The annual Creative Industries Showcase at the Kingsland Hub took place on Wednesday 29th June and celebrated a year of creative and exciting work from our fine art, wood work, craft, textiles and Supporting Makers programmes.

The event was attended by tenants, staff and the public and featured stand out arts and craft work, photos of group sessions and invitations to join a wide variety of creative courses while guests also enjoyed a selection of complementary mocktails. Participants work exhibited include the crochet of Maria Wozniak, jewellery design of Miss GG and handmade ‘splashcards’ of Roy Appleton.

The creative industries are at the heart of Peter Bedford Housing Association (PBHA)’s adult learning and employability work, as tapping into new or forgotten creative skills is not only rewarding and sociable but can also help develop valuable skills needed to find paid work. Through the Supporting Makers programme, participants are also able to exhibit and sell their own art and craft work professionally.

Courses such as textiles, painting and drawing and mixed media illustration are delivered in partnership with the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and take place primarily in The Workshop, our craft studio and joinery in Hoxton. Enrolment is open to tenants as well as some members of the wider public.

“Everyone has been really busy, with participants often working late, in preparation for a Creative Industries Showcase at Kingsland Hub on 29th June. There is excitement in the air as participants help each other to make their art and designs as beautiful as possible.

There are stunning purses from the textile group, funky, and professional stationery from the mixed media and illustration class. Other exhibits on display are from the Intro to Drawing and painting, joinery and creative crafts groups. I’m sure everyone will be wowed by the phenomenal skill and talent that will be on display.”

Orla O’Flanagan, former Creative Industries Coordinator

Roy Appleton’s is just one of the many inspirational participant stories. At 62, Roy has been a working with PBHA since 2011 when he was referred by Isledon Mental Health Services and has made outstanding progress. As well as producing, exhibiting and selling original artwork, Roy is also now branching out to make a series of craft products inspired by his work, such as the cards featured in the showcase, and is learning about setting up his own business to manage sales.

“Being involved with PBHA has made me think more positively about living longer – I’ve cut down on drinking, I eat healthily and I’m trying to give up smoking. I’ve enjoyed my bit of fame from having art exhibitions and my family are well-impressed.

I had the opportunity of my first solo-exhibition of action paintings at Outpost in 2013, Weather Beaten, which was a great success, I sold 7 paintings. Even Jeremy Corbyn (Labour MP for Islington North) bought one and I met him. Now when I see him in the street he says ‘Hello, I look at that painting every day when I wake up’. I feel really proud of myself.”

Roy Appleton, Artist and participant, Supporting Makers Programme