Sometimes it's difficult to get us to stop dancing because it is just so much fun! But as well as being a joyful form of artistic expression dancing has loads of health benefits that will help you through any winter blues...
Improved condition of your heart and lungs
Increased muscular strength and endurance
Increased aerobic fitness
Improved muscle tone
Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
Better coordination, agility and motor fitness
Improved balance and spatial awareness
Increased physical confiidence
Improved mental functioning
Improved general and psychological wellbeing
Greater self confidence and self esteem
Better social skills
Isn't that awesome! and it is never too late to start, come along to a class or just shake your stuff in your bedroom, we promise it will make you feel great!
The new year is often a time when we make resolutions and try to improve ourselves, but we don't believe in New Year New You, you are perfect as you are! We say why not just try something you've always wanted to give a go like one of our fun beginners courses!
BEGINNERS PAINTING COURSE
£84/course Materials included
Tutor: Monica Chrys
A 6-week Adult Painting Course on Saturday aimed at beginners, intermediates and anyone who would love to improve their painting (acrylic) and colour mixing skills. The classes are relaxed but informative - teaching students the building blocks of good painting and colour mixing. Students are encouraged to develop their own personal projects during the course. Acrylic paints, paper, brushes, mixing palettes, pencils and charcoals are provided at the class.
BEGINNERS POTTERY COURSES
Saturdays 12 - 3pm
£150/person for 4 week course - all materials and firing included
Tutor: Kayley Holderness
Four three-hour afternoon workshops designed to give a good understanding of basic hand building and decorating techniques. Create functional pieces from start to finish: make with a range of different clays, experiment with exciting textures and colourful surface decoration, and glaze the fired pieces.
Email Kayley to reserve a space
Thursdays 7 - 8pm
18th Jan - 15th Feb
Tutor: Catherine Minns
A gentle introduction to a highly technical dance form, designed for the complete beginner or those wanting to go back to basics. This course will explain the structure of the classical ballet class as you learn the ballet positions; basic barre; centre exercises and jumps and turns. Over five weeks you will improve your balance and develop your flexibility, muscle tone, strength, posture and coordination.
YOGA BASICS COURSE
Monday 7.30 - 8.30pm
8th Jan - 12th Feb
book @ Mindful Movements
Build a strong foundation to begin, or improve your practice of Yoga. This 6 week course will focus on creating correct alignment, core stability and awareness. A steady and informative class, with time to work on individual poses this course aims to give you the confidence and knowledge to reap the benefits and enjoy Yoga.
Hooray! It's that time of year again, MakeArt Exhibition! Our annual celebration of all the art work that our young artists produce throughout the year was as fab as ever. Here are some pictures of the night.
The work will be up until the New Year so still plenty of time to check out their hard work!
Claire moved her drum kit into one of our rehearsal rooms years ago but just recently she has started running the office on occasional Sundays so we took the opportunity to have a chat with her about what IAF means to her...
Hi Claire! So you have been coming to IAF for ages what do you get up to here?
Well originally I came here to rehearse, I play drums in a band, but it's also one of my favourite places to socialise, I have lots of friends here. And now I get to run the office at the weekends which is great!
What's is your favourite thing about IAF?
I love how quirky the building is, especially the tiles in the listed entrance way. It's a real communal space with a proper community purpose and there is such a variety of activities that go on here.
How long have you been coming here?
4 wonderful years
Who is your favourite artist?
I have loads of favourite artists but actually my favourite exhibition is the MakeArt exhibition here. All the kids make such incredible artwork.
MakeArt our annual children's art exhibition
Tell us one thing about IAF that might surprise people
It's a maze, even I haven't seen all the rooms yet!
What other space do you think people should visit in Islington
Union Chapel is an amazing building and their gigs programme is always really interesting.
And finally what do you get up to when you aren't here?
Well I work as a French teacher, an obvious choice as I'm French! I also work in a music venue and as voice actress for dubbing.
How cool is Claire?! So gald she is part of the IAF family.
Written on the skin is a self-curated group exhibition that has just opened in our Main Gallery. The exhibition is Curated by Jamie Shaw and two fellow emerging London-based artists who all graduated from the University of Westminster in Mixed Media Fine Art in 2015. Their work is outstanding and the exhibition is really worth a look. If you can't make it down here are some pictures of the show and the private view.
It was a great evening and Jamie, Helena and Alexandra raised over £300 for Cancer Research UK.
Here's a link to a film they made about the exhibition;
To keep up to date with exhibitions and private views just check out our Exhibitions page. All our exhibitions are free and open to the public.
In May we finally realised that our hard working old kiln was beyond repair, no matter how many shiny new elements we bought it, we had to face up to the fact we needed a new one. Thanks to all our brilliant friends, family, supporters and the unspeakably amazing Kayley we raised funds for a new one! Hooray for all you brilliant people!
Our new Kiln, already working hard.
Our new kiln was ordered on rush delivery and put on immediate overtime, it hasn't stopped for a second since! There was such a big backlog of work to be fired that Kayley has barely drawn breathe, filling and emptying the kiln at all times of day and night. What a Superwoman!
