In September I look reluctantly at the coming of Autumn because hell, who ever really wants a good thing to come to an end?! The truth is I love Autumn : the leaves changing colour and falling, the excuse to wear a ton of warm layers, black tights and boots, lots of hot chocolate, sitting around fires with friends, reading a good book under a duvet, quietly creating in the studio alone and the darkness. This is the time to embrace the darkness and love her, she has so many secrets to revel to you if you just look deeply.
So every year I honour the coming darkness with my annual project the West Point Lantern Parade that is held in West Point Gardens every 31st of October. I invite my local community to join me in creating illuminated sculptures to hang in the trees of The Gardens and share together an evening music, performances, candy, games and art. This is my gift to my community and it gives me so much joy to see everyone having such a good time every year. My creative partner Clare Eaden-Mayor and I were not sure if we would have all the funds we needed to pull everything off this year but were ecstatic when we were awarded a Neighbourhood Investment Fund Grant by Manchester City Council. We are forever grateful for the funding, to all the people who performed, volunteered and who came out to enjoy the night. It really was beautiful.
I'm sitting here now post event preparing to make payments to those who gave their time and effort to make the parade happen, complete some applications for new creative opportunities in Spring, book trains and accommodation for the Outdoor Arts UK conference in Coventry in two weeks and also start working on the Christmas Markets this weekend! Life is busy but I'm definitely gonna find time for friends, fires, studio time and some quiet Darkness. Peace.