Hello Haarlem!

It’s been a while, but that’s not to say I have not been busy. I have been moving and settling into my new studio. But to say studio is to understate. My new art space, or Haarlem Art Space, is a space of colour and collaboration, a place where cakes are baked and ideas are shared.

Haarlem is nestled amongst the lush green landscape, just shy of Wirksworth town centre in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales. A small town with a big, big soul.

Haarlem is special for many reasons, it’s one of those things that doesn’t quite fit into words, but you just feel it when you enter the building. Of course, it is the people that make the building and you can’t help but feel that every person that lives here, (and we do live here) is somehow meant to be here, like imaginary collective bricks that make up the walls, a perfect fit. And every brick has something to bring, some value and purpose to keeps the Haarlem fire burning. And the cakes coming!

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OH MYCOLOGY!

Image source: https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/34592/species-id-buckyball-like-fungus

Image source: https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/34592/species-id-buckyball-like-fungus

There is nothing more exciting for me than stumbling upon some interesting fungi. I’ve decided I am going to become an expert and my research begins here. The CLATHRUS RUBER, also known as the latticed stinkhorn. Red in colour, a Saprobic that feeds on decaying plant material. Originally European, though it has been introduced to other areas such as North and South Africa, Asia and South America. What is fascinating about this fun guy, (oh i went there) is that the body initially appears like a whitish "egg" attached to the ground at the base by cords called Rhizomorphs. Clathrus bursts through the egg like some kind of weird alien creature, revealing its true majestic nature to the forest.

As with many fungi species, this is not meant for your tummy. Apparently its quite pongy so I don’t think any mistakes will be made.

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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrus_ruber#/media/File:Clathrus_ruber_61319.jpg

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrus_ruber#/media/File:Clathrus_ruber_61319.jpg

Empty shop

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You can't walk for two minutes in any city centre without seeing an empty shop. East Street Arts is an amazing organisation based in Leeds that supports artists up and down the country in developing ideas and projects in these forgotten spaces and guess what, they have found the perfect place in little old Derby.

So, I jumped right on board and you can now find me at 2, The Spot, right in the heart of Derby city centre. I will be using the space to develop my own creative ideas and projects, the space will see participatory workshops, installation process, exhibitions, film nights and much more.

Source: https://unfoldarts.yolasite.com/

New Studio

I have finally found a new nest, for a few months at least. You can find me tucked away up a cobbled street in Belper with the lovely Creatii. (www.creartii.co.uk)

After a busy few weeks with crazy sales thanks to the amazing Jealous Curator, I have decided to focus on 'for the hell of it' sculpture for a while. First stop, ceramic totem poles. Can't wait to see these in full colour. 

Experiments with Resin

I've been dreaming of strange, subtle worlds encapsulated in resin for a while. I'm not sure where I am going with this and it has taken a while to begin this process, but boy is it satisfying. Watch this space.

This is normanton

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I was recently commissioned to create an illustration for Fifth Word, as a thank you to all of the lovely people that worked on and volunteered for the 'This is Normanton' project that is now being shown in Pickford House Museum in Derby. 

I wanted to capture the vibrance that is found in this area, looking through the archival visual research that was collected I began to formulate a mixed media collage that I think represents the community spirit of Normanton. 

http://this-is-normanton.fifthword.co.uk/

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A Little Rusty

I haven't done any 'real' drawing for a long time so I am quite happy with where this is going. Just wish I could do what I'm drawing. I could, once, for about five minutes when I was about 14. 

Scrape and Fold

Really loving working on canvas. I have a real love for texture and mark-making; the pressure and the impact of the paint to the surface and then the fine removal of that. Lay it down, scrub it off. Find new detail. A story told with layers instead of pages. 

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Wirksworth Festival 2017

This weekend I have mostly been invading a (lovely) strangers house with my art work.

Wirksworth Festival, a wonderful place where local folk open their doors to artists. This year I am on top of a big hill with a beautiful garden and views of rain lashing down on rooftops. Hats off to those that braved the British weather and the steep incline.

A great weekend, rain or.. rain.

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How Many faces can you see?

I see faces in everything. I have done since I was a little girl, when I would scour my bedroom for hints of light to play with the shadows as I fell asleep. I see figures in the leaves on a tree, I see a lady eating an apple in the flowers that fold into my curtains. It's never ending how my brain can entertain itself. 

So I decided to pull my work apart and put it back together. A new world has been created yet again. Oh Photoshop, I do love you. 

 

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Inside my sketchbook there lives another world

Decided to spend a couple of afternoons painting in my sketch book. I dunno why but I feel this weird guilty feeling whenever I choose to just spend some time working on my own thing. Like I still have the voice of Mr 9 to 5 in my head, telling me that it's not 'real' work. 

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Well kids, if you're reading this. Don't do what the man tells you to do. Follow your dreams. For all you know, you only have one life, don't spend it doing something you don't care about. A man in a suit does not decide what real work is. You do.

Keep painting, keep singing, keep dancing. Keep keeping it real.

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