Celebrating Creativity and Well Being Week in Norfolk Libraries
May 18th – 24th 2020
Despite the restrictions of Lockdown, we are delighted in Norfolk Library and Information Service to be able to showcase a number of artists who would have been exhibiting in some of our libraries in the run up to Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios. Artists Galleries are Helen Spedding, Stephanie Carlton, Berni Marfleet and Clare Cummings.
Being present in the landscape invites new possibilities when translated into mark making with all manner of tools and textures. I wanted to explore the subtlety and beauty of my relationship with nature’s patterns, to bring yet more enriching depth of differences into my creative spiritual life every day.
When I paint I am discovering the pull of certain shapes and forms that attract my eye, it becomes an instinctive direction or pathway. It fascinates me how the seeing, sensing connection relates across into the movement of the expressive tools that can be used to translate that experience with the medium that I have chosen in that moment.
Initially I chose to explore my connection and relationship with the landscape of North Norfolk, where I currently live. Its difficult to ignore the airy elemental quality of the huge skies and vast open spaces. I am also drawn to working with plants, stones, crystals and natural found objects such as bones, shells and fossils as the spark of inspiration.
How I paint is a slowly unravelling thread. Repetition of movement, tools, shapes and forms, layering of subtle colours and textures, in an almost hypnotic flow. I know that I am only at the beginning of this journey, each new series of work taking me closer, parting the veils to the finding of the inner divine connection of the artist.
I currently work in Clay Shed Studio, on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk.
The studio sits at the end of the garden and was an old shed until it was restored and converted when we moved here a few years ago.
The studio has been functional since mid-2019 and is now the home of my printmaking, painting and ceramics, including ceramic jewellery.
Before moving to the UK from Australia in 2003, I studied Fine Art (painting and printmaking) at Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria.
I have been working in the arts conservation field for the last 16 years, but now my studio practice is the main focus of my time.
My work consists of different strands that can be seen separately and as an interconnected body of work regardless of material or process.
Themes that link across all mediums are mark marking, mapping, and the history of making the object as recorded in its physicality and the nature of its surface. There are certain motifs to which I return time and time again; crosses, tracks, and repetitive patterns, combined with fluid expressive brush marks and forms.
I work in a reduced palette, focusing on changes in light and contrast, with accents of colour; reds, gold leaf and occasional deep blues. This allows me to explore the subtleties of what can be done within that reduced range. My preoccupation with gradations of light is something that has developed over the years of living in the UK; I have learnt to appreciate the pale light and shades of grey, so different to my native Australian environment.
The sculptures are mainly constructed from scrap metal collected from scrap yards, garages, farms and bike shops; friends drop stuff at my workshop door so my garden gets quite busy with scrap metal, ready to made into surreal creatures or more abstract creations; many of them are designed to sway in the breeze outside; others are more suited to indoors
The sculptures reflect the life around this area of North Norfolk….the countryside and farming, the sea and beaches….and the industry and economic activity here …the fishing, agriculture, railways, off shore gas and forestry
I am fascinated by insects and birds and how they move I have been inspired in particular by the sculptures of David Smith. Bernard Lugenbuhl, Jean Tinguely especially with their use of steel and other metals and in particular the movement in Tinguely’s work.
I studied Sculpture at Maidstone College of Art in the 80s and whilst there took a pottery evening class and clay became my preferred medium.
My work is individually hand crafted using a variety of clays, some I dig and process myself from the ditch between home and the field. I do not glaze but use oxides to add muted colours and burnish surfaces to produce a subtle sheen.
I also play with painting on, or covering with gold foil any pots that I feel have a flawed suface but a good form.
Local bluetits have made use of birdhouses I’ve made.