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@ 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@

Mem­bers of FLAG hard at work

Vic­tor Lim

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