Guest Blog: Shannon Cole – Joinery @ Holy Trinity Church Community Open Day

Shannon Cole painting on an clear acrylic sheet in Milton Creek Country Park
Shannon Cole painting as a part of Joinery at Holy Trinity Church's Community Open Day. Photo: Marta Corada

This summer Ideas Test & Cement Fields (formerly Whitstable Biennale) along with artist Esther Collins and Dylan Shipton, were due to take part in Joinery at Art In The Park 2019, part of our Community Barn project in Sittingbourne.

However the weather was against all of us, and Art In The Park was cancelled due to high winds.

However, the amazing organisers of Holy Trinity Church in Milton Regis came to our rescue. They offered us a spot at their Community Open Day, alongside other community groups such as Diversity House and The Historical Reseach Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS).

Here’s artist and Cement Fields volunteer Shannon Cole to tell you more…

My name is Shannon, I’m 23 years old and I live in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. I have always had a passion for art. I’ve done drawings, paintings, digital art on Photoshop, photography. Art is important to me as it helps with my anxiety and depression.

I have also done a Fixers campaign to change people’s perceptions of anxiety. I created a workbook called Perspective Art, in the workbook there are art-related activities, information about anxiety and different coping mechanisms.


Artists Dylan Shipton and Esther Collins
Joinery artists Dylan Shipton (L) and Esther Collins (R). Photo: Marta Corada

Artist Esther Collins is working on a project called Joinery with Dylan Shipton and Cement Fields to make a temporary outdoor barn structure, this will include clad panels from workshops at Holy Trinity Church at Milton Regis.

On Saturday 14th of September everyone took part in assembling the structure of the barn by gathering all the clad panels and matching the right ones together, once all the right pieces were together, we put the screws into the premade holes in the panels, and drilled all the pieces together. (I think we all enjoyed the drilling part).


The local community had an amazing opportunity to take part in creating a painting of the beautiful scenery around them. To make it slightly harder there was only a small variety of different coloured paints. The community painted on Styrene that was in wooden frames. Once everyone finished their paintings, they were clamped onto the barn structure to make it look like windows.


Photo: Marta Corada

I went to Milton Creek park and took part in the activity of painting on the Styrene. I sat down and my view was the side of the church and loads of greenery. I started off my painting using a dabbing effect with the brush to create texture in the trees and grass, for the church I created different shades of brown to give it texture and some detail.


All the paintings were so beautiful it’s good to see people’s interpretation of the surroundings around them. Each individual person’s paintings were unique. It was nice to see the community take part in the project; the ages varied. There was a lot of positive feedback from the public about the project.

At the end of the Community Open Day we had to pack up which included taking down the structure of the barn, the first process was to unclamp all the frames that were attached to the structure, once all the frames were detached we could then take the structure apart. We separated the four sections, so we could lay them flat on the ground and make it easier to unscrew all the clad panels. All the clad panels were sorted out into the right pile to be taped up and to make sure that they were all secure.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog.

Shannon Cole


Ideas Test would like to thank:

All the people who spoke to us and made art at Joinery 

Shannon, and Jacqui for their time volunteering
Emma Leach, The Community Barn project manager
Catherine Herbert, Cement Fields
Esther Collins
Dylan Shipton
Jan and all the team at Holy Trinty Church, Milton Regis

Find out more about The Community Barn project here: