Looking into the history of gunpowder production in the Lake District, I have begun a series of gunpowder drawings mapping the relevant areas as well as small graphite sketches showing the remains of the industry in the landscape.
These were exhibited at "North" St Helens, Spring 2015
For more historical information, check out Gunpowder industry in Cumbria
A series of works on paper using the pigment in elder plants. Collecting, dissecting, ordering and recording was all part of the process. One of the works was selected for the Bryant Keeling Open Painting competition 2014.
I was invited by the Black Swan Arts Centre to partake in the exhibition dRAW alongside 3 other artists who take an experimental approach to drawing.
dRAW is an exhibition of experimental drawings by five contemporary artists; Tim Knowles, Rhys Himsworth, Jenny Purrett, Balint Bolygo and Eske Rex. The show will explore drawings made using unconventional techniques. From electronic drawing machines to drawings created by lighting gunpowder resting on the surface of paper, the show will challenge our views of the medium and showcase the breadth of drawing practice used today.
For the exhibition I made 2 large performative gunpowder drawings on cartridge paper, the image: an enlarged print of my trigger finger.
The four artists showing at One Church Street Gallery throughout September 2013 were selected from the Open Drawing Exhibition in 2012. This Open Submission attracted a wide range of drawing processes and included some international submissions. The judges were Professor Rod Bugg and Doctor Yvonne Crossley. Selected artists are Reginald Aloyisius, Rachel Gibson, Debbie Locke and Jenny Purrett.
Every day, moments collected. Tiny drawings on a continuous till roll. Washing on the line, clouds drifting overhead, blackberries ripening, livestock grazing. These moments, then re-drawn: each thread of memory woven into a vibrant tapestry of recollection.
Funded by the Arts Council England, this exhibition of new work for the Sandiford Goudie Gallery at the Customs House has been made in response to my exploration of birch woods surrounding my home in the North Tyne valley.
Descartes talked about the eyes as tools for feeling the tactile textures of the world and for me, drawing is about ‘touching with the eyes’. The physicality of the produced mark as well as the idea that this mark is a kind of contact between myself and the subject is central to my work.
In the 16th century, the rural poor would wander the fields where herds of sheep roamed, gathering bits of wool caught on bushes and brush, hoping to find enough to weave into cloth or to sell. As wool-gathering was hardly a lucrative occupation and involved a great deal of meandering around the countryside, by about 1550 “wool-gathering” had taken on the figurative meaning of “wandering aimlessly for no productive purpose’, especially in the fields of one’s own mind.
The wool used for this body of work, has not been gathered, but sheared. Like woolgathering, this is hardly a lucrative business these days, the value of the fleece barely equating to the cost of paying someone to shear it off.
For this exhibition in the old shepherds’ cottages at RSPB Geltsdale in Cumbria, several of the felt sheets were hung from the beams in the flag-stoned kitchen alongside a series of pastel drawings. These studies examine and record the subtleties of the colour and the rhythm of the curl in each small fragment of wool taken from different parts of the fleece.
This exhibition celebrates the end of my twelve-month residency with Visual Arts in Rural Communities in Northumberland. Much of the work is made through the build-up of repetitive actions and the overlaying of objects or marks. Each piece is the result of a cumulative process, hence the title of the show, Cumulation.
Peter Davies, in his foreword for the exhibition publication, writes that the work addresses themes such as “the dependence and interdependence of living things in nature; the measure and recording of the passing of time; and the human condition in the landscape.”
Download the catalogue: Cumulation (Standard) 6.2MB PDF
A two-part project exploring how place affects the work we make and how people respond to work in two very different environments.
With Newcastle-based artists Lauren Healey, Rory Biddulph, Thomas Whittle, Holly Watson and David Lisser from NewBridge Project, we spent three days making new work for Highgreen. At the end of the three days, the artwork was shown to the public at a special viewing.
In November we will spend three days at NewBridge Studios to develop the Highgreen work for a public event at a venue in Newcastle city centre.
For more information go to www.varc.org.uk/special-projects/response-a-rural-urban-conversation.
I am very aware of how the sheep shape the landscape at Highreen. They are an integral part of the landscape. They also collect parts of the landscape within their fleeces: heather, mud, grass stains, bracken. Each of these sheets is made from a single fleece and is the size of a single bedsheet. For the exhibition, they were hung in the old laundry at Highgreen Manor.
Living as Artist in Resident in Tarset, a remote part of Northumberland, has been a big contrast to living in the city. The affect of weather conditions and of people working the landscape is very apparent here. I have had the time and space to really observe how the immediate surroundings change from season to season, day to day, moment to moment.
It has felt really overwhelming at times. Sometimes, I end up being in a state of panic because there is so much to see. Take one stone on a wall, covered with moss and lichen and crawling with insects: the closer you look, the more you realise there is. Then you glance up and see miles of walls crisscrossing the moors. It’s dizzying. Through making art, I can find a way to steady myself, to settle, to connect by focusing on a point in space and a point in time.
As well as keeping a daily sketchbook, I have been working on several series of drawings and prints, some of which are shown here.