What next?

I have finally resurfaced after another great show at Turn the Page in the beautiful and vibrant city of Norwich. Great crowds, beautiful works, interesting and thought provoking conversations and a chance to catch up with friends.

Silence – Unspoken words

Now looking forward,  it’s going to be a considerable time of change.

I begin a new adventure in September, studying for a second MA, this time in Arts Therapy. I have had an interest in this area for some considerable time and I am excited to be embarking on this new challenge. I am particularly looking forward  to being back into formal learning, where I know I will thrive with the diversity of a rich educational experience.

It will be a busy time… I am looking forward to another show with the collective PAPER SCISSORS STONE at Obsidian Art in Aylesbury in October 2017 as well as developing new work for my third and largest solo show, ‘Finding Words’ at the stunning Parndon Mill early in 2018.

Summertime in the studio… bliss





Inspiring visit and fabulous outcomes

So, I made a visit to a rather fabulous group of young people from the inspiring Blanche Nevile school for deaf children last year after a class teacher,  Lucy Christian, contacted me to enquire about me and my work and whether I would be interested in going in to offer some workshops and engagement. They were working towards an  illustration project for Warhorse / WW1, using book art as inspiration. Unfortunately, I was just too snowed under with other commitments to be able to fulfil this, but I was able to pop in for an hour, to share my work, have a chat and drink tea (always a useful bargaining tool!).

It was for me a fabulous way to spend an hour. The young people Sama, Juelle, Xamse, Mark and Shihab were so engaged, motivated, sensitive and actually so wonderfully excited about the possibilities of book art. I was so inspired by each and every one of them I met. All the engagement  was so individual, some were more intrigued about the practicalities of book page manipulation some more focussed on the ideas behind the work. One particular young man absolutely blew me away. He seemed interested in a particular work, a rather personal work that would perhaps be difficult to explain in that setting. I needn’t have worried… the delight was that he told me how it made him feel, and what it meant to him. What a joy, and so interesting that it seemed to impact him in a similar way to where my expression had come from.

So. I have been thrilled to continue to stay in contact with Lucy and through her, the young people I met. In particular, I have been really interested in how they got on with the project and how my visit may have influenced their illustrations.

You can probably guess how thrilled I was to receive these images of their final work, and also to note that they had also been working with a graphic designer, namely Matthew Jones.

So here is their work. I think it is all so wonderfully considered and uniquely executed.

Xamse's illustration
Xamse’s illustration
Xamse's  book cover
Xamse’s book cover

I really enjoy Xamse’s use of collage paper on book text as an illustrative technique for the poppies. I particularly like the detail of the cannon wheels that have been very carefully and precisely cut away from the book page. Works well as almost a mirrored front and back cover.

Shihab's illustration
Shihab’s illustration
Shihab's poster
Shihab’s poster

I love this work by Shihab. What I particularly enjoy is seeing the original against the final work and seeing the process clearly. In the illustration the work is much more three-dimensional with an illustrated bit or stirrup used as a framing device. I am particularly attracted to the three-dimensional poppies that are so delicately suspended. In the final poster, the decision was clearly made to adopt a more hand drawn style, replicating the framing device and also extending to a drawn horse (not an easy animal to draw).

Sama's illustration
Sama’s illustration
Sama's poster
Sama’s poster

Sama really became interested in the practical application of paper, and was very keen to explore while I was there, different ways to manipulate paper. My goodness, she certainly got the hang of it. Clearly adopting a three-dimensional approach, utilising rolling techniques, this design is beautiful, and I particularly enjoy the suggested horse outline, defined by the book page curls. The final poster, though loosing a little of the richness of the original illustration due to the black and white approach, combines a background that brings energy and drama as well as working well across the colour choice of the poster as a whole.

Marks illustration
Marks illustration
Mark's poster
Mark’s poster

I really enjoy the cleanness of Mark’s approach as well as the graphic illustration of the horse (quite beautifully executed), utilising a book page as the medium. The final poster really seems to come alive with what appears to be a suggestion of burning around the edge.

Juelle's illustration
Juelle’s illustration
Juelle's book cover
Juelle’s book cover

And last but not least, this work from Juelle. I really enjoy the use of three-dimensional and two-dimensional approaches from Juelle, exploring what paper can do. Particularly impressed with the kusudama flowers, not an easy thing to create. I really enjoy the contrast of those against the poppies and the book page cut barbed wire.

Hurrah for all teachers like Lucy Christian, and I have been most fortunate of meeting a fair few,  who understand the importance of thinking outside the box and offering inspiring encounters. It is just as inspiring for me too… thank you Sama, Juelle, Xamse, Mark and Shihab for that gift!





Outstanding contribution to the arts (over 25) – nominated :)


I have  been nominated in this years  ‘The Creative Hertfordshire Flame Awards’.

Outstanding contribution to the arts (over 25) – Sponsored by Creative Hertfordshire
This award recognises the contribution to Hertfordshire’s arts by individuals over 25.

This award considers the nominees achievement over the last year for themselves or enabling others.

It also considers how the outcomes of this/these achievements have affected themselves or  what impact have their activities had on arts audiences or participants?

A full list of all successful nominations are available to download here Creative Hertfordshire Flame Awards 2014.

The winners, who are selected from the nominations by a panel of judges, will be announced at the award ceremony.

The award ceremony takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 4th October at the Weston Auditorium, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield and will see the winners announced from a shortlist. The evening will recognise the achievements of organisations and individuals, of all ages, who symbolise the very best of Hertfordshire’s arts and culture. It will also feature performances from talented young people in the Heart of Flame Festival, the county’s cultural celebration of work by young people for young people. Tickets are available at £5.00 from The Weston Auditorium box office (10am – 4pm) on 01707 281127 or uharts@herts.ac.uk.


Finding time…

So it’s that time of year again, the main SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) schools project work comes to a conclusion… loads of assessments to do but also the big end of school year celebration to look forward to, so exciting!

Thought it was about time to share a little of the work that these amazing young people  produce… beyond delightful!

The beginning of the course always has some kind of film element, more usually animation (so those who have been following my blog will now have a greater understanding why I am so inspired and therefore post many an animation).

So, here is one of my favourite animation works… perhaps because I still remember how these young people blew me away with their engagement, ideas and sense of joy… and of course working alongside the fabulous and talented Violist Judy Manning,  the mastermind who set up this project back in 2008, always a great pleasure.


We always have a ‘Pop’ element, with song writing, performance, sound creation and CD design. This one was rather fab… the songwriting led by the talented Tom Billington and design led by myself…. love the form and colour in this… and the song’s pretty damm good too!

There is of course so much more to share… but I will wait until The Funky Pie Company site is fully live and active. Until then… feel free to explore The Funky Pie Company Channel.


Creative Learning – Celebrating Outcomes

A Sense of Self exhibition poster at Letchworth Arts Centre
A Sense of Self exhibition poster at Letchworth Arts Centre

A group show exploring our ‘Sense of Self’. A culmination of an exciting and challenging Hertfordshire Creative Learning project with Lonsdale School in Stevenage – working with pupils and staff to reveal personal voices, creative exploration and independent choices. This exciting show brings together work from the talented individuals at Lonsdale together with Digswell Arts Trust artists, co-curated by pupils, myself and the wonderful Alex McIntyre.

If you are anywhere near, do pop in and see the results of our explorations.

For more information click here