One, maybe two degrees at the most.

They say that there is now no such thing as six degrees of separation, even if you are Kevin Bacon. With the invention of social media it is more like three, and in Shrewsbury, England population 71k (ish) I would say you can get to most people in one jump. Having moved from London, you’d think this intimate way of life would be unwelcome but quite the opposite, I love bumping into people in town and working out the connections. There was this one time someone told me a racey story. I put two and two together and the web of connect flashed before my eyes and it was not very comfortable but shame on me for listening to gossip.

When researching this blog I thought I better put this theory to the test, so I started jotting down a map of the who’s and the what’s and the hows. Its brought up a rather interesting question…. what defines a creative? Creative people might not actually create in the traditional sense, or their actual day job might disguise an inner creative, its all about exposing those people as much as the professionals. For example, I might be talking about a professional like Michael Wrate from Zest hairdressers but not talking about anything to do with his indisputable talents as a hair dresser, I might also talk about a professional photographer who has a day job at the council (there’s more than one you know), or an illustrator working in a book shop or a milkman who likes to rap. OK so I haven’t found a milkman that likes to rap yet but I am on the case with Steve.

And so to this weeks Creative Collection….

The story of the I Love Shrewsbury project is one of those lovely organic things that just keeps unfolding and the map of connections a delicious tale in itself. From London, to NYC and to our beloved Shrewsbury town.

Norwegian photographer Jørn Tomter is based in Hackney where he has created an on-going project called, I Love Chatsworth Road. Every quarter Jørn publishes a magazine that is full of his documentary style photography and stories of his local community. Collaborating with local Castlefields resident, Hannah Vicary also the founder of a global photo agency, Tea and Water Pictures, they have brought the I LOVE project to Shrewsbury to see how the project translates in a very different part of the country.

I had the pleasure of working with the team last year and had some wonderful adventures with Jorn and Hannah, I particularly liked the moment when he asked Charlie Adlard of Walking Dead fame to hang upside down on a staircase. Pop-ups in the Market Hall, The Dog & Pheasant and Shrewsbury School have been followed by sessions all over the Shrews photographed by Jorn. Contributions have also been gratefully recieved from photographer Birgitta Zoutman and writer Kim Burbridge along the way.

Artist Cherie Jerrard got involved and illustrated a tea towel of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse depicting a smorgasbord of staff and regulars which the I Love Shrewsbury project is still selling to raise money for The Arc homeless charity*. Cherie and I popped in to BBC Radio Shropshire to chat to Vicki Archer live AND we didn't swear!

This charming project exudes community and is continuing to evolve, Its' journey is being documented over on the instagram feed @ilove_shrewsbury , do give them a follow it's growing beautifully. I have passed the baton to local photographer Richard Hammerton who is doing a storming job capturing characters and happenings around town and I cannot wait to see where this project goes.

*to buy a tea towel get in touch with me.

And Check out all the aformentioned in print and pics on instagram and follow this talented bunch…..

@jorntomter @ilovechatsworthroad

@ilove_shrewsbury @teaandwaterpics

@charlieadlar @cheriejerrard @theshrewsburycoffeehouse @thehammerton @birgittazoutmanphotography

@zest_hairdressers @pswecreate @that_boho_mama @danowenmusic @mickeydobbin @doughandoil

And finally many thanks to the many who have sent me heartfelt messages full of emojis, I would not have expected anything less.

#pswecreate #jorntomter #ilovechatsworthroad #iloveshrewsbury #teaandwaterpics #charlieadlard #cheriejerrard #thehammerton #zesthairdressers #richardhammerton #openstudios #mickeydobbin #danowen #doughandoil #thatbohomum #theshrewsburycoffeehouse

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