Fruit Factory Network site visit to Bloc Projects, Sheffield © Absolutely Cultured

Life as a Creative

Are you starting out your creative career? Interested in finding out how others make a career in the arts? Join Nathan Geering, The McGuires and Madeleine O’Reilly for a conversation to explore their careers so far. We will explore:  

  • How did they get started in the cultural sector? 
  • When did they feel confident to describe themselves as “an artist”?  
  • How do they balance paid work with their own practice?
  • What do they wish they’d known when they were starting out? 

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and talk about your own career.  

This session will be hosted on Zoom, include captioning, BSL and will be recorded.

Nathan Geering 

Nathan specialises in accessibility innovation and strives to make work that heightens accessibility for both disabled and non disabled artists and audiences. He was the Artistic Director of the 2017 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony which saw him bring together over 200 disabled and non disabled artists to perform in front of a live audience of 16,000 people. 

His passion for innovating cutting edge technologies and accessibility within dance, theatre, music production and art has lead him to develop the multi-award winning Rationale Method of Audio Description which utilises the skills of beatboxers and poets to provide a richer soundscape for people with visual impairment. 

Recent years has seen Nathan become a TEDx speaker, published author and multi-award winning film maker. He has featured on BBC television and worked with the likes of the National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Wayne McGregor, British Council and Singapore Reoprtary Theatre. 

Nathan is also part of the Sheffield Race Equality Commission and champions racial equality and diversity within the arts and beyond. 

He continues to implement his work both nationally and internationally and strives to provide opportunities that make art accessible for all. 

The McGuires 

‘what follows makes the jaw drop and the head whirl’ – The Times 

Davy & Kristin McGuire are multi award-winning multimedia artists, renowned for their idiosyncratic experiments in digital projection and storytelling. Combining physical installations and virtual experiences they create delicate and exquisitely crafted worlds full of visual wonders. 

The couple’s work has included the world‘s first projection mapped pop-up book: The Icebook; a multimedia stage adaptation of fantasy novel Howl’s Moving Castle and The Paper Architect which won the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2013 and received the Helpmann Award for Best Visual Theatre Production. 

Crossing genres of theatre, film, live performance, and installation. Their works have been exhibited, sold, published, and screened internationally, and their critically acclaimed theatrical projects have been invited to tour to more than 100 venues in 

23 different countries over 4 continents. The McGuires have also been commissioned by organisations such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Canal+, Museums at Night, the Swedish Museum of Performing Arts, the Projection Mapping Association of Japan, Barneys NY, Courvoisier, Mikimoto, Elle China, Canal +, Polydor and Epitaph Records, 

Their large-scale immersive projection installation A Night at the Mansion, commissioned by Harewood House, was awarded Innovation of the Year by the Museum & Heritage Awards in 2020.

Madeleine O’Reilly 

Madeleine is a freelance director and theatre maker from Hull.  Currently she is directing 2 site specific shows across Yorkshire and will be directing Aladdin for CAST, Doncaster in November 2021. She has directed a range of theatre work: new writing (Play, Pie and   a Pint), developing her own work (The 1975 Project) Opera (Die Fledermaus). She has also directed site specific work (Round ‘ere – 3 taxis shows) and conceived small to midscale outdoor work (Assemble The Caravan – travelling convoy show and Our Street Our Stage). She has also directed for drama schools and universities (LIPA, ALRA North, University of Northampton). 

In 2013, she cofounded Assemble Fest a one-day theatre festival which occurred on Newland Avenue, which commissioned local theatre makers to make work in shops and businesses on an independent high street. The festival supported 18 Hull based Theatre Companies to create over 25 pieces of new work. The festival saw the beginnings of companies such as The Roaring Girls, and Brick by Brick and saw work by Middle Child Theatre Company and Silent Uproar. The Festival culminated in the creation of Our Street Our Stage which worked with multiple artists to tell the story of Newland Avenue. 

Additionally, she has worked as an education officer(Northern Broadsides, Hull Truck Theatre), artist support(Absolutely Cultured), festival director(Assemble Fest), project manager(Freedom Festival – Rise, Feastival, RUSH, Art Trail) and festival programmer (WOW Hull 2017). She has worked in a myriad of positions including workshop facilitator, assistant director, box office staff, assistant producer and bar staff for theatres and festivals across the country.

Past events