Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Shapes of Water; Sounds of Hope (event no.2) - A review by Megan Chapman

This event is one of the most heart-warming and thought-provoking events I have ever attended.  It promoted a simple but amazing idea of being able to connect to everyone no matter what walk of life they are from by the art of song.  It gives an insight of what it is like to have spiritual liberty and to accept everyone for who they are and what they believe by simply listening or even joining in their song and seeing life through their thoughts and music. The premise of this is so important in promoting the community and show that art isn’t just handheld but is spiritual, emotional and relevant to everybody. 
The event was held at the Ace Centre in Nelson. This beautiful venue provided the perfect setting of tranquillity and peace with its use of delicate blues and, of course, it scrumptious food! The seating arrangement made everyone feel connected in its circular set up and I even saw many people exchange numbers and stories over the delicious food with people who will hopefully become friends for life. The staff were also just as kind to both other staff and the participants of the event; I have never felt so welcome in a new space and environment than I did here. The speakers, like Suzanne lacy, brought interesting and absorbing speeches on our heritage, diversity and community that had everybody in attendance joining in with all activities and even the speeches themselves! The amount of effort put into this event was unbelievable and definitely paid off in the end with the success and completion of the event's main goal: to connect everybody. 

The two main activities were chanting by Nasheed and also music using shapes by musicologist Ron Penn. The chanting was so relaxing and moving that I found myself being lost in the sweet sounds without feeling any pressure to connect to a deity or religion but to use it for my own purpose while still feeling completely connected to everybody else in the room who were all chanting for their own reasons and purpose. It showed me just how many misconceptions people have of other’s beliefs and religions and how that pushes a huge divide in our community for no reason at all but people's own ignorance and showed the importance of events like this one. The second event brought a change of atmosphere but was just as enjoyable as the jolly Ron Penn took the stage. Ron’s use of shapes and music from his own ancestors over the water in America brought a new lease of life to the party and had everyone up, moving and in stitches. These two contrasting forms of liberty and connection worked fantastically together making this event for everybody no matter what style of music or song they prefer!
I cannot express enough how eye-opening (or ear-opening as the case was) this event was and how highly I recommend you coming to the next one! These events will show you how magical and individual everyone around you are from the main events to the individual performers, who will blow you away with their undeniable talent, while still connecting you to each and every person and rid you of the misconceptions we all, unfortunately, have to each other by connecting you with the most natural thing of all: music.
Megan is currently studying for her A levels and will be joining In-Situ during her summer break to write more reviews of on-going and new projects.
For more information on our Shapes of Water; Sounds of Hope events or to sign up to our newsletter, please contact

Thursday, 10 March 2016


We are looking for expressions of interest for new artist studio spaces that we will be setting up in The Shop, Nelson.

As some of you may or may not know, The Shop will be closing at the end of this month unless we can find a way to continue it sustainably. The Shop has been hugely enjoyed by many local people and its closure would be a massive loss for Nelson. We were extremely impressed to see The Shop most bustling during our artist-in-residence programme last Summer and this has inspired us to develop the space into a permanent studio for up to 10 artists. We hope that this can become a thriving hub of creativity in Pendle- a draw for local people to continue to use, and a productive environment bringing together a fantastic group of local creatives. There will be a range of studios available- from more to less private, from bigger to smaller, and at a range of affordable prices.

If you think you might be interested in a studio space in The Shop, or would like more information, please email with any questions. We will be at The Shop from 10AM - 2PM this Saturday 12th March for you to pop in to take a look, ask any questions, and put your name down. And please feel free to forward this email to anyone else that you think may be interested.

As well as this, we are also looking for volunteers to help run the space. If you think that you may be able to offer a few hours of your time to get this project going- or you know of anyone else that may- then please do get in touch! 

Looking forward to hearing from you,