An Interview with Sarah Beaton

Ahead of her upcoming show IN + OUT at Of Cabbages and Kings, Sarah Beaton talks through the processes that go into creating her bold expressive brush strokes.

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Sarah Beaton’s Studio in Shoreditch

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

I love the bleeding of water and paint – watercolour is probably my favourite.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?

I have enjoyed painting and drawing from a very young age. My dad was an art teacher so art was always a celebrated skill to explore in my family.

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Brush stroke experiments with watercolour

Your pictures evoke landscapes. Do you start with that in mind or do you let the brushstrokes inspire you?

I am inspired by nature and find it to be my escape from the busy London life. I don’t usually have a particular image in mind. I enjoy being spontaneous and seeing what develops from the brushstrokes.

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To The Edge And Back by Sarah Beaton

Where did the idea for including the figures come from?

I was working in my studio listening to the Damian Rice album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy. On the album cover, there is a series of figures on a large wall with a ladder. I loved the illustrative nature of it and decided to try and make my own little images.

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A selection of brushes used to create various marks in Sarah’s work

You use a deep dark blue in your work, what drew you to that colour?

I love water and blue, for me, is the most calming of colours. It can be intense but also very tranquil. I enjoy the extremes of it.

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You are also a theatre designer, do the two influence each other?

I feel they cross fertilise. Designing for theatre is all about telling stories through a visual narrative. I work in scale all the time and I feel this feeds into my watercolours: finding stories and compositions within an abstract image.

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Each print is professionally scanned and printed onto Hahnemuhle German Etching 310 gsm

What is your favourite takeaway?

I love Thai food. So anything vegan and Thai is a winner.

You can see more of  Sarah’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Tuesday 14th August from 7-9pm to meet her in person, view the work up on the walls and enjoy a glass.

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On The Crest of A Wave – Sarah Beaton
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Georgia Bosson Studio Visit by George Cullen

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Georgia Bosson, a screen printer and textile artist based in South London shows me around her studio and talks about her inspiration and practice.  Her screen printed trays and patterned notebooks, as well as collaborative prints with Cecily Vessey are now available in Of Cabbages and Kings.

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Ideas and experiments are pinned up behind her desk.

How long has the Georgia Bosson Studio been running?

I started the studio in 2013 after being offered a place to trade at Crafty Fox Market with my first batch of products, mostly cushions and a rainbow of hand screen printed tea towels. Since then I have taken on a huge variety of projects from developing my own line of products, to designing an outdoor canopy for a gallery and everything else in between! I am currently working on some new ideas after a trip to Mexico last October and I have just a launched a website for Makers House, a show that I curate and which I have big plans for in the coming months!

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Georgia’s process starts with sketchbook drawings that are then converted into vector graphics and applied to film.

How did you become interested in pattern and screen printing?

I first screen printed whilst studying for my A-levels and always returned to it as a means of laying down colour and texture over a large surface before adding more intricate details during my Embroidery degree. I love the immediacy of the process and I really enjoy that there is a certain level of restriction within the design process especially when I am working through ideas with paper stencils.

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A stencil is applied to the screen and then the ink is pushed though.

You seem to be keen on the hands on process of making, how does that affect your practice?

More often than not I design through making, I’ll usually have a series of drawings in my sketchbook that I then convert into hand cut paper stencils to be screen printed. I then continue to develop these ideas often bouncing around between a variety of imagery and generating lots of samples before settling on a few key ideas that are really working. This allows me to be less constrained and enables happy accidents such as inadvertently overlapped colours to occur, which often end up in final designs! My screen printed work always feels like it has more energy than the digital work and I love the idea that almost everything I make is unique in some way.

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A screen printed tray base.

We have recently started stocking your trays and notebooks, where did the inspiration come from for the design and patterns on those?

The notebooks were inspired by the remnants from industrially die cut felt that I have been working with since starting my business. It is a weird and wonderful material that is the waste product from when felt washers are cut out, the aim was to capture the shapes created when the patterns are overlaid. All of the books were riso printed and bound in London and are a limited edition of fifty. The tray pattern designs came from a series of drawings exploring the textures and patterns on a typical British beach, and the trays themselves were inspired by the sea defences in the sea side town where I have spent every summer since I was one!

