There’s just over two weeks left to apply to Creative Commissions 2023!

Adur and Worthing Trust hope to support at least 10 creative projects across Adur & Worthing in 2023. Some of last year’s successful applicants included Figment Arts, Katie Gander and Sight Support Worthing. Find out what they used the funding for and how it impacted their practice and get inspired to start your application.

Figment Arts: Looking Out

Figment Arts (Lancing) collaborated with Superstar Arts (Worthing) to support a group of learning disabled and autistic participants to make visual art work inspired by the coming of Spring, using Kaleidoscopes, photography, video and mixed media visual art. 

Figment Arts: Kaleidoscope
How did the funding help, and what did you use it for? 

The funding from Adur & Worthing Creative Commissions helped us to unlock funding from Arts Council England, this meant that we were able to run an art studio for learning disabled and neurodivergent artists for the last 8 months alongside this project. The specific funds from Adur & Worthing Creative Commission were used to support the work with Superstar Arts, covering artist fees, materials, printing and framing of the work and installing of the exhibitions.

What impact did the project have on your practice?

The project has supported the development of the Figment Arts studio group of visual artists, we have met 12 times over the period, and produced work for three exhibitions so far.

We are fundraising for the studio group to continue and hope that this project becomes the core activity that Figment Arts delivers on a year-round basis. We have also been able to meet people from the arts and cultural sector from Adur and Worthing which has strengthened our networks.

How did the project reach out to the local community?

During the exhibition at Colonnade House, we ran two drop-in workshops for visitors to create patterns and collage utilising the giant kaleidoscope.

During the exhibition at Neighbourhood Store in Shoreham, we had installed a new version of the kaleidoscope for visitors to interact with.  Our artists also created a design which was drawn onto the window of the shop.  We also partnered with Superstar Arts to include merchandise for sale in the shop.  Sales from these items have helped to raise awareness of our work and to support our projects.

This commission resulted  in the creation of a large-scale mixed media and textile piece by the artist Katie Gander who was  working in collaboration with the public and volunteers from Agecraft and Sustainable Sussex.

How did the funding help, and what was it used for?

The funding from yourselves and Sompting Big Local was used to pay for the expenses and materials for running the Weaving Wool Together Community Craft Project.

There was a launch event and closing event at the Fen Farm, 2 workshops at the Harriet Johnson Centre and 4 at the Downs Barn. The grants also paid for the commission of a textile piece collated by Katie Gander from pieces made by the workshop participants which also included her own additional work.

We now have all the equipment needed for continuing to facilitate craft workshops with wool, including dye materials, stainless steel pots and sieves, a wool drying rack and wet and needle felting tools.

Was the project a success?

The launch event was the first major event where the Fen Farm was opened to the public and those who came were keen to see it and find out about the craft project. The public were able to see the sheep being shorn and find out about the farm and how it will be developed. Many children participated in the craft activities and we promoted the upcoming workshops. I would say overall it was a success and a good start to having an ongoing active craft project in Sompting. We were fully booked for the workshops at the barn and 10 of the participants came to at least three of the four workshops there, so this is a good indication of success. Many were keen to learn more about working with wool and would like to attend further workshops.

How has the project impacted your own practice?

I have learnt a great deal through this project. I have developed my textile art skills including – preparing and washing raw wool, dyeing wool with natural materials, wet felting and needle felting. Because I was running workshops teaching these techniques I needed to have a more in depth knowledge and experience of them. I found that by preparing for the workshops I had the opportunity to also develop my skills and creativity. This was the first time I have had a paid commission as a textile artist and it has been a very enjoyable and satisfying experience.

The Project was a creative collaboration between Sight Support Worthing, a charity supporting the local visually impaired community, and 4 local artist/groups who are based in Rowlands Road. The aim was to allow our members, through a series of artist led workshops, to connect and work with others, develop their creative skills, and produce Artwork for Public display to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Sight Support Worthing Workshop
How did the funding help, and what was it used for?

The funding was used to provide materials, such as the sail cloth and wire to make the basic banners and the crowns. We were very fortunate that Barry Williams, from the West End Gallery, was able to design and make all the wire crowns for us. The funding also provided materials for the various artist led workshops to decorate both the banners and the crowns.

The funding also helped pay for some of the time spent overseeing the artistic side of the project by Fiona and Jude from Inclusive Arts. Finally, it allowed us to cover a variety of other costs including the afternoon tea on the 31st May and help with some transport costs etc.

How did the project reach out to the local community? 

The project has given the charity the opportunity to connect with different local artists and increase public awareness of our charity within the locality in which we are based.  Members also enjoyed being part of a larger project with the opportunity to work for the first time with other local groups and artists. Being able to work closely with Inclusive Arts, who meet regularly at our centre, was another positive. Again, it was lovely to see friendships between members of SSW and Inclusive Arts start to develop as the groups worked together to design and make the banners.

Was the project a success?

The project was a great success and delivered even more than we could have hoped for. Firstly, it brought new connections and friendships between not only our members working together on a project for the first time, but also new friendships between the groups, especially between some of the members of the Inclusive Arts group and the VI members of SSW.  We could not have anticipated these outcomes but are happy with how everyone responded to the challenge and took ownership of their own part of the project. Although all the artists and especially Inclusive Art’s Fiona and Jude were there to guide and help if required, it was fantastic to see all the energy, fun and creativity that the project workshops generated.

If you’re inspired to apply for Creative Commissions 2023, you can read more about the application process and how to apply here. The deadline is midnight 05.03.23.