Top creatives set to host St Paul’s Artsfest workshops

St Pauls Artsfest banner

Alongside the top-drawer live music showings, first-rate comedy, and thought-provoking talks, St Paul’s Artfest, which kicks off next week, is set to feature a range of workshops run by some of the leading lights in the creative industry.

On 15th September, St Paul’s Church on Hills Road opens its doors for Artsfest, a four-day creative showcase of music, comedy, workshops, talks and an art exhibition. The aim of the bi-annual Festival is to bring people together from right across the city and region for a celebration of both community and the arts.

Across the four days, Artsfest hosts a series of eclectic, arts-focused workshops suitable for all ages and abilities. The workshops cover everything from writing drama, drawing and painting, to electronic music and silk screen printing with some of the country’s leading arts practitioners.

Two of the workshops focus on creative writing. Multi-award-winning dramatist, Nick Warburton takes participants through the creation of character, voice and narration, and structure in Writing drama (Thursday 16th September, 10:00 – 12:00). Nick has written scripts for stage, television and radio. Alongside his many national radio dramas, Nick has also written TV scripts for Doctors, Holby City, Born and Bred and EastEnders.

In Kickstart your creative writing (Friday 17th September, 10:00 – 12:00), Jo Browning Wroe, takes participants through a series of exercises to stimulate their imagination and build confidence to write short stories, or even make a start on that novel. Jo Browning Wroe has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness, was shortlisted for the Bridport Peggy Chapman-Andrews award and will be published by Faber in January 2022.

Possibly suited for younger folk, the workshop, Electronic music (Thursday 16th September, 14:00 – 18:00) features Drum & Bass producers and DJs, Logistics & Nu:tone, who take participants through the process of writing, recording, and mixing a piece of electronic music in this four-hour workshop. Logistics and Nu:Tone are signed to Hospital Records and have been working in the music business since the early 2000s. Between them, they have released 16 albums and countless singles and remixes.

Several workshops focus on visual arts:

  • Breakdown the elements of art (Thursday 16th September, 10:00 – 12:00), Annabel Lee explores an object by breaking it down into the elements of art: Line. Shape. Tone. Form. Pattern. Colour. Texture. Annabel is a local artist, teacher and illustrator. She trained at Wimbledon School of Art and has worked as a theatre designer for over 20 years.

  • Look and draw: workshop 1 (Thursday 16th September, 10:00 – 12:00), artist Steve Russell demonstrates how to draw common objects.  Look and paint: workshop 2 (Friday 17th September, 10:00 – 12:00), Steve Russell gives his second workshop but this time focussing on painting. Steve is an artist who deals with issues of self, identity and symbols through the medium of paint. He has developed a figurative style that marries diverse elements into instantly recognisable, idiosyncratic idiom that is at times touching, dramatic and visceral. He produces images that manage to be optimistic and intriguing.

  • Self portraits (Friday 17th September, 14:00 – 16:00), Liz Diamond encourages participants to use mixed media to produce their own self portraits. Liz trained in illustration and graphic design and has worked with community groups to explore their experiences and identity using multi media.

For those who like things a little craftier, there is Silk Screen Printing (Friday 17th September, 10:00 – 12:00) with Off The Press Collective, a printmaking collective based in Bury St Edmunds who specialise in the production of quality prints and are passionate about keeping traditional processes alive. This workshop is an introduction into the process or a refresher for those who would like to revisit it. Off the Press Collective introduce the screen-printing process, demonstrate a few printing methods, and then participants can work with stencils and experiment with colours and blends.

Or how about some quilt making? In Bend It Like Quilters (Thursday 16th September, 10:00 – 12:00), Sue Calverley and Kip Gresham work with 12 people to design and make several dramatic quilts. Participants are introduced to the extraordinary quilts made by groups of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Based on the dramatic scale, colour and structure of those famous pieces, thos involved in the workshop become collaborators in the processes of designing, selecting colours, cutting and assembling new large- scale works. Sue Calverley graduated from Winchester School of Art with a degree in Fashion, Woven and Knitted Textiles. Kip Gresham is an artist printmaker who works in close collaboration with a wide range of contemporary artists. Colour and abstract imagery are at the heart of his activity.

Alongside these daytime workshops, there are a series of talks tackling a wide range of topics, including political activism, contemporary feminism, the information age, religion, and poetry, which includes a reading from the world poetry slam champion, HARRY BAKER. Showcase performances each day include:  

To view the full programme and book tickets, please visit