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MEET: Suzanne of jelly by Anna Stassen of www.sakurajewellery.com


Nestled in the heart of Reading is jelly, a wonderful charity championing the creative arts. The charity has played a strategic role in Reading’s cultural life since 1993 – enabling art to appear in unexpected places and creating opportunities for people to look on and join in. jelly’s founders believe in the power of the arts to delight, intrigue, challenge and enrich and are committed to forming creative alliances and partnerships that encourage art and cultural life to flourish. UK Handmade caught up with co-founder of jelly, Suzanne Stallard to find out more about this energetic arts charity.


How did jelly come about and what is the jelly ethos? Jelly was founded by myself and Andy Lord in 1993 (gulp) as Reading


28 | ukhandmade | Spring 2012


didn’t have a very active arts scene. Proximity to London may have been the cause of that but, with two arts schools and a well established arts studio that included noted artists such as Cornelia Parker, it seemed the time was right to make the first jelly gallery - originally an idea conceived by myself some time earlier whilst still a student.


You have been working with artists and designer-makers in Reading for many years, putting on interactive events to bring the arts to the community; why do you feel this is important? It's our way of engaging with the community, we believe it definitely enriches people’s lives, makes them see Reading together and bridges the gap between artists/ makers and the community. We are passionate


about engaging with the community as we think that the arts can impact on people no matter what their backgrounds, education or culture. It brings people together and enriches our communities.


UK Handmade love the events that jelly organise such as the Third Thursday and Outside Inside, can you tell us more about the inspiration behind these regular events and how they have come about?


jelly has been putting on a number of events where we really step out of what we would feel comfortable doing and this is because we want to reach people. We want to change perceptions


and bring art into


different places. When jelly was founded,


it originally had a much longer name and this was to really


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