Hello everyone to part 7 of The Cherry Ladies Interviews, amazing chats with some wonderful and creative ladies who are connected to Bonfirecherry!
This instalment is with the wonderful & educational Sophia Kyprianou aka The Curator – Educator!
Before we start I will let this super lady introduce herself
“The Curator- Educator is creative business dedicated to developing creative opportunities that is accessible, inclusive, diverse to open up a vast range of possibilities that can support, further and make creative encounters engaging for everyone on a range of levels.
Throughout all of the work, our primary focus is rooted in combining educational ideologies, audience engagement and participation practices that put people's individual experiences at the forefront.
The Curator-Educator has over 10 years experience working in the creative and educational sector and offers a range of creative, accessible and inclusive services which include exhibitions, workshops, community projects and workshops and cultural events across the Midlands and beyond.
We promote a professional ethos to provide new opportunities and experiences for people that aims to:
Break down social and cultural barriers
Encourage individual exploration
Explore creativity through a variety of opportunities
Puts people at the forefront of every experience
We believe there is great power in creativity and the arts which we aim to offer to all throughout services.”
Bonfirecherry/ Wow what a great statement there, it's good to be creative, for me it helps me a lot with my mental health!
What is the most recent creative workshop you ran?
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Lovely evening @vintageretreat running a Christmas table decoration workshop! The ladies who came along make some beautiful creations I’m sure you’ll agree! ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #Northampton #creativity #tabledecorations #christmas #makers #craft #northantscrafters #makersofnorthampton #workshop #curatorsoftheextraordinary #curatoreducator #facilitator #creative #snow #masonjars #clementine #cinnamon #greenery #twine #berries #christmasvibes
Sophia / Thank you! I truly believe in the power of the arts and creativity, its something that is can help in many levels.
Recently workshop wise I run two Creative wellbeing sessions a week in Northampton (at the Umbrella fair organisation and Bradlaugh fields Barn), which are craft based sessions designed to support people in the community practice what I call, creative self care!
I also recently ran a Christmas table decoration workshop at the Vintage Retreat.
BC/ Creative Self-Care should be the tagline for 2020 I think!
Speaking of the new year, what workshops have you got planned for the start of the year?
Sophia/ I am all for that being the new tagline for 2020, its something that can work for everyone!
Workshop wise next year there’s some things that are definite: Arm knitting workshops, beginners jewellery making, Kumihimo jewellery making (which is a Japanese technique, which may be of interest to yourself), and weaving, which are going to be in Northampton and Leicester.
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Happy Monday lovely people! Happy New Year , we hope you are well. We’re back from tomorrow with a new programme for Crafternoon! Starting with our regular session The Umbrella Fair Organisation - UFO!⠀ ⠀ This week we’ll be doing decoupage! All welcome to come along and practice some creative self care! Sessions are pay what you feel and you are more than welcome to stay for the whole session or just part of it, whatever works for you! Looking forward to seeing you there. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #crafternoon #creativeselfcare #northampton #umbrellafair #artasprescription #mentalhealthmatters #community #creativewellbeing #crafts #makersofnorthants #selfcare #creativity #decoupage #creativeskills #opentoall #support #welcoming #relaxed #lookingafteryourmentalhealth #curatoreducator #artsforall
Then there are the crafternoon sessions, which are going to continue to run, one session at the Umbrella Fair and a new session at The Yard on Gold Street come January!
Also I’ll be looking to run some other creativity and mental health workshops for young people and adults across the region, which are all about looking at the relationship between creativity and mental health.
Then a few things are in the pipeline, around natural play, which are developed and looking to come to Northampton in the spring/ summer!
So, yeah I’ll be keeping busy. What about yourself? What does Bonfire Cherry have planned for the new year?
BC/ The word Japanese always gets my attention haha (nothing to do with my love of all things Japanese or my recent trip to Japan I swear). All exciting stuff, I am going to try to come to one in the new year, bakery work has been getting in the way quite a lot recently!
I've got quite a lot planned for 2020, mainly to make up for the lack of print work during 2019 because I was busy working in the bakery to save up for my trip to Japan and me starting my transition male to female that took my attention away from any print work.
For 2020 there is going to be a lot of Japan inspired designs, making sure to do some fairs as I didn't do any during 2019 and bring back the Bonfire Banter podcast, a creative podcast I started with my friend awhile ago.
As we are producing this interview just before Christmas & New Years, what have you got planned for those wonderful events?
S/ We’ve now wrapped up for Christmas and new year in terms of workshops, but have a new series of Crafternoon sessions beginning in January. Which will be out on social media in the next few days.
BC/ Is there any creative advice you would like to give to your younger self if you had the chance?
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Lovely morning @scotchlodgefarm teaching these ladies to make their own arm knitted blanket in just 2 hours! Love teaching this workshop and seeing the great sense of achievement when participants finished their blanket! Our next workshops @scotchlodgefarm is on 1st Feb and 21st March! . . . #armknitting #northampton #creativeworkshop #newskills #armknittedblankets #handmade #scotchlodgefarm #earlsbarton #makersofnorthants #craftersofinstagram #knitting #chunkywool #cosy #creativity #curatoreducator #localbusiness #facilitator #workshops #crafturday #weekendvibes
S/ I would say, trust in your creativity. It may not always lead down the path you first thought, but it’s influence will take you in a positive path. Continue to believe in creativity, it means a lot to you and to many others.
BC/ Oh wise words, is there any dream people you would love to have at your workshops?
S/ It’s not something I’ve ever considered to be honest. I suppose somebody who I admire is a lady called Sarah Corbett who is the founder of the Craftivist collective! I love her approach to using craft and creativity to make a difference in the world.
BC/ Oh I need to check her out. To answer my own question to a place like my print shed or exhibition of my work (possibly in the future?) I would like a visit from anyone from the past/present it would either have to be Roy Lichtenstein of Pop Art fame, Jamie Hewlett, the designer behind Gorillaz or Oda the person behind One Piece, the popular anime/manga series I admire.
I've noticed a lot in recent years that Knitting/Crochet has been popular for everyone of any age compared to the past when if you wasn't around a certain age people would think you are weird etc.
What are your thoughts on this change in its popularity?
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What is Arm Knitting I hear you say? Check out this little glimpse from our last workshop! ⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀ #armknitting #northampton #workshop #beginnerscraft #knit #experience #giftideas #treatyoself #armknittedblanket #creativity #craftskills #makersofnorthampton #newyearsresolution #creatorsofnorthampton #chunkywool #teaching #crafturday #achievement #youmadethis #soft #cosy #winter #scotchlodgefarm #breadandbutterfactory #bookonline #linkonwebsite #eventbrite #curatoreducator #localbusiness #creativefacilitators
S/ That’s really cool, there’s a few names there I didn’t know, always like discovering new artists and makers!
I love the fact that craft skills like crocheting, knitting and sewing are making a come back and are more popular! I think there is an increase in people wanting to be creative, learning new skills that is not only fun but also is useful and I think it also is something that can bring people together and building a community.
As you know I’m a big fan of all things crafty and have set myself the task this year of learning to use a sewing machine! Any new crafty skills on the horizon for you?
BC/ There isn't a lot of skills I don't know of, just a lot that I haven't ever been good at but hey I wasn't good at lino-cut when i first tried it in 2007 but my skills in it have improved a lot since!
I think that's everything for this interview, thank you so much Sophia for taking part it has been really fun and informative! Where can people find you?
S/ There’s so much to try in the world of creativity!
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your interview series!
If people what to find out more about what I do or fancy getting in touch you can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @thecuratoreducator.
Thanks so much again!