Interview: Mark Woods-Nunn On The Inspiration Behind ‘Discs’

Tell us what inspired Discs: A Theme Tune To Life.

The show includes people who are from wealthy or low income backgrounds, those that are/have been homeless, those whom have or are struggling with addiction. People with a history of abuse, mental health issues. All sorts really. Many of these issues span people from all walks of life and are most definitely not limited to those from poorer or broken homes. Unless an individual specifically said so, I did not mention people’s backgrounds.

I am closet listener of Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs”. Last year, listeners of the program submitted their own choices, which were aired and commented upon by a panel of presenters. A throw away comment suggested that some genres of music were under represented due to make up of the program’s audience. This sparked off the idea. A pet peeve of mine is hearing people pigeon hole musical genres or the arts in general, to particular “types” of people. In fact, I pretty much dislike stereo-types in general, but we all make them, largely down to perception or lack of knowledge. So I wanted to quietly challenge this by bringing people together from varying walks of life and backgrounds.

The idea was to over lap / mix the shoot times so people perhaps interacted with others they would not ordinarily meet. Each individual’s music choice was then used as a vehicle to tell their stories and thus create their own life’s theme tune.

I love music, and I love listening to people’s life stories. Like music, people are so diverse, yet we all share common themes (as with music), bit of a paradox really. I wanted to explore that further in some way. The exhibition is largely about the people. The images are therefore quite simple and as least “busy” as possible.

I want to raise the awareness of the great work that organisations like FLACK Cambridge are doing and hopefully raise some funds for them too.

Tell us more about your work as a professional photographer.

I first became serious about photography when I did some aid work in the West Indies. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) was very supportive and encouraged me to take it further. So I did the training and it went from there.

Beside the artistic projects, I mainly shoot advertising, portraiture and events, as well as teaching photography. I am so blessed, I love it. I get to meet interesting people, watch exciting performances and get paid for it! So clichéd, but having had a break from photography and music for a few years; it felt like part of me was dying. Creativity is such an intrinsic part of who we are. I believe we have one life, so we best make the most of it.

I am available for hire as a photographer, for commercial work, arts projects or teaching. You can find out more at or email me at

What about the other artists involved – how has that worked?

It has worked well! I love fusion and collaboration. Whilst I am creative, I most definitely lack the skills in areas that I wished I possessed! I tend to have loads of ideas, but often need others to help me implement them, besides, I wanted a mix. It also reduces the risk is becoming too self indulgent. Ultimately, the piece should be about the people involved, not me. I just get a few ideas, listen to the participants, and take a few pictures

The really exciting thing is that people have been able to shine in what they are good at. No one said “I can’t do that”. In fact a couple of the pictures we have used in the documentary accompanying the exhibition were taken by students Liam & Phoebe who’d never done studio work before, I just handed them a camera and they had a go.

What’s been surprising for you about this project?

How much people shared about themselves. Being a portrait photographer is such a privilege and comes with responsibility; some participants used the whole process as a form of therapy! Ultimately, I talk to people to form a connection; to help them relax in front of the camera. So we have a chat and at the end we have some pictures.

I was also surprised to hear stories from people who on the face of it, you’d never imagine would have such experiences. It was amazing the number of people who wanted to give up their time to take part, whether in front of the camera or contributing in some other way. If I had more time and a bigger budget, I have loved to have taken it much further.

Why did you decide to show at the Art Salon?

Great space, professional and reasonably priced too! Besides which, with out wanting to sound too smulchy, the Art Salon stands for many of my own principles, i.e. lets get the arts out to the community and encourage those that perhaps would not consider it their bag, to have a go. SO many people think they are not creative. It’s such a lie. Everyone is, they just may not have discovered it yet! Anyway, creativity is not simply limited to what we traditionally refer to as the “arts”. Read “The Element” by Sir Ken Robinson.

What’s next for you?

I have a couple of community projects on the cards, and the usual teaching / photography work. I don’t want to give too much away, but my next exhibition (to be launched next year) is a mix of sounds from often “unusual” sources and photographs / video included from non-trained artists. It is a modern twist on “The Carnival of the Animals”, by Camille Saint-Saëns, entitled “Dr Doolittle’s World of the Strange”…

All photo portraits purchased and ordered are in aid of FLACK Magazine

Discs: A Theme Tune To Life, Opens Friday 24th August – 5th September

This unique take on Desert Island Discs is a photography exhibition celebrating the way music has influenced and inspired people’s lives. Also incorporating film, painting, poetry, music, and dance, “Discs” blends participants musical choices used to create their own life’s theme tune.

There will be work by Mark Woods-Nunn on sale as well as a music inspired mixed media piece by Art Salon creative director Ruthie Collins.

