Arts and industry - a great mix

An industrial unit in Culley Court, Orton Southgate proved a surprise hit for the Peterborough Artist Open Studios (PAOS) this year.

Jacki Cairns, a popular local artist and also workshop facilitator, has been working on a creative endeavour in Peterborough’s largest industrial estate.

Jacki said, “It was the only place I could rent a suitable space in Peterborough.

“Initially I saw it as a short term solution, but I actually like working here now. There are so many weird and wonderful little businesses popping up on the estate, I am really happy to be a part of a community of ambitious small and micro enterprises.”

Collaborating with the local charity Little Miracles, Jacki will be running therapeutic creative workshops at the industrial estate over the summer holidays.

In January, to develop her work with Little Miracles, Jacki received an Arts Council grant. To top this off, a national charity, Paintings in Hospitals, are interesting in using Jacki’s work nationally.

Jacki said: “It’s so lovely to be part of a little army of artists who are finally getting Peterborough on the cultural map.

“I am working with children at the centre to produce joint effort collages to be published in a Heartwork calendar later this year. All proceeds will go towards funding free therapeutic workshops in 2016.”

The public have taken a postitive approach to the PAOS exhibition, with families joining in with the fun of the activities.

Jacki said: “My goal is to take the anxiety out of creativity. I hate the fact that we are conditioned to think that you have to be able to draw well to be creative.

“There are lots of drawings by toddlers on the wall, and I think this gives everyone the confidence to bite the bullet and start doodling.”