SPINE Festival Artist in Residence – Rachel Sambrooks: Adventures in Hounslow

With SPINE Festival getting off to a great start, we caught up with SPINE Festival Artist in Residence, Rachel Sambrooks, at Hounslow Central Library to hear all about it!

Adventures in Hounslow…

feb2015 025Hounslow Library is integrated into the bustle of modern life. It’s at the top of the Treaty Shopping Centre, it’s busy and filled with families at the weekend, often stopping off during their shopping trip. It’s heartening to see how many people have embraced the workshops and Word Quest. We left some activities up and there are still rhymes and stories being added, dotted around the children’s library. When I come in, I love to see the tiny fold up story books filled up and left on the tables, like guerilla authors leaving work for others to see. This reminds me of the schism between the often elitist idea of what is ‘an artist’ and what is grass-roots creativity at work – the joy of making a story, the love of sharing a rhyme.

SPINE Festival 088I write in unconventional places, when and where I can. My work has always been integrated into my fairly conventional busy life. As a young person most of my writing took place on the bus and performing in my bedroom, but it took me a long time to believe in myself enough to see this as worth sharing. We can get the impression that creative work can only take place in designated areas, like a theatre or classroom, studio or gallery. It can feel like society is signposting us ‘Do art here but not over here, that’s not an ‘ART’ space,’ but we live and breathe creativity wherever we are.  When I see a child pick up a poem and start performing it in the library, I’m reminded of myself as an isolated dreamer and am thrilled that we have this chance to ‘share the wealth’ of artistic experience.

Today I’m hard at work, planning and preparing for this epic journey over the next couple of weeks. I’ve written a funny poem from the rhyme that popped up in Poetry Club‘Where’s my glue, I haven’t a clue?’ I’ve also been hoarding leftover snatches of poems and stories to make a collective one for the Celebration day on March 15th.


It’s been a joy and I will miss all the excitement and activity. Best of luck to my newbie Shakespeare/ Gibran/ Rowling/ Zephaniahs, I hope this has given you the confidence to carry on and know that you can express your words, go on an adventure and take on that creative mantle with you wherever you are. There’s still time to catch one of Rachel’s SPINE Festival events, visit her events page.

Keep up with Rachel throughout SPINE Festival by following @labellaraquella #SpineFestival.
For more information about Rachel’s work visit
| www.facebook.com/rachelsambrooks

SPINE Festival is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London as part of Apples and Snakes’ work as an Associate Bridge organisation. For more information visit the SPINE project page or follow #SpineFestival.