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Alison Burrows - University of Salford

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Catching Up

Posted: Sep 11, 2014

I  applied for freelance work with Salford Community Leisure Ltd. to be one of their freelance artists at the end if 2013 and was accepted.  The induction period was over a month, one session a week and during that time we were split up into groups of special interest, and we devised a course to offer to the general public.

My group wanted to put on a traditional style art course, with sessions on drawing in the city, materials preparation, art history, painting and collage with print-making.  Ir was quite intensive and was taught by a different artist at each session.  The participants seemed to appreciate the different approaches of each artist and the result of the participants' hard work was impressive, even after so short a course.

Following on from this we were invited to put forward some ideas for activities for children on the surrounding residential estates.  We held a series of workshops on making hand puppets, peg dolls, T-shirt printing and painting and drawing.  Other artists showed the children how to model with clay.  These sessions lasted the whole of the summer holiday, so that there was something for everyone.  The activities at the sports centres were particularly busy, but by the end of the activities, some children were actually waiting for us to arrive at their estate.  Some of the mums were quite impressed with the range of activities too. 

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Recent Art Exhibitions at the Eccles Community Art Gallery

Posted: May 24, 2013

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed that there has been some activity on Facebook regarding the Baby Alfie appeal.  Alfie is a toddler who contracted meningitis last year and recovered thankfully, but lost several fingers and toes to the illness.  The Baby Alfie Appeal was inspired by Karen Illingworth, the manager of Eccles Community Art Gallery, who read about Alfie's inability to play with his toys.  Karen was determined to do her utmost to ensure that Alfie would have the best possible support, in the form of  prosthetic gloves, which will give him some much needed movement and grip in his hands.

An exhibition on behalf of Alfie was staged and many artists from the locality donated artworks and craft items, and by week 4 of the exhibition, with the aid also of a raffle of selected paintings, a massive £1,250 was raised, and money is still coming in toward the target of £1,400, which will buy a special prosthetic glove.  Some of the paintings which were not yet sold are being hung in Smith's Restaurant in Eccles town centre, and any monies paid, will go towards Alfie's total.  This has, therefore, been a huge success, but, not only that, it brought the community together  to help a little boy.

On at the art gallery at the moment is an Exhibition which is showcasing some new talent.  This new exhibition is on show from 18 May to 24 June.  As usual, the gallery is open from 11.00 to 15.00 hours on Tuesdays and from 10.00 to 16.00 hours on Saturday.  I hope you will be able to attend.  The gallery is in the ginnel or entry to Eccles precinct, next door to Silcocks the grengrocer.

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Keeping Busy!

Posted: Mar 26, 2013


It's been ages since I last posted in the Hive!

Quite a lot has happened.  I am still volunteering with the over 55s residence at Anchor (St. Pauls, Salford).  We have been making Easter cards to sell to the residents and have raised over £60 for Cancer Research at Christies.  Some of the residents have taken up another art form.  Previously they were making cards and/or jewellery, and/or painting on glass or tiles, but three have started a course in painting in acrylics, which is a great thing!   Only one of them has done anything like this before.  For one of the other two, at 92, you would think it might be a time to take stock and look back, but not our residents, no.  They just begin a complete new hobby without a second thought.  Well done, I say to them!

Since my last blog I began volunteering with Venture Arts in Hulme, where arts and crafts courses are on offer to adults with learning difficulties.  I help (or occasionally hinder) in the pottery class.  The clients have made numerous items from clay, such as money boxes, telephones, record players and walkmans (or should that be walkmen?)  They are having an exhibition starting on 12 April at the Lowry Arts Centre, Salford Quays of their latest creations, not just from the pottery class, but from all the craft sessions. 

For International Women's Day, we had a creative afternoon sewing.  The theme was Cells of the Body, so we created little sewn pieces to hang ,based on the clients' ideas about their hair, skin and eyes.  It was very successfu and most pieces were finished on the day. 

If anyone reading this has also read my Facebook page, you might have seen reference made to my Zipwire Challenge last year.  Around twenty-eight people from Venture Arts took part, travelling by Zipwire from the top of the Imperial War Museum shard across the Manchester Ship Canal to behind the Lowry Arts Centre.  It was quite scary at first, but then I enjoyed the trip and managed to raise over £200 from my generous friends and work colleagues at Farmers Bridges.

After a break, I am also back helping primary school children with their reading with Beanstalk, the new name for  Voluntary Reading Help.  The new school is in Clifton and I am enjoying reading with three children from year 5.

On the paid work front, ta-dah!  I have some actual paid work teaching an evening class in painting on canvas, and hopefully another in cardmaking.  Tel.  Salford College for details.

