More Than a Hundred Stories

We are two artists, interested in how art can animate, challenge and create communities. We’ve been commissioned by Creative People and Places to creatively map and respond to its achievements, the problems it faces, and the questions it has generated.

We are interested in the programme’s ambition to change how art is commissioned and experienced and will be exploring how and to what extent this ambition has been realised across all 21 projects.

We will be posting creative responses to conversations, observations and research throughout the project and will share our final work with you in autumn 2016. Do join us and follow our creative journey on this blog.

You can find out more about our work at: and

Sarah Butler and Nicole Mollett

Searching for images - building texts


I have been working on a raft of new texts for our final ‘product’, which will be a digital collection of over 100 stories and images inspired by Creative People and Places, and responding to our ten selected themes: Trust, Decision-Making, Failure, People, Local, Time, Partnership, Confidence, Language, Taste.

Thinking about Time


Nicole and I have been collecting responses to a series of questions linked to our Ten themes via physical postcards and online questionnaires.

As well as developing our own responses to the themes and our research, we are creating 10 joint pieces (you can see sketches for our piece about confidence here).

This week, I've been coming up with some text inspired by the theme of TIME and the answers to our questions. Below is my first attempt. It looks like a poem, but isn't really meant to be - I'm thinking about it more as an ordered collection of statements/thoughts. I'm looking forward to seeing what Nicole does with it!

A Conversation about Decision Making


On March the 8th 2016 both Sarah and Nicole visited the Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) project. They met with Helen Ball, engagement director, and a group of five Cultural Connectors who have all been directly involved in the decision making processes choosing artists to lead CBD commissions. Following their visit Sarah Butler and Nicole Mollett reflected and exchanged thoughts on the project, focusing on the theme ‘Decision Making’.

The drawing, by Nicole Mollett is titled 'The people come first' and is of the Dagenham Idol.

The People Come First

Puppets can be anything


Nicole Mollett visits the Hounslow CPP project and reflects on her experience.

Lego and stars: thinking about what matters – A visit to Ideas Test


On 8th Feb, Ideas Test kindly invited me to join their reflection day in their new offices at Number 34 Sittingbourne High Street – a creative space with a welcoming public shop front and upstairs office and workshop space.

Led by Tom Andrews from People United, the day brought the whole Ideas Test team together to reflect on the programme so far; to talk about what has worked and what hasn’t; to think about the ‘intangibles’ as Tom put it – about what got people ‘right here’ – putting his hand to his chest as he spoke.

Lego model

How To Catch A Confidence


The final outcome of More Than 100 Stories will be a digital collection of work clustered around ten themes. Each theme will have a ‘lead piece’ – a joint piece of work exploring the theme. This month, we have been thinking about confidence, and trying out the idea of a graphic novel/comic strip.

You can see the beginnings of Nicole’s artwork below.

The piece is intended to be playful – imagining confidence as a creature that can be tracked and caught, but not without forethought and skill...


An Impossible Glossary


a list of practical, problematic terms – used within the Creative People and Places programme – and their contradictory, shifting, uncertain meanings

Second Best



I don't suppose you know what it's like, to be second best. Or not even second, but third or fourth – somewhere so far down the line no-one can be bothered to count. I don't suppose you know what it's like to be overlooked. Remember those children's stories about invisibility cloaks? You longed for one, I'm sure. You laughed about how much fun it would be. You never thought how lonely it would feel. You never wondered what would happen if you couldn't take it off. I don't suppose you know how it feels to start each day thinking I can't, to know before you try that nothing will work out. I don't suppose you know what it's like to watch you – with your looks and your money, your glitter and your shine, your easy confidence. They say jealousy comes in shades of green, but this feels more like the heavy velvet blue of a midnight sky.


Sarah Butler

Inspired by conversations with CPP projects about confidence, during my cycling trip across the 'Northern Belt'