A Quick Chat with Ian Judson Ahead of his Exhibition, 'Migrant Journey, Border Control'.

Before each exhibition, I really like to meet with the artist to find out a bit about them, what inspires them and how their exhibition came about.

Ian Judson of Killamarsh Arts and Minds is a regular face at West Studios with his work within the community and bringing us items to sell in our Gallery Shop. It has been fascinating but also humbling to find out more about his incredible journey of self-discovery and struggles with his own mental health.

For more information on the exhibition,  click here .

For more information on the exhibition, click here.

Hello Ian! Could you tell us the name of your exhibition?

Migrant Journey, Border Control.

What materials have you used to create the work in the exhibition?

Material used- Plywood sheeting, mount board sheets, oil pastels, permanent felt tips, highlighters, acrylic paints, chalk, photo copied photos from previous works for backgrounds, architect plans, copying machine for A1 black and white images. Sculptors- recycled materials e.g. cardboard, paper, plaster etc.

What is the theme for the exhibition; what have you taken inspiration from to create this exhibition?

The theme for the exhibition is to look into the simplicity of the images to find your own thoughts and story; to feel the pain, the journey risking their lives, the unexpected, suffering, lost souls, lost identities to lose family and friends, desperation to find a new home and safety, hope at the border controls and, if accepted, into a new world and life… Is their real journey just about to start?

Being a lost soul and lost identity in my own way within mental illness for many years, wandering and out of sanity and mental health hospital wards. People looking like lost souls, lost identity not wanted by many. I became the same. These lost souls became the most special family I have ever had at the time. Some of us thankfully survived to find some of the wellbeing and recovery. My eyes were opened forever. I now look at life in such a different way hence the voluntary work I now do. The workshop community we now run is so many people’s sanctuary. 

What made you chose West Studios when deciding where you should exhibit your work?

I chose West Studios because in our community wellbeing and art therapy workshop, named Art and Minds, myself and dear friend Barry (a fellow artist with a history of acute depression) supported and helped to run a mental health recovery clinic with Chesterfield NHS Mental Health Occupation Therapists that was based at West Studios for six weeks last year.

When I first took ill having a breakdown 20 years ago, I started my own journey to recovery by being supported by the Hartington Mental Health Wing Art Occupational Therapist to attend the west block art college (now West Studios) on a mature student 2 year access course. Eventually, I did Fine Art Sculpture at Sheffield Hallam Uni. The tutors and staff were brilliant with such caring friendships and they still are. This became the first start of my recovery drive over the future years. To be back and support West Studios is an amazing privilege.

I realise now when developing my art and expressing myself through the teachings at West Studios, it has helped big time in saving my life. I owe Chesterfield Art College so much.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to tell us about?

Yes our community workshop in Killamarsh Art and Minds, has many ongoing projects to support others with mental health, social isolation and loneliness. Our new project, which we have already started, is to encourage our volunteers who enjoy artwork to have exhibitions and selling their works in the West Studio gallery. One volunteer has already started an art foundation course in the main art college.

We try to help build their self-esteem, motivation and confidence, to support them eventually having a possible career in art. We couldn’t do this without West Studios team. If we all work together, care, listen and understand, we all are on the right path. Thankyou.

An example of work from Ian’s imminent exhibition, ‘Migrant Journey, Border Control’.

An example of work from Ian’s imminent exhibition, ‘Migrant Journey, Border Control’.

If you would like to find out more about Ian’s work with Arts & Minds, S41Local magazine has a brilliant article. Find it here.

This exhibition will be on from 8th March until 29th March. We request that visitors call West Studios ahead of viewing to make sure you can have access to all the rooms that the work is displayed in. Our number is (01246)500799 and our email address is hello@weststudios.co.uk

This Month's Top Ten 'Must Haves'

We asked our work experience student, Chibesa, to do a mini edit for us! This is what stood out to her in our shop.

“These items that I have picked out are perfect for any home. The simple warm-toned colours are a perfect reflection of the upcoming season. Any of these items will add a personal, home-made feel to any space. Perfect for anyone, whether it’s for you, your kids or a friend!


