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Beauty and the Beasts: Meet Nottingham Hellfire Harlots: a mine of creative gold


Over the last few weeks I have been introducing to you the talented bunch of girls that are part of local skating sensations, Nottingham Hellfire Harlot Roller Derby.


But it isn’t just the girls that are packing a creative punch, the team also skate with a great bunch of guys who take on the mammoth task of keeping these lovely- if slightly intimidating ladies- in check as referees.


This well as well as showcasing some of the other great talents this amazing team have been hiding, we will also be meeting one of the very brave male referees!


Nottingham Hellfire Harlots are the city’s premier roller derby team, an accomplished, determined bunch of skaters who play a full this full contact sport on wheels to the best of their ability- definitely not for the faint hearted!


To read more about the tram and the other creative who skate under it go to……..


Phil “Dozer” Emblin         Harlots16-05-13-284

Phil has been reffing for the Hellfire Harlots for around 19months. His sense of humour and cool head makes him the perfect ref, especially when the girls get a bit lippy!


When he’s off the track his passion is music and he plays bass for 3 Nottingham based bands: The Wickets, Hey Quadrophonic and Lucine Bell- a collaboration with Prodigy tour drummer Leo Crabtree…


Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. I’ve played music since I was 4, when I started learning to play the piano. Music is many things to me. First and foremost it’s a creative output. In some cases music is an escape for me, but mainly I make music because it excites me and keeps me focused and lands me in situations that make me happy.


There are such a huge amount of creative types in roller derby, both in the Hellfire Harlots and other leagues. Why do you think this is? Because it’s a creative sport. There isn’t a book of tactics. It’s still a learning curve for even some of the older leagues. The sport demands creativity.


Do you know much about the Creative Quarter in Nottingham and if so, what do you think about it? I know a fair bit. There’s a lot that’s done right and a lot that needs improving. It’s still all relatively young, and as such is following the same learning curve as the individual. A big factor of ‘success’ and demand, is whether the art you make is flavour of the month or not.


Caitlin “Knocked-her Who” AshfordHarlot27-02-14-167

Die hard Doctor Who fan Caitlin has returned to the Harlots after starting to skate in 2009 after being thwarted by a string of injuries. She’s now back and ready to roll towards her goal of playing a public game representing her home team who are positively routing for her!


She’s a talented sculptor with a degree in her discipline and an impressive back catalogue of experience and is currently looking for a full time position pursuing her talents.


Describe your work and what you are trying to achieve. I’ve always been involved with character based toys, figurines and other products since back in my university days. That’s where a lot of my focus lies. I love animated styled versions of characters, like Lucasfilm did with Star Wars so a lot of what I do is aimed at a similar style. I love the combinations of angular and rounded features creating likenesses. If the piece I sculpt looks like it just walked out of a cartoon or off the page, I’ve done my job.


Are there any other creative areas that would like to be involved in? New skills you would like to learn? I’m currently moving in to Virtual sculpting and digital modelling. It’s the way the industry is moving for actual products and production. I had training back in 2000, but the equipment was very expensive. I’m using similar software now and it’s all on my home computer. I’ve got a 3d Printer about to arrive that’s sits on a desktop. Only a few years ago that would have been only a dream to have access to one of those.


What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone following the same path as you in creativity? Never stop looking for something new to learn, there’s always a new challenge to get the hang of, and there’s always someone you’ll think is better at things than you are.
The trick is to not get disheartened by it but to learn from what they’re doing and use it to improve yourself.


Kathryn “A Roar’her” Morris Harlots16-05-13-367

Kathryn may have only been on wheels with the Harlots for the last 18 months but her determination is taking her ever closer to her first public game.  When she’s not revelling in her improvement during inter league friendlies and working on building her strength to use on the track you can find her winding down with a paintbrush.


Her colourful images are a beautiful and delicate picture of serenity, and have provided Kathryn with a creative outlet for her emotional self.


What was the best day you ever had in your job? I got a phone call late one evening to say that I had sold my painting ‘Inner Glow’ to a stranger, previously I had done commissions for people I knew. I jumped around the house squealing.


What’s the most stupid thing you ever did whilst working?
Can I have most regrettable … ? This would be only finding the creative part of me in the past few years. I realised that I found painting very calming and it balances my other work commitments. My house was also getting full of canvasses that needed new homes.


Who do you most admire as a creative? There are so many but at the moment Grayson Perry, not because of his pots, but because of the way he takes on the often very exclusive art world.


Take a trip over to Link: to check out Kathryn’s work.

 To catch up with the rest of the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots, see the links below:…ative-goldmine/…-creative-gold/