The Pear Tree and other poems


Art Salon Christmas Fair!

christmas-art-fair-16We are delighted to invite you to our Art Salon Christmas Fair, showing you a range of presents, gifts and wares from artists, designer-makers and illustrators working in UNIT 13 and 1 Thrifts Walk.

UNIT 13 is an artist run warehouse studio in East Cambridge, home to 18 artists, designer-makers, illustrators and creative businesses. Thrifts Walk is home to 6 artists, a gallery and office. Both spaces help us make the arts accessible to the community. This year, Thrifts Walk’s artists have helped launch a new cross-arts initiative in London, place art installations at Cambridge Folk Festival, plus launch the Chesterton mural, work on TV and film sets all over the UK, take commissions, run classes for the community. UNIT 13 has seen its artists become shortlisted for national awards, publish books, give talks – as well as support community and emerging artists in the city with their vital work.

Families welcome, children can take part in a free art activity – festive spirit art prize draw! Open to all ages, create your own festive spirit art piece for the chance to win a festive prize.

So pop down to enjoy the work and pick up a pressie!

Beating the Bounds – New works by Gudrun Filipska

1 Thrifts Walk. Cambridge.

21st October -4th November 2016 (Family friendly Private View 5.30-8.30pm Fri Nov 21st).


An exhibition of work from the first stages of an ‘Artists Residency in Motherhood’, as mentored by British American artist Lenka Clayton. Filipska takes the experience of motherhood as a raw material, using as departure point her long standing interest in walking as artistic practice and fugal subjectivity and how this is altered by the presence of children. The show includes work documenting her daughters obsession with wrapping and enveloping found and foraged objects, the first part of a photographic project documenting daily walks, a video work reflecting the tedium and staccato rhythms of a walking pace set by children and a series of drawings referencing historical landscape painting.

This exhibition forms the first part of the Beating the Bounds project which will take place during the two year residency and further develop ideas of territory, boundaries, transience and motherhood. It’s also part of the BBC get Creative Family Arts Festival, happening throughout October – and Cambridge Art Salon’s We Are Family programme

Accompanying text, ‘Against the Odds: Creative Survival Throughout Parenthood’ by writer/curator Ruthie Collins will also be available at the exhibition, partnered with national campaign body Family Arts Campaign. Advice, personal experiences and strategies shared by parent artists have been turned into a poster style text, the first of a new ongoing series of #mamainart (MIA) pieces @ruthiecollins

BBC Get Creative Family Arts Festival

Cambridge Family Arts Network is proud to present you the BBC Get Creative Family Arts Festival throughout October. Participating venues include Cambridge Junction, Cambridge Art Salon, Fitzwilliam Museum and Stir Cafe, plus many more. Check for events near you.


Children and families, help us celebrate by colouring-in this pearl inspired illustration from Adrian Reynolds, illustrator of Harry and the Dinosaurs! Let your imagination go wild. Share with #camfamilyart on @CambArtSalon or email a photo of your colouring in (with your contact details) to, or hand in at selected events including Beating The Bounds at 1 Thrifts Walk October 21st – November 4th (check for a full list).

Prize draw will take place on October 31st for the chance to win free shows at Cambridge Junction, children’s books and other goodies.

The design was inspired by charity Care Network’s 30 year pearl anniversary, for whom Cambridge Art Salon is creating 30 Pearls of Wisdom, celebrating older people in our lives. #pearlsofwisdom

Pearls of Wisdom

For charity Care Network’s 30 year anniversary, Cambridge Art Salon created a variety of ‘pearls of wisdom’, with elderly residents in and around Huntingdon, funded by the Charity Lifeline Community Benefit fund. Pearls of Wisdom is part of our We Are Family programme, which uses art to celebrate the voices and social history of older people in our lives.


Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst

Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst

We were delighted to showcase a specially commissioned Tree of Wisdom installation from Sarah Steenhorst, to share some of these pearls, at Huntingdon Town Hall on October 12th, for Care Network Cambridgeshire’s AGM. Interactive art, ‘Oyster and Butterfly’ was also on show from Sa’adiah Khan.

‘Pearls’ on the tree were created by elderly residents at Glatton Hall Care Home, plus in their own homes in and around Huntingdon, including audio, from Olwen, plus textiles from Marilyn. Pearls celebrating older people in our lives were also made by children and families in Abbey, Cambridge, as part of our Eastside Creates programme at The Big Lunch.

‘I’ve not had this much fun since my wedding day!’ said Olwen, about enjoying her time at the AGM, where her song was performed as part of the installation.

Special thanks to Sam Norman, Blue Bus Tour, Georgina Cook, Sarah Steenhorst, Victor Ibanez for all their help making the pearls.

Free Family Arts Activity! ‘The Alternatives’ – Jo Randall, as part of World Rivers Day.

