Nonsensus – A Journey Into Being Sung

17/05/2018 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

Over the past two months we have been developing the infrastructure and systems of Maindee Library. In the background work has continued with the artistic community of Newport to create pieces of work that interpret how people have been Finding Maindee. 

In this blog article Rhian Hutchings explains how the findings from Steven Jones' Nonsensus work are being produced into a unique piece that can be sung. Rhian and Steven are pictured above with a copy of the Nonsensus

Stuart Farnsworth - Maindee Nonsensus Q&A

08/03/2018 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

On Tuesday 27th February over 30 people squeezed into the Holbrook Studio on Chepstow Road to meet Stuart Farnsworth as he explained the story behind the 188 pages of raw data found in the 2017 Maindee Nonsensus.

According to his clipboard Stuart met 12.85% of the householders [and homeless] living within Maindee. Some of the responses to his 3 questions were short, but some people shared personal experiences about their lives and one lady recited poetry. At one property Stuart’s singing technique was tested. All of these words, including the ‘yeahs’, ‘ha has’ and ‘innits’ are faithfully recorded in the book.

Can you help?

This blog is account of the Q&A session. Although Stuart recorded the whole conversation - and could potentially type if out two-fingered as he did for the book - we have had to interpret and group together some of the conversations. If you want to get a copy of the book there will be some copies for sale at £10 in the Maindee Library and the pdf can be downloaded here.



09/02/2018 | New Paths, Arts



11/01/2018 | New Paths


New Paths November 2017: Creative Ways of Making Money?

23/11/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Development & Building

The November New Paths session explored creativity and asked about ways of making money. The main focus for the session was the presentation delivered by the student group making the mobile cafe, with updates on Cinema Speaks from Bernie and Fez giving us some background on how the Newport Photomarathon been shaped and delivered.

New Paths Gathering Nov 17

We also moved the session from the library over the road to Holbrook Studio, which was the HQ for the Newport Photomarathon and also the venue for a new creative business that Fez is developing.

Final New Paths Grant Awarded

26/10/2017 | New Paths, Arts, Community

Last week Maindee Unlimited made the final award from the New Paths Fund. Community House Eton Road will be running a project to create a mural which represents the diverse group of cultures who live - and have lived - in the Maindee area.

The project idea was devised by Brian Selby [pictured below sitting at the table] and comes at the right time as it taps into the stories which have been uncovered by the 1,000 Voices project. 


Marilyn Priday [pictured above second from left] said that: "Community House is delighted and grateful to have the last grant from Maindee New Paths."

This blog article gives some information about this latest project and gives some background on what has happened through New Paths since it was set up in 2015.

Update on Maindee Triangle at Livingstone Place

19/09/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Development & Building

Since the summer of 2017 architects and artists KHBT have been working on design proposals for the triangle-shaped land at the junction of Chepstow Road and Livingstone Place. In July they made a first visit and then came again the present initial proposals to the New Paths Gathering in August. Since then views and ideas have been sought; there have been changes to the design and we now have more detailed proposals and a hand-made scale model in the library [see below].

Karsten with Triangle model September 2017

This blog explains the process that we have gone through: the inspiration; the constraints and what has changed in the design proposals. We actively invite people to comment on the designs to get a stronger idea of what is possible.

Newport Photomarathon - Maindee Sat Oct 28th

14/09/2017 | Street Media, Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

The first Newport Photomarathon comes to Maindee Library on Chepstow Road to start at midday on Saturday 28th October. Over the following 24 hours the photo marathon entrants will be going around the city taking photos and also sampling some of the 6 workshops on offer. 

 Newport Photomarathon

This blog article gives an insight into the collaboration behind the scenes, not only between artists but also from businesses and organisations ranging from the Camera Centre to Newport Transport and Coleg Gwent.


13/08/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts


New Paths Gathering - July 2017 retrospective

09/08/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Learning

We try to write up a record of every New Paths before the next one takes place. On this occassion we are only just going to get one in before the session tomorrow on August 10th at 6pm with Stephanie Roberts and KHBT.

Last month we had an update from George Lovesmith on the library project which then linked us into three presentations from art spaces in south Wales. First of all we heard from Dan at the Elysium Gallery in Swansea, followed by Dai from Made in Roath in Cardiff and then Zosia and Dafydd from the Kickplate Project which is currently working in Pontypool.

Kickplate Project at New Paths

We moved on from these presentations to hear a little about plans for the the 2017 Newport Photo Marathon with Fez Miah and the finishing with Karsten and Bernd giving their perspective on the Maindee Triangle. There is a longer write up about KHBT on our blog; they will be joining Stephanie Roberts on the agenda to host a workshop at the New Paths session on Thursday 10th August.


