Ideas Island

WOWSER! I wanted to write a blogpost about how A M A Z I N G my art residency on Ideas Island was, but I'm really struggling to find the words...

First let me explain... Ideas Island was created by Fredrik Haren, it's a simple, generous and kind concept. You complete the simple application here explaining what creative project you want to work on and if selected you are given exclusive use of a beautiful 7,000 sqm private island in Stockholm Sweden for one week to work on your project.

You reach the island by rowing over to it (my partner Steve aka Lazy Chief was the official captain)

You have to bring all your supplies for the week - food/ art equipment etc etc and tie up the boat so it can't sail away without you (although it is THE BEST place to be stranded).

Then first thing I did was to fill up my flower press (this is the first thing I do wherever I travel to)

I found lots of bird feathers and made quills to draw and paint with...

You stay in a really beautiful Swedish summer house, the island is FULL of birdlife so I was really pleased we brought the binoculars!

It was such a great opportunity to make mistakes, learn new marks, push myself and stop being so precious and careful with my drawings.

This was my favourite room in the house (although we were so lucky with the weather we were rarely indoors). A highlight for me was sleeping out on the dock in our sleeping bags, as we were there for the summer solstice it never really got dark.

I spent so much time drawing the trees on the island, and the one's I could see on the bank.

Being away from the studio, creating drawings that were not commissioned by anyone was really exciting. I pushed myself to explore, not make safe drawings, try new things, and frequently made bad work or spoiled things that were initially nice, which WAS GREAT as I learned so much!

I kept drawing snippets of different parts of the island so I could take them home with me  - they're now propped all around my studio (drawings are the best souvenir of any place).

The focus of the week for me was to make new marks, I found the constant movement of the water really helpful in inspiring new ideas and ended up with pages and pages and pages of painted marks...

....so spent a lot of time collaging.

My time on Ideas Island was magic, I swam every day, slept out under a sky of colour, had giant bonfires and BBQ's, watched the birds, rowed the boat, read books, listened to music, ate A LOT of liquorice, had a dance party on the last night and of course had time, space and permission to push myself and develop my artwork. It has made a big difference to me, and I want to hold onto the feelings, directions and ideas it's provoked for a very long time. THANK YOU FREDRICK (and if you are still reading congrats and I suggest you IMMEDIATELY apply for your own stay on Ideas Island x


While I've been gone...


So sorry for the absence, it's C R A Z Y in the studio at the moment combining all the little jobs that keep popping up with my three big projects which are...

- Collaborating with an architectural practice to design a block of apartments in Essex
- Designing all the integrated artwork for a town centre redevelopment in Berkshire including paving, lighting, underpasses, street furniture, cladding and gates
- Creating integrated artwork for a new housing development in South Gloucester

I just wanted to share some student artwork from the recent workshops I led at Royal Holloway University to celebrate Fascination of Plants Day 2017. I worked with six different groups aged 11-73 and had a fun and inspiring time working with them on their beautiful drawings. Here's a small selection of the work created that day...

OK, thats's all for now BACK TO WORK! x


Easter weekend


I hope your Easter weekend has been full of chocolate and fun. I have had FIVE DAYS off (I literally NEVER do this and it's been a TOTAL revelation!)

I've had a really wonderful time visiting the fashion exhibition at Chatsworth House and the Wedgwood Museum...

I have posted LOTS of beautiful snapshots over on Instagram, and I've returned feeling so inspired and excited about the highly decorative things I've seen. If you get a chance to visit these exhibitions do go, they're incredible! 

I'm excited to return to the studio tomorrow (it feels like I've been away for ages!) and get my teeth into the public art project I'm working on in South Gloucester. I'm designing the consultation element at the moment and it's so great to have the opportunity to work with and learn from the people I'm making the art interventions for! x


Screen printing

Hello! I've been having a brilliant time screen printing recently and so I just wanted to share the process...

My studio is at home and I don't have the space to do a full emulsion printing set up, especially since it is only something I dabble with occasionally. So I've been working with the Daler Rowney System 3 drawing fluid and screen block. It's really easy, reliable and perfect for a home studio.

