In Nov/Dec08/Jan 2009, I am showing my work at Pin
Mill Studios, near Ipswich, and at the Buckenham
Gallery in Southwold.
Since 2006, I have been chair of Key
Arts an artist-led group, at the moment based at St Mary at
the Quay, Key Street, Ipswich, in the heart of the exciting dockside
St Mary's - is a large, beautiful, and crumbling old disused church.
Key Arts is supported by The
Churches Conservation Trust, Ipswich
Borough Council, Turnstone
and, of course, its members.
Our aim is to assist artists who live in the local area of Ipswich
and the region in their work, providing a much needed space where
artists can meet and exchange ideas through exhibitions, events
and talks. It is a place where artists and the community can come
together - sharing in the creative opportunity that Key Arts offers.
We are an artist-led group. That means contributors who want to
influence our activities, or lead new ones, are invited to make
In 2006 I had a residency at St Mary’s. I found that
my experience far exceeded my expectations. For a week I immersed
myself in the shadows and moods of this large beautiful and imposing
space, exploring in paint on cotton sheets and canvas, its spaces,
light and contrasts. The subtle hues and surprising chalky pinks
of the walls that have changed and softened over the years giving
a warmth and new identity to this possibly austere empty building.
I wanted a little time to try some new things out, use some
new materials, earth, plaster, emulsion paint. I found ways of incorporating
my experiments into my practice that I am sure will expand and inspire
me well into the future.
I always work from the model as part of my practice, often
weekly. I like the subtle changes of light, the delicacy of tones,
the tiny observations that build the drawing or painting.
When exploring gestural poses I like the rapid marks that capture
the immediacy and dynamic of the form. I use these studies when
painting from photographs to recreate a moment in time.
For a time I and a number of other women artists met upstairs at
a café on Tuesday mornings (a vital link when you work on
your own) and although we don’t meet as regularly we still
have diverse thematic exhibitions from time to time. Usually at
the attic gallery in the Ancient House in Ipswich. We have had four
exhibitions for Ip-art. (An arts festival in Ipswich) And expect
to have another for 2009.
For our first exhibition in the Ancient House I was inspired
by the fabulous drawings on the walls and doors that you can see
in one of the little rooms. I also became interested in the works
on linen that they discovered there, the reproductions of which
strike you as you walk up the stairs. Combining those strange images
and those of Botticelli I decided to work on large drawings with
red chalks and develop them on muslin.
In my work I try to capture the intensity and flow of the
fleeting moment and the play of the light and here, as light streams
through the window the drawing on the fabric becomes transparent.
It gently moves with the flow of movement almost disappearing, leaving
the faint tracings on the paper on the floor seemingly more solid
I am also a member of Creative Freelance, an association of creative
freelance professionals based in and around Ipswich. We worked on
a carefully nurtured collaborative book project by 17 Creative-Freelance
members (plus an honorary 18th: our book-binder, Dan Wray) called
blankpage, this is a handmade book containing pages in paper,
glass, fabric, collage, wax and plastic, and was the result of several
months collaboration by members of Freelance.
The book was launched at a Private View on Friday 25 June, 2004
in The China Room, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, UK. The Web version
of /blankpage was also launched on 25th June 2004 and remains available
on the Creative
Freelance web sit.
||Is it empty or is it a possibility?
I love the idea of potential.
What is behind the veil?
What might be bubbling just under the surface.
Start with just an impression.
A thumb print.
These paintings were created for a show in 2003 at the Market Cross
Gallery in Bury St Edmunds called Twisted.
These paintings depict the figure twisting and dancing in space
and time with gesture and form you can examine the areas
of life that have no words. I have used a triptych format showing
three figures a girl, a pregnant woman and an older woman
each representing three ages of 'man' or the three graces. The separate
canvasses indicate how, while we go through life alone, we are nevertheless
linked to our past and future selves, and to the world about us.
The format and the use of blue echo the timelessness of the renaissance.
"My overall theme is the strong and positive view of women;
so my pregnant woman is dancing, full of vitality and power; not
passive and waiting, but active and creative.
My older woman is moving full of life, strong and sensual, as
I perceive those around me to be.
And my girl spins and turns enjoying the free feeling of growing.
An exploratory, inquisitive and intelligent girl."
They were shown again at a solo show in 2004 at the The Artists
Gallery, Ipswich 2004 (Solo show) and again at Galerie St Fiacre,
Nantes, France, 2004.