10/07/2017 | New Paths, Arts, Community, Library



How Maindee's Community will shape Art & Architecture in the Library

10/07/2017 | New Paths, Arts, Development & Building, Community, Library

We are starting to plan how the Maindee community will shape the artistic and architectural changes which support the refurbishment and re-alignment of the library building.
Over July 2017 library volunteers Maggie and Kim will be leading the conversation where we find out what people want from the space. From August we will start working more closely with artists and makers to try out practical and creative ideas. By the end of summer the pratical and creative should start to come together and the first set of changes should start to appear.
Start of timeline
For a recap on architects Sarah Hollingworth and George Lovesmith and their approach to 'playful provocations', 'invitations to collaborate' and 'practical infrastructure' [as pictured above] please read this blog article from earlier in the summer.
Please read on to find out about the approach that we plan to take and how to get involved.

May New Paths - Focus on the Library

14/05/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Development & Building

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.

March New Paths Gathering & Looking Forward to April

01/04/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

This review of the last New Paths Gathering has taken a little longer than normal, but this is because it was even more packed than the previous two sessions with event more presentations and discussions. In brief we sampled four main presentations.

  • Rohan Bishop - Outdoor Music Making Day on Chepstow Road 12.00-17.00 Sat April 22

  • Justin Cliffe introduces the work of Tin Shed Theatre

  • Data Collector Stuart Farnsworth pitches to carry out his hyper-local research work

  • Robin Bobby explains his passion behind the MAP Project

We also had a few pitches for different events and ideas, including Rhian Hutchings for the Express Yourself event on March 25, Bernardo Kerr with the idea for a Maindee cinema club project centred around The Neon and Robert Muza (below) for bringing Africa Day to Rodney Parade in Maindee on Bank Holiday Monday May 29.

Robert Muza


Before you read further we invite you to the next gathering on Wednesday 12 April at 5.30pm. This time Stuart will give us a fuller presentation on ‘big data’ and what to do with it and we also have Eugene Dubens explaining his approach to researching arts and local cultures.

Help MAP to save 'The Nylon'

26/03/2017 | New Paths, Learning, Opinions

At the last New Paths Gathering we had a talk by Robin Bobby from the MAP Project. MAP are trying to preserve part of 'The Nylon' factory for future use as a venue for science and the arts. This blog is a call to action to help their cause by making objections to new plans for the site.
British Nylon Spinners
MAP wish to utilise the former nylon factory at Mamhilad (designed for British Nylon Spinners by Sir Percy Thomas & Son 1948) to create a cultural centre for Wales. The owners of the site wish to create a village there and whilst we have no objections to the village, we do object to their plans to take down 40% of a Grade 2* listed building and to demolish the former Parke-Davis site in its entirety.
The building was designed by Ivan Dale Owen 1969, and influenced by his secondment to Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius in New York. JEUK have conducted a short two day presentation on 1st March / 2nd March 2017 and the public now have until 28th March to object. MAP feels this is a worthy cause to support and would like you to take a few minutes of your time over this weekend to take the opportunity to object.
You can view the plans here and on the site there is a platform to email objections at

Sounds of Maindee - New Project

23/03/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Library

New Paths is pleased to say that Robert Smith (sound recordist and photographer) is embarking on a new project called ‘Sounds of Maindee’. The project will be looking at ways to archive existing work and how to make it available to the community.

Also Robert will be working on collaborations with other artists such as Operasonic, Rohan Bishop, Ismael Velasco and others. His role would be to support their individual visions and apply his skills towards their projects. Contributions start with the Sounds Alive Chepstow Road event on the 22nd of April and the Operasonic performance of Newport Legends at the Riverfront on Sunday July 2nd.

Sounds of Maindee

Theatre for Change - one month in

28/02/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Maindee Voices, Community

Ismael Velasco explores progress of his ‘Theatre for Change’ New Paths project. This blog piece explains how he sees community as porous, networked and more than just geographical. Furthermore the make-up of the audiences at Ismael’s performances in Maindee have helped to see this part of Newport as a hub. Ismael describes the way that he is Finding Maindee as:

'A helpful insight, not least in terms of Maindee Unlimited's vision of attracting trade and developing Maindee as an inward destination within Newport. It is also useful learning in terms of future efforts.'

Ismael at Zimbabwean event

Ismael is always smiling - as we see in the image above from a Zimbabwean event at Community House on Eton Road. The following paragraphs describes how he is feeling having nearly completed one month of a two month project.

