi Story Car park and commissioned Kevin Fegan to write Seven Tenths and became writer in residence at the Contact Theatre , at the same time he studied for an MA in Art As Environment at MMU Faculty of Fine Art. The following year he won the Arts Council Esme Fairbairn Trust Gulbenkian Award and became Associate Director at Contact Theatre.
A commission from the Culture-Shock Festival for the Commonwealth Games and opening of Imperial War Museum North went on to win the best new play at the 2002 MEN Awards. In that same year he directed the National Holocaust Memorial Commemoration at the Bridgewater Hall and travelled to Hong Kong as a visiting artist and external examiner for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
Later he went to study Psychology at the University of Middlesex and the institute of Psychosynthesis. His radio work was highly praised and two of his works, Spiders War and The Palimpsest were entered by the BBC, for nominations to the Sony Radio Awards and the Priz Europa.
“My work explores the juxtaposition and conflicts of new media with the ‘natural world’, using text, film, animation, photography and the Web. I am interested in the application of social permaculture in my art practice to interrogate the areas of seed sovereignty and world water scarcity”.
Maya’s artistic journey begun at Sheffield Film Co-op making films and videos for community groups, television, and training people in video skills. While there she entered her poem/monologue Monsoon into the BBC Young Playwrights Festival and won! This wind of change sent her to write for theatre and radio, whist continuing to work with many communities using art for change and empowerment. Her plays include Kaahini, nominated for Best Children’s Theatre: Writers Guild Awards (Capercaillie Books).
Since then she’s produced a poetry collection, The Seamstress and the Global Garment (Crocus Press) which is described as “uniquely alive to the possibility of multiple identities, fused mother tongues and the interweaving of myths.” Also her poem Brides of Dust won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. She is published in many anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe) and Red (Peepal Tree Press). Maya’s poem My Eyes was selected by ‘Time to Read’ resulting in a banner, posters and postcards for libraries in the North West. She regularly performs at festivals, more recently at Manchester Literature Festival.
Maya works in a variety of art forms, favouring inTer-aCtive, multi-media and site-specific installation work utilising new technology. Her work has been exhibited in public gardens, theatres and galleries. Her digital participation work includes working with Community Arts Northwest and Roma young women in Leigh, and more recently, working with Lets Go Global and Eccles Youth Club on a digital media project exploring The Bridgewater Canal.
Maya is currently writing an immersive multimedia story for young people with B Arts, which will tour libraries and arts venues.
“My interests include beat-making, scrabble, taming wild snails”.
Martin Stannage aka Visceral, is a Manchester-based poet, MC, director and music producer. He aims to unify his love of theatre, spoken word and Hip Hop to create work that is challenging, poetic and funny.
As a Poet and MC, he has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s “Bespoken Word” as well as Cbeebies’ “Rhyme Rocket”, and performed at festivals including The Big Chill, Kendal Mintfest, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Standon Calling and Breakin’Walls in Amsterdam.
His credits as a theatre director include Dominic Berry’s “Wizard”, MC Testament’s “Blake Remixed” and Keisha Thompson’s “I Wish I had a Moustache”, all theatre pieces with a strong element of lyricism.
He has facilitated workshops for organisations such as Apples and Snakes, Z-Arts, the BBC and the NHS, working in schools, youth centres, pupil referral units, prisons, hospitals and sheltered accommodations.
Seni is a poet, photographer, singer and creative artist of English and Sri Lankan heritage. She works as a freelance writer, mentor and workshop facilitator and is currently gathering content for a mixed media project based on her father’s photographs from WW2.
Her debut collection, Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin, (2007, Peepal Tree Press) includes a poem, which was Highly Commended in the Forward Poetry Prize. Her second collection, The Heart of It, (2012, Peepal Tree Press.) “a tender, moving collection full of passionate intensity and an unswerving faith in the power of reconciliation and love” (Mimi Khalvati) was selected by New Writing North as one of their Read Regional titles. It includes her poem ‘Operation Cast Lead’ – shortlisted in the 2010 Arvon International Poetry Competition.
She has worked in schools, colleges and community settings and has collaborated with musicians, filmmakers, visual artists and photographers. She was Poet in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival in 2012. Her most recent collaboration was with photographer Bill Jackson at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, responding to his exhibition entitled Dark Light.
She is particularly interested in the relationship between therapeutic healing and creative/expressive arts. Her paper, Speaking the Unspeakable through Poetry: The Search for a Place of Healing and Witness after Trauma formed the basis of her input at a Symposium hosted by Virginia Tech (Nov 2012) - Writing and Reconciliation: Identity, Displacement and Narrative in Sri Lanka and was presented at a conference, Engaging the Other, University of Free State, South Africa (December 2012)