Celebrating the Healing Words Project in Maindee

On Tuesday 13th June we had a powerful and enjoyable evening which concluded the Gwent Arts in Health creative writing sessions held at Llyfrgell Maindee Library during May 2017: the Healing Words project.

The session was introduced by Mike Church and was a chance for members of the writing group to read out some of their own work. We also heard from other Newport poets and were able to connect with other people in south Wales doing pioneering work with community building.

Healing Words Maindee Library June 2017

We are grateful to Sarah Goodey from Gwent Arts in Health for managing this work in the library and also for sourcing the funding and other support from the Gwanwyn FestivalLiterature Wales and Newport Live. This blog article provides some reflections on the evening.

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Selecting Creative Practitioners for Llyfrgell Maindee Library +

Last week we selected the joint practice of George Lovesmith and Sarah Hollingworth to work with us on the project to develop the fabric of Maindee library building on Chepstow Road. We have put a lot of thought into the process; all the time questioning ourselves who this project is designed to support and why. This quote from George and Sarah helps understand the approach that we can expect in the period of working together which will last until spring 2018:


"This brief brought together long-standing shared interests in the co-production of whatever can be called public - an approach that aims to collectively build capacities, ownership & better buildings. Our strategy is three-fold: playful provocation, physical enabling, and an invite to collaborate."


This blog article will give a little background on the process we made for this appointment; and sets a baseline for how we hope that regular communication will lead to a successful project.

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May New Paths - Focus on the Library

This gathering was a chance to explore what is possible with the fabric of Maindee Library. We had the first opportunity to meet architects Sarah and George [who will be working with us until March 2018] and get some perspectives how the library space could be re-designed. The meeting was also a good chance to start exploring opportunities and also remind ourselves about what exists already that is really valuable. Specifically Sarah Goodey discussed her experience of using Maindee library as a centre for creative workshops and John Hallam also provoked us to consider the space terms of being a place for social prescribing. Standing alongside these two presentations Rob Smith was able to outline his process for recording stories and how this would contribute to the library project and an eventual artwork.

Maindee Library New Paths Gathering


This blog post is a resume of the discussions with some pointers for us all to consider as we plan the architectual and artistic work which will last until March 2018.

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New Paths 4th Gathering: Evaluating the Arts

This article centres on the task of evaluating and researching the work that is done through art projects such as this that we are developing through Finding Maindee. Sympathy is already felt for the role of evaluator as we write this blog and try to capture ambitious and challenging presentations; and the reactions from a group of people who attend this monthly discussion space.


Our main speaker was Eugene Dubens discussing how to evaluate the arts and culture. Eugene is pursuing a PhD about the Arts Council of Wales’ Ideas: People: Places  (IPP) programme which financially supports our Finding Maindee project as well as 6 others. We also heard from Steph Roberts with reflections on her 2016 Mosaic Maindee project and the future work of Steve Jones (AKA Stuart Farnsworth) as he starts the Nonsensus survey of 2,000 households.


By the end of this article it is possible to perhaps see that the question we are really asking is how to go about the task of Finding Maindee; that’s to say how are the artists we work using their practice as a process of gathering data about people in the place of Maindee?

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Countdown to Creative Practitioner Project

There are just over two weeks left until the Sunday 23 April deadline to apply for the Creative Practitioner role advertised through Addo. This is the single biggest activity within the Finding Maindee Project and one that it both scary and exciting.

 Setting on Chepstow Road


It is two months since we got people together in the library to consider priorities - blog article here.This short article re-affirms who we are doing this project for.

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