Second New Paths Gathering

14/02/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Learning

Following the first gathering in January we decided to repeat the format: get a group together in the library and give a few of them the chance to go in front to present their projects and seek advice and collaboration from others in the room. This time the order on the bill was Jo Haycock, Ismael Velasco and Lloyd Gittins; and Jo even came to us with a set of prepared questions for the group!

Steve Jones with Lloyd's shoe

This is what happened at the gathering, with some links to the different projects and an invite to the third event, which will take place at 5pm on Wednesday 15th March.

Introducing Theatre for Change

10/02/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

In this blog article we introduce one of the latest artistic initiatives supported by New Paths to start with us. The project is called Theatre for Change and is led by Ismael Velasco, who describes his work as:
"An initiative to harness the power of performance to connect and motivate the hearts as a tool for building relationships and inspiring collaborative action."
Ismael performing at Maindee Library
Ismael has already started to perform his short one-man play at a number of venues in the Maindee area. He is pictured above at Maindee Library. His goal for February and March 2017 is to go many different places in the neighbouring communities. He told us that:
"I hope to engage all the communities of Maindee - including my own (whether faith-based, cultural or artistic). But always as one more voice in a pool of local voices, offering their distinctive contribution on a basis of inclusive diversity, in a process of co-design, where the answers we arrive at embody everyone's contributions. "

Exploring activism through photography

08/02/2017 | Street Media, New Paths, Learning, Opinions


It’s difficult to deny there has been a surge of social activism recently in various forms. From protests to petitions, these pop up on a daily basis on our Facebook feeds as well as across tabloids and anywhere news and information is delivered, often being accessed by consumers simultaneously across multiple platform. Polarising opinions are plentiful in our post-Trump, Corbyn, EU referendum world. Adverts from brands such as Kenco, Starbucks, and AirBnB are layered with aspects of social activism, it can be argued that sex no longer sells but activism and social change is at the heart of many conversations. But what part does photography play in all of this? This blog post aims to share my experiences after attending a New Paths funded project called: Activism and Photography. My name is Mohamad Fez Miah I am film maker, lecturer and mentor for Street Media.

New Paths Gathering (Part 2)

19/01/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

In this second part of sharing the discussion from the New Paths gathering we reflect on Dilip Sinha's work on the Maindee Photographic Survey and remind ourselvs of the work that Steph Roberts completed last year on Mosaic Maindee.

Dilip Sinha

In his headline slot at the New Paths Gathering we heard about his inspirations and the work that he has completed since having his New Paths grant application approved last year.

Successful First New Paths Gathering (Part 1)

15/01/2017 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Development & Building

We have recently decided to develop the format of New Paths by holding the first monthly gathering. On Wednesday 11 January we invited a group along to the library so they could meet other people doing projects and also get the chance to find collaborations.

The session included a presentation from Marion Webber, who completed her project in October 2016, before a fascinating Skype chat with RISE Propaganda inroduced by Bongo Peet [pictured below]. In the second half we had a talk by Steph Roberts and a detailed presentation of Dilip Sinha’s work on the Maindee Photographic Survey. It was a really absorbing two hours with lots of enthusiasm for our next session – at 5pm on Wednesday 8 February.

Bongo Peet

This blog outlines what we heard from Marion Webber, Bongo Peet and RISE Propaganda. The second part of the gathering with Steph Roberts and Dilip Sinha will be reported very soon in a second blog article.

Photography and Activism

04/01/2017 | Street Media, New Paths, Arts, Learning

Happy new year to all! The 'New Paths' programme is opening the year with an interesting workshop suited to the inquisitive photographer of the family. This workshop is aimed at supporting ones own activism. Lead by Independent Journalist and Documentary Photographer Vedat Xhymshiti. Vedat has travelled the globe on assignments as well as explored his own stories. In this unique weekend workshop before he begins new work outside of Wales, he will highlight and share means of using images to develop effective campaigns that you feel passionate about. 

All images copyright to VXPictures

Maindee Stories Opens this Friday, 21st 5-8.30pm

18/10/2016 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts, Maindee Voices, Community, Learning, Library

Come along and see the extraordinary textile work from the women from Community House's 'Coffee and Laughs' group with members of  Beechwood Stitchers led by fine artist Marion Cheung. Included in the show are books that show the design process and the ideas that went into the work. Show runs until 11th November. There is so much to see!

Sounds Alive in Maindee Library

10/10/2016 | Finding Maindee, New Paths, Arts

The Sounds Alive music workshops are held every Wednesday evening from 6pm in the library. In this sort blog article he tells us how this New Paths project is going.

Project leader Rohan Kane Bishop says that have been a success with. attendees each week bringing new ideas and enthuasiasm to the table." The group has a soundcloud page, which is used to upload content and circulate ideas, such as last week's session which can be heard below:

Sounds Alive Session 4



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