Alison Mott and Liz Waddell have known each other for more years than is polite to mention (though they do mention it here, on a Radio Leicester interview in 2018). Back in the day they typed research reports in an office together and dreamed of working as creatives one day: Alison as a writer and Liz an artist.
Fast forward to 2015, when Alison had spent many years working as a primary teacher and Liz had just returned to the East Midlands after raising a family in Northern Ireland. In between, they’d both earned creative degrees – Alison’s in Creative Writing and Liz’s in Fine Art, and it wasn’t long before they were working together once again. Only this time they collaborated on art projects, not reports.
Between them, they’ve built up quite a portfolio of experience in the creative field – both individually and working together – and since 2018 have supported each other delivering creative workshops to adults and children in a diverse range of settings. Read more about some of that experience below:
Alison Mott – writer
Alison Mott is an author, writing teacher and story collector living in Leicestershire.
In 2018 she was Writer in Residence at the Old Rectory Museum in Loughborough, leading creative workshops in six different venues across the town, including a pub.
Her children’s book, ‘Songster – Loughborough’s Own War Horse,’ was published by the Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum the same year, followed by ‘Daniel and Biscuit’ in 2020. She is currently working on a children’s novel about a Luddite riot in Leicestershire in 1816.
Alison’s writing workshops are enjoyed by people of any age and ability, and whilst she likes to use photos, objects and snatches of story to spark their imagination, she believes very strongly that it’s for the writer to decide what they want to turn them into – poetry or stories, fiction or factual pieces. Similarly, she encourages her regular writers to read as widely as possible, to fill up their creative well.
Liz Waddell – artist
Liz Waddell is a Nottinghamshire based artist and illustrator with a degree in Fine and Applied Art from the University of Ulster. Her art ‘always comes from the heart’ and is usually based on the natural world she sees around her on her daily walks and rendered in colourful acrylic paints.
Liz believes ‘we are all artists of one sort or another’ and she likes to inspire people to ‘have a go’ and create their own art with confidence. She has extensive experience of encouraging people in the community to give art a try – in schools and out-of-school children’s groups, museums, art activities in the community and with the elderly in residential communities and one-to-one teaching in their homes.
In 2018, Liz illustrated ‘Songster – Loughborough’s Own War Horse’ for Loughborough Carillon and Tower War Memorial, and along with Alison Mott, led a five-month community-arts project to create a blanket of poppies to cover a model of the horse on Remembrance Sunday in November 2019.
Other community art activities include the Hidden Stories Hidden Voices project funded by Writing East Midlands, a recycling-themed arts day and the Fifty Fantastic Females touring exhibition for TH!NK FC, and heritage art activities for the Old Rectory Museum.
Her most recent work has been with Wild Things Keyworth, creating artwork to raise awareness of the need to support hedgehog habitats, coordinating competitions to engage children with the issue and running art workshops in the community.