On the left side we have some knitted items which are great as decoration, and simple too. Maybe this will inspire you to get into knitting. Trust me, it’s fun! Further to the back is a hanging ornament. Get yourself some felt fabric, string, a needle, thread and some beads and you have a perfect home activity to keep yourself busy!”

Handspun wool from £6

Dolls £24

Moon Phase Mobile £26

Vase £45


If you’re an artistic person then why not draw or paint something personal to you. If you’re not then go with the next best option which is buying something from our shop!


I really like this Edit! What do you think?

Left to Right above:

Handspun Wool covered Jar by Hooked on Joy £9

Moon Phases Mobile by Fiona Gypsy Bunting £26

Lantern Parade Print by Martin Davis £65

Ceramic Vase by Peter Swailes £45

Crocheted Necklace (shown draped on vase) by Hooked on Joy £16

Laser Cut, Wooden Keyrings by Bec Ashford £5.99

Hare in Moonlight Notebook by Fiona Gypsy Bunting £4.50

Cherub in a Woolly Jumper by Dolls With Attitude £24

If you see anything in this mini-edit by Chibesa that you would like to buy, please email us or call us on (01246) 500799 to reserve and collect.

A Quick Chat Ahead of 'Firecracker Art by Denise'

This month, we have Dr Denise Glover exhibiting with us. We got together to have a quick chat with her ahead of her debut exhibition.

‘Hope’ by Denise Glover

‘Hope’ by Denise Glover

‘Firecracker Art by Denise’ is the debut exhibition of Dr Denise Glover, a local GP. Denise has been painting for little over a year after just being inspired to pick up a paintbrush one day. Denise has been inspired to paint and document her travels around Africa - just last month, she reached the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, climbing to raise money for cancer research!

‘Kilimanjaro’ by Denise Glover

‘Kilimanjaro’ by Denise Glover

‘Firecracker Art by Denise’ is a colourful and vibrant journey through Africa and beyond as seen through the eyes of an inspired and motivated person.

Denise uses a variety of different media ranging from acrylic paint, watercolours and markers to explore her art and her travels.

‘Pomegranate’ by Denise Glover

‘Pomegranate’ by Denise Glover

We are very pleased that Denise chose to exhibit here at West Studios and wish her the best of luck with her artistic endeavours.

‘Firecracker Art by Denise’ runs from Monday 11th February until Friday 1st March with a private view on Saturday 9th February, to which the public is invited. If you would like to view this exhibition during the week, please call (01246) 500799 to make sure you are able to have access to all of the rooms.

February Newsletter

Hello February!

As always, we are a hive of activity here at West Studios.

‘Firecracker Art’ by Denise Glover

The first thing to mention is the beginning of Denise Glover’s ‘Firecracker Art’ exhibition beginning on 8th February. Much of Denise’s work is inspired by her travels around Africa. A self-taught artist, she creates with a passion and drive that is infectious. Her drive has recently seen her reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro just last week! Goodness me, I’m tired just thinking about it! This exhibition runs from 11th February until 1st March, with a private viewing on Saturday 9th February - to which the public is invited. More details here on Facebook.

Art by Denise Glover

Art by Denise Glover

New Month’s Resolution?

Yes, that is a thing! If stopping smoking was on your list of things to do this year and you feel like you may need a little more support, we have free drop-in clinics here on Wednesday afternoons with Live Life Better Derbyshire. For more information, please contact: Freephone 0800 0852299 and book your appointment.

Do you need a gift?

We have plenty of unique, handcrafted and unusual gift ideas in our Gallery Shop. We also have some new stockists and new stock from existing stockists.

New Stockists:

Bec Ashford - Bec is a henna artist that has branched out into making her stunning, usually temporary, patterns more permanent. We now have a range of keyrings, coasters and prints in stock.

Laser cut keyrings and coasters from £4.99 in our Gallery Shop.

Laser cut keyrings and coasters from £4.99 in our Gallery Shop.

