10th anniversary for creative calligrapher

Creative Calligraphy

A calligrapher is placing creativity and wellbeing at the heart of a milestone anniversary.

Angela Reed, founder of Creative Calligraphy, has successfully applied to Arts Council England for a Project Grant that will kickstart her 10th business birthday celebrations.

The funding will be used to explore the use of calligraphy and other creative pursuits to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

Angela will work with several organisations, based in South Tyneside and Sunderland, who already use art in a  therapeutic way.

They are Age Concern Tyneside South, Arts 4 Wellbeing, Bright Futures North East and Women’s Health in South Tyneside, all of whom are based in South Shields, and Community Opportunities in Sunderland.

The two weekly calligraphy groups she runs at Mortimer Community Centre in South Shields will also benefit from the grant of £2,808.

They will work with guest artists Kerry Cook, from The Art Room Sunderland, and Carrie Dennison, from Crafts for Wellbeing, on learning new skills that will complement their calligraphy, including watercolours, metal embossing and lino printing.

Angela, 42, who lives in South Shields with her husband Michael, 42, and their two children, James, 14, and Sophie, 12, launched Creative Calligraphy on May 27, 2014, after leaving her previous career in journalism.

She was eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance and received start-up support from Tedco in South Shields and the North East BIC in Sunderland.

Creative Calligraphy

Eighteen months later, Angela started running workshops for The Cultural Spring in South Tyneside and now runs classes throughout the north east, both independently and on behalf of organisations such as Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, Newcastle Arts Centre and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle.

She said: “One of the most common things people tell me after they’ve attended a workshop is how relaxing and mindful they have found it and this was particularly evident when I did some work with Changing Lives and North Tyneside Art Studio in 2022.

“This has led to my increasing interest in the positive impact calligraphy – and other creative experiences – can have on mental health and wellbeing and I wanted to explore this further with a number of organisations I have been interested in working with for some time.

“I’m delighted that this has been made possible with the support of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and I’m grateful to the organisations involved for their support from the initial idea stage.

“I hope the Calligraphy and Creative Wellbeing project will introduce new audiences to calligraphy and lead to ongoing relationships with the organisations involved.”

It is the second time Angela has received an ACE Project Grant, with the last one – Inspired by Lindisfarne – in 2022, coinciding with the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.  

Members of her weekly groups visited the exhibition and created their own responses to it, leading to an exhibition that toured The Customs House in South Shields, 17Nineteen in Sunderland and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery last year.

For more information about Creative Calligraphy, visit www.creative-calligraphy.co.uk.

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