416925_10150714652811488_726801487_11840502_1341552218_nFamilies live in all different types of home – boats, caravans, houses. Create a picture of your home – or your imaginary home! What would your dream home look like? Imagine living on a boat, or in a caravan, yurt or bender (a home made out of canvas and tree branches) – what might your home look like?

Whether you live in a boat, house or caravan – or dream of it, draw it, create it, paint it! Add some imagination, go wild.

Parents can join in too! All pictures to be shared as part of The Alternatives, Jo Randall, at Cambridge Art Salon – 1 Thrifts Walk, Cambridge CB4 1NR.

Or post your pictures online with hashtag #thealternatives16


What was the inspiration behind the show?
I’ve been a renter in the Cambridge area for the last 12 years. I often get asked ‘have you ever thought of buying your own home?’. If only it were as simple as that! My last module at uni was on the subject of Zeitgeist (which translates to the essence of the times in which we live) and I decided to investigate the housing crisis in Cambridge as I felt it was personal to me and very much a hot topic at the moment.

How did you find your subjects?
My friends have always been very supportive so when looking for subjects, I used social media to ask if any of my friends, or friends of theirs, lived in anything other than a traditional house and if they would be prepared to talk with me, with a view to becoming case studies. I was also introduced to the Cams Boaters facebook group which is run by the inhabitants of the house boats on the Cam. I received a huge amount of interest and support to my request, which was fantastic.

What are your influences as a photographer?
Tom Hunter is a big influence for this project. His series ‘Travellers’ documents the lives of the people he encountered whilst travelling in a converted bus from Europe to Portugal in the 1990’s. They’re shot in colour, on a large format camera, and have a really serene feel to them, capturing the humanity and the dignity of his friends. I’m aware that black and white can often be quite gritty and harsh, but I’ve tried to capture the same feeling of contentment and pride in my own images.

The whole show is shot in black and white – was there a rationale behind that?
I have only very recently discovered the beauty of traditional film. Shooting this series in black and white allowed me to further develop my darkroom printing skills. There’s something very tactile about creating your own photographs, from developing the film yourself through to making the prints in wet trays. For me, it completes the artistic process and really feels like they’re my personal creations. Each photograph you create is unique and many of the images in the exhibition were a culmination of many hours of experimentation to achieve my final results.

What have you learned or are hoping to share with the community through this show?
There is rarely a simple answer as to why we choose to live the way we do. There are many contributing factors such as location, finances, environmental impact and lifestyle, and it’s very easy to judge others without trying to understand their choices. The average income in Cambridge is in the region of £28k, with house prices currently at an average of £420k. Home ownerships is no longer an expectation or a right and we need to become more creative, to explore other avenues and find our own solutions to the current housing crisis outside of society’s norms.

The Alternatives

416925_10150714652811488_726801487_11840502_1341552218_nA solo photography exhibition by Jo Randall in which she explores the alternatives to the housing crisis in Cambridge. This special show is also in association with World Rivers Day, on September 25th.

“Have you ever thought of buying your own home?”

If only it were that simple. When you examine the housing situation in Cambridge and look at the bare facts and figures, it soon becomes apparent that if you didn’t get on the housing ladder back in the 1990’s, it’s highly unlike that you’ll ever be able to afford to purchase a house in Cambridge.

So what are the alternatives? Where do you live if you want some sort of permanency but cannot or do not own a house?

A series of images of the alternatives – the people, the lives and the homes they have created within commuting distance of Cambridge, in anything but traditional bricks-and-mortar housing.

From Syria With Love

From Syria With LoveWe were very proud to host From Syria With Love in April, please would all who bought pieces at The Guildhall contact us (see who below) to arrange an appointment if you haven’t already visited.


Phone or text Victor on 07734435238 to arrange an appointment to collect.

Getting here. We are right next to the Kids Classics children’s clothes shop, on Chesterton High St. Note that the number 2 bus stops just round the corner, but there is no parking available on Thrifts Walk itself. Plenty on nearby streets though.

Thank you for your support.

Get ready to see us at Cambridge WOW on Sunday March 8th!


NEW INFLUENCES: Female Voices is hosting a chill out room upstairs in J1, screening footage from art installation The Women’s Room, feminist video art from Amy Spencer (includes some nudity), plus videos from Hollie Mcnish, Bryony Kimmings and rapper Shay D. You can also see quotes from interviews with inspirational women in the community, such as Mayor of Cambridge Gerri Bird.

See our feminist posters downstairs in the J1 entrance. Plus check the Under 10s room, featuring Bryony Kimmings’ alternative feminist pop star made with nine year old neice, Taylor.

*Please note that some roads may be closed due to the half marathon, so check routes before driving*

Welcome to the new Art Salon website

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At the Studios – February 2015


Penelope Sackett Hayes, ceramics artist, at work at the studios on new work.

Jill Fordham, glass artist, at work at the studios on a new commission