Another new stockist is Adrian Scothern. Adrian designs and makes beautiful stained glass pieces using age old techniques to create the painted on designs. He told me, “the designs will not rub or run off in the weather.   The paint (I use) is called Reusche, best black paint and these are traditional glass painting techniques that have not changed very much in the last 800 to 1000 years. 
The paint comes in powder form and I have to mix it with gum arabic and water, or sometimes, just the paint and an oil such as Glycol. Once the illustrations have been painted onto the glass , it is then placed in my kiln over night and fired to a top temperature of 665 degrees centigrade and allowed to cool in the kiln. Once the painting has been kiln fired, it is permanently fused into the glass.”
Below is Adrian’s ‘Man in the Moon’ hanger.

‘Man in the Moon’ Hanger £30

‘Man in the Moon’ Hanger £30

We also have some very cute little jute bags and pencil cases from Jo’s Crafts and Bags featuring little motifs. There are Valentine’s themed ones, Easter themed ones… come and have a look. Perfect for keeping your lunch together or for your little one!

Jo’s Crafts & Bags, Pencil cases and Jute Bags from £5

Jo’s Crafts & Bags, Pencil cases and Jute Bags from £5

We also have our Monthly Edit online now with beautiful pieces specially picked out for Valentines Day. Click here to have a little looky at the February Edit. Whether you’re in to ‘all that love stuff’ or not, our Gallery Shop also has other beautiful items, some cracking snacks, tea and Fairtrade filter coffee… and radiators! Come and warm up with us!

Go on…

Go on…

Community Choir

Every Thursday morning the beautiful sounds from the community choir fill West Studios. There is currently a waiting list to join the choir, but if the choir is something that you would be interested in, come down and have a chat with Andrea from about 9:45am before the choir begins to put your name on the list.

Life Drawing Class with John King.

One of our tenant artists, John King holds tutored Life Drawing classes here a few times a month. John is a Visual Studies Lecturer and is supported by a wide range of highly regard life models. You will get use of a high quality studio easel and A2 drawing board. You will also be able to explore a wide range of media and techniques within a limited size of class for better teaching support. He has three different versions that you can sign up for.:

The first Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm - 9pm - tutored session for £17.50 (Student concessions available)

The third Wednesday of each month, 6:30pm - 9pm - tutored session also £17.50 (Student concessions available)

He has also begun a non-tutored session for more advanced artists that are beginning on Wednesday 13th February for £12.50 also with a student concession available. Please contact John on 07795804793 or john@wallspacevisualarts.co.uk to book your spot and avoid disappointment.

More Creative Courses…

WS Com Courses.jpg

Throughout the year, Chesterfield College in conjunction with West Studios run a variety of creative courses in our fantastic teaching studios; Silversmithing, Ceramics, Photography, Photoshop, Fashion and Garment Making & Printmaking. We post about many of these courses with their start dates and prices on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Hit ‘Like’ on the page to keep up to date. Alternatively, there will be a new blog post coming soon with more details.

This month, Silversmithing has two courses beginning:

Tuesday Mornings 9am-12pm for 7 weeks for £175 OR

Thursday Evenings 6pm-9pm also for 7 weeks for £175

Also, a Ceramics course begins:

Monday Evenings 6pm-9pm for 6 weeks for £175

Next month we have Studio Photography and a Screen Printing short course. You can register your interest by emailing us or calling on (01246) 500799. Get those creative juices flowing!

Work Experience at West Studios

Being part of Chesterfield College gives us the opportunity to guide students in their Work Experience. At the moment we have Lewis, who is a Business student, lending us a hand. He wrote a short blog about his time here. He also wrote his own take on our Monthly Edit! I loved seeing which items in the shop drew his attention. Click here, if you’re intrigued to find out which pieces he liked!

If you are a student at Chesterfield College, or know anyone who attends here, get in contact with us if you would like to come and join us for a while!

News and Updates from Our Tenants

Like I said before, West Studios is a veritable hive of activity all of the time. This vibrant and dynamic environment makes for busy people! Here is a quick breakdown of what our Tenants have lined up for February, leading into March…

Helen Rowan Photography has an exciting opportunity for parents who have good cameras that would like to know how to make the most of them and get a better understanding of all those buttons and to stop using the ‘Auto’ function! Basically, to help you to take great photographs of your kids and family. Helen is also launching her ‘Bluebells Mini Sessions’ early next week for sessions to take place at the end of April/early May. These book up fast, so head over to her booking page here.

