New group is flying the flag for benefits of arts
I WAS recently contacted by Ginny Brogden, a reader who emailed me to say: “I read your article about Touchstones Rochdale.
“I agree with what you say about ‘the benefits for general wellbeing and quality of life to be gained from engagement with the arts is well known’.”
She went on to say that she had recently been involved in starting a new art group in Heywood - the FunLoving Art Group (FLAG), meeting at St Margaret’s C of E Parish Hall.
Ginny is working with Julia Ogden on the project and I arranged to meet them to find out more about them and the latest art group to grow in our very fertile borough.
Ginny has spent most of her life working, bringing up her family and enjoying doing art and craft with her children and now her grandchildren.
She explained: “The last few years I have been going to different art classes and mini break art holidays.
“I have organised lots of art trips for myself and my friends.”
Julia is a young artist who studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and then gained an MA at Brighton University.
She said: “After working as an artist for several years, I completed teacher training at Bolton University. I now teach all ages and continue with my art practice as a painter and printmaker.”
Julia went on to explain: “We met at Enjoy Learning, where I was teaching at the time. IN Rochdale Parish church on Saturday, May 20, the latest lunchtime concert is Philip O’Connor and Victor Lim, playing Schuman’s song-cycle Liederkreiss, along with some solo piano pieces.
In a letter to his wife, Clara, Schuman called the 12 songs that make up the Liederkreis, Op 39 ‘my most romantic music ever, with much of you in it, dearest Clara’.
The songs will be sung by Philip O’Connor, who is a freelance performer and teacher and sings regularly with the BBC 4 Daily Service Singers and Manchester Cathedral Choir. He is in demand as a soloist in the north west
“Ginny contacted me after I had left to see if I would be interested in teaching an art group.
“There wasn’t an art class in Heywood, so it seemed a good idea to start one.
“I knew from teaching Ginny that she was enthusiastic about art, so I was really keen to start a group with her.
“Ginny found the room where we meet, which has good light and a kitchen for important tea breaks.”
FLAG is a welcoming and friendly group of people who have already explored themes and has recently performed the solos in Bach’s St John Passion with Manchester Cathedral Choir, Beethoven’s Mass in C major with Salford Chorus Society and Howard Goodall’s Every Purpose Under the Heaven with Bradford Festival Chorus Society.
He will be accompanied by Victor Lim, an active performer who has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and performed in many prestigious venues, such as Wigmore Hall, Wells Cathedral, Hereford Cathedral, Royal Welsh College of Music, Colston Hall and St Martin-in-theFields.
Victor has also performed in Singapore, Malaysia, China, South Korea and France.
Tickets will be available on the door for £5. Refreshments included, available from 11.20am.
Email philmus22@ tesco.net for more information. including Monet-style portraits and landscapes, painting with palette knives, creating texture in their paintings by printing with textured materials and figurative drawing.
Julia sets a theme for the class, but members are also welcome to do their own work - either way she is on hand to help.
She said: “I often do a demonstration at the beginning of the class and provide pictures to work from and handouts. We set the tables in a square, which helps bring the group together.”
For more information, call 07855321377 or 07788478517 or email funlovingartgroup@ gmail.com.
Members of FLAG hard at work