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  • Oxford Circus John Lewis Showcase with somewhereto_ - Q&A with Sarah Holt

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    Untill 31st July John Lewis and somewhereto_ will be working together to showcase artwork from 10 talented individuals who were chosen amongst many others in the UK. Click on the link to see all of the amazing entries we received! We’re speaking to Sarah Holt and hearing what she has to say about it all.

    What’s your full name, age, and where do you come from?

    My name is Sarah Holt  and I’m 24 from Leicester.

    Why did you enter the competition? Do you find it challenging to get your work seen?

    I entered the competition as I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to have my work in a space in London especially in a place like John Lewis, I do find it difficult to find places to show my work any galleries that have approached me about showing my work always have such high costs for an exhibition. I have shown some of my pieces in local pubs, cafes and bars in Leicester that would show them for no cost but they don’t have the same footfall as that in London.

    What’s your work about? Who inspired it?

    My work is titled ‘My Week with Marilyn’ it is inspired by the film of the same name, I found the film so beautiful and amazing how Michelle Williams was able to completely inhabit the time and space of Marilyn Monroe while she was filming ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ in England. The painting captures a timeless moment of Marilyn/Michelle. With my acrylic painting I focus on figurative works or portraiture, I like to either paint iconic people or paint people to look like an icon. I also work with oil paints and stitching.

    What do you think of the John Lewis gallery space?

    I’m very excited about the John Lewis space, Oxford Street is one of the most famous shopping destinations and with such a well established and renowned company as John Lewis I feel very honored to have been chosen as one of the selected artists.

    Where is your local high street? And what is it like?

    Leicester’s High Street is quite large there is a new shopping centre where a lot of the shops that were on the High Street have relocated to, so instead there are quite a few poundshops that have taken those spaces or they are now empty spaces. Even in the Shopping Centre not all the businesses have lasted and there are quite a few empty units.

    How do you think empty shops/spaces on the high street should be used?

    I think that empty spaces should be opened up for pop up shops/events/gigs for people to use, it should be made easy and straightforward to be able to book the space. Bringing something vibrant, interesting and exciting to the High Street will entice people back to it.

    Where would be your dream space for somewhereto_ to unlock for you?

    There are so many places that I would love to show but a dream space would for me would be a shop window on Oxford Street or another main shopping street in a busy city, to get the most footfall past my work and for it to be seen by as many people as possible.

    Where can people find out more about your work? 

    To find out more about me my website is www.sarahmichellepaints.co.uk

    The John Lewis exhibition is part of somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist); a high impact campaign which will see young people take over a series of shops across the UK for a six- week period, kicking off on 18 July. We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Visit somewhereto.com/restore

    somewhereto_ and John Lewis Showcase at Oxford Circus - Q&A with young artist Sahara Charles

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    Until 31st July, John Lewis will be showcasing the artwork of 10 talented young people in their space in Oxford Circus. More information can be found on our Facebook page where a collection of the amazing entries can be seen. The artwork was from numerous aspiring artists across the UK hoping to have their work seen by the public and Sahara Charles was one of the 10 to get that chance.

    What’s your full name, age, and where do you come from?

    Sahara Charles, 22, London.

    Why did you enter the competition? Do you find it challenging to get your work seen?

    I entered the competition because as a recent graduate I find it important to gain as much publicity for my recent works as possible and I felt John Lewis was a perfect starting point. I’ve entered a few competitions and have been unsuccessful so I would say getting my work seen has been quite a challenge.

    What’s your work about? Who inspired it?

    My work is based on the busy Portobello Green area and is taken from a series of works based on places in London as I find for an illustrator London as a whole is very inspiring.

    What do you think of the John Lewis gallery space?

    I think the John Lewis space is a great area to have work featured as it’s likely to gain a lot of attention as it’s such a busy store and it’s in central London.

    Where is your local high street? And what is it like?

    My local high street is Bromley high street by the Bromley Glades Shopping center and it’s also relatively busy.

    How do you think empty shops/spaces on the high street should be used?

     I think empty shop spaces should be used to exhibit local work, or gather a group of artists to do live painting on large walls of all different types of artwork whilst people can come in and visit during and once the artwork is finished.

    Where would be your dream space for somewhereto_ to unlock for you?

    My dream space to be unlocked would be similar to John Lewis, a well known store in a main city where loads of people can see it.

    Where can people find out more about your work? 

