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Hillfort Creativity Group Meeting


The next meeting of the Hillfort Creativity Group will be on Wed. May 8th at 11am in the Meeting Room at Oswestry Library (not Hermon Chapel, as we thought). All creative-minded people are warmly invited: visual artists, musicians, writers, makers, crafters, etc.

We’ll start with some brief information about upcoming exhibitions and events, and then short updates from anyone who has been working on creative hillfort-related projects. We’ll then have our inaugural “creative talk” – not a lecture or a presentation! – from local historian, archaeologist and illustrator John Swogger about the hillfort’s long life-story. These talks are meant to be a spur to creativity, so you are invited (encouraged!) to write, sketch, knit, doodle, etc. during the talk, as well as press the speaker with creative questions.

Look forward to seeing you all there!

Butterfly Workshop

Hillfort Creativity Group member Dzintra, from OSMakes, has sent info about an upcoming butterfly workshop she’s holding at Oswestry Library, Sat. 18th May 10-1pm. Contact Oswestry Library (01743 250351) for more information.

The 2018 Old Oswestry Bioblitz – which counted a whole range of species on the hillfort – recorded both Large White and Wall butterflies, both of which are on the Butterfly Conservation Red List of most at-risk British butterflies. You can read the press release for the Bioblitz here.

Butterfly Workshop 18 May


This Inside Out blog will be hosting posts and information for the “Hillfort Creativity Group” for the next few months. This group is a newly-formed hub for visual artists, creative writers, poets, musicians – indeed, anyone whose creative endeavours have been sparked by Old Oswestry Hillfort’s history, archaeology, wildlife, natural beauty or spirit of place. The group is a way for those of us inspired in some way by the hillfort to share our endeavours, find new collaborative partners and come together for events and exhibitions. Some of us are public artists, keen to pursue outreach projects that bring the community into our art – some of us will be pursuing more individual, introspective creative practices. The group will be using this blog and the Inside Out Facebook page to share that work.

Those of you who are new to the Inside Out blog – click the “Subscribe” option on the side menu to receive all posts and information about upcoming meetings, events and exhibitions. We will also be cross-posting that information on the Inside Out Facebook page, so you can check there as well.

Our next meeting will be in May – and we’ll be posting the date, time and venue of that meeting soon. Whatever kind of creative soul you happen to be – writer, sculptor, photographer, dancer, musician, gamer, crafter, knitter, painter, illustrator or maker – you’re welcome to join us!

Book Launch!!Not to be missed!


Cockaygne: Land of Plenty


Cockaigne was a mythical land of plenty, but Bruegel’s depiction of Cockaigne and its residents

is not meant to be a flattering one. He chooses rather a comic illustration of the spiritual emptiness

believed to derive from gluttony, sloth and the other 7 deadly sins.


“Not only the Willow” by Diana Baur

one of the 2D entries depicting Cockaigne in much the same way that Bruegel did, but with a 21st Century environmental twist.



Portrait and Figure Drawing & Painting- new course starts Monday 7th Jan 2019






Popup Art Gallery in Leg St. Oswestry

Through Joods

On for two weeks 10.0-4.0 daily next to the Framers. Some interesting works.

The Ifton Colliery miner is unveiled!

This was a wonderful community occasion today – 24th November 2018. George Trigg’s wonderful statue of a miner was unveiled  in St Martins to a very large crowd intent on honouring the work of their hardworking forebears who kept the people of Wales, and many other places,  warm. This amazing over life-size statue will remind us all of their sacrifice and their commitment to their community. We salute them all as well as George Triggs who has created this iconic beautiful sculpture to never forget those that worked so hard before our present generation.


Be there or square! 12.15 St Martins Sat 24th November for the unveiling!

George says: In 6 days, Saturday the 24th November at 12.15pm this sculpture I made, to commemorate 50 years since the pit at Ifton Colliery closed, will be unveiled in St Martin’s (opposite Stan’s Superstore)!!!
This is a picture of the clay which is missing the Davy lamp and a couple of other small features, that will be present! The finished piece is bronze and also sits atop a large steel plinth.
It has truly been a great honour to have created this sculpture and worked with some truly amazing, very hard working people to make this happen!! From the miner’s of Ifton to Castle Fine Arts Foundry and everyone who has donated and been part of this, thank you!!
Hope to see you there!
 — at Castle Fine Arts Foundry Ltd.

Paul Brookes spoke to David Subacchi
The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?
My father’s death in 2011. He was born in Italy and had a huge influence on me. He had endured the horrors of war in North Africa and Italy during WW2 and his story telling of those days is deeply imprinted in my mind. His work was very hands on and physically demanding, so I saw much less of him than my son sees of me today. After he retired, the family thought that he would be unhappy because he never had the time for any hobbies or pastimes. To our delight and surprise, he began wood carving, a skill he had learned at school in Italy in Cremona in the 1930s. Despite having carved very little for a very long time, his work was exceptional and widely praised. My writing is inspired by him and sometimes tinged with sadness because it only blossomed after his death. So I am a latecomer to writing poetry, before 2011 my writing was occasional only and not that good.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?
I studied poetry at school but my introduction to writing poetry came when I joined one of the oldest established poetry writing clubs in my area ‘Chester Poets’. The club provided great encouragement and a positive outlook towards writing. I have never looked back.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I was at school in the 1960s and influenced heavily by the Bible, Shakespeare and Dickens. Also T S Eliot, Byron, Blake, Shelley, Keats, Yeats, Auden, Dylan Thomas, R S Thomas, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. I am very aware of the standards that these and other great poets set , but have never allowed their influence to deter me from finding my own style and my own voice.

4. What is your daily writing routine?
I’m mostly an urban poet and a high output poet. I visit the town centre almost every day and spend time writing there in all sorts of ‘hide outs’ – bars, libraries, art galleries etc. I also scan the daily news for events to write about. There are quiet days but also days when I write non-stop.

5. What motivates you to write?
The need for self-expression and self-discovery and the desire to move hearts and minds.

6. What is your work ethic?
Strong. I get uncomfortable when I have not written anything for a day or two. I file, date and record my writing methodically. I never throw away anything I have written. What looks a lost cause today often presents possibilities when looked at a day or two later.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
They set standards of expression and showed me how to move the reader emotionally without descending into ranting and raving, over sentimentality or cursing.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I am something of a magpie with modern poets, taking a bit here and a bit there, very often from poets I see perform their work or that I meet, so I’m not going to name any, if that is allowed?

9. Why do you write?
Like most writers I am compelled to write by the desire to express my creativity. Also as mentioned above my desire is to move hearts and minds with the poetry I write. My poetry covers a wide range of subjects and is not restricted to any particular theme or topic. I prefer it that way. I have no campaigns or crusades that drive or dominate my writing.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Join a local writers club and interact with other writers. Have realistic expectations about publishing, making money from writing and achieving fame and success in the literary world. Any good writers club will act as a sounding board for your work and a source of good quality, unbiased, sensible advice.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I have a new collection of poems (my sixth) which will be published in the first quarter of 2019. It is called ‘Where is Wales?’ and contains 62 poems on topics related to Wales where I was born and where I live, but typically for me it also contains poetry on many other themes and subjects. I’m very excited about it.
Also I’m writing a lot of poetry based on works of art produced by local artists and I’m reading some of my war poetry at a festival in honour of the World War 1 poet Wilfred Owen and also at another event honouring the role of women in the Great War.

October 201827973115_10156923997273812_4799467085306267716_n

Footnote: Diana Baur is privileged to have received poetic responses to some of her paintings from this amazing man.

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