Launch event, Friday 24th August 6-9pm:

On the night you will find live performances, poetry, dance & DJ-ing as well as some music inspired drinks tasting!

RSVP here:

An interview with Matt JOnes aka Lunartik

Where are you now?

Good question, I’m in Berlin of all places, living the artist dream!

It’s got a lot of good things going for it as a whole, it’s a vibrant city, full of art, culture and especially exciting is the food. It’s a place similar to London, but not as crammed or nor as busy, and it’s nice to have a bit of time to think and chill for a change. It’s also a good place to work from as there’s less distractions over here and this keeps me more focused in artistic and in my private life is better for it.

Where did your inspiration for the Lunartik Mini Tea Tour come from?

Well, I’ve always been involved with exhibitions and I do like the traveling around.

So I needed to combine these to get out of the studio and meet people, so I begun the Mini-Tea Tour back in 2011 to help promote my Mini Tea series of vinyl figures and also to collaborate with other artists.

You’ve worked with the likes of Mr Scruff as an artist – tell us a bit about that.

It’s good fun, I like to work with all types of artists, from large “Celebes” like Mr. Scruff and “Pete Fowler” to newbie’s on the Vinyl scene. With this tour in mind, I found myself trailing the internet to find the best eclectic artists across the scene to make for a very interesting show.

What is so compelling to people about the vinyl art scene?

Toys and collecting art and meeting up with artists. Artoys make the unaffordable art affordably obtainable.

Most of the artists I’ve met are super fun and they love to sign and draw for people at signings. I think all artists buzz at signings and the fans really appreciate it.

How long have you been practicing as an artist?

Well, in the toy scene, I’ve been around since 2004, and before that I came from a product design background. I call my self as a designer/artist and I guess I’ve been practicing since I was old enough to hold a pen.

What really helped you get to where you are now?

Money. Oh no, that’s not correct, it was the lack of money that drove me to where I am now. I strive for good design and I have a passion for art, so all these things keep me going. Money is a by product of doing lots and lots of self directed work and making stuff people enjoy – and in-turn making stuff and design makes me a happier person.
And this is where I am right now.

Lastly – fave type of tea to drink?

Well, not being a tea snob or nothing, so I like a good old mug Yorkshire or PG.

Invasion – Lunartik’s Mini Tea Tour 2012 – Private View 3rd August! Guest List Only.

INVASION!!! is proud to present ‘Lunartik’s Mini-Tea Tour 2012’ featuring 70+ custom works of art. All brewed to perfection by artists from around the world including: Chauskoskis, Phil Corbett, Steve Talkowski, Ronzo, Doktor A, Sichi, Uamou, Un-plugged, Matt JOnes, Bwana Spoons Triclops Studio, Itokin Park, Betso, Voltaire, Pete Fowler, Felt Mistress + many more!

This touring collection of vinyl art that has passed through Vienna, Berlin and London makes a special appearance at the Cambridge Art Salon alongside the best of Cambridge’s comic artists, urban vinyl, illustrators, graffiti artists and tattooists.

*Opening Party* Friday 3rd August 7pm.
Guest List only – please rsvp –

The LittleBiggs Show – Thursday, 14th June – 27th June

The first exhibition of work by the collaborative LittleBiggs (Ceri Littlechild and Dan Biggs), opens on Thursday 14th June from 7.00pm.

A range of works will be on show, including solo work by Biggs, solo work by Little and some of their joint work.

Biggs: Inspired by street culture – the weathered surfaces and images of the city landscape as well as vintage and retro type. Images of the Neon Boneyard combine large lettering and weathered metals that form the foundation of this work.

Little: Inspired by people and the nuances in facial features – the slight difference in a line or shadow that make up our external image and how it relates to identity. Largely inspired by working closely with Biggs, recent portraiture has moved from a traditional method to more expressive and experimental works.

LittleBiggs is the collaborative name of artists Ceri Ann Littlechild and Daniel Biggs. Their work together is inspired by artists like Conor Harrington who unites realism with more urban elements. This is their first exhibition as a collaborative.

It is a show not to be missed.

Interview – Sarah Blake, (Education Officer, Fitzwilliam Museum / End House Arts)

Child participating in Botticelli inspired workshop at the Cambridge Art Salon Jan 2012

Tell us about what you do …

… well… I’m an artist. I trained as a bronze sculptor but ‘moved’ into painting in 1993 on a trip to Greek Islands – I just was captivated by the colours! I also use words and love poetry and combining them with paintings. I work as a Education Officer at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, teaching in the galleries and in the Studio – I love teaching and talking with people about art. I set up End House Arts and Crafts as a way to extend this into the community – I started my career as a community artist 20 years ago!

Three words to describe your own art and crafts.

Energy, Stillness and Transition

What inspires you?