Also, my son Robert is showing his paintings at the Eccles Community Art Gallery with five other artists and a photographer, in the Eccles Shopping Centre.  Opening times are 10-4 Saturdays and 11-3 Tuesdays.

On top of this, I am still keeping my hens.  The National Grid came around in February and inadvertently the hens wandered outside the back garden.  They were all caught and returned home, none the worse for it.  The latest development on the hen front is that the battery hens are no more and the only available hens for rehoming, once the farmers have no more use for them, are free range, organic hens.  However, these arrive only semi-plucked, rather than fully-plucked, like the battery hens used to be.  So it takes less time for the hens to grow tail feathers and some on their backs before beginning to come into lay again. 

I hope you will all get at least one Easter Egg!  Happy Easter!


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Mar 29, 2013 : alexfenton Says:

Wow Alison, you have been busy, all sounds wonderful! Have a great Easter yourself and keep in touch.

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Post Xmas post

Post Xmas post

Posted: Dec 28, 2011

Hi Everyone,

These days I'm in that much of a rush I get in front of myself. For instance, last week was party, party, party. Volunteering with several groups, I got slightly mixed up about dates a week last Wednesday, when I had (or so I thought) 4 places to be in one day. The lunch-time "Share and Tear" meal at the Creative Liiving Centre in Prestwich, being a case in point, when i turned up with salad and humous, only to find I was a week early! The salad was taken off my hands and I continued on to the next appointment at 2.00 p.m. Luckily, I made no more mistaken appearances that day.

2011 has flown by! It doesn't seem anything like a year since I started volunteering with the Anchor Housing Trust Art Group in Broughton. I have made some great friends and we have raised quite a sum of money for charity and the Christmas Party in the communal lounge. We also went for a Christmas meal at a hotel in central Manchester, which was quite a lively "do", and most of the group got up for a dance or two! There are some very talented, not to mention hard-working people in the group. The Christmas Party was a fantastic affair, the spread was amazing and the entertainers got the room rocking!

I joined the Creative Living Centre in October, although I had applied much earlier. It took a while for the paperwork to be completed, and because I had other commitments, it was difficult to settle on a particular day on which to volunteer. However, I have attended, either as a volunteer or as a guest on most Saturday nights. Each Saturday is different, although there is always a meal, the activities vary. Sometimes there are games, a quiz and bingo, or music, or an arts activity. The last Saturday before Christmas was the Christmas meal. The volunteers cooked and served the meal to the members before enjoying their own. The music group led with some carols and Christmas songs and finally there was a raffle. I have also volunteered on different weekdays, usually helping in the kitchen or chatting with the members.

The Voluntary Reading Help got off to a late start again after the summer break, due to confusion about practical matters, but finally I was able to sort out two days when I could go into school. The youngest child seems to have come on in leaps and bounds since I was working with him in the spring, and is very co-operative and willing to read. I am really pleased about this.

The Birth Rites Collection website has been up-dated and the Sponsorship Editions Project is up and running. We are hoping to raise funds in order to bring over some donated art works by Judy Chicago, which will then be displayed in the Mary Seacole Building at the University of Salford. Several artists have made limited editions of their work to sell on the Sponsume site, and half the proceeds will be donated to the project and the artists will retain the other half.  For further information, please visit

As a member of the Salford Art Club, I am looking forward to submitting some works for inclusion into the annual Art Club exhbition to be held in the Salford Art Gallery and Museum on the Crescent, near the Maxwell Building. In order to be able to submit work, prospective members have to have paid the annual subscription of £25 before the handing-in date on 18th January. Each member is allowed to submit between one and four works, at a cost of £2 per work. Providing the works are ready for hanging, according to instructions, there is a good chance of at least one work being accepted. This year's theme is Bridges and Water. At least one work should reflect this theme, but other subject matter is acceptable for the remainder. More details may be obtained, on request, from the website. The exhibition runs from 28th January for four months.

In addition to being involved in the above, I also attend the Oasis Academy Youth Club on Friday evenings. Normally the club runs during the holidays, but over Christmas and the New Year we are having a break. As a result of my work with the children I have been asked to do "Creative Crafts" for ten sessions on Monday evenings from 6.30 - 8.30 p.m. at the Oasis Academy, Prestwood Road in Salford, starting on 9th January. This will comprise a variety of crafts from papermaking, card-making, glass painting to jewellery-making, all with a spring or Easter theme. This is a free course, although there is a £5 deposit and £1 per week is required to help with materials.

I think that's enough to be getting on with. Take care.  

