goodbye 2020 – roll on 2021

What a year it has been, we truly hope you have got through it and are looking forward to 2021.

Thanks to everyone for engaging with canopy through the year, mostly online. It was very disappointing not to be able to deliver the Phone Box Project as we had planned. So we’re busy collating what happened during the artists research stage and will share with you very soon.

What we have missed oh-so-badly is seeing you in person.

A network needs people to meet-up, so once lockdown softened a little we were able to walk and talk and catchup with some people, but not all. We hope that will change very soon, and are optimistically making plans as to how and where that can happen. But until the crisis is over, we must, of course, respect all the government advice we get regarding social events.

We are grateful for the support of and emergency grant from Arts Council England, which enabled us to create micro-commissions and bursaries, you can read about those here.

Meantime, we are making plans for 2021 and that includes updating this website.

Please bear with us.

And Happy New Year for 2021!!!

from the team


Black Lives Matter #BLM

CANOPY is committed to equality, inclusion and creating better lives for all. 

CANOPY stands with the Black community and other minority ethnic communities against all forms of racism, whether overt, insidious or structural. We believe it is no longer enough to simply stand up and condemn racism: we must be actively anti-racist. We encourage our members to do the same.

The CANOPY team is taking time to listen and reflect on what we can do to contribute to meaningful change. As a predominantly white organisation, we know we have to work harder to address racial injustice and its interface with structural inequalities related to race, gender, class and disability.

For those already deeply engaged in this work, we acknowledge your struggle and we commit to listening and supporting you more actively to end systemic racism. For those not already engaged in this work we invite you to join us on this journey.Useful resources are available here: https://www.artquest.org.uk/project/black-lives-matter-statement-and-resources/

What will we be doing? 

  1. We will actively reach out to those in our community from BME heritage, so as to be sure that our communications connect with all. 
  2. Appraise applicants anonymously, with name or age details excluded, so as to limit any possibility of conscious or unconscious bias.
  3. Actively educate ourselves in UK’s black history, BAME experience, the slave trade and colonialisation with particular attention paid to stories with local relevance .  Follow social-media tags aimed at informing and raising  awareness of these issues.
  4. We are sharing resources with each other, that are helping us learn and reflect together and start our journey of change as an organisation wanting to be a strong ally.
  5. We will endeavor to educate ourselves in order to change our working processes and the structures we operate within, to ensure they fight social injustice and are actively anti racist. We welcome feedback to help support us to do this.
  6. We actively encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply for opportunities and aim to provide support to help overcome and reduce any barriers that people may face. Please get in touch if there is something we have not thought of that would help.

You can download our Diversity and Equality policy here.


Happy New Year! Come and join us for coffee & cake! 2020

hello canopy creative network follower!

We wish you a fruitful 2020 and hope that we can help in some way to make it even better by making sure we all keep in touch.

Our network grows daily, we have 242 followers on Facebook and a mailing list of 164 subscribers. If you have NOT yet subscribed, please do so here. (if there any Facebook wizards out there who can help us integrate Mailchimp with Facebook please get in touch!)

We have made progress in determining who we are, what we seek to do, and now want to update you. Because we want to make more things happen with you. We’re getting there.

So please come along to Cinderford Artspace on Thursday 16th January (yes, that is next week) 10am – 11.30am

There will be refreshments and a chance to discuss what  happened last year and update you on where we are heading. Importantly, we want to hear from you too – and we’re sorry we haven’t had a social bash for a while. Fundraising forms are onerous!

No need to book, just turn up. If you can make it for 10am would be great, so we can grab a drink and do the update, leaving the rest of the time to socialise and make dastardly plans!

See you there, upstairs in the main room.

Happy New (creative, of course) Year!



The Phone Box artists invite you to become involved at a booth near you – how to get in touch…….


WHITECROFT: Jean Goubert bono178@gmail.com

Jean works in theatre and is keen to hear stories from local people. He wishes to engage with an older generation who might have witnessed the birth of these iconic phone boxes (1920s’) and hear the stories of how it revolutionised their lives. 


SLING: Henry Maddicott henrymaddicott@gmail.com

Henry is a poet and is keen to meet with groups of writers, gardeners and local historians.

OLDCROFT (NR VINEY HILL) & BERRY HILL: Shebang Collective shebangcollective@gmail.com

Shebang comprises of Jenny, Nichola & Sarah. They are interested in creating social events and looking into communications methods, old and new. They love to work with people of all ages.



CLEMENTS END: Hannah Aebi hannahaebi@gmail.com & Dominique Baker domibaker96@gmail.com

Hannah & Dominique come from a dance background. They would like to engage with the local community through movement, hold movement-based workshops.

ELLWOOD: Sharon Foley sharon_foley_glass@hotmail.com

Sharon works with glass and is in conversation with Ellwood school

YORKLEY: Carol Laidler carollaidler@rocketmail.com

Carol is an artist and writer. She wishes to lead walking workshops to explore, through writing and drawing, the physical experience of distance and intimacy; thinking about the phone box as a place of long distant communication and intimacy at the same time and using it to frame what we see, both near and far.