    People can keep up to date with my work at: www.saharaillustrator.wordpress.com

    The John Lewis exhibition is part of somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist); a high impact campaign which will see young people take over a series of shops across the UK for a six- week period, kicking off on 18 July. We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Visit somewhereto.com/restore

    John Lewis showcase in Oxford Circus with somewhereto_ - Q&A with Hendrix Nash

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    During June we created a competition, seen on our Facebook page concerning young, creative people such as animators, photographers and other hobbies from the creative aspect of life. They would send in their work with the hopes that it would be displayed on the walls of John lewis in Oxford Circus! The vast array of results from all across the UK can be seen here. 10 Finalists were chosen amongst the many talented young people and their work can be seen until July 31st so make sure you keep an eye out for it if you’re in the area. We’re talking to one of the finalists who’s proud to present his work to public! These are his thoughts on the competition, life as a creative young person and somewhereto_ 

    What’s your full name, age, and where do you come from?

    Hendrix Nash. 19 years. Dover, Kent.

    Why did you enter the competition? Do you find it challenging to get your work seen?

    The somewhereto_ showcase seemed like a great opportunity to have my work displayed for the first time and I wanted to see how I’d fare in my first competition entry.

    What’s your work about? Who inspired it?

    No particular theme. I’m still new [to photography] and experimenting; finding my style.

    What do you think of the John Lewis gallery space?

    It’s nice. I visited early morning, July 1st.. I’d like to spend time seeing people’s reactions to the space/work.

    Where is your local high street? And what is it like?

    My local [Dover] high street is pretty dreadful. There’s a small variety of shops but also a lot of empty shops.

    How do you think empty shops/spaces on the high street should be used?

    Permanent gallery spaces… I don’t know of many other than the Creative Quarter, Folkestone, Kent.

    Where would be your dream space for somewhereto_ to unlock for you?

    As an upcoming artist, it would be incredible to get the chance to be a guest artist for another’s exhibition; touring numerous spaces.

    Where can people find out more about your work?

    Website Blog Twitter

    The John Lewis exhibition is part of somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist); a high impact campaign which will see young people take over a series of shops across the UK for a six- week period, kicking off on 18 July. We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Visit somewhereto.com/restore

    Oxford Circus John Lewis Showcase with somewhereto_

    In June we ran a competition on our Facebook page asking young artists, photographers, animators (and any others from that creative part of the world) to share one piece of art work with us - with the prize being a spot on the walls of John Lewis' gallery space in Oxford Circus. We had a flurry of stunning entries, diverse pieces from all across the UK, which were whittled down to 10 winners. If you’re in Oxford Circus this month (exhibition closes on July 31st), pop in and check out their work, alongside the art prowess of somewhereto_ youth ambassador Che Kumar!

    Che’s work is up right now! Alongside competition winners Philip Raheem, and Emma Cowley who had this to say at the launch on July 1st:

    What’s your full name, age, and where do you come from?

    My name is Emma Cowley, I’m 26 and am currently living in Leicester.

    Why did you enter the competition? Do you find it challenging to get your work seen?

    I entered the competition because it sounded like a great opportunity to get my work into a space where it would be seen by lots of people. Getting exposure for your work is one of the most difficult things, and often other competitions and exhibitions spaces have fees for entry or to rent the gallery space. Having one that is completely free to enter is very rare and valuable for young people, especially those who may be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    What’s your work about? Who inspired it?

    Nature is an important and recurring theme in my work; it has the power to soothe and to nourish the mind and heart. Outdoor green spaces have a timeless and cyclical quality to them, it’s possible to forget your everyday problems and regain some perspective on things. A couple of people that I find really inspirational are Beatrix Potter and David Attenborough, both for their work and for their attitude towards life and the world in general.

    What do you think of the John Lewis gallery space?

    It’s great that it’s a casual space where people can relax and enjoy the work over lunch or a cup of coffee. I believe that it’s important to get art, creativity and beauty out into the everyday spaces that people occupy – art shouldn’t be the sole preserve of the white-walled gallery space. I want my work to reach other people and bring enjoyment and pleasure to them.

    Where is your local high street? And what is it like?

    My nearest high street would probably be The Queen’s Road in Leicester, which fortunately has a lot of lovely little independent shops as well as good places to eat and drink. It’s great that this culture has been very much embraced by the locals as it does seem to be something of a rarity these days.

    How do you think empty shops/spaces on the high street should be used?

    Considering that space is at such a premium in most of the UK’s towns and cities it seems an enormous pity to me that any property or shop is allowed to stand empty when people could be making good use of it. Empty shop windows would obviously be a great space for displaying art, and I’m sure that there are lots of charities that could utilise unused spaces to deliver information and services to the public at a time when many people are in dire need.

    Where would be your dream space for somewhereto_ to unlock for you?