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Dec 28, 2011 : AngelaTait Says:

Hi Alison... Sounds like you're up to all sort of things. Can't go wrong with keeping busy but it's sometimes easy to meet yourself coming back. Hope you and the family are doing great and have had a peaceful Christmas. Keep us up to date with your activities and if we can support any of your projects using Creative Hive, let us know. Happy New Year. Angela.

Dec 28, 2011 : alison-burrows Says:

Thanks, Angela. Phew. This Christmas holiday is brilliant. I have a little time to myself, even though it goes hand-in-hand with the usual coughs and splutters which are rife at this time of the year. The Birth Rites Collection editions project is still seeking backers and small donations, if there is anything that can be done to help there, we should be very grateful. I do hope that you are enjoying your well-deserved rest and hope you will enjoy the New Year too.

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New ventures

New ventures

Posted: Oct 18, 2011

Hi again,

Since my last post, I have been busy, still doing voluntary work with the youth club, the over 55s, but the Voluntary Reading Help is yet to start.  I'm going for the second part of the training on Thursday. 

An off-shoot from the youth club at Oasis is that we are offering hour-long sessions of activities at Salford Shopping Precinct from 10.00 - 12.00 on Wednedays until December, with the aim of attracting people back to the Precinct.  Last week I attended the yoga session at 10.00 a.m. and then did a card-making session at 11.00 a.m.  This week, providing I feel ok, as I am full of a cold today, I will be doing a jewellery session at 11.00 tomorrow.

Being unwell, I was unable to attend my new weekly job today with the Birth Rites Collection organisation, however, I sent the work by email.

The Birth Rites Collection is a diverse collection of contemporary artworks based around pregnancy and childbirth and is housed at the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians in London and also at the University of Salford in the Midwifery Department in the Mary Seacole building.  I have been editing their website

The only good thing about having a cold is that I'm able to catch up on my blog.

Till next time.




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Oct 18, 2011 : angelatait Says:

Hi Alison. It was lovely to see you and Robert yesterday. The things you're doing sound really exciting...especially the BirthRites collection. It's fascinating the things they're doing. I've seen the collection a couple of times and also some of the work that's been going on at Salford. Keep us informed. Angela xx

Oct 18, 2011 : alexfenton Says:

Great to hear from you Alison. We had some posts from Art of Midwifery at Salford a few months ago also:

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Update September 2011

Update September 2011

Posted: Sep 07, 2011

Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted anything.  I didn't manage to get a paid job, but I've got a few voluntary things going on, which have been great. 

Currently I am helping with various projects, at the youth club at a local school, helping the girls to make jewellery, at a local housing trust with over-55s (they keep asking me to get a flat there too) at there weekly art club where I help with painting and drawing, and lastly with the Voluntary Reading Help organisation, which starts up again shortly.   I have also been making greetings cards with a friend and have sold quite a few to help the Air Ambulance North West as part of the fund-raising event we held in August at the Anchor Housing Trust in Higher Broughton, Salford.  Together we raised around £600 on the day. 

I have also agreed to paint a portrait in aid of the Support Carl Bart fund, which is collecting money and other donations to bring Carl Bartholomew home from Thailand.  Carl is originally from Manchester and is now a graphic designer.  He was recently involved in a motorcycle crash and is in a coma.  The costs of keeping him in hospital are tremendous and the aim is to bring him home as soon as possible.  The website is for further information.

I have also been painting recently.  I did a small still-life for the housing trust event, which was bought, and am finishing off a portrait of Marilyn Monroe for my bro' and a portrait of Hugo the dog for my other bro'.

Helen Sargeant has invited me to a couple of Saturdays in October life drawing a mum and child, and also a mother-to-be, so that should be fantastic.

This is for Alex.  Hi Alex!  I finally got my husband's slides scanned onto the computer and have begun making a new website for him.  It's only in the beginning stages at present though.

Also the chickens are doing well.  I rescued another four from the battery and and at present we have eight.  In a group they can be quite intimidating as they all rush to the back door to see what food is going, but individually they are quite lovely.

My back garden is a mud bath with all this rain, so here's hoping the sun will come out soon.  Bye for now.



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Sep 07, 2011 : alexf Says:

Fantastic to hear from you Alison! Sounds like youve been super busy with some very worthwhile causes there. I wonder if the Hive or next event could help with that somehow? Our first event a few weeks ago went really well and Im on the case getting us into mediacity. Look forward to hearing more and perhaps seeing some more of your work. We have a new easier way of adding images via the image bank gallery type.

Sep 09, 2011 : Angela Tait Says:

Hi Alison Great to hear what you're up to and I'm really looking forward to seeing Colin's website. Can you photograph your paintings and post the photos? I haven't seen your paintings for AGES!!