CHRISTCHURCH: Tina Hitchens tinahitchens0@gmail.com

Tina is a sound artist. She wants to engage with people through both sound and words. Together you will  discuss favourite places, personal histories, family connections, and relationships.


These Strange Days Zine

Canopy’s first Drawing Attention micro-commission has arrived! Sally Jenkinson’s These Strange Days zine, a collection of lockdown-inspired poetry, can be found at Hips Social Hub (Lydney), The Coffee Shop (Bream), Greenville Coffee (Cinderford).

upcoming opportunities

Thanks to an Arts Council England Emergency Grant, awarded due to the pandemic , canopy will soon be offering a range of micro-commissions and mini-bursaries to creatives living in the Forest of Dean. More details will be posted here soon – follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or sign up to our mailing list and you’ll find out all the details as we release them.

#stayingconnectedcanopy online networking and drawing

Corona Virus is affecting how everyone lives and works. As a network, we rely on being connected to creative practitioners to ensure we work together towards shared goals. It’s not just the practitioners that are missing out – families will be spending a lot of time indoors – with few, if any, cultural venues operating at present and no restaurants or pubs to go to and socialise.

Taking the idea from the recent BBC programme about Life Drawing Live, we’ve created a dedicated Facebook page to #stayingconnectedcanopy

Our main Facebook group is here.

Canopy project manager Carolyn Black will host the first event at 7pm 21st March and we hope others will step up and do some hosting too. The drawing sessions are open to anyone of any age and level of experience – it could be a good thing to do when the children get bored – which is going to happen!

Notes from meetup at Cinderford Artspace 16th January 2020

First meetup of the year – coffee & conversations

Slideshow of photos from projects to date

Round the table:

  • Rose Farrington – FoDDC Project Manager for Destination Lydney Harbour £2.1m project
  • Tracey Parkinson – printmaker/community café Cinderford. Would like canopy to attend meeting about the future of the cafe
  • Jacqui Grange – Herefordshire Great Places & Creative Solutions 26th March
  • Jill Raymond (Ray) – Trustee of Idle Women, involved with Scary Little Girls artist with experience of community arts, activism. Medieval instruments, willow, weaving. Campaigning for Walls for Women to celebrate herstory in the Forest – both historically and now. Oral history about women, learnt loads at Dean heritage Centre.
  • Roger Drury – “still lots possible to celebrate the trees” would like to set up a festival to do this. If anyone interested contact Roger. Also told us about “50 Ways to do a Workshop” – we could provide training for creatives in the forest about how to run workshops successfully. 
  • Seth Fright – Innovation Lab – working at Coleford Lab, involved in Gloucester developments too. Supporting some Phone Box artists. Discussing partnership with canopy
  • Jane Spray – potter, writer, poet, treeplanter. Prompted discussion about ‘little hussy’ – quote used on the Forest writers themed mural. 
  • Chris Waygood – Chair of farOpen Studios & on Board of Artspace. Feltmaker, textile artist, 
  • Laura Liddell – creative person, sculpture, wax wraps and eco-products, finding her voice again as a creative practitioner. Hesitates to say artist.
  • Tom Cousins – mural artists, painter of the one across the road under discussion. Told group how the phrases were selected and by whom. (Both men fyi). Discussed the professional level that Tom produces and how important it is. 
  • Carolyn Black – Project Manager for canopy, convened the day. Also artists, film-maker, keen to work in Innovation Lab on practice.

Ideas going forward that we could develop:

  1. Roger Drury – Festival about the trees – contact him if interested – 07766182667
  2. CreativeCoffeeConversations – anyone can call them in their local café. If you would like to host one let Carolyn know and post it on the canopy Facebook Group
  3. Studio Visits – a lot of suggestions about this. Anyone can call them in their studios. Worth limiting numbers to 20/12 people as they tend to be popular. Again, post it on the canopy Facebook Group.
  4. Artist Walks – Anyone can call them, as a social activity or workshop. Worth limiting numbers to 20/12 people to ensure rich engagement. Again, post it on the canopy Facebook Group.
  5. Professional development about running workshops – “50 ways” – we could do callout for interest on Facebook. Roger to provide information for sharing. Canopy could pay a workshop leader (needs steering c’tee sign-off) Keeps it free for attendees.
  6. To attend – Herefordshire Great Places & Creative Solutions 26th March, Pride of Place Conference & Will Newson Training 6th Feb & 5th March
  7. Community Café support – Tracey put something on Facebook Group? Carolyn attend meeting if possible.
  8. Innovation Lab – use it!
  9. Walls for Women – maybe form sub-group to make it happen. Make sure it is joined-up with other activities to give it clout
  10. Mindscape looking for session leaders – contact Hannah at ArtSpace