The Men’s Shed Working with Artist Fred Fieber

The Salisbury Men’s Shed is now up and running, albeit with limited workshop facilities and a range of tools and available materials. We are open to men (and women!) of all ages, and provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for anyone wanting to learn new skills or share existing ones, working by themselves or together, on projects of their own or for the wider community. The Shed is led by the members who decide when they come, what they do, and where we shall be heading. The key difference between these projects and a regular garden shed is that we act as a community space, allowing people to get together on a regular basis and chat over a cuppa.


Salisbury Hospital Staff Art Club working with Artist Fred Fieber

Volunteers, staff and visitors to the hospital contributed to the creation of the panel over two days.

Who are ArtCare?

ArtCare is the arts in health service for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, bringing colour and inspiration to patients, staff and visitors to Salisbury District Hospital. The ArtCare team has more than 25 years of experience delivering visual, participatory and environmental projects at the hospital and other local health care settings.  ArtCare also works collaboratively with local schools and colleges and engages in community based arts in health projects 

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The Friary After School club working with Artist Matthew Dean

This Panel was created by the Friary Afterschool club that runs free on a Thursday afternoon for children aged between 7-11 in the area. The club runs a multitude of activities that include Sports, Cooking, Drama and Arts. Wiltshire Creative have been involved with the club and provide an array of Art for the children to experience and have a go at, sometimes for the first time.

The Tell it as it is project allowed them to express their thoughts and wishes about what they considered the biggest issues that may face them in the future. They expressed an Interest in promoting wildlife preservation as seen by the many Pandas, the symbol of the WWF.

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Tidworth Army Welfare Services working with Artist- Lynne Heaton

A group of eight young people aged 9 years to sixteen years were brought together by Joyce Stretton. Joyce is the Play, Youth and Community Development Worker at Tidworth working with Army Welfare Community Support Groups.

Some of these young people came from the Tidworth Girls Group, some from the Tidworth T2a Group (Teenagers 2 adults), and some from the Alternative Sports Club.

The title for this graffiti art work is “Save our Planet”.

The Process:

Everyone brought ideas, sketches and objects to the workshop and after some energetic discussions we divided the board into sections and decided on how to put the combined images and words together to create the final piece.

Here are some of the things the members of this group had to say about this workshop

“I was dragged here by my friend!”

“We need to save our planet”

“Icebergs are melting, there will be no ice, (No ice hockey!)

“Twelve years of living as we do and we will die, pretty much”

“Global warming means there will be no trees.

“Excessive use of paper, (no more exam papers!) costs trees their lives.”

“Use of pesticides means there will be no bees to pollinate the flowers and plants.”

“Don’t leave litter!”

“The food chain will break and there will be no food cycle”

All the young people in this group workshop were focused on putting across a strong message about what we all need to do to stop global warming and protect the plants, creatures and habitat of our planet.

We need to “Help our Earth” and “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” everything that we can.

What Material did you use?

This graffiti art piece was made with sharpie pens, acrylic paints and litter and natural found objects


Bemerton Afterschool Club working with Artist Sophia Sample

In our first session we discussed the history of the Berlin Wall, and brainstormed ideas for our own work. Children filled in their dream clouds and used templates to design their messages of hope and dreams for the future. Children mixed their own paint for the background using palette knives and applied and then sanded the surface to create our ‘concrete’ grey background.

In our second session we consolidated our ideas and decided on our ‘We will save the planet’ message. To complement our text, we added a central motif of a large earth, around which children had the opportunity to add their own designs. Children decided they would add a moon and sun. Individual artworks included an eco superhero, ‘save the oceans’ sea creatures, a ‘don’t build walls, build bridges’ design and a ‘rainbow toilet’ calling for better toilets for everyone in the world.


Who are the Bemerton Afterschool Club?

The Bemerton Afterschool club is a free session that runs on a Wednesday afternoon for children aged between 7-11 in the area. The club runs a multitude of activities that include Sports, Cooking, Drama and Arts. Wiltshire Creative have been involved with the club and provide an array of Art for the children to experience and have a go at, sometimes for the first time.

The Graffiti project has seen them come up with their thoughts and hopes around saving the world, including climate change, political hostility, providing sanitation and plastic pollution. The children were able to express this by working together on a fun, very… very messy project.

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Alabaré working with Artist Paul Bosewell

The Process:

The participants came up with ideas they would like to add to the board, then we weaved it all together as a collaborative effort. We aimed to bring a spontaneous and vibrant approach to working with a coherent flow and composition. I think it was important to allow a raw energy to flow whilst having some thought about positioning and how everything weaved together. I liked the way everything drawn or painted melted into other things, crossing over and becoming a whole.

