Collective Encounters has commissioned 10 new works by emerging artists. The commissions form part of our Above & Beyond project, and respond to themes of “community power” and “community action”.

These creative responses will take a variety of forms from illustration to poetry to short films. Finished works will be shared on our website and on social media, but you don’t need to wait until then – you can take part now. Some of the projects are inviting contributions as part of their creative process. Check out the details below and get involved where you can!


Nathan Powell

Nathan is a Writer and Director, making new work that invites people into the theatre with open arms and a smile. He is currently the Associate Director at 20 Stories High and a trustee on the NAYT board.

Nathan is creating a short film that responds to the way Covid-19 has forced us to have uncomfortable conversations with ourselves about the world we have created. Click here to read more about his project and contribute to the film. Deadline for contributions: 22 May 2020.


Aisling Leyne

Aisling is a performer and voice actor who has voiced audio projects for The Alligator Club, Mercy Productions and The Lantern Company, and co-produced a community soundscape with Torrid Star Productions for Hope Street Ltd’s “Four Corners” exhibition at The Bluecoat.

Aisling is producing a community soundscape and she wants your sounds! Click here to read more and get involved. Deadline for contributions: 29 May 2020.


Dora and Jonathan

Dora and Jonathan are a musical collaboration comprised of artists Dora Colquhoun and Jonathan McGuire based in the Northwest of England. They came together inspired to make heartfelt, endearing pop/folk music that explores themes of the natural world and the complexity of our ‘human’ relationship with it.

‘We Are All Stardust’ is a collaborative music piece exploring The Overview Effect; a theory used to describe the awe inspired feeling astronauts experience when viewing the Earth from Space. Dora and Jonathan are collecting audio contributions for their piece. Watch the video below and send them your response.


Amber Akaunu

Amber is an artist from Liverpool working with film, photography and illustration to dissect issues on identity, race, music and culture. Amber is co-founder of ROOT-ed Zine which is a quarterly magazine for creatives of colour in the North West of England.

Amber is creating an illustration piece that visualises all the beautiful and courageous community acts we’ve seen in Liverpool, nationally and globally.


Immy Llewelyn

Immy Llewelyn is a photographer based on the Wirral who “hails from Wales”. Immy gained a first class degree in Photography at the University of Salford and loves people and all things colourful, while trying to delve into other subjects within photography.

Immy is planning to post letters to people/neighbours, asking them to reply (via text, letter or email) about what they believe community means, and whether they have done anything to help their neighbours. All responses will be anonymous, and Immy will overlay the replies on photographs of the local area.


Tom George

Tom George is a Liverpool-based cultural activist and wellbeing facilitator who has embarked on countless creative projects in the past 20 years. In addition to creating albums, poetry books and video projects, he has appeared on Channel 4 Television and at festivals around the UK.

Tom is creating a videoed poem celebrating parks and the wellbeing benefits they offer.

I believe parks are a vital resource that have been essential during the lockdown. They provide people with a means to maintain their mental and physical health and stay in contact with the natural world.


Heidi Henders

Heidi is a poet and theatre-maker based in Liverpool. She studied Contemporary Theatre and Performance at MMU and has been a member Young Everyman Playhouse for the last 7 years. As part of the BBC Words First programme in 2019, Heidi was published in their poetry anthology Use Words First.

Heidi’s piece will be a poetic manifesto for community action. A piece of art that can also be applied practically as a basis for collective organising.

I think art is vital to community action, so I hope this poem can help to inspire those in our city who fight inequality everyday.


Emily Garratt

Emily is a poet who is currently in her first year reading English at Birmingham University. Her passion for poetry allows her to appreciate the power of language, gaining perspective and empathy to engage socially with others. Emily has had poetry published by The Poetry Society, magazines and short films.

Emily is creating a poetical short film detailing how during the ‘NHS clap for our heroes’ we reflect on the power and actions of the community. Emily intends to celebrate the grassroots projects of the community indicating how power is given back to the people, binding us on our journey through Covid-19.


Anthony Scott

Anthony is 18 years old and from Anfield. He began to develop interest in drama and art at a young age and took part in various local youth clubs which have now sadly closed down. He is currently studying on the Applied Theatre course at LIPA which is teaching him a lot about the world of community art. As a queer person he is determined to use his art as a way to communicate with others and challenge the oppressions within society. This will be his first solo-led project as a facilitator.

His piece of work will be developed with participants who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ from a variety of ages. Through workshops they will explore the community power of our community and look to identify their own queer icons.

“Its important to me that we interrogate the history we are told about our community and recognise those who may have gone under the radar. Over the weeks participants will write a series of letters that will be performed in an online showing. These letters will be addressed to specific people but they’re for the world to hear. This project aims to ignite the community action in all of the participants because as queer people we still have a lot to fight for.”


Kate Reilly James

Over recent years Kate has worked as a journalist, however  it’s photography and textiles that fuel her creativity. Writing has led to a passion for podcasting and photography. On location she would often find herself more interested in the visual aspects of the interview than the words, art is how she combines the two.

Kate’s ‘Community Power’ coat will be a symbol of what communities feel, in reaction to COVID19.

‘The Shirt Off Your Back’ is part of a saying I’ve grown up with. My Scouse roots borne from my mum’s nature to do anyone a favour. I realised this is actually a city-wide attribute.”