Helix Arts square logo in black and white

great art
since 1983

#HADADi — Helix Arts Digital Artists' Drop-in

Our digital artists drop-in is a warm and friendly social setting where you can share and compare digital arts sketches with other artists and techie entrepreneurs and find new collaborators to make your ideas happen and get inspired.

HADADI 10th December 2019, Think Lab, Northumbria University

It was blowing a right hooley outside tonight! But the hardened #HADADI crowd were not deterred, and settled in at Thinklab for our Christmas evening of all things techie and creative.

Kicking off the evening, Steve Manthorpe skyped in to speak about Leeds Creative Labs (https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130553/cultural_institute/482/leeds_creative_labs). This inspiring programme aims to spark collaborations that challenge artists and researchers to explore, innovate and take risks to find new ways of working together. Academics and creatives are paired up, and given funding and opportunities to co-create ideas and experiences.

Who doesn’t love an Alistair McDonald project?! Tonight he brought us an early #HADADI Christmas present…a new speaker timer with an all-important big red button. Made from recycled electrics and 3d printing and all put together in under a week…but can you resist pushing that button…?

You might remember a few #HADADIs ago, poet John Challis spoke about a Helix Arts project which he and Alan Fentiman were co-developing - ‘Film Without Film’. In partnership with Age UK North Tyneside, Helix Arts have co-produced 4 animated films with older prisoners in HMP Northumberland. How do you make a film in an environment where you are not allowed to take in any digital equipment? Step in, John and Alan. Through a combination of creative workshops, and skillful animation and editing, prisoners co-produced some incredible work.

It was a treat to hear more from our resident #HADADI MC, Dominic Smith, about developments in his own work. Dominic talked about how often creative practitioners can get into a pattern of work that is more pragmatic than creative. This has led to developing practise in analogue techniques. When so many stakeholder agendas prioritise the digital, are we missing out on crucial creative decision making?

Wrapping up the evening, we had some really exciting updates from our NUSTEM host. Jonathan Sanderson explained a new family project, where handmade models and puppets will be used to form the base of a social network in its simplest form. This prompted some really interesting discussion about the wider enquiry based pedagogy. Are we promoting tech as something playful? With coding taking centre stage, are we closing off other ways of engaging? We can’t wait to see how this work develops next year.

All in all, this evening was full of reflection, thoughtful discussion, and inspiring ideas. A perfect way to round off this year’s #HADADI evenings. Watch this space for next year’s set of dates. If you want to get in touch before then, drop us a line at [email protected]


The next #HADADi dates are:

Thursday 6 February 2020, 5pm, Think Lab (Room E304), Ellison E Block, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST. Directions can be found here

Are you an artist living or working in North Tyneside? Do check out our other events for arts and wellbeing North Tyneside Artists Hub.

Keep an eye out on our twitter feed for further details.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive information on future events

* indicates required

Preferred Email Format

2nd Floor
51 Bedford Street
North Shields
NE29 0AT

Charity no. 700956
Company Reg no. 2114849

Helix Arts is a Living Wage employer

Helix Arts is an Artsmark Partner
Helix Arts is IIP Accredited

Helix Arts is an Arts Award Centre
Helix Arts is an Arts Council England NPO