Prelude to the Red Button

Nige FilmSometimes very nervous indeed,

Sometimes ok.  Sometimes laughing at the thought of keeping a straight face.

Sometimes thinking of running away,

so all over the place.

Yet progress isn’t a race

But hopefully at the time I’ll be fine

Remember my words

And not drop a line.

Hopefully it’ll be good

And so it should

Hopefully I won’t speak

Like I’m made of wood

Maybe I’ll not get it right at first

Need a few times to rehearse

I just hope after practice

It doesn’t come out worse!

But I’m sure they’ll be laughter

And memories forever after

And a good day will be had by all!!


A poem sent by Nigel on the eve of filming.

Production Begins

It’s been rather a busy week at Creative Recovery as work begins to go up and out on to the streets of Barnsley and music and performances get committed to tape in the studio.

With this rush of activity, a whole mix of feelings, challenges and discoveries as everything starts to unfold and visions become real.

Elaine who brought people together to create a track at the studio for her dance installation shared this with us,

I found it all so interesting, challenging, and rewarding. A truly creative experience that I will always treasure. At 61 years of age and experiencing both physical and mental health issues I never expected to be able or allowed to express myself creatively in such a way. It is life changing.

With the visibility of the emerging street artworks, its has also got the town buzzing a little too, creating new conversations and interest in individual artists and our work as a whole.

#collaboration #recovery #wellbeing #expression #arts #socialchange

Making Tracks

As part of The Spaces Between project we have been working with Creative Recovery participant and local published poet, Nigel Shaun Downing to look at ways of bringing his poetry to life and reaching new audiences.

After many years of writing to help soothe, express and document his own experiences, Nigel published his book, Life is Eximius Ordo, with Olympia Publishers.

Here is a sample of recordings he made over at Sight and Sound in Bolton upon Dearne a few months ago. It includes some spoken word and music collaborations, working with one of our resident musicians, Jonny Thorpe.

Process and Progress: April Snapshots

It’s been a busy April at Creative Recovery. We have all been head down in more devising and creating for the festival; working on group projects and fleshing out individual’s ideas and visions.

Leaflets have gone to print, props been discovered, new partners and interest gained from local businesses and groups. This has included a new commission for the Recovery Through Art group from the Pride Over Prejudice Festival in Barnsley. This new artwork will make home in the Town Hall for the festival and will also mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.  We have also featured in the local rag, invited more collaborating artists to the mix and got our production plan well and truly into swing.

Here are some snaps from sessions so far…

New Artistic Collaborators

We are excited to announce new members to the artistic team that are set to collaborate with our community to bring their emerging visions alive.

Simon Grainger aka Graingerboy- Songwriter/Performer


Graingerboy will be bringing his incredible sound and expertise in creating electronic pop masterpieces to collaborate with Daryl Jackson on his new original song called ‘Open Spaces’ . The song is exploring Daryl’s experiences of inner and outer life, navigating the spaces he inhabits both within himself and the world. Simon is also set to perform with Daryl at the festival on Friday night.

Listen to Graingerboy here to get a flavour of what’s to come.

Chris Bradley- Dance/Movement Artist


After an intense storyboarding session with movement director Keira Martin in March, Chris Bradley will be joining Elaine in the studio to realise her vision for the protagonist in her performance piece which is exploring the ascent from fear to freedom.

Find out more about Chris Bradley here

Looking Up


Over the last few weeks, we have been busy out and about exploring more possible spaces to animate and occupy as part of the festival.

It’s surprising what you can find when looking up, instead of down.

We have also been grappling with ideas and thinking about how to bring it all to life, trying out new ways of working and pushing out of our comfort zones.

We will be sharing a blog soon, documenting progress so far, including fruits from our collaborations with visiting artists.


Devising Workshops Begin…


This week we begin our programme of devising, bringing together all art forms (art/performance/music), to explore the themes and ideas for The Spaces Between Festival.

We will also have some time to work with individuals on their own ideas for performance/music/sound and video based art as well as developing group pieces.

MARCH DATES- Exploration and Idea Sessions

Thursday March 9th, 11-5pm

Thursday March 16th, 11-5pm

Thursday March 23rd, 11-5pm- with a special movement workshop with Movement Director and Artist Keira Martin.

Thursday March 30th, 11-5pm

All sessions will be held at Joseph Locke House, Heelis St, Barnsley S70 1LB.

For more details and to get involved please contact Hayley at Creative Recovery. Click here to get in touch.

This project has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Creative Minds Innitative (SWYFT).