True Tales for Change – A Project for a Fairer Future

One of our artists, Sa’adiah Khan at Thrifts Walk Studios, is taking part in True Tales for Change – A Project for a Fairer Future, an art project about inequality in Cambridge.

The exhibition will be hosted at The Escape Room in the Grafton Centre from January 11th–13th (12-5pm), with storytelling workshopsleading up to it.

There will be limited space for the launch event on January 11th, so please book your spot via:


Family Arts Fundraising Seminar

The Art Salon is co-ordinating a Family Arts Fundraising Seminar, as part of the Cambridge Art Salon’s community engagement (the Art Salon Foundation), on March 1st, at Kettle’s Yard – all artists at the spaces with an interest in family arts and fundraising are welcome to come.

There are a growing list of speakers talking on fundraising tools and models, sharing good practice on ways to fundraise, plus a chance for organisations and artists to explore collaborative approaches to fundraising. Karen Jinks, founding member and Jane Swadling Chair of Children’s Charity Week, will be talking on ways that all organisations and artists working with children in Cambridge, could benefit from their appeal.

The seminar is supported by national campaign body Family Arts Campaign and Arts and Philanthropy. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please register interest in your place by emailing

Children at The Grove Primary School Win High Sheriff Award for Pearls of Wisdom Postcards

Pearls of WisdomOver fifty eight and nine year old children at The Grove Primary School have won the High Sheriff Award, as administered by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, for participating in a project that aims to bring together old and young residents in the city through art run by Care Network Cambridge and Cambridge Art Salon.

As part of Pearls of Wisdom Postcards, elderly residents in Cambridge from Cambridge Manor Carehome and St Martins Day Centre generously contributed their own pearls of wisdom, to children at The Grove Primary School – little nuggets of wisdom, for the younger generation, such as ‘Don’t Waste Time’, ‘Save For A Rainy Day’, or ‘Kindness Costs Nothing’. The school children then created artworks in response to the pearls, with help from artists at Cambridge Art Salon, for an exhibition and pack of postcards that the public can see and buy at Stir Cafe, throughout from December 1stuntil January 11th.

100 packs of cards of 8 of the children’s designs are available for sale for £2 each at the popular CB4 based Stir cafe – with a #pearlchallenge to send postcards to family members and loved ones, to celebrate family and friendship. Participants are invited to buy postcards and post on social media their messages to friends and family, as part of the challenge.

Participating artists based at North Cambridge art space Thrifts Walk Studios and East Cambridge’s UNIT 13, include Sa’adiah Khan, Daisy Tempest, Sukey Sleeper and Cathy Dunbar. The project was produced by writer Ruthie Collins who interviewed older residents for their pearls, with help from Cambridge Art Salon volunteer Victor Ibanez, Care Network Cambs and staff at Manor Care Home and St Martins Day Centre.

CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession #consumirrorism

Glyn Bateman
CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession 
16.12.16 – 19.12.16

Friday 16th December 6 – 9pm
Saturday 17th – Monday 19th December 10am – 5pm
(Limited Private viewings from 20th December)

CONSUMIRRORISM presents a selection of works that were developed during the time of the global economic downturn of 2008 – a shift from the consumer empowering, excessive commodity culture of capitalist boom time to the mirror opposite starkness of gloomy financial uncertainty, diminished consumer confidence and tightened up purse strings. In 2016, how much has changed? The works on display reflect upon the state of our world, providing commentary upon the autonomous rich, the suffering many and questions how art will fare in times of austerity.


SPAN Artist Collective

SPAN Artist Collective: Sophie C Hill, Guiseppina Santoro-Ellwood, Adriana Forte, Neil Horsefield

2 December 2016 – 11 December 2016
Cambridge Art Salon, 1 Thrift Walk, Cambridge, CB2

Showcasing paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and video by four artists working individually and then coming together to respond to each others’ work with in the gallery.

The show brings together individual work from the four artists and provides an opportunity for them to interact and respond live to the exhibited work. The artists will experiment in the space to create visual reactions to each others work in an effort to exchange ideas, deepen understanding and further possible meaning and interpretations. This will create a dynamic and changing show which the audience can enter; their own experience will depend on the daily activity, with both the art and artists on show. You will see videos, paintings, installations and photographs from four different perspectives that will encourage you to think and question the ideas and artists. You will be simultaneously in a gallery and a studio.

Sophie C Hill works with a range of materials to produce paintings and installations that ask questions about her experience as a mother and artist. Visually eclectic and playful her work should make you smile while you think.

Pina Santoro creates works using varied materials such as ceramics, plaster and paint to found objects. Her practice is concerned with culture, identity, traditions and place and displacement aiming to capture the confusion, frustration and stress of her UK born Immigrant experiences.

Adriana Forte is a conceptual artist who explores difficult and often unspoken issues around mental health and identity. She creates through a process of immersion in research; an idea is born from extensive reading and the work develops through trial and error. Language forms an important part of her work although its usage can be quite discrete.

Neil Horsefield has an easel based studio practice which uses visual language conventions associated with painting, drawing and printmaking. His work raises a reconsideration of authorship, ownership, creative territory, value, permanence and transition and narrative.

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

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.