An interview with Liz Clarke, founder of MULCH!

Introducing MULCH! A new service offering advice and reflection sessions for theatre makers, artists and creatives.

Who are you?

Hello, I’m Liz, a live artist based in Bristol. I have been living and working here for over 15 years. I run Liz Clarke and Company, which supports people who don’t usually make art to take risks and express themselves through creating new work. I also make solo performance work, which has been shown UK-wide and internationally.

What is MULCH?

MULCH! is a space for individuals (or small groups) to work through ideas, creative blocks or career conundrums with a focus on ease and support. The advice sessions are tailored to each person’s needs.
Unique to MULCH! is the balance of practical advice (navigating funding options, networking, project planning etc.) and the belief that ‘The mind that asks the question holds the answer’ (Nancy Kline). In a MULCH! session I create the conditions to enrich, fertilise and grow your ideas and support you to find your own answers (and they are always the best ones!)

A MULCH! session takes place in the tranquil and secluded haven at the bottom of my garden- a real suntrap in this weather- with a lovely indoor space for when the weather decides to change. It’s a 10 min drive out of the city centre or a short bus journey, with beautiful views of Bristol to inspire and enjoy.

What inspired you to start MULCH?

Several things inspired me. I have been mentoring artists officially and unofficially for several years now. I love seeing their ideas flourish and supporting them to make new things happen. As a practising artist I have been enormously supported by several different models, including regular supervision for my socially engaged practice, peer led mentoring and action learning style support. This CPD (continuing professional development) has been invaluable for my growth as an artist and I now ensure I write this into any funding bid as part of my core practice.

I wanted to offer a safe and creative space for others to develop their practice. Before I made the leap into being an artist full time (around 10 years ago now) I worked as arts development worker at Bristol City Council. I loved the part of my role where I supported and advised artists, helping them make great things happen across the city!

I am constantly inspired by the people I work with, love seeing their ideas take shape and their confidence grow, their projects flourish and take root.

Another inspiration for MULCH! was the space itself. Recently moving to a place with great views and a secret location at the bottom of the garden allowed me thinking space and tranquillity and it was there that MULCH! was born.

What can I expect from a MULCH! session?

People have all sorts of reasons to book a MULCH! session. It could be that you are at a tricky point in your creative process, considering a change in direction, or that you are new to the city and wanting to navigate all your options. We would discuss your needs for the session and I would offer a combination of creative tasks, deep listening, reflection and information giving, in appropriate measures. No two MULCH! sessions are the same. However the focus is on creating an environment that fuels the artist’s thinking process. Oh! And I can also provide a nutritious vegetarian or vegan lunch!

The sessions range from one-off half days, to longer sessions; or shorter more frequent meetings according to what you are needing.

Expect to be surprised at your ability to dig deep for the answers and come up with solutions that are individual to you. MULCH! provides the fertiliser for your own awesomeness!

In the sessions I draw from my own experience as a practitioner, over 15 years of supporting people to express themselves and an in-depth knowledge of the arts landscape, funding and managing large- and small-scale projects.

I am inspired by models such as Time To Think, the Thinking Environment and Non Violent Communication.

How much does it cost?

I am offering a free introductory session to talk over your needs for people quoting ‘TB Bulletin’. Sessions usually start from £50. One half day session is £100. For lunch there is a small extra charge.

I have a sliding scale depending on income source and will always try and work things out with you if finances are a barrier. I can also support you in including this support in funding bids.

Where can I find out more?

or email: [email protected]