Local Hereford alternative rock and indie music promoter Kirsty Morris is off on an epic journey this year to the Great Wall of China for a fundraising event of a lifetime to support local charity St. Michael’s Hospice.
She has received support from local businesses in Hereford and tickets donations from well-loved summer music festivals around the country to auction off and sell towards raising donations at her next fundraising event taking place at the Booth Hall on East Street this weekend. Kirsty has also received donations from some pretty famous bands around the country. She has been hard at work!
Hereford City Centric wanted to know more about this great trek being taken on by such an admirable woman and how close she is to her fundraising goals.
Political aspects are not something I really think of when I travel, as long as the areas I travel to are deemed as safe, then I really tend not to worry about such things.
Hereford City Centric: HelloKirsty, you are actively involved in music promoting in Hereford with your promotion group Hey Little Monster, can you tell us a bit about the music you put on and what drives this interest?
inSTALL8 is a Hereford based art collective from the Hereford College of Arts made up of 8 members including Mairead McVeigh. They recently hosted a live music fundraiser at the Booth Hall, which is one of two events they have hosted to raise funds for a trip to London, and also have a crowdfunding page. I wanted to know a bit more about this collective and what this trip means to them; I was enlightened by Mairead.
Please help support these students by donating to their crowdfunding page here
Hereford City Centric: Thank you for the opportunity to interview inSTALL8 about the collective. Mairead you are part of the Install8 group of Fine Art students who host gigs to help raise funds for a trip to London and pushing arts in our local community, what is inSTALL8 all about?
inSTAll8: Hello Michelle and thank you for your interest in us and your very warm welcome! inSTALL8 are a collective of 8 artists from in and around Herefordshire, we are all current students attending the Hereford College of Arts Fine Art course. We are due to graduate this year in the summer. We are so varied in our practices that I would say it’s fair to label us multidisciplinary – some artists range from more traditional themes in painting and drawing whereas a few of us are exploring digital mediums, some are installation-based artists making large scenes for audience engagement and participation. Others expand to curatorial roles, so we’re a great mix and all of our individual skills have been pulled together to create inSTALL8.
The title of our collective is loosely based around the Windows platform, it’s a bit of a play on words as we would hope that our collective skillset pushes us more into the realm of contemporary art practice as opposed to traditional methods (although, in no way are we knocking our history – context is everything!)
HCC: It all sounds very exciting! What will the money raised be going towards?
inSTALL8: Our goal is to raise £5,700 to bring our graduate show to Free Range in London, a UK-wide exhibition showcasing new art from all over the country. If we attain our numbers, it will be the second time our course graduates will have had the opportunity to attend such an amazing event. The £5,700 will secure our place at the show and aid us with transport, accommodation and materials so that we can set up a heart-stopping show and hopefully lead us into some wonderful opportunities! We are joined in this adventure by our sister group at the college, HCA Collective, who are 17 Photography students who will be joining us on our journey to the end. Support for them would also be massively appreciated.
HCC: I truly hope this article will help promote your cause so that you can reach your target and get to London! Also, please feel free to share any of your artwork on our Facebook page. It all sounds amazing, and please get the word out to HCA collective because at HCC we loving giving local artists a platform, especially students who often bring something new to the table.
Last Wednesday, 22nd of March you held another live music event at The Booth Hall in Hereford, is this your last fundraiser or do we have more to look forward to? Will it always be the same group of students or will there be new ones added from the college? I attended your previous music fundraiser and enjoyed the light installations, live music and DJ sets. Who did you have on the bill this time?
inSTALL8: This is potentially our final music fundraiser, but there’s more to come! We’re hosting an art auction at the end of April at De Koffie Pot, we will be presenting some of our current work and then it will be placed under the hammer for a few lucky contenders! We also have a very exciting raffle that will be drawn at the Private View of our college Summer Show, details will be confirmed for that later. It’ll be the same 8 in our team as we are one team graduating from the one course.
On this spectacular evening we enjoyed the beautiful sounds of Shannon Walker, a singer-songwriter from Worcester, glorious and raw Punk punches from Molly Kelly, hard-hitting riffs from Hereford’s very own Black Boxes, fresh cut jams from the Noisy Daughtersand had everyone’s dancing feet on the go with a House set from DJ SMUT – a resident of Ibiza and Ministry of Sound DJ…AND to top it all off, a blasting drum and bass set from DJ CHOPPA. It was an unforgettable lineup! There was a little something for everyone. There were also visuals and performances happening throughout the night.