How the group responded to the brief?

This was interesting as we attempted to get the group to think about things that bothered them in either society or personally, ironically the group seemed to come up with quite positive and vibrant images and messages which I felt was important as this was obviously what they wanted to say and focus on. I think the resulting painting has an energised, raw and mainly positive feel.

The materials we used to create the effect:

We used acrylics, spray paint and acrylic markers, all these material are very direct and give an instant graffiti like effect which I felt was right for the overall look we were going for. The group seemed to pick up the techniques and find their own way of creating very quickly.

Who are Alabaré?Alabare Logo CMYK

Alabaré Christian Care and Support provide the highest standards of accommodation and support to disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our communities in order that they can have a home, health, choice and independence. Since 1991, Alabaré have been working with people facing disadvantage through homelessness, mental ill-health, learning disability or a combination of these.  We provide housing and personalised support based on the individual needs and aspirations of each person, tackling underlying causes and giving them the skills and confidence to move forward with their lives.





Elizabeth House working with Artist: Francesca Mclean

The process:
In the first workshop we started with a discussion about how the participants feel about Elizabeth House and living in Salisbury. We wrote a list of words which we could use as inspiration for drawings and the panel. We made some works on paper in the first workshop, and discussed concepts for the final design. In the second workshop we painted the design, adding on drawings with glue from the previous workshop.

How did the group respond to the brief?
The overwhelming response from the group was the sense of calm, security and richness Elizabeth House brings to their lives. The participants had a real gratitude for the staff, expressing how they understand them and treat them with respect and kindness. We discussed all of the different activities they are able to do at Elizabeth House, as well as other important benefits such as developing friendships. With feedback also from the staff, there is a worry that there will be more cut backs to funding. Therefore, we decided to develop a design that showed the importance of everything Elizabeth House does, and how it is in danger of being lost through potential cuts, also reflecting the self-expression of the Berlin Wall in response to the project. The design is formed of arms reaching up from the bottom of the panel (painted using a stencil by lots of members of Elizabeth House) holding up everything that Elizabeth House does at the top. We layered stencils of ‘cuts’ and scissors on top, to show how if this support were to be cut, all that Elizabeth House provides would fall.

We used pencils, acrylic paints, chalk and marker pens, plus handmade stencils to create the final panel. We used contrasting colours to make a vibrant panel with a powerful message.

Who Are Elizabeth House?

Elizabeth House Social Centre provides services for Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities, Mental Health needs and ASD. We have several groups Blue Skies and Kingfisher during weekdays and evening social club sessions as well as Short Breaks Scheme days alongside Barnados.

When we first approached the Tell it as it is project, we researched Graffiti and what it means to the artists. The Blue Skies and Kingfisher groups worked collaboratively towards making an impactful message that was meaningful to them. In discussion and art workshops, it was immediately clear that they all have been impacted directly in one way or another by cuts to funding to themselves, their friends, housemates or services.

“Cut the cuts” is their response to this, with reaching hands representing the standards of care and inclusion we should all strive to provide as well as the colourful celebration of the services and opportunities they receive at Elizabeth House itself at the top; from social events, creative outlets, knowledge & skills based learning and outreach.

If you are interested in volunteering at Elizabeth House please contact us the details on our brochure or website.




WANDS Working with Artist Francesca Mclean

Wands                                                                                            WANDS Working with Artist: Francesca Mclean

The Process

Workshop one started with initial ideas and discussions of what participants liked and disliked about growing up in Salisbury, including their experiences of living here, writing down key words. We then discussed what we would like the future of Salisbury to look like. We then started sketching, and developed the ideas into a design concept. Roads leading to different parts of the panel, showing Salisbury in the present and future. The panel was sketched out by the end of the first session, and was painted in the second workshop.

How did the group respond to the brief?

The group were enthusiastic and full of ideas for Salisbury’s future, with a sense of looking after the community, including wildlife, but also developing technology. The group also celebrated what they love to do in Salisbury in the present, drawing shops and activities they like. They also discussed and sketched things they didn’t like, for example traffic and vape smoking. After discussing how they felt about living here, the phrase ‘Safe but full of choice’ was said, and we all agreed it was a strong message to write on the panel.

What Materials did you use?

We used pencils to sketch initial ideas and map out the panel. The colour was added using acrylic paint, chalk and markers. The colour was considered, for example thinking about what colour each road should be and how these colours communicate a message.

Who are WANDS

Created and run by volunteer adoptive parents, W.A.N.D.S offers adoptive families living in Wiltshire suggestions for positive solutions, empathic, practical advice and support, information sharing and networking.