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Exhibition at Goethe-Institut

Exhibition at Goethe-Institut

Posted: Jul 03, 2010


I finally finished putting together the exhibition of Kirsten Boie's literary achievements with reference to her books for children and teenagers, together with some biographical insights.  The exhibition has German only captions because it is being displayed in the German Institute but the images can be appreciated standing alone.

If anyone wants to view the show. the book cover illustrations are very attractive, and it's on at:

The Goethe-Institut/Alliance Francaise

4th Floor, Churchgate House

56 Oxford Street


until mid-October.

Open office hours and Saturday mornings from 10.00-12.30 pm

All the best,




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Jul 30, 2010 : Goodie Says:

The exhibition is fantastic. Well done Alison

Jul 30, 2010 : Alexf Says:

Hey Alison, nice to hear from you, this all sounds very interesting, are there any pics?

Jul 30, 2010 : mummytait Says:

I'll take the boys on a trip to manchester for an arty day out.....just as soon as it stops raining! Angela x

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Work, work, work ....

Posted: Jun 14, 2010


Still up typing on my laptop, instead of sleeping soundly, ready for another day's work!

I've just uploaded a different image to the Colin Burrows' project.  He must have made over 70 paintings over the years.  Unfortunately most of the paintings have only been recorded on slides, which tend to gather dust and this shows up if they are re-photographed. The good thing is, though, that the dust is practically invisible when using a projector - I hope so anyway!

I have just seen the news, and it seems that Germany is now sending some of their young offenders to Siberia.  The general opinion was that this method of punishing them is working.  Desperate measures?

Hope you will get a chance to look at Trebor's site in the near future as he promises to upload some of his paintings.

The exhibition I am working on is coming along ok.  I have emptied the frames and have most of the printed photos finished and in order.  It's all very regulated and planned with precison, however, thing still do go wrong and I find I don't have everything I need when I need it.

Time to go.


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Jun 15, 2010 : Alexf Says:

You can get scanners that scan slides, but suppose that may not help the dust. If the projection looks good though, I wonder if you could take a quality photo of the projection? Just a thought.

Jun 15, 2010 : goodie Says:

It looks like you're putting the time into the exhibition and i'm sure it will be worth the effort.

Jun 17, 2010 : artyalice Says:

Today was not so productive as I had a couple of jobs to do before even going to work. I did about three hourse and not much to show for it. Tomorrow is another day!

Jun 20, 2010 : goodie Says:

The bottle stopper by Colin is beautiful. Peter x

Jun 23, 2010 : alexf Says:

Yeah, I love the bottle stopper too.

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Posted: Jun 09, 2010

Half-term is coming to an end.  Usually I am blissfully unaware of the dates of the school holidays as my "children" are now in their 30s.  Last week the grandchildren were here, so plans for working went a little bit awry.  I have finally uploaded  some more images onto my slideshow and had some prints made for the exhibition I am putting together at work.  A few will have to be redone, though. 

Birthday celebrations have taken over this week, so not much knitting has been done either.  However, I found some lovely mohair bargains in green and russet, as well as some gorgeous fabric remnants. I was thinking of making some cushions and bags, as well as art work.  So much to do!

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Jun 10, 2010 : Peter Says:

Your website is excellent. I hope you soon have time to use your sewing and knitting skills.

Jun 14, 2010 : alexf Says:

Looking tremendous Alison - looking forward to seeing more.

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Great Escape

Posted: May 25, 2010

Just managed to upload one slide onto my slideshow. It looks a bit pathetic on its own out there, but I think I have cracked it and tomorrow I’ll have another bash at reducing the size of my pictures and uploading some more.

 I finally bit the bullet and counted all my leaves yesterday. There are two large bin liners, one with leaves that have been trimmed neatly (part of my performance) and the other contains leaves that need trimming. I must have given away quite a few, as together with those that I have been making recently, I only have 726 left! Not to worry, I can knit Eight at a Time on one pair of needles. There was a fair bit of dust as I was counting, however.
On the hen front, and yes, it has been a battle of wills, but I might have won this one. Steve McQueen has given up flying over the fence and is now digging her way out of the garden via Australia. I wonder in which region she will emerge, and whether the vegetation will be to her liking. All three hens are quite fussy. They do enjoy the finest tomatoes and organic carrots, but dislike root ginger, cauliflower and fennel. I thought I’d try something different, and they (the veg. I mean) had been in the fridge a while…
Did I mention that there’s not one single blade of grass in the back garden?
Speak soon….