HCC: I am absolutely gutted I was unable to attend but friends who did attend loved it. I am pretty familiar with most of the live music performers such as Shannon, Molly and Black Boxes who happen to be one of my very favourite local bands. Love them all! And what an honour to have DJ SMUT come to support you from Ibiza! Amazing guys! Is art your main focus?
inSTALL8: It is my aspiration to become a working artist, but as Thomas Merton once said – “no man is an island” and all of the best artists only grow stronger with a community and this is what we are trying to create and achieve through inSTALL8. I think I can speak for all of us and really elaborate on the fact that no matter what happens, art will prevail. Artists view the world quite differently. Finding beauty and hope in the mundane is important, and also viewing the world with a critical and creative intent can open up plenty of opportunities for young people. I highly recommend attending a Fine Arts course – it opens your mind and enables you to engage with other like-minded individuals.
HCC: What a beautiful perspective Mairead. I can proudly say my daughter just switched her Psychology major to Fine Arts and I will share that thought with her. I agree that art is one of many wonderful ways to open your mind to a much more fulfilling perspective of the world.
What would you like to see happen in the arts community in 2017/2018 to give a platform to artists who choose to stay in Herefordshire rather than pursue their careers elsewhere?
inSTALL8: I think there is plenty going on for the art scene in Hereford – h.Art, Hereford Make, The Apple Store Gallery, De Koffee Pot, The Courtyard, The Canwood Gallery and Artsite3 among others are great spaces where artists can expand and exhibit their flourishing practices– The college itself is host to gifted students that will pave the future for the creative industry and firmly cement Hereford as a vibrant, artistic city.
HCC: I have been to many wonderful exhibitions in the city and hope that people get out more and enjoy them as well because art opens a window into an alternate reality. I wish all the members of inSTALL8 the best of luck in getting to Free Range London and may you all have an exciting creative future ahead of you.
I would like to thank Mairead McVeigh for making this interview possible and sharing the inSTALL8 story with us. Mairead is a wonderful musician, writer and artist. Look out for her performing live under the name Maddie Mew around the city of Hereford, and for her talented art, as well as, any upcoming inSTALL8 exhibitions and fundraisers.
Friday Night was an absolute charmer of an evening. I Popped into the ‘February – 28 Paintings in 28 Days’ Exhibition with my trusty sidekick and photographer in crime, Grace Biddlecombe, and was greeted by a buzzing atmosphere – a room of smiling art appreciators, or perhaps they were Ria Parfitt fans. After all, the girl is a diamond. Grace snapped plenty of photographs for us to share with you and hopefully, inspire you to come along and experience Ria Parfitt’s playful art. Interpret as you wish!
The good news is she sold 14 paintings that night and several prints. On the second day she sold more. Wow. The prints are rather stunning as well, so you can pick one up if your favourite painting has sold. I am sure they are limited edition so you probably don’t want to linger too long. The possibility of a sell out is in the cards.
The exhibition is open to the public until St. Patrick’s Day in the De Koffie Pot Gallery located on the first floor. If you have not been to this Dutch-inspired converted coach house cafe you must add it to your places to lounge after a long day of shopping in the Hereford city centre. It is located along the River Wye and is part of a family venture that also manage the famous Left Bank venue. It’s beautiful and the coffee and cake are a hook – they also serve scrumptious food.
De Koffie Pot has become a social hub for culture on the River Wye in Hereford. The city’s creative demographic are being welcomed by venues around Hereford to host events and perform. The city is undergoing an evolution which is taking a positive direction.
I must mention that on the way out there was a room right across the gallery on the first floor that Grace and I gravitated towards illuminated with beautifully lit candles on the tables. They were preparing for their free Friday night live music events. Magical!
10th-17th of March at De Koffie Pot, Bridge Street, Hereford HR4 9DG
Artist and Musician Ria Parfitt has created a self-exploratory collection called‘February – 28 Paintings in 28 Days’ A challenge she set upon herself to create and complete paintings in an allocated time frame that wasn’t very generous. She successfully completed her daily tasks which then transformed into a deeper, more profound journey of self reflection as to how she approached her work gaining an enlightened understanding that she was more confidant than she had perceived herself to be.
