February – May 2015

Liz Porter and Penny Pepper led a series of Creative Storytelling and Poetry & Performance workshops with LinkUpArts at Salisbury Arts Centre. The workshops, funded by Awards For All,  explored personal stories and heritage, providing participants with a toolkit of storytelling techniques.

Video: ‘Our Tales : Unveiled’


Video: Audio described version ‘Our Tales : Unveiled’



Storytelling with Liz Porter

Liz Porter’s storytelling workshops showed our group how to tell their stories through the spoken word. She introduced a variety of  practical games and exercises which played with the devising, shaping and sharing of personal and traditional stories.


Storyboarding can be a useful visual tool for plotting the jurney of a story. Liz told the      traditional story ‘One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes’ and then tasked the group                        with drawing/listing the key stages and sequences of the story.

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A Slideshow: Storyboarding ‘One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes’

Creative steps

The ability to ‘play’  with ideas is both  a fun and important tool for the Storyteller’s toolkit. Group and partner work was used to explore the listening, sharing and re-telling  of  personal and fictitious stories.

Creative Steps: Partner work telling and sharing stories

Telling Our Tales with objects

Liz uses song and objects to illustrate the story she is performing, Once the                      group had devised and developed their own personal or traditional story, they brought in meaningful objects to assist in the telling of their tales.

Telling stories with objects


Penning Poetry with Penny

In Penny Pepper’s Poetry & Performance workshop, our group told their stories through the medium of poetry. Penny introduced some of her favourite poets and their  varying  performance styles, as well as providing practical tips and exercises  which encouraged the group to write different genres of poems.

Work in progress

Penny introduced short, timed written exercises to stimulate poetry. Topics  were issue-based as well as personal, and fitted our themes Our Tales: Unveiled and Worth Fighting For.

Group sitting around a table, writing poetry

Presenting Our Poems

Final poems were presented to the group and Penny gave feedback and ideas as to how each poem could be developed. Here are a selection:

Independent Living

Employment equals Sustainability,
A full time job.
Money equals the freedom
To see the world, go places on a whim.
Freedom is to travel far and near.
No planning, no restrictions,
Just get up and go.

Access to Work

She knows what she wants,
But she can’t move us.
Without assistance, we can’t be moved.
We could provide comfort, a place to sit.
But, without hands, we can’t be accessed.

Access to Work, such a simple little fund.
Financial, friendly support to provide
Assistance to its user.
Allowing her to ask another to position us
So that people can sit.

Without the fund,
We would be immovable,
Stacked in a corner,
Inaccessible, jobless, like our user.
No longer a circle of chairs.

Tam Gilbert


The Soldiers

They walked through mud,
waded through water,
faced the enemy,
knew fear.
But they fought
long and hard
for freedom.
Freedom from tyranny,
so that we
could all enjoy
peace in our time.

Mary Chalk


Worth fighting for

We’re not asking for a gold medal
Or a fabulous trophy
We’re not after a rosette
All we ask is freedom to write
beautiful words
To be able to settle and perch in
our art centre
Without fear of financial cuts to
block out our light
To have liberty to enjoy our culture
And spread our wings and fly.

Josie Smith


Escape from the institution

the world is not about me
it gets on fine without me
doesn’t know me
doesn’t need me
doesn’t miss me

in this place where
I can’t see my face though
I know I’m here
I think
I’m here though
I can’t be sure

to test my case I send my
mind on a wild
chase in time
to race
like Blake’s angel striding
among the stars
from heaven
to Mars over mountains
desert and forest
to find

is where
to know what
is out there to
see who

Assisted living or dying?

Retirement in Abingdon
isn’t like in Oregon USA

here we get assistance
to live with

there the doctors help you
toss your controversial life
on the improbable basis that
removes your ability
to die with dignity

on google and
the issue
is in no way
to euthanasia

for when suffering is
and someone kindly kills
say thank you
and smile
as they put down the lid on

your shoes soon
by someone
someone who’s

Deborah Caulfield


Artist’s Reflection and Evaluation

Our Lead Artist Gini has given her Artistic Response to the workshops with Liz Porter and Penny Pepper.

Con.Text Piece – Participants’ Responses

The Our Tales: Unveiled workshops inspired Gini to make a set of Figures. These are used as the backdrop for her Con.Text piece – Participants’ Responses. The quotes are                          verbatim dialogue from sessions, which Gini has committed to memory and turned            into an artistic evaluation.

Tales in ConText

Tales in ConText: Artist Response to sessions. In the background is the Artist’s work ‘Figures’ – a grouping of different fabric figures of varying physiques. Text is laid upon the image and consists of participants’ feedback quotes


Gini’s Figures were displayed at Salisbury Arts Centre, as part of their annual Homegrown       Exhibition.


Figures: An image of Artist’s work – a grouping of different fabric figures of varying physiques, exhibited at Salisbury Arts Centre





Our Tales Unveiled workshop logos

Banner of Logos (From left to right) LinkUpArts, Salisbury Arts Centre, Disability Arts Online, Big Lottery Fund