The Love of The Nightingale

Stage 65 Youth Theatre Director Dave Orme is directing the youth theatre’s production The Love of the Nightingale this April. We caught up with him ahead of the production opening next week

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Why did you pick The Love of The Nightingale for Stage 65 to perform in The Salberg in April?

“It’s a play that I’ve been interested in for a while. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s writing is so striking and uncompromising that she really brings difficult themes and issues to the forefront of the story. I’m always interested in Stage 65 presenting mature and challenging pieces as I feel this is where youth theatre excels. Finally, it’s just a brilliant piece of storytelling that has been expertly crafted; it’s based on an ancient Greek myth and those stories always seem to draw the imagination and linger in the zeitgeist – the ancients were truly the storytellers par excellence.”

Why is this play particularly good for the youth theatre to perform?

“It’s very timely, and youth theatre companies should be tackling contemporary issues that affect them. Young people are the future of our society and communities and they need to be able to shape our dialogues. To this end, we shouldn’t shy away from discussing issues such as violence, consent and suppression. Wertenbaker has taken these themes and presented them through the lens of an ancient Greek myth, so we are left with this production that is part storytelling, part dialogue: it involves the audience but also performs to them.”

The production is described as a “powerful ensemble style”; can you explain a bit more?

“Any actor is only as good as the actors they are on stage with. Ensemble performance means that each actor relies on the other performers to enable them to achieve excellence. We have a saying amongst the company that each individual performer abides by: “Everyone else in the room is more important than you are.” When we perform, we perform to each other and ensure that our performance is for the benefit of the other. In short, we know that the whole is greater than the sum of its part – and everyone supports each other. If you want the other performer to feel happy or sad (depending on what their character needs) then do your best to make them feel that way.

“On stage this looks like a group of performers all sharing a common goal. No ‘lead’ parts, no spotlight moments. Everyone will pitch in towards the common of goal of telling a story. They might drop out of a role to puppeteer, link a movement sequence into a scene or lend to the overall atmosphere of a moment for the audience’s benefit.”

How are rehearsals going?

“Exceptionally well, it’s always a privilege to work with such intelligent and talented young people. What becomes increasingly apparent is how much they shape the piece and become the driving force behind the major decisions taken in rehearsals. The young people I work with truly do inspire me… I’m just happy to take credit for their hard work.”

How have you and set and costume designer Hannah Wolfe approached the design of the production?

“We wanted to stay true to the ancient origins of the piece, but we also wanted to address the modern timeliness of the piece. There are moments in the piece where characters will seemingly step out of character and ‘prophesy’ about modern events. So we have this fusion of modern and the ancient. The set is almost temple like but has this industrial, brutalist form that houses this mystic energy. The costume is various wrapped pieces that you might expect an ancient Greek to wear but they are composed of modern clothing such as boots, combat trousers and modern dresses etc.”

What type of evening can audiences expect?

“It’s a challenging piece. But written and performed with delicacy and passion. It is a beautiful show with a powerful message. I always feel that the best shows tell the stories of people being people, and at its heart, this is what The Love of The Nightingale does. I really think audiences will find it a truly moving experience.”

The Love of the Nightingale runs in The Salberg from Tuesday 16 to Thursday 18 April 2019. For more information or tickets, visit or call 01722 320333.

Young Reviewers at Fest West

We asked some Young Reviewers to come along and review shows they wanted to see as part of Fest West, our annual celebration of new work from across the South West. On Saturday 2 March, Anabella, one of our young reviewers, watched Noise. Here’s her review.


‘Noise’ was a multi-sensory, intimate performance, which took place in the dark.

We were led into a room with a circle of chairs. After speaking to surrounding audience members, I realised I was not alone in not knowing what to expect. After a short safety brief, the lights were soon turned off. However, the room was not pitch black which I felt took away from the main purpose of the performance. On the other hand, you were still taken out of the ordinary creating a connection with audience members and forming a sense of anticipation.

The predominant aspect of this performance was delivered through pre-recorded audio telling a story through various radio snippets. The young girl who spoke frequently during this was excellent. She was lively and interesting, holding attention which would be a very difficult thing to do in this situation.

At points in the story, objects that were mentioned were passed around the circle. We were encouraged to explore the objects hence utilising all senses to augment the meaning of the story. I know that this is a well-used therapeutic technique to focus the mind and establish connection. Unfortunately, if you were sat at the end of the circle, the story had moved on before the object reached you which meant you perhaps weren’t as connected with the story.

I think the piece certainly has potential, but I am not sure if in its present form it succeeded its initial aim of connecting the audience with nature.

Fest West ran from 14 February – 2 March 2019 at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and at Pound Arts in Corsham and Trowbridge Town Hall Arts.