Her work has roots in surrealism but not in the classic sense, she embraces Magic Realism, but I also notice Pop Art influences. I think of Ria’s art and music with her band Mexicolaas one of those summer fairs full of bright lights, lovers sharing candy floss, tents full of decadent cabaret performers and carousel music in the background – a journey into one of the cells of her mind I would love to hang out in.
Exhibition poster here
Let Ria know you are attending her Facebook event here
If you also want to catch her band Mexicola performing they will be at The Booth Hallon the 25th of March 2017 supportingLouise Distras at the Underground Revolution show. Poster Designed by Ledbury Pop Art Collage Artist John Rose.
Iraq Front line Photographer Peter Masters & Poppy Man/Celebrity Portrait Artist Paul Crow will be exhibiting to the public in the fantastic newSkinzophrenic Tattoo Studioon Sunday the 19th of March 2017.
The tattoo studiorecently relocated to Aubrey Street and took on a grand new image complete with murals on the ceiling that bring the Sistine Chapel to mind. The exhibition will be open to the public from 11am and the artists will be accepting offers and commission requests.
Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street in the Hereford city centre will be hosting an art exhibition featuring two artists, two worlds and two different art mediums.
The private viewing will take place on March 18th commencing at 8:00 pm and will be open to the public on March 19th from 11 am.
Alongside a provocative collection of photographs on exhibition by Peter Masters will be the art ofPaul Crow who will be featuring his Icon collection, Forest paintings and his renowned Poppy paintings which landed him the epithet “The Poppy Man” and a spot on BBC Midlands Today.
When Paul started painting about 12 years ago, he channelled his creativity and began expressing the connection to his military background by virtue of the poppy – a way to express solidarity for his fellow brothers at war who perhaps never made it home. He used a palette knife technique to create his vibrant, stark paintings and soon had a following. Paul felt it was time to back away from being pegged into a box as an artist and to move away from the “Poppy Man” brand which led him to new subjects.
Paul says “I wasn’t necessarily focusing on dead celebrities, it just happened that way. I am currently working on Paul Weller who I am a huge fan of for the exhibition”
After Paul’s career led him to work for the World Cup and then back home again, his mother passed away who too was an artist. Her passing moved Paul deeply and inspired him to do the ‘Forest’ collection in her honour. During this time, Paul made a move towards using painting brushes rather than the palette knife.
As his journey further continued into developing his art, he built a studio in his home where he could experiment with his craft which led to a complete turnaround when he created the ‘Icon’ collection. A year after David Bowie’s passing, Paul Crow’s music hero, he still felt moved which led him to create the powerful Starman painting – the first piece in the ‘Icon’ collection.
One thing led to another, such as commissions from admirers of the Starman and other Icon’s soon followed including Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobainand Freddy Mercury. Paul says “I wasn’t necessarily focusing on dead celebrities, it just happened that way. I am currently working on Paul Weller who I am a huge fan of for the exhibition”
The Icon Collection contradicts everything the Born into War collection is shouting at us, yet they will be in the same room as a reminder that we perhaps must look at the choices we heedlessly make in our lives, often unnecessary self-indulgent ones. In Mosul people fight to survive with minimal resources, while in the Western world we succumb to excess and end up hurting or even killing ourselves, often forgetting to appreciate our good fortune.
Perhaps, this exhibition will help us to prioritise what is important in day to day life and to cherish our freedom of expression, access to food when we desire, walking down the street without a care in the world and the opportunities our children are given to succeed in life – a life they don’t have to worry about losing before they have grown into adults. In Mosul a fresh meal on the table and a peaceful night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold.
Peter Masters is not your typical business man, he is a fearless adventurer on the side of the good guys who happens to own a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Hereford, a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Iraqand a laser removal and piercing studio in the works to be located in Hereford’s High Town. It makes you wonder if he is planning to take over the world.
The truth is taking over the world is the least of his concerns, he is a man with a camera, one with guts and a purpose for documenting the war in Iraq, and a man who would gladly leave Western life behind to fight for what he believes in. How he manages to get so close is a matter of speculation…we are just glad he can. It is brave souls like him who put themselves in harrowing situations to show the world the truth about what is really going on at the front line in Iraq that are heroes in this war along with the survivors who live it daily. A photograph cannot lie and can tell a thousand tales.
“What is most eerie is that a young boy is standing in front of the family like a shield, perhaps his father is gone now, you see that he is no longer a child but the lone male defender carrying the burden of responsibility to protect his family on his young shoulders”