Project Portfolio

For an overview of the areas in which I work, which include as a workshop facilitator, writer-in-residence, community writer etc please see my Creative Practitioner page.

Here you will find a much more detailed look at just a few of the recent projects I’ve been involved with and some that are currently ongoing. There are many, many more, you’ll find a list at the bottom. The projects shown here are chosen as an eclectic snapshot of the varied work I undertake. Do please get in touch if you feel we’d be a match to work together, if it’s anything to do with words, I’m your gal!

At the bottom of this page you will find information about my qualifications and professional memberships, as well as a list of all recent projects.

Disconsortia – Assistant Producer

I am currently working as Assistant Producer for Disconsortia, a collective of disabled artists in the north east, for their A Place at the Table project funded by Arts Council England. The role includes supporting a group of artists with their commissions, and working across areas such as organisational development, regional takeover, PR & marketing, funding, administration etc.

9 disabled artists, members of Disconsortia sit in a semi-circle. Some are laughing, everyone is focused. There are sticks and a scooter in view.
photo description: 9 disabled artists, members of Disconsortia sit in a semi-circle. Some are laughing, everyone is focused. There are sticks and a scooter in view.

Kirkleatham Museum – Get Creative at Home

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kirkleatham Museum were keen to get digital content online which meant that their community could be supported to create in these difficult times. I was commissioned to create numerous projects in film, written, PDF and audio formats. I subtitled and audio described the films I created to ensure accessibility as well as providing transcripts for audio. The projects include an audio meditation writing guide, a film and accompanying PDFs about how to create Little Books, a poetry performance, creating a rainbow of memories and lots more.

All of the resources I created are available to access here.


Mentoring

WM3

I am currently mentoring a middle grade writer as part of the WriteMentor mentoring summer scheme, and a young poet for the New Writing North New Narratives commission. I have worked one-to-one with poets, writers and performers of all ages and levels to build confidence, learn new writing skills and to push them in terms of boldness and creativity in their writing and performance. I have mentored as part of the Arts Council England Develop Your Creative Practice fund. I offer this as a tailor made package – contact me for further details.


Art Assembly – Co-Curator

MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) was invited by Art Fund to be part of Art Assembly – a one day festival showing how art can make a difference as part of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. I work a lot with MIMA on a freelance basis and was delighted to be invited to co-curate this event. I spent a day in MIMA working with all the community groups and created a charter for every one. We took over an empty space in Walthamstow High Street which we turned into a mini MIMA on tour, in which the charters were beautifully and proudly displayed. As well as loads of makings and doings, I also talked to all the people who came to visit us, and asked them what they believe makes a community. This work will be turned into a charter for Walthamstow, to share our learning and to say thank you for having us.

Get creative with MIMA’s innovative programme, live in the heart of Walthamstow. A colourful pop-up display, co-curated with disabled activist Lisette Auton.


The Little Shed of Forgotten Dreams – Commission for Hartlepool Waterfront Festival

Vici Wreford-Sinnott and I spent the summer working with members of Artrium Studio in Hartlepool to create the Little Shed of Forgotten Dreams. Artrium is a unique art studio using arts and crafts to improve mental health and well-being. We invented and created local myths and legends inspired by the stories of Hartlepool and those of the members. We made and collected items to store in the Little Shed which became a living museum and art installation for 6 weeks.


An Evening With – Host, Curate and Perform

I curated, organised and hosted An Evening With Lisette Auton at the fabulous Thought Foundation. BSL interpreted and audio described, it was an evening to give voice to incredible disabled artists, poets, writers, musicians and spoken word performers who live in the North East.


Social Action Speaker

With New Writing North I went into schools and delivered a talk to different year groups about Disability Arts, social action, my journey as a writer and changing the world with words. This was followed by workshops with selected students.


Belonging – Poetry Commission

I was commissioned to create new work reflecting the local identity and the meaning of ‘belonging’ within the post-industrial area of Middlesbrough. To work with a community group to create new narratives around the term ‘belonging’. I worked with Creative Age at MIMA, a group from the traditionally working-class areas that inspired the paintings of Teesside artist David Watson (born 1944). The piece will be recorded to form video installations, these will exhibit alongside Watson’s paintings (20) at an exhibition Dorman Museum in 2020. The new narratives will also form the exhibition guide.


Vital Xposure – Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters – Actor

Well that didn’t go according to plan… I’m so very sad we didn’t get to show the world the incredible piece of work the whole team made, having spent three weeks rehearsing in Hackney. I hope we get to come together again, I hope we stay safe, I hope the venues and staff and freelancers are all okay.

Julie McNamara, artistic director of Vital Xposure, wrote about the rehearsal process, it feels even more important now that this testament to this important piece of work is read. LINK TO ARTICLE HERE.

Spring 2020 – four weeks rehearsal in London and then four weeks national tour in the role of Mad Mary with the acclaimed Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, Vital Xposure.

