Meet our Core Calls Artists!

We’re delighted to announce the four artists who will take forward the work of Core Calls and create new art works that harness the stories of Northamptonshire residents.

Core Calls was set up in May to ensure that people in the community facing loneliness and isolation or who were without access to broadband or hardware, still had access to a friendly voice to chat about the day, their concerns and fears and indeed hopes and aspirations during lockdown.

Initially run by The Core’s Director, Joe Flavin, this next stage of Core Calls sees four artists staff the phone line for a four week period before creating a new piece of art inspired by their conversations with Corby residents. Creating a lasting commemoration and celebration of Northamptonshire stories, each artwork will be showcased to the public later this autumn.

The artists are dancer and choreographer Tim Casson; local illustrator Rosie May; song-writer and storyteller, Mike McGrother and crafter and artist, Phiona Richards. Scroll down to read more about each artist, below.

Joe Flavin, The Core’s Director comments; Core Calls was conceived as a way to stay in touch with anyone starting to feel jaded by technology or those that didn’t have access and still wanted to connect. I’ve had some fascinating conversations with people – some of whom had stories to tell and others just wanted a chat. I’m excited to see how these brilliant artists can continue to offer this sometimes vital human to human conversation and capture the spirit of our community to create something lasting as a memory of this strange time.

If you’d like to chat to any of these artists or have a view or story you’d like to share you can contact Core Calls on 01536 470479 or alternatively email [email protected] leaving your name and number to be called back. Core Calls is open to anyone aged 18 or over, no referral is needed. Lines are open 12noon to 6pm Monday to Friday.

Funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation


Artist Biographies:

Tim Casson is a Lincolnshire based dancer, choreographer and teacher who creates #PeoplePoweredPerformance: accessible, interactive and joyful dance projects that start with a conversation. With his company Casson & Friends he creates projects and performances for many different locations, from theatres to hospitals, and with many different people, from computer programmers to psychologists. The company most often collaborates with the public – inviting people to get involved with dance in creative and exciting new ways. cassonandfriends.com

Tim Casson
Photo Rachel Cherry

Rosie May (@ruza.may on Instagram), a Freelance Illustrator currently based in Northampton. My personal practice largely focuses on the commonplace aspects of our everyday experience, a theme which has continued to resonate with me since my final year at Winchester School of Art. Channeling childlike wonder into a naive visual style, I use illustration as a vehicle to challenge us to relish life equally in its most ordinary moments as we do at its most dynamic.

Rosie May
Photo Harold Bennett

Mike McGrother AKA The Wild Rover is a North East based songwriter, performer and ‘community engineer’. Mike combines his regular story sharing Pub sessions with long distance treks to capture the ‘forgotten stories’ of ordinary men and women, capturing the essential spirit of a place or a person in song. Described as a cross between Billy Bragg and Bob Mortimer, Teesside’s Wild Rover spends the rest of his working life passionately creating large scale engaging projects and events that commemorate, capture and celebrate community.

Mike McGrother
Mike McGrother

Phiona Richards is a local socially engaged artist and contemporary crafter. Her artist practice combines a love of books an equal love of stitch, both of which were important to her as a child and now inform her many creative adventures. She is happiest when she is sharing her skills with the local community. www.rarenotions.co.uk 

Phiona Richards
Phiona Richards