You will need...

- Daler Rowney System 3 screen drawing fluid
- Daler Rowney System 3 removable screen block
- Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic printing medium 
- Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paints (whatever colour (s) you fancy)
- silk screen
- squeegee

Also, top tip... I have hinges attached to my desk (a bit like these), they allow me to clamp the screen and hold it still and they're only small so I leave them on the desk all the time.

For my recent screen prints I've been using the designs created for the paving (part of my commission for The Lexicon - more info here). 

First job is to paint your design using the blue drawing fluid on the inside of your screen (give it a really good stir first!) then leave it to dry. 

Once dry pour a bead of screen block to the top of the screen and using the squeegee flood the screen try to create an even layer. Leave the screen block to dry (I always leave it overnight). Then using COLD WATER ONLY wash out the blue screen block.

Once the screen is dry you're ready to print - HOORAH! You mix the print medium with paint 50/50 and everything is water based so it's easy clean up and no fumes.

When you want to reclaim the screen (ie, get rid of the design so the screen is blank again) you wash it out with VERY HOT water. I wear rubber gloves and use cif detergent and a cloth to scrub at it too. 

For more help I found this tutorial by Ella Masters really helpful - she uses the thicker screen block which comes in a tin but I prefer the one in a bottle like this.

In other news this week has mostly been drawing orchids for a branding commission and researching for my new public art commission in South Gloucester - a rather lovely way to spend a week!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you next time x

Casting plants

Hiya, it's a lovely sunny Spring day here - hope it is where you are too!

I'm so excited by all the different projects I've got on the go at the moment. It's challenging, the need to research and learn about so many different materials, and the thought that so much of what I produce now is permanent - huge sculptures and integrated artwork that will probably outlive me!

I just wanted to share some photos of a couple of different material experiments I've been working on in the studio. Creating plaster casts from real plants by pressing them into clay to create a mould and then using pouring plaster of paris into it. The detail that can be captured in wonderful! I'm going to be using using this process on a much larger scale soon (using GRP - glass reinforced plastic instead of plaster) for a HUGE 3m high cast plant sculpture. It's very exciting!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I'm going to do some screen printing and then visit Kew Gardens to see the snakes head fritillaries, magnolias and blossom trees x


New project klaxon x

Hello! I'm excited announce my new public art project with Studio Response and Bellway Homes. I've been commissioned to create integrated artwork for their new development of 64 homes in the village of Charfield in South Gloucester. It's a really wonderful, open brief and I'm currently working with Avon Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and local biodiversity groups to gain a better understanding of the wildlife in the area. Stay tuned here to see what I'm up to on this (and other projects) x


A visit to the fabricators...

Hiya all

Hope that you're having a lovely week - if not there's always cake! 

It's been a lovely, sunshiny Spring day which is marvellous because (in case you haven't noticed) I LOVE flowers, however this does mean that my days of wearing THE WORLDS BEST COAT are numbered (I was bloody boiling today!)

There is a scary quantity of work in the studio at the mo, but it's all TOO exciting so as long as I'm organised all will be well, current list is...
4 x public art projects
1 x branding project
1 x advertising project
2 x packaging projects

I'm also loving exploring screen printing, I've been working with Daler Rowney's System 3 drawing ink and screen block and then combining their printing medium 1:1 with my acrylic paints - see Instagram for images of what I've been up to. I don't think I'll have any time for screen printing this week as tomorrow I have a million (slight exaggeration) things to do and then Fri I'm lecturing at UCA, Sat is brunch with a lovely friend and then a party in the evening and Sun is a HUGE catch up with my uni friend and then a Skype gossip with a US pal in the evening. But the screen printing stuff is calling me... stay tuned...

The image above is from Mondays visit to the fabricators Setworks to look at lots of stuff for the public art project I'm doing in Berkshire (1 of the 4 big public art jobs at the mo) it's my favourite brass bug, I've sculpted nine different bugs and they're an element of the street furniture I've designed.

OK, heading off to cuddle the cats


Kerry x