As part of our thank you to everyone who helped us raise the money for the new kiln we promised bowls and a naming party, fear not! These will happen in the new year, we'll keep you posted with details
Thank you all once again, it is this sort of support that helps keep IAF going, we are so grateful!
Goodbye old friend, you served us so well!
Summerversity is a fantastic programme run by Islington Council where they offer free activities to children aged 13-16 in the school holidays. It's a brilliant opportunity for teenagers to get the chance to try something new, gain skills, meet new friends and develop their CV through their experiences.
There are all types of courses from music production to cooking and we are lucky enough to get to be part of it teaching painting and drawing to a great gang of teenagers.
Here is a little look at some of the fab work they produced.
Aren't they amazing! What a lot of talent there is in Islington.
If you want to learn more about the project here is a video some of the young filmmakers made:
Our amazing annual dance showcase Montage was on Friday at the fantastic Lilian Baylis stage at Sadlers Wells. We had a great show, all our dancers did a fantastic job and the audience were delighted to see what everyone had been up to all year. Can't wait for 2018!
Here are some pics from the night.
Children's Ballet Company, The Princess in the Sky
Adult Contemporary, The One That I Want
Level One Contemporary, Sing, Sing, Sing
Level Two Contemporary, Double O Boogie
Movement Angol Company, Free Room
,Level Three Contemporary, Requiem for the Static King
Intro Contemporary, We All Stand Together
Adult Ballet, Ukrainian Dance
Level One Ballet, Dance of the Mirlitons
Level Two Ballet, Bottom's Dance from A Midsummer Nights Dream
Level Three Ballet Swanhilda and Friends from Coppelia
Level Four and Five Ballet, Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux
Curtain call, well done everyone!
During our Summer Salon exhibition we grabbed Eleanor for a quick 5 mins over a glass of Prosecco to ask her about her life at IAF...
What do you do at IAF?
'I am Director of Art. I also teach young people aged 4 - 16 as part of the MakeArt programme'.
How long have you been coming to IAF?
'I first walked in at the age of 11! I attended art classes here all the way through my teenage years. It was a really important part of my life at the time, offering me the space to develop my interest in art and my skills outside of school. I had a great group of friends who came to the class and I have really happy memories of those years. Years after leaving to pursue my art training at university, I was invited back as an art tutor. My involvement developed from there and I ended up leading the art department. I try to offer my students the same kind of experience that I benefitted from at their age; support, encouragement and a nurturing space for creativity to flourish.'
Tell us what IAF means to you?
'I just love the multi art environment. I think it is vital that places like this exist! I believe strongly that art has an important role in bringing communities together and giving people something outside of the everyday, to explore, be creative and find new passions in life.'
What is your favourite artwork?
'The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio never fails to stop me in my tracks when I visit the National Gallery. I love the study of human psychology that this piece reveals, the drama and the perfect rendering of his subject.'
The Supper at Emmaus Caravaggio
Tell us something about IAF that might surprise people...
'Behind the scenes we keep and maintain a Moose, who regularly changes his dress to keep us entertained in the office. He is partial to Tutus, feathers and sequins and seems to be working his way through the Costume Department's vast collection with joyous abandon!'
What's your favourite local gem?
'Toni and Guy on Holloway road. A lovely stylist called Sylvia gave me the most fabulous restyle recently. Call me shallow if you will, but I firmly believe a good hairdo can give you all the confidence you need to move forward in life.'
Thanks Eleanor, before you get back to the throng, tell us what do you get up to when you're not here?
'My studio is in Forest Gate E7. I am currently working on a Forest Gate Portrait Project, where I make large scale pencil portraits of people who live or work in the area. I love working with communities and involving people in my art practice, either as the subjects of my work or as participants in workshops. Art is for everyone!'
Eleanor and her Forest Gate Portrait Project
*UPDATE 31/05/2017 we raised all the money we needed with a day to spare! Thank you everyone - we are so lucky to have such amazing supporters!
Help save IAF’s vital pottery department!
After 30 years of faithfully firing our kiln is on its last legs, we have been trying to pull it through since Christmas but sadly it seems the only way forward is to get a new one. We have identified the model we require and very generously the seller is willing to give us free delivery and elements for it but we still need to raise over £3000!
Our dream kiln
Pottery is such a valuable resource; it expands people’s creativity and helps them communicate in a non verbal way and the sense of achievement in creating your own piece of art workout is huge!
Our kiln is used by local children, Islington Teenagers and adults from a local branch of Mencap.
There are very few places that are able to provide pottery classes taught by a practising professional where everyone gets to fire and glaze their work and we do so within our ethos of making art affordable for all.
Last year saw us lose the last small bit of funding we got from Islington Council and though we have been working hard to plug the funding gap and cut spending where we can the loss of our kiln couldn’t come at a worse time.
Please help keep this fantastic resource open to all those who use and depend on it!
Anyone who donates over £50 will receive a thank you gift of a unique bowl designed and made by Kayley Holderness especially for this campaign.
Also we will name the new kiln after the person who gives the highest donation!
Keep up to date with all that's going on at The Arts Factory.