The point at which ‘things’ interact; watching landscapes, sea, skies, how they act on each other. Then into the detail of plants or rocks or shells. I am thinking alot about at what point one thing becomes another, sometimes in a very abstract or kinetic way. I love Antiquities and Chinese art.
Why is art so important for the community? Happiness and joy – creating unique purposeful work, having space and opportunity to have a voice. Life – expression, communicating, reacting, being an individual and understanding others. Hum – bit of a tall order!

What is unique about your approach to teaching art?

Is it unique? I am hugely enthusiastic and use humour so I hope people relax and join in. But I also challenge people to really look at things and draw/paint what they see and express. I like people and art and hope to enthuse others!

Any tips to help parents and children in Cambridge embrace art at home?

Firstly join in! try not to be fussy or tidy or clean. Set out a time and space and just have some fun – keep it short and sweet. Don’t try to direct too much let it flow. Use trips out to places and stories and nature/science inspire you. Try to have your families art up in the house or make a huge scrap book. If your kids like lego – use that to build sculptures – Let everyone have input into what to make/do.

Where can we find you?

contact me : come along to classes at the lovely Cambridge Art Salon or pop into the Fitzwilliam Museum!

Sarah is facilitating a family arts workshop at the Cambridge Art Salon, Sunday 5th February Stories, Crafting and exploring Chinese Dragons in Art …

Sunday 5 February 10.30 – 11.30am

Families with children aged 3 – 9 years accompanied by parent/carers

£3 per child, drop-in pay at the door

Art Yoga – Rosanna Gordon, Tuesday Evenings in January 2012

What better way to turbo-charge your new year than with yoga in a creative setting? Beginners and yoga-lovers of all levels alike welcome to this new yoga cass led by Rosanna Gordon to start on January 10th on Tuesday evening, 6pm – 7pm in the Cambridge Art Salon gallery. A regular contributor to Om Magazine and yogi extraordinaire, Rosanna’s class promises to give you a real lift.

Yoga can help you to:

•Feel energised
•Feel calm and peaceful
•Relax deeply
•Improve your posture
•Gain strength and confidence
•Maintain your ideal figure
•Feel wonderful!
A bit about me

Rosanna is a BWY (British Wheel of Yoga) Student Teacher, currently living and teaching yoga in Cambridge. She’s been practising and studying yoga for three years.

£6 drop in or £25 for a block of 5 weeks.

Please bring own mats.

Create Confident Drawings – 4 Week Drawing Course

Tuesday 10, 17, 24 and 31 January


If you think you can’t draw now’s the time to take action! Suitable for absolute beginners a four week course for adults who want to develop their drawing skills.

With an experienced art tutor from the Fitzwilliam Museum and in the company of like-minded art-loving folk. This structured course will take you from the basics of how to draw perspective, tone and line and look at how to construct compositions.

You will need to bring: pencils, rubber and a sketch pad.
£40 per adult per course book in advance, limited places.


Semperey Magazine

Cambridge Art Salon resident milliner Karen Lewis is featured in the Winter Issue of Semeperey magazine as part of a fashion piece written by Creative Director of the Salon Ruthie Collins.

This sophisticated lifestyle magazine brings you the best in organic beauty, vintage treasure, art and fashion. Spear-headed by fashion photographer Helena Tepli, the magazine has recently undergone a huge rebrand – with sumptuous photography and sparkling editorial.

Best read with a cup of organic hot chocolate.

Semperey Magazine is currently on sale in the gallery shop.

Interview: Cheryl Warren 21st January – 31st January

Cambridge based artist Cheryl Warren is exhibiting with the Cambridge Art Salon from the 21st January until the 31st January. The gallery will be open for you to drop in and enjoy her work 21st, 22nd, 24th, 28th 29th and the 31st of January. Read on and find out more about this very popular local artist …

What is the inspiration behind your work?

My inspiration to paint comes from nature and landscape. The Suffolk coast, the Dales, Devon and Cornwall, and the fen landscape around Cambridge are all particular inspirations to me and contribute much to my work. As well as the external environment I am also interested in our own internal environment and this informs a lot of my abstract work. Much of my painting explores the boundaries between the internal and external worlds and what happens along these boundaries. Using mainly oil paint and employing other media to complement, my work is about the pleasure and sensation of colour and texture. I especially enjoy seeing how different materials mix together to create a new and unique experience.

How long have you been practising?

I have been painting and drawing as long as I can remember. I have been working as a professional artist since 1999.

Where do you work as an artist?

I have a studio in my loft at home in Romsey.

Describe your art in 3 words.

That’s hard. Sensual, textural, free

What tips do you have for other practicing artists in Cambridge?

Make your art your home. Trust where it leads you. Remember how important you are to your community.