Sense of Place: Sketchbook Collaboration 18-19

Sense of Place has been a year long sketchbook collaboration with artist Joanna Walton. We are both jointly inspired by the intrigue and narrative created by derelict buildings and have sought to work together visually in exploring this theme.

Our sketchbook has changed hands on a monthly basis, with each of us responding to the work that has been added; as a result these ‘story boxes’ came about as extensions of the sketchbook narrative.

The work has allowed us both to experiment with mixed media approaches and colour palettes that would not of otherwise occurred and this is purely due to the dynamic created by collaboration. Both artists intend to develop these ideas further into 2020 as a wider body of work.

Augmented Reality

As part of Twitter Art Exhibition 2019 artists have been invited to try AR technology as a different aspect to add to a still image. Here is my TAE19 image along with the AR process demonstrated by Trevor Jones of CreativMuse; I chose to talk about the inspiration for my work but I can see how this medium has bigger potential to be explored further….

Ghost Buildings II

I am starting to get into a flow now in this large scale drawing series; being introduced to Derwent XL graphite/charcoal blocks has allowed me to experiment and push the surface qualities evident in the derelict buildings I find so intriguing.

Having shaped my recent practice around my full time job and family, my work has become smaller and digital but still about accidental markmaking and print surfaces. I am really enjoying the freedom of gesture in working large scale and realise the sensory process of creating drawing needs that tactile experience to feel fully immersive.

Now that my garage wall has a space large enough for the Atlantis ‘giant’ watercolour paper I think that the fun is just beginning….

Beyond The Wall Exhibition 26.1.18-3.2.19 Artist Workhouse, Studley

Beyond the Wall’ is a collaborative project between lead artists Helen Garbett and Karen Wicks, Riverside House Community Interest Company, the Artists Workhouse in Studley, Kristi Tait and students at Shetland College and 3 other artists, Bill Laybourne, Jo Walton and Dawn Harris.
The Riverside group of young people with learning disabilities and autism and their volunteer assistants were supported to initiate and curate the project, selecting and circulating objects they found at Bradley Old Iron Works, a derelict but historically significant 19th century iron manufactory located in Stourbridge, West Midlands, exhibiting the artefacts and artwork at the end of the project.

Beyond The Wall Collaboration

Six months ago we began a project looking at context and responses to found objects from the Riverside House ironworks site in Stourbridge. Five artists were sent objects curated by the learners who are regenerating the site. The responses to each object have now been returned:

Object 1:

Object 2:

Object 3:

Object 4:

Object 5:

We will also be receiving responses from learners at @ShetlandCollege and Bill Laybourne has created a series of sound responses which will also feature in the exhibition.

There has been interesting discussion already as to how these objects and the work in response to them will be curated for exhibition at the Artists Workhouse in December by the learners who gave us to them to work from. Watch this space.

High Street

Following on from #DrawingAugust this year I began noticing the amount of empty and forgotten buildings on the high street of my local town…..this began to inspire some digital exchange and has led to a bigger idea which I now want to pursue further.

Three of the images produced have today found their new homes as photo tiles placed at the building that inspired the original artwork. I wonder if these images will remain as ‘unnoticed’ as the empty shops…

Brindley Village Exhibition 2018

Almost three years since I first stumbled across the eerie site of what was a WW1 military hospital on Cannock Chase, a permanent archive and touring exhibition has been created this month at the Museum of Cannock Chase to celebrate the memories of the mining community who made the place home between the 1940’s and 1950’s.

It has been a real privilege to work with residents of the village and to be given permission to use their archive photographs to recreate images of ‘then and now’ as well as other digital work to complement the exhibition.

The exhibition runs until 12th October and then it will be touring local libraries; there has been a lot of interest locally in a part of our local history that would of otherwise been totally reclaimed by the forest.

As part of the private view, children produced simple collograph prints based on the hut structures and these were placed back at the village site.

Plans are afoot to produce a digital record of the exhibition and information about the village by the Brindley Village Legacy Group here:

Many thanks to the residents whose images were reproduced as part of the exhibited work.

Having the summer holidays for me is the only block of time in a full time teaching career that I get to make work and reflect. I have decided to return to using my original WordPress account and blog rather than the static website I had converted to over the last two years at as it fits better with the way that my practice works; short chunks of time where I can make and share….hence the new blog post.

Changing career direction and completing an MEd in special needs education alongside that has taken priority this year, plus the culmination of a three year project at the Brindley Village site this month feels like a good time to pause and decide on what is next. So expect further ramblings and updates before the energy of the new academic year begins…