A few years ago I was involved in a training programme organised by Creative Alliance, this course took us through making a living as an artist and everything I do is an extension of what I learnt on the course. The artists where split up into groups: Photographers, Visual Artists and another group whom came under the great banner heading of "Off the Wall" whose work involved sculpture and installation etc.
Artists from the "Off The Wall" stream have joined together for projects and are known collectively as Strange Ways individually they are: Angel Stripe, Annette Bowery, Avril Elward, Elena Cassidy-Smith, Fung Ye Tsang, Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Helen Grundy and Sharon Walford.
Their shared objective or Mission Statement says it all: "We are interested in engaging and attracting new audiences who may not encounter art on a daily basis for cultural, social or geographic reasons. We are linked by a common philosophy rather than common types of artwork. This gives us a coherent identity but ensures our work is diverse and interesting."
They had a show last week at the Edge in Cheapside, Digbeth. Birmingham. and I wanted to go along first of all because I like their thought provoking work but also they had the launch and preview on a Tuesday night instead of Thursday like every art event that happens in this city, and Thursday is one night in the week I cant make.
There were lots of people there whom because I cant make Thursday nights I don't make contact with that often it was good to see Annie Loughrin from Creative Alliance, Noel Dunne who told me how his recovery is going after the weekend at Glastonbury and Harry Palmer the driving force behind the The Worlds First Dedicated Eccentric Newspaper "The Eccentric City". With features on A Postman's Diary, The Moon Walking Club, The Wolverhampton Hermit and the Art of Pregnancy a few jottings about some idiot taking photographs of dumped burnt out car wrecks shouldn't be out of place with Cycling Ireland Without a Map and others. Watch this space and look out for your copy.