March Newsletter

March 2021 Newsletter

Is Lockdown the nearest we humans have come to hibernation?  As the days grow longer and we begin to peek through our doors and windows, anticipating the first tentative steps into the outside world as we once knew it, we’re thinking of our children and young people as they navigate the uncertain climate of returning to school and reuniting with friendship groups.  The last year has taken a phenomenal toll on the mental wellbeing of so many young people and while we’re excited to return to face to face learning, we’re also mindful of how creative and flexible we need to be in working with them at this time and the power of their imaginations as a resource to heal and meet personal challenges.

Meet our new Learning and Engagement Manager 

And so, with that in mind, we’re beyond excited to introduce you to our new Learning & Engagement Manager, Nikki Shaill; producer, programmer, curator and all round creative powerhouse.  With over twenty years experience of developing and delivering cultural projects, workshops, festivals and events across many art forms, Nikki is well acquainted with providing spaces, from large scale to intimate, for children and young people to express themselves artistically and building platforms on which to present their work.  She’s worked in museums, galleries, art centres including Southbank Centre, Thames Festival, Wilderness, Ministry of Stories, Tate, and produced events for Brooklyn Art Library and Brighton Open Air Theatre to name but a few.

At the heart of her practice is fun and irreverence; dreaming up playful projects, multi-sensory installations and immersive workshops to inspire creativity in all ages. Her independent cultural events company, Originary Arts, brilliantly showcases this spirit and endless inventiveness; even being known to hold her classroom in a skip whilst dressed as a monster. She’s been volunteering for Little Green Pig since she moved to Brighton a year ago, so she knows our work and children well.  Nikki will take over in April when we clutch our hankies and bid current Learning & Engagement Manager, Adam Webb, a heartfelt and fond farewell… until we can welcome him back as a freelance workshop leader later in the year.  Welcome Nikki, we’re thrilled to have you as part of the family.


The Originarium 

In her capacity as Little Green Pig story mentor volunteer, Nikki’s also been involving members of the after school clubs in her Originarium project, a magical unearthing of mythical creatures as imagined by the children which she’ll bring to life in multimedia form. Club members have been busy conceptualizing the Snorse, the Flyphibian, Mr Garonda E Cupcake and that most terrifying of beasts, the Flying Demon, describing them in the most graphic detail:

The shape of its head is like a leopard with a few dots around its face!!
It has a section of the rarest seaweeds as its hair smelling like dead crabs!!
A frozen cold blue lips with vampire sharp grey and pink spotted teeth!
Its cheeks are blood red and are covered with spikes like an overgrown cactus!!
This creature has once before stole the sun but fortunately the Gods were watching him and ordered him to put it back
Lexi (Thursday Club)

The mythical beasts will be exhibited throughout April in collaboration with artists Sam Toft and Amber Elise, curators of the Dog & Bone Gallery, the smallest in Brighton comprising two phone boxes in Powis Square. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you into the extraordinary underworld of the Originarium, a veritable laboratory of the imagination.


Little Green Pig patron Peter James’s Grace series premieres on ITV

Little Green Pig is honoured to count some of the country’s finest writers as patrons of our work and none more so than Peter James, one of Brighton’s favourite sons and multi-award winning crime writer who has achieved global book sales of over 20 million copies to date and translated into 37 languages.  So, it’s no surprise that ITV recently commissioned the adaptation of Dead Simple, debut in the series of novels featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace for ITV by acclaimed screenwriter and Endeavor creator, Russell Lewis. Grace aired on Sunday 14th March and features John Simm (Life on Mars) who Peter declares to be so perfectly cast in this complex role that he now imagines him when writing the character. Apart from a gripping, edge of the seat watch, expect Brighton and South Coast landmarks to truly bring the story to life. So if you haven’t already been drawn into the tension, be sure to seek it out on catch up; apart from a gripping, edge of the seat watch, expect Brighton and South Coast landmarks to truly bring the story to life.

Photo: Sally Mais/ITV

And a quick shout out… 

Congratulations to Young Adult author, Little Green Pig friend and masterclass broadcaster, Patrice Lawrence, for being long-listed on Britain’s premier literary award for writers of colour, the Jhalak Prize.  A compelling mystery, Eight Pieces of Silva sees Becks launch a desperate search for her older step-sister, piecing together Silva’s secret life before she threatens to disappear….  We’re crossing fingers, toes and our Little Green hooves for the best possible result Patrice!