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Jun 01, 2010 : alexf Says:

Looking good! Don't forget to add some tags to your posts though also, and your status as you have it should probably go in your profile > about.

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Still Busy!

Posted: May 21, 2010

Hey, the images of the frescos look great! Apparently they were too large, so had to be resized. Thanks Alex!

Applied for a job in Arts Administration, so look forward to seeing how that works out!

Daren't open my gas bill! Tips from the energy company on how to keep warm on a budget - turn off the heating!!

I'm still knitting away, that is, when I'm not at work, ie. Tuesdays and Thursday. I have lost count of the number of leaves I have knitted for my ongoing project. One reason is that I gave some away to my audiences when I spoke about the work, the other is that I kept them in bags of 100 so that they were easy to count. Now they are all together in large bags, so I'm guessing I have around 850 leaves by now.

The story of how the project began:

I was painting and drawing in fits and starts on the MA in Contemporary Fine Art at Salford and heard about the Monday night Knitting Club which is run in aid of Breast Cancer by Rachel Elwell and Sarah Hardacre, both ex-students of Salford.

They were about to begin a project to knit leaves to accompany an exhibition oftBritish Impressionist paintings in a Rochdale gallery last summer, so I volunteered to knit the first few and have continued ever since last March. Rachel gave me the pattern and I used her wool at first, then I began knitting for my own project with expensive wool mixes I bought at sale prices.

My friends, Brenda Hird and her daughter, Dannie made a film of me knitting and walking through about 100 leaves, which was the total number I had knitted at the time. When it came to my show in January, I had about 750.

The show was held at Cow Lane Artists' Studios, in the gallery space, which is an industrial space with columns and a tiled floor. There is no heating as the studios are reasonably priced, so it isn't included. My visitors noticed the low temperature, which was the idea for having the show there. I gave a few talks about my show in the weeks following.

Between knitting and working, I'm chasing a renegade hen which has discovered my overgrown front garden, not to mention the more kempt ones to either side of my house. I'm at my wit's end as to what to do next. I have clipped one of its wings and put up chicken wire around the already high fence and gate! Suggestions anyone?


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May 24, 2010 : alexf Says:

Hi Alice - nice post! The leaf project sounds great - would love to see a pic or a video of that. You've got me on the chicken front though - sounds like some kind of super chicken!

May 26, 2010 : artyalice Says:

Hi Alex, I'm getting the hang of uploading pictures now. More to follow. You have to see the hens to believe their antics. They're real characters.

Oct 07, 2010 : mummytait Says:

Hi Alison I also have problems with renegade pets. Zach has two bunnies, Jessica rabbit (she used to be called Roger Rabbit 'til we took her to the vets one day) and Bugsy bunny. They live in a category one prison in the garden with an electric fence, stone walls and a hi tech security system. They used to dig/jump out but not any more!!!!! Zach adores them so we need to keep them safe from themselves and the local foxes. Angela x

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Keeping Busy

Posted: May 17, 2010

I took part in a project in Macerata, at Italy in April with colleagues from the University.  The idea was to construct portable frescos in order to decorate the deconsecrated church which is annexed to the Academy of Belle Arte in Macerata.

Making the frescos was hard work and more suited to skilled plasterers, as the surface necessary for painting a fresco ought to be really smooth.  We had plenty of help, though, from our international colleagues, to whom we are very grateful. 

Apart from being out of the country for a fortnight, I've been busy scouring the vacancies, as well as putting together my proposal to do a performance in a high street store for charity.  This is now complete and today I showed the proposal to a staff member at the store, who said it was fine and that I should submit it by post.

Another development has been in the area of employment.  My little voluntary job has taken on a new dimension.  Instead of displaying images in ten A1 frames, I now have 30 framesto play with! plus it's a paid job, did I mention that before?

The show also needs to be ready in June now, rather than September.

 Fresco braille version

Spanish Fresco

Polish fresco

Romanian Fresco

Italian Fresco

Spanish Fresco

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May 14, 2010 : Alex Says:

That sounds fantastic Alison! I absolutely love Italy - exciting times!

May 14, 2010 : Angela Tait Says:

Alsion How are you? Great to hear about Italy. Have you got some pictures of what you made? I'd love to see them. Congrats on the job. Please let me know about the charity gig. I'll come along. I've been making ceramic butterflies for a breast cancer charity. Love Angela

May 21, 2010 : alexf Says:

Great to see the pics now Alison - what an amazing project.

May 26, 2010 : artyalice Says:

Thanks. Italy was fantastic, we saw some important places in Christianity, including Assisi, Loretto and lots of frescos by Giotto and his School. The international teams of students were professional and very hardworking and it shows in their achievements.

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