Hazel from Creative Colours is offering 50% off the price of her Wardrobe Edit service. Click here for a few more details and to contact Hazel to book your appointment.

Vicky from Tilly Fudge will be standing at Ringwood Hall Wedding Showcase from 1-4pm on 3rd March with her beautiful, bespoke wedding stationary. Also, she will be launching a new range of printable stationary on Etsy. Keep an eye out for announcements!

Future Foundations are starting recruitment for the 2019 NCS program. Search the vacancies here. Would you like an adventure this summer?

Sparky Ink Studio are holding many different workshops and events. They have their regular Story-telling/Multimedia Workshops that are held thoughout the week for all ages. Tell your story digitally thorugh film, animation or digital gaming and learn industry-transferrable skills such as editing, story-boarding and the principles of animation. Also, the Animation & Multimedia Workshops run on the second Saturday of each month. Places for both of these workshops are limited so pre-registration is required for all Sparky-Ink events. To book your place email: ginger@sparkyink.co.uk or on their website www.sparkyink.co.uk

Their next events are: ‘That Animation Morning’ (ages 9+) Saturday 9th February 10:30-12:30 £20-25 adm.

and ‘That Animation Afternoon’ (ages 5+) Saturday 9th February 1:30-3:30pm £20-25 adm.

Autism Friendly 8-Bit Evolved Gaming Events are held on the last Saturday of every month. These are social events and give gamers the chance to make new friends, share conversation and generally talk about everything ‘gaming’. Sparky Ink sometimes film these events for You-Tube (but let Jane know if you’d rather you didn’t appear on the footage'). Again, pre-registration is essential for all of Sparky Ink’s events.

The next events of this nature will be raising money for Special Effects Gaming Charity: Mini-Gamers 8-Bit Evolved Gaming Morning (9-15yrs) Saturday 23rd February 10:30am-12:30pm £8 adm. Gaming Event (16+) Saturday 23rd February 6:00pm-9:00pm £10 adm.

Drop Jane a line on ginger@sparkyink.co.uk if you’d like to attend any of these events.

That’s All Folks!

Well, I think that is everything! Come down to see us on Sheffield Road. We’d love to see you.

Take Care and have a great February!

Work Experience Student - Lewis's Edit

Lewis is a business student at Chesterfield College currently completing his work experience within West Studios. Below is his take on our monthly shop edit, highlighting his favourite items within the gallery-shop.

Martin Davis- Dreams of the Hunter Valley for England- £50

Martin Davis- Dreams of the Hunter Valley for England- £50

Dreams of the Hunter Valley for England

This piece of work created by Martin Davis is an incredible painting that shows the power of light feeding through the trees. It has a good use of blending the orange beams of light and looks realistic enough. I consider it to be one of the best paintings in the shop. It is a colourful painting and is worth the £50 to have it hung on a wall for all to see.


Beams and Bobbins- Double Brooch with chain - £9

Beams and Bobbins- Double Brooch with chain - £9

Revolver and Rose Brooch

Accurately crafted and three-dimensional in design it is possibly the best brooch of them all. If you are one that likes a brooch this one is for you. It costs only £9, a good price.


Jazibaz- Bob Dylan- £20

Jazibaz- Bob Dylan- £20

Bob Dylan

If you are someone interested in basic ink pen drawings but correctly detailed or have a love for rock, then this piece of work designed by Jazibaz is the one for you. It comes at a great deal of £20 and would look great on a wall in your home.


Jerry Daniels- Foggy Church Photograph- £30

Jerry Daniels- Foggy Church Photograph- £30

Fog with Church

An incredible photograph made by Jerry Daniels shows the effects of fog hovering around the trees and an interesting church in the background. It gives off that feeling of lost but exploring the unknown. It comes at £30 and is perfect for buying today.


Little Pig Jewellery- Scissor Necklace- £25

Little Pig Jewellery- Scissor Necklace- £25

Scissors necklace

 If you are an artistic person this item greatly represents your creativeness. The scissors are perfectly safe to wear and come in multi-colour They come at the price of £25.

If you want to purchase any of these items from the edit please contact us on 01246 500799 to reserve the item you want to come and collect.