Two plays by Julie McNamara and Omikemi. Directed by Penelope Freeman
Different women. Different times. Same system.
Two powerful plays, inspired by real life events, are woven together across time to expose unpalatable truths about the treatment of people deemed ‘different’ or ‘damaged’ and asks how much of our humanity do we lose in search of the cure?
Together, these plays tell some of the untold stories behind medicine’s ‘magical’ gains.
Age recommendation: 14+

All tour dates and access info available HERE


The Wrecklings – Author

The WRECKLINGS is a middle grade lyrical adventure novel. The main character is eleven year old Alpha Lux, the first Wreckling, who lives at the lighthouse on the rugged North East coast with the mermaids and agoraphobic Cap’n with a kitten in his beard. Alpha wants to know why her mam abandoned her. When a mysterious stranger threatens to destroy the secret world she loves, she realises she doesn’t need to know the answer in order to belong; that friendship and the families we make for ourselves are the most important things to fight for. Alpha is disabled, as are all the characters who live at the lighthouse, but this book is not ‘about’ disability, nor is it ‘inspiration porn’. It’s a cracking and glorious middle grade literary adventure story with a spiky strong female at its heart. It’s missing from book shelves.

I am represented by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency and this novel won me a coveted place on Penguin Random House’s Write Now programme. I am currently working with Puffin Editor, Emma Jones.


Disconsortia – Writer-in-Residence, Workshop Facilitator & Performer

Invited to be writer-in-residence, to devise and facilitate a workshop, and perform as the Crip Mistress at a 2 day event for twenty disabled artists in the North East. I produced a piece of creative writing about the event which has been published on Disability Arts Online. The workshop was devised to be completely accessible and allow cross-artform collaboration. The performance was written especially for the cabaret, a twenty minute headline spot in character as the Crip Mistress which included spoken word. The Crip Mistress is available for future performances…


Recent & Upcoming Projects

Disconsortia – Assistant Producer – see above

National Youth Theatre of Ireland – create a film provocation for their conference about inaccesibility online

MIMA – edit their Celebrating Age publications

MIMA – create and deliver CPD for the organisation

New Writing North – Lead Writer on 8 week schools poetry project

Kirkleatham Museum – Get Creative at Home – see above

Belonging – Poetry commission – see above

Puffin/Penguin/WriteNow – Author of middle grade novel THE WRECKLINGS – see above

Disability Arts Online – multiple commissions as writer and reviewer

Vital Exposure – Actor – see above

New Writing North – Social action speaker and workshop facilitator in schools – see above

Arts Council England – Mentor for Develop Your Creative Practice

Disconsortia/DAO/D4D – Writer-in-Residence, workshop facilitator and performer – see above

MIMA Creative Age – Lead workshop facilitator working on a two year project with older people living with dementia

MIMA Cloth Club – one off writing workshop to create a group poem based on their freeform knitting project to go on tour

MIMA/Art Assembly – Co-Curator – see above

Crossing the Tees Book Festival – Writer-in-Residence – design and deliver a masterclass, 3 workshops, and workshops in 5 schools, attend events, create a poetry pamphlet.

Dear Mrs Pennyman – Devise and deliver a writing workshop based on the Pennyman Letters

Little Shed of Forgotten Dreams – commissioned by Hartlepool Waterfront Festival – see above

MIMA – writer on Who Are We Project culminating in exhibition and words upon table tops

The Forge – Poet – design and deliver two day workshop and performance in schools

Evening With Lisette Auton – Host, curate and perform – see above

Let’s Discuss Disability – Artist and panel member

Disability Arts Online – Guest Editor – commission, edit and write articles to cover a 4 week take-over

BBC Bitesize – Guest artist on schools tour

DaDaFest – Panel member on the Future of Disability Arts

North Ormesby Hackathon – Writer-in-Residence and community writer

Full Circle Academy – writer and drama practitioner with learning disabled theatre academy

Occupation – Movement Facilitator for OCCUPATION with professional, disabled, and community cast

MIMA – Writer-in-residence – create schools programme


Qualifications, Training, Certification and Memberships

Completed:

BA Hons in Theatre Acting: Devised Performance

MSc with Distinction in Community Development and Youth Work

JNC Professional Qualification in Youth Work

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

Greater Tees Practitioner Training Programme – strengthening skills and tools to effectively facilitate creative practice with socially excluded communities such as: young people including NEETs and PRU pupils, older people, disabled people, people experiencing homelessness, and refugees and asylum seekers

Introduction to Community Organising

Currently undertaking:

Creative Leadership, delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs and funded by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme – 2 years

BSL Level 1 with MeSign Teesside

Wellbeing in Theatre Making delivered by RTYDS and Ramps on the Moon

Relevant certification and memberships:

Current Enhanced Portable DBS

All relevant local Safeguarding Qualifications

Public Liability Insurance

Member of the Society of Authors

Member of the National Association of Writers in Education


For further information, or if you’re interested in how we could work together, please contact me.