Vicki Johnson

Successful First Phase of Workshops

Last week saw the culmination of the first five artist residencies in rural villages - Ashill, Necton, Shipdham, Mattishall and Harling - with fantastic exhibitions of work in both Ashill and Necton and a range of arts based activities happening in the other villages. 

Residents of Ashill loved seeing their Cyanotype prints exhibited in the Community Centre, with a brilliant turn out of visitors coming along to admire the residents' work and indulge in a slice of chocolate fudge cake or a scone with cream and jam!  Artist Vicki Johnson reiterated her thanks to the village archive for their wealth of local photographs, kick-starting the first workshop with great success. 

Necton village also had a great turn out for their exhibition at the Community Centre on Saturday, with many new faces coming to admire the work over a cup of tea and piece of artist Sarah Harley's apple cake. The range of work produced was great to see and the Necton spin off  sewing club is still going strong! 

Other activities happening across half term week included Glass House Dance's takeover of Harling's Old School Hall, culminating in a performance of their 'A Little Bit of Light' contemporary dance, using stories told to them by residents throughout the week. In Mattishall, Lisa Little's 'Drop in & Stitch' workshops, unearthed tales from the village and provided residents an opportunity to get to know each other a little better, chatting whilst therapeutically stitching memories and anecdotes onto tea towels. In Nearby Shipdham, poet and writer Martin Figura was busy entertaining the ladies and gents from the Shipdham Knitters, Shipdham History Group and Shipdham Manor Care Home, enjoying much frivolity and plenty of biscuits whilst working on his Shipdham oral history project. Proudly sporting his residency tank top, Martin's final appearance was at Saturday's Church Fair, where he and his wife Helen Ivory set up their poetry takeaway! 

In the New Year the Silver Social welcomes singer, Kate Dimbleby, who will be taking her 'Sing Your Song' workshops on a tour of the town's libraries, before stopping off in each of the villages. Look out soon for more details.

Ashill Exhibition

Ashill Exhibition

Necton Exhibition 

Necton Exhibition 

Glass House Dance 'A Little Bit of Light'

Glass House Dance 'A Little Bit of Light'

Martin Figura in Shipdham 

Martin Figura in Shipdham 

Bringing the Personal Touch to Cyanotype

Residents of Ashill loved artist Vicki Johnson's penultimate Cyanotype printing workshop yesterday, with many return visitors bringing their own photographs to incorporate into the artwork. 

Over the past few weeks villagers have been encouraged to share their own photos and memories of life in Ashill, as they have been sifting through images from the Village Archive.  Vicki was able to turn some of these photos into negatives which could then be incorporated to create personal prints that reflect individual experiences. Some shared pictures from village fetes gone by, others included themselves or their pets, including some real characters! 

With Vicki's final Cyanotype workshop on Wednesday 18th October, 11am - 4pm. all of the artworks created by residents will then be exhibited at the Community Centre on Saturday 21st October between 12 - 4pm.

Villagers are encouraged to come along and admire the creations, exploring Ashill past and present through this unique art form. All events are FREE to attend, so come along! 

For more details visit Upcoming Events


Fantastic turnout in Ashill for Second Cyanotype workshop

Word has spread among the residents of Ashill, with fantastic numbers showing their support for new local activities with a great turn out for Vicki Johnson's second Cyanotype workshop yesterday, as part of our Silver Social artist residency at Ashill Community Centre. 

This week's workshop placed emphasis on 3D textures, incorporating objects from the local landscape (which Vicki had collected earlier that morning) into the prints. Some return visitors brought along their own personal photographs, sharing moments of times gone by and reflecting on the change of landscape and re purposing of old buildings within the village. Vicki took photographs of these to turn into negatives and will bring them along to the next workshop (Monday 9th October, 12pm - 4pm) for further experimentation. 

Don't miss your chance to experiment with these beautiful prints and see them exhibited in the Community Centre on Saturday 21st October. Full details of workshops on our Upcoming Events.

Ashill Welcomes Vicki Johnson for an Introduction to Cyanotype

Residents of Ashill have been enchanted by specialist printmaking artist Vicki Johnson, who has launched her residency at Ashill Community Centre with a workshop demonstrating traditional Cyanotype printing.

Vicki introduced this fascinating process which combines photography with collage, to create stunning blue prints - with instant results! The drop in session allowed residents to pop in throughout the afternoon to see what it was all about and if they had time, have a go at making their own print.

Vicki chatted over tea and old photos of the village from the Ashill Village History archive, which she had inverted and printed on sheets of acetate. This allowed participants to create collages centred on Ashill; featuring landmarks such as the village signs or the iconic ducks who inhabit the village green. Vicki had also collected small 3-D objects such as feathers and brambles from the playing field, to be incorporated into the work.

So what exactly is Cyanotype?

Cyanotype is a photography process that produces blue prints, thanks to the iron compound chemicals in the solution used.  Originally introduced in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, the process was advanced to reduce the exposure times and increase the density range, thanks to a more complicated and toxic recipe of chemicals.

The process:

Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate (green) are separately mixed with water before being blended together in equal parts. The paper or card is coated with the solution, before being dried in the dark. To create the print UV light is required, so objects or inverted photos printed on acetate are placed on a light box, before being exposed for 3 minutes and 20 seconds. To process the image it’s simply rinsed in water to wash away the chemicals, allowing you to see your blue print rapidly emerging from the water. The print is then dried and mounted on proud display!

Vicki’s next workshops takes place on Wednesday 4th October at Ashill Community Centre, so pop in and see what cyanotyping is all about. You can even bring your own photos or small objects (the flatter the better) for experimentation with this amazing process. All prints created by residents will be exhibited on Saturday 21st October, 12pm – 4pm at the Community Centre.

All events are part of the Silver Social artist residencies and are free to attend! Join us for the next event in Ashill or one of the other target villages (Necton, Mattishall, Harling and Shipdham), full details in our Upcoming events


Cyanotype prints produced by residents in Ashill

Cyanotype prints produced by residents in Ashill