Guest blog – Deborah Bird

I hope you’ve all had a fab Christmas and are currently relaxing in the limbo bit before New Year’s Eve!

Over the next week I’ll be posting some guest blogs from participatory artists Beauty and Utility Arts has had the pleasure of working with over the last six months. Deborah Bird starts us off, writing about a creative workshop for our Friday Arts and Health group …

‘Christmas Birds’ workshop

On Friday 30 November I visited the Beauty and Utility Arts studio to deliver a workshop with the ‘Points of Interest’ group.

In 2012 I visited the Grand Canyon National Park as artist in residence for the US National Park Service and came to the group to share my experiences and do a creative activity.

During the workshop, I took the group into the Creative Hinckley gallery space at the Atkins, where I have an Arts Council funded exhibition called ‘Grand Canyon 2012’ and gave a brief talk about my experiences in the canyon and my work; which involves the use of paper sculpture and ice photography in the landscape.

During the ‘Christmas’ themed workshop, the group made and decorated paper birds using some of the techniques that I uses in her work.

We had a great afternoon. My own work tends to be quite abstract so I designed a project using paper, 3D and inks that we could all enjoy. Everybody really got stuck in and between us we produced quite a flock. And of course with a surname like ‘Bird’ this has to be one of my favourite topics!

Deb Bird workshop POI 2

Deb Bird workshop POI 7 Deb Bird workshop POI 4 Deb Bird workshop POI 3


About beautyandutilityarts

My name is Katherine Brown and I run Beauty and Utility Arts, an Arts and Health project management service. I have over a decade of experience working with vulnerable groups and individuals in roles including support worker, Supported Employment Advisor and Community Fundraiser for The Midlands. Now, I manage a range of Arts and Health projects involving carers, people using mental health and learning disability services and the over 50′s. I specialise in developing ideas, fundraising, full project management, consultation, workshop provision, sourcing artists, Social Enterprise, event planning, SROI and exploring sustainability options. Since beginning Beauty and Utility Arts in January 2010 I have worked on a range of projects including comedy workshops, placing public art into health centres, setting up a Social Enterprise, project managing Showcase Smoothie, developing mental health walking projects and running arts based reminiscence workshops for the over 50′s, all of which is detailed in my blog (
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