Memory drawings on Japanese paper

Studio Work

Summer 2015

  • Wrung Out Memory Drawing

  • Washed out Memory Drawing 235cm x 68cm

  • Memory Remnant I 24cm x 24 cm

  • Memory Remnant II

  • Memory Coat; Studio Shot

  • Memory Cloak: Studio Shot



Powder Works for North Exhibition

  • Powderworks, detail, ember

  • Graphite mine, exterior

  • Graphite mine interior

  • Powderworks: Gatebeck

  • Powderworks: Elterwater

  • Powderworks: detail

  • Gunpowder drawing smoke

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

Plant pigment monotypes

  • elderberry painting detail2014 Jenny Purrett

  • Elder stalks arranged

  • The Sum of its Parts: Elder: Part I

  • Elder Cluster

  • Elderberry pigment on paper

  • The Sum of its Parts: Elder Part II


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.

Powder Drawings, 2014

Black Swan Arts, Somerset

June 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.

  • Laying the line

  • Burning the line

  • Powder remains

  • Layered Powder Burn

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.

Moments Lived; Moments Re-lived

Unique Drawings, One Church Street Gallery

September 2013

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.

  • Moments lived

  • Moments relived

  • 7thday7times-III

  • 7thday7times-II

  • Gallery shot

  • work in progress

  • Work in progress

  • Moments Relived

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.




Touching with the Eyes

Solo Exhibition, The Customs House, South Shields

August 2012

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.

  • Touching with the Eyes, Installation Shot

  • Touching with the Eyes, Installation Shot

  • Touching with the Eyes, Installation Shot

  • Touching with the Eyes, Installation Shot

  • Canopies, pen on tracing paper, series of 5 light box drawings, each 21cm x 16cm

  • Canopy, pen on tracing paper, 21cm x 16cm

  • Shot Paper, lead shot on cartridge paper

  • Shot Paper (detail), lead shot on cartridge paper

  • Shot Paper (detail), lead shot on cartridge paper

  • Shot Paper Fragments, Lead shot on Paper, 22cm x 22cm

  • Skin, paper pulp approx 1.7m x 3m

  • Skin (detail), paper pulp

  • Skin (detail), paper pulp

  • Trace, charcoal dust directly onto the gallery wall, 2.6mx 8m

  • Trace (detail), charcoal dust directly onto the gallery wall

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.


Solo Exhibition: RSPB Geltsdale

June 2012

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.

  • Wool fragment I, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

  • Wool fragment II, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

  • Wool fragment III, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

  • Wool fragment IV, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

  • Wool fragment V, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

  • Wool fragment VI, pastel on paper, 59cm x 42cm

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.


End of Residency Exhibition, Visual Arts in Rural Communities

September 2011

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.

  • Shot Paper (detail), Installation, Shot gun pellets, cartridge paper

  • Year Long Line, Pencil on Paper, 15cm x 3500cm

  • Line As Experience, Pastel on paper, Series of 44 drawings, each 84cm x 59cm

  • Line As Experience, Installation view

  • Line as Memory, Lit gunpowder, dimensions variable

  • Shot Paper, Installation view

  • Felt Sheets, Installation view

  • Wool Balls, Installation view

  • Wool Balls, Detail

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

Felt Sheets

Response: A Rural-Urban Conversation

June 2011

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

  • Felt sheets, installation, each: 150cm x 300cm

  • Felt sheets, installation detail

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.

Fallen prints

Open Studio Exhibition

February 2011

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.

  • Fallen Moss 1, 140 x140cm, watercolour on paper

  • Fallen Moss 2, 140 x140cm, watercolour on paper

  • Fallen Lichen, 140 x140cm, watercolour on paper

  • Fallen Lichen (detail), 140 x140cm, watercolour on paper

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