Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Upcoming Exhibition

The Open West

9th February - 5th March
Summerfield Gallery, Pittville Studios, University of Gloucestershire, Albert Road, Cheltenham.

If anyone's heading west, pop and check out this exhibition in Cheltenham. My Gift Shop pieces were selected to be part of the show and its also the first time some of my drawings will be exhibited; a series called The Poisoner's Cabinet.

The Open West is an annual open competition and exhibition inviting submissions from national and international artists practising contemporary and conceptual art, inclusive of painting, installation, film, photography, print and sculpture.

It looks like its going to be a pretty exciting exhibition, apparently one of the exhibits is a bed coming in from Mexico!

I will also hopefully be assisting Artist Alan Goulbourne, who makes big installations, on a community project organised by the Open West.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What I'm doing now...

So far 2011 has been good and exciting for me, here's 3 reasons why:

1) I'm currently working on a commission for photographer Bran Symondson, making 100 press moulded opium poppy heads for his upcoming exhibition at Idea Generation Gallery.

I've been working in Manifold Studio, a beautiful studio under the arches of the East London line in Hoxton founded and built by a group of 9 recent graduates from the Royal College of Arts Ceramics and Glass MA. Im keeping Hanne Mannheimer's space warm while she's away on a residency in Denmark.

I've been pressing on (literally) for the past 2 weeks, my current poppy total stands at 52, but the first batch of 60 is going in the kiln on Saturday.

The unfired poppies - with score marks filled with oxide; the real poppies have these scores where they have been scratched to release the opium sap.

The space where I've been working.

One of Bran's photographs, currently exhibited at Idea Generation Gallery.

2) I've started my Saturday job at Camden Arts Centre assisting the Artist Alan Stott with the Ceramics Techniques for Juniors class.

We are making a dream feast with the children who are 7-9 years old. I think we'll have an imaginative and exciting spread at the end of the 10 week project. This week we were making surreal candelabras for the table.

My favourite was a little boy's; a detailed 3d clay illustration of a man in a pointy hat tied to the candelabra's main stand with super chunky ropes ready to be executed!

3)Third and definitely not least... im getting a studio!

I will be sharing with Martha Todd, another RCA graduate from last year. Her studio is 5 minutes from my house, just before Queenstown Road Train Station and i'll be sharing it with her from March, hopefully working in there 3 days a week.

What I've been up to...

Round up of the last 8 months

Here is a quick update of some exciting things I've been doing since graduating last summer, 2010.....

(starting with the most recent)

Rare Gifts @ Residence Gallery

My Brilliant Eye bottles were featured in the Rare Gifts Exhibition at the Residence gallery in the lead up to Christmas. The concept of the show was handmade works that cost from £1-£200. There was a bit of a dark, macabre theme going on but displayed in a kitsch Christmassy way; so my work and stray resin eyeballs fitted in nicely!

I sold my first piece here! (a small poison lady from The Gift Shop collection)

Proposals, Applications and Interviews

My first steps after graduating were to find a pay the rent job (in a pub and packing ceramics for Tina Tsang at Undergrowth Design) and to mass apply for ‘real jobs’, mostly art technician jobs in schools and write proposals for exhibitions and projects.

One of those was for an installation of tropical birds at Kew Gardens, I wasn’t selected but I’m proud of the drawings I made for my proposal... lots of bright ink

Move to London

After a manic, panic search for a house we found one on our second viewing and I am now Battersea based.

London Design Week: Homework @ Mint Gallery

Soon after my return to England, London Design week was upon us. After spotting my work at New Designers I had been invited to exhibit at Mint Gallery’s Homeworks exhibition, featuring a number of new graduates work.

A selection of my Gift Shop pieces have been there since.

China - Thailand - Malaysia – Singapore

My time at the V&A was cut short but for a very good reason! On the 2nd of August I got on a plan to Beijing, the first of a number of long journeys, travelling across China and then south east Asia.

I met my boyfriend Tom who had been living in China for the past year and from Beijing we took a 42 hour train to West China, an experience in itself. From here we flew further West to Kashgar before busing and training our way across the desert back east, calling at Turpan; Dunghang, where we spent a night in the Gobi desert, Xi’an, home of the slightly disappointing terracotta warriors; Yangshuo and finally Guangzhou, where I had my first experience of a waterpark, but not a lot else. From here we flew to Bangkok, then travelled to Kho Tao island then got the train to Malaysia and the boat to the Perinthian islands. I saw some of the most beautiful sights, ate some amazing and horrible food, travelled on far and wide on numerous modes of transport and did lodes of amazing things i'd never done before like snorkelling, meeting an otter and swimming in a river.

For a much more detailed description of every day of our travels and lots of pictures read my China blog at

V&A Residency - July 2010

In July I was very happy when I was offered a short graduate residency in the ceramics studios in the V&A ceramics galleries.

I shared the space with recent Royal College graduates Matt Raw and Amy Hughes and my friend and fellow Brighton graduate Alice Walton. While Pheobe Cummings, another Brighton alumni was next door doing a 3 month residency, creating beautiful unfired clay landscapes.

During my time their I produced a small collection of work inspired by the collection in the new ceramics galleries. I built upon processes used to create my The Gift Shop pieces; dissecting, reconstructing, press moulding, and in particular, screen printing; as it’s such a quick way of getting drawings and ideas directly onto the clay.

When exploring the collection in my first few days of research, I was drawn to the Staffordshire figures of mythical creatures and their bizarre ugliness! I based my work on these Staffordshires, creating my own grotesque creatures on simple, faux marble bases.

While in the studio I also had the opportunity to interact with the public, as they’d often wonder in through our open door, discussing the processes I was using and their engagement and connection to ceramics (often they or a family member were a ceramicist.

Dream, Think, Speak

Following my degree show I was approached by the artistic director of Brighton based performance company Dream, Think, Speak and asked if I could display some of my cardboard furniture in the window display of their fake department store in the Before I Sleep production.

One of my cardboard-clad tables were displayed alongside other selected Brighton designers in the large windows of the old Co-op building on London Road.

This tested my lack of taking-photo's-through-window skills! (can you spot the table through the reflection?)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

What I've been up to...

V&A - Designers of the Future Exhibition - June 2010

My work was selected to be exhibited in the V&A's Designers of the Future exhibition, alongside other

Brighton and RCA students, because of the way I have drawn inspiration from the museum's collections.

Was very exciting, especially as Alice Walton, Hayley Zierold (fellow Brighton Materials Practice graduates) and myself got to pose in some cheesy photos for Brighton University press....

New Designers

For a week me and 19 other Brighton graduates carted a selection of our degree show work to the Design Business Centre, Islington to exhibit at New Designers 2010. It was a fairly stressful and expensive venture... though the opportunity to go through the process of putting on a group show must have been valuable! The footfall through the show was generally a lot lower than we all hoped and expected, but I did get some positive feedback and the chance to share my macabre poison stories with anyone interested! And I did get an exhibition out of it....