    It would be cool to get more work into outdoor spaces – murals and large billboards, though I’m not sure how feasible that would be. Large public spaces like train stations and so forth would also be great places to put work into, and I think that most people passing through those spaces would appreciate having a little bit of beauty or interest being added to their day.

    Where can people find out more about your work? 

    People can find out more about me and my work at my website: www.emmacowley.co.uk And connect with me in the following places: Twitter: @emma_cowley Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emma.laws.illustration Blog: http://emmacowley.blogspot.co.uk/

    This competition and exhibition is part of somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist); a high impact campaign which will see young people take over a series of shops across the UK for a six- week period, kicking off on 18 July. We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Visit somewhereto.com/restore

    somewhereto_ showcase: Introducing Jack & Robert from Pholio

    It’s Global Entrepreneur Week! Introducing Jack Booth & Robert Wigman, both 23 years old. Who started up their business called Pholio with the help of somewhereto_

    Pholio is an online network for undergraduate and recently graduated photographers to showcase their portfolios directly to accomplished freelance artists, agencies and other industry professionals so that they can achieve maximum exposure quickly and efficiently. Our innovative and unique system provides photographers with high quality feedback on their work (through the cheapest online photography portfolio review service available), a space to show their portfolios, and provides exposure to key members of the photography industry, all via an easy, effective, online platform.

    Pholio was created to make the photography degree more valuable. So if you are currently within 2 years of graduation on a photography-based degree course (or equivalent) or have graduated in the last 2 years, this service is for you.

    A big challenge so far has been trying to launch and run a new business during a recession. However our number one challenge is the fact that we’re trying to change the way emerging talent enters the photography industry. As this is a new initiative, we have to change the way people go about sourcing their talent.

    somewhereto_ asked: Where do you see your company in 10 years?

    We hope to be not only the biggest collective of emerging photography talent online, but also the go-to place for people to access the highest quality photography, and photographers. We hope to prove Pholio is a valuable tool over the next few years, and ultimately change the way all talented creatives enter their industries.

    somewhereto_ has provided us with opportunities to meet other business owners and entrepreneurs on a variety of levels from peers to industry members.

    somewhereto_ asked: What’s been your best experience with somewhereto_ so far?

    The somewhereto_ spaced pitch event in September was a great opportunity to present our idea to such a variety of people, from professionals to peers also starting up new businesses.

    somewhereto_ asked: If you could have any space to do your thing, what and where would it be?

    We’ve always said we want a physical display of the photography we have on Pholio, and it’s always been our intention to host a regular exhibition of the work of our talented emerging photographers. Our ideal space would be a London exhibition space to do regular Pholio shows with a view to gaining further exposure for our members.

    We’re currently touring the country to speak with as many photography students as possible, sharing our experiences, offering advise and promoting Pholio. We’re trying to build our community of emerging talent and we have big plans for the near future!

    Visit the website at www.pholiouk.com Follow us on Twitter @PholioUK Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pholiouk

    We think what Jack and Robert have done is so innovative and exciting. Who’s going to get their snaps up their first?! Need a space to do your thing? Do what Jack and Robert did and get in touch with somewhereto_ 

    Seeing as we’ve been banging on about somewhereto_show off for so long now, we felt that it was time for you to to have a butchers at the diverse range of talent coming through. Check out Festa, a young rapper we met at the amazing IAMDV8 festival last weekend, where we met incredibly talented young people who had dedicated an entire day to showing off by showcasing all of their hard work in fashion, music and production! 

    We love Festa, he reminds us of the early nineties…its not just the vibrant pattern of his super cool shirt, but also the mix of playful and profound in this impromptu acapella…and they say hip hop is dead, it lives people, it LIVES!!

    Since winning Leicester’s Got Talent, with his incredible singing vocals, 17 year old Matt, from the East Midlands, has been going from strength to strength with more opportunities to showcase his amazing talent.

    We couldn’t miss an opportunity to work with Matt again, so when Next Wave Music Platform came around, we asked if Matt could feature as one of our performers. His five-song set was a huge hit with the audience and he is now being supported to record a track with Manic Music Productions.

     An excited member of the audience said ”Listening to our local talent perform at Next Wave Sound, is just amazing, the quality of the young artists is just amazing, I love coming!”

    Freerunners practice for somewhereto_ showcase at the Wales Millennium Centre

    There will be a somewhereto_ showcase at the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday May 30. This will feature a variety of performances including the Trick Unique freerunners - check Andrew, Christian and Luke out in this video practicing for the big event, and telling you about their passion and somewhereto_ experience!

    Get in touch now to find the space you need for free!