CHRIS MAY

CHRIS MAY

Artist, musician, craftsman, writer, poet, teacher, project manager, filmmaker and mentor

Chris’s interdisciplinary approach to creativity likely stems from spending his childhood in a Suffolk village timber framed Tudor house, where free from parental constraint he discovered the joy of creative expression and thought.

leaving school at the earliest opportunity, excelling only in art and craftsmanship, his friendly RE teacher arranged for him to train as textile designer in one of the oldest and still remaining silk weaving factories in the UK – Vanner’s Silks, gaining valuable experience alongside the ‘old boys’

Having started a family early in life and moving to London, Chris learnt Silk Screen printing and started developing artworks and stage production for large events, later discovering his calligraph, sign-writing skills he joined the display crew at Miss Selfridge and later integrated into ‘Selfridges Proper’ display department and apprenticed 3D prop-making, model construction and graphic design.

Sometime later, having broaden his creative experiences and knowledge he joined a independent theatre Company, The Theatre of Thelema’ as theatrical design and prop-builder, but before long the novelty of city living wore off and he migrate to west Wales, where in the remoteness of the country he setup a screen printer and started printing large posters, fabrics and craft products.

Simultaneously to developing a strong foundation for the creative arts, Chris had continued, possibly his greatest, certainly his most consist creative passion, the Guitar, which he recalls had been taught him by his school history teacher.

Returning to London in the 70s and working for a poster company making promotional material for cinemas and theatres across the city he met artist and musician, Nick Turner, from the legionary Hawkwind band, who was to become a lifelong friend and on whose ‘Fantastic All Stars’, fabled cult album: ‘Kubanakickassa he played the electric guitar. Click here to watch in memory of Nick…

Later in the early 80s after returning to Wales this time with a number of friends he setup a cooperative called IMAGI, together with the help of A Regional Development Scheme-funded project, they equipped workshops capable of prototyping advanced temporary dwellings, with tensioned membrane covers, including prototyped folding furniture, During this time being effectively the project manager he was able to manifest his instigator, mentor, and facilitator strengths.

With the advent of computers and his Sign-writing, architecture, and graphics skill naturally leading into photoshop manipulation and digital photography, Chris entered the world of visual picture and illustration editing.

Perhaps the scene was set when Chris, presented a ten page proposal to his friend, collaborator and landlord, Nik Turner, with a plan to restore his old barn and convert it into a multi-facility creative centre for the arts – effectively consolidating years of experience into a single project, providing creative facilities and opportunities for (especially) young people to gain experience and skills.

This complex now houses: An impressively equipped workshop with metal and wood working capacity and studio with recording and video editing equipment, alongside a meeting, office, rehearsal space and preforming stage. Standing within a 30 acres site of rural land, the facility is occasionally used for small festivals and gatherings, complete with camping space.

Since 1991 he has worked every year at the Glastonbury Festival, with Tony, the originator and manager of the KidzField, who became another of his lifelong friends, catering primarily for thousands of children over the festival time and later conceiving, designing and replacing the old ‘cowboy fort’ with the “ Pink Castle” or affectionately now called the “Temple of Joy” a contribution to the area which has now become the area central feature.

Inspired by his Glastonbury work, Chris decided to go to film school, learning the skills and technicalities of Film Making and has since made several videos of the event accompanied by a volunteer crew of fellow film students and a cameraman (who has worked on such productions as the BBC Dr Who TV Series. Watch show time…

Another of Chris’s notable achievements there has been helping setup The BASS NJAI MUSIC FOUNDATION CENTRE and creation of a promotional video to support its online promotion. The BASS NJAI MUSIC FOUNDATION CENTRE is a revolutionary new music school in Brufut Gambia providing musical education to talented and ambitious young Gambians who aspire to become professionals both in Gambia and on the world stage.

Currently, between a multidisciplinary creative approach to life in general, Chris has started forming a West-African inspired band in the UK, which he plans to take around the country later in the year, where alongside his other work his mentoring skills and creative vision play a pivotal roll. Sampler audio ..