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Georgia mixes her own colours at the studio and applies them to fabric. This way she can adjust and tweak the shades for her desired look.

You have an interesting colour palette that runs through your work, are there certain colours you are drawn to?

I love colour in any form, one of the best bits about screen printing is taking the time to mix colours, I have hundreds of scraps of fabric that are covered in colour swatches from past projects – they are one of the best archives of my process and I can never bear to throw them away. At the moment I am working on a new colour pallet based on a trip to Mexico, so currently there are lots of pinks and oranges on the print table spiked with soft teals and greens.

I am always drawn to an acid/mustard yellow and you can’t go wrong with a beautiful slate grey. When settling on the colours for a design I always think about the use of the final object and where it sits in the home, I felt I was able to be much bolder with my trays as they won’t necessarily be on display at all times and will usually have something on them!

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Greenwich- From The Wolfe Statue by Georgia Bosson and Cecily Vessey

We also stock your collaborative prints the ‘Landmark Locations’ series, a collaboration with Cecily Vessey. How did the idea for these come about?

Cecily was my mentor for my first market and since meeting we have worked on various pop up events and projects together including a live collaborative mural of the View from Peckham, which was done over a weekend at Crafty Fox Market. After the success of the Peckham mural and print we decided to look at expanding our collaboration and ended up working on twelve prints that we funded on Kickstarter. Whilst there are no plans for any more collaborative prints we are currently working towards a 100 mile bike ride together so I am sure some fresh ideas will crop up during the many training hours!

Your trays will be perfect for for serving drinks at summer parties! Whats your favourite cocktail?

In the summer an Aperol Spritz – very specifically served in a big glass preferably somewhere hot and sunny. And in the winter you can’t beat an Old Fashioned!

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Here Comes A City

An Interview with Marc Gooderham

As the face of London changes seemingly overnight, local artist Marc Gooderham has made it his mission to capture these views of the city, the architecture of crumbling and faded grandeur, that are beginning to vanish before our eyes. In the run up to his exhibition Here Comes A City, opening February 8th 2018, we took the opportunity to ask Marc about his paintings and his project.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

There are two. Naturally the paintbrush, but also the highly underrated yet extremely versatile piece of chalk!

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How long have you been painting and drawing? When did you start out?

As far back as I can remember. As a child I would sit and draw for hours. Still lifes, portraits, intricate buildings using pen and ink. The first piece of art I sold was to my art teacher at school. He kindly parted with £150 for a still life piece. As a kid, this was all very exciting. I tried not to let that first sale go to my head…honestly.

All your pieces come from real locations, mostly in London. What is it about the urban landscape that appeals to you?

I’ve always lived in London, so it’s a place I know and love. A place of intrigue and new experiences. It’s the contrast of old and new and glimmers of a forgotten time that really appeal to me.

Buildings with a fallen, crumbling exterior always hold an evocative beauty. Cities are a physical thing, they’re made up of lines and interesting forms, and the complexities of architecture and perspective can be challenging at times. But it’s all these things that make it the perfect subject to paint. Buildings command our attention. They’re our homes, places of work, places we admire and fall in love with. They help us navigate our way through life.

What is your process for working on a new piece? 

The only real way of getting to know a city is by walking it. Familiarising myself with the street level views. Making preparatory sketches and photographs. Revisiting a potential location at different times of day – sketch as much as possible! It has to have all the right components, which help make the final composition. Light and shade, suggestions of human life, a glow or reflection in a window, lights shimmering in the distance. These all give harmony and unity to a picture. Once these are in place, I begin work in the studio.

You are now working more with chalk pastels instead of painting, was there anything in particular that drew you to a new medium?

Working with charcoal and chalk pastels has been quite a liberating experience. I am still painting, producing large canvas pieces each month, again of the urban landscape.  I will always paint, however the pastel/charcoal lends itself to working quickly and more instinctively, 50% of the picture is created using my fingers.  There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes which adds to the excitement of this medium, speed is of the essence! It’s about capturing a certain feel or atmosphere and ultimately exercising the art of freehand drawing. It gives the artist a sketch – like fluidity.

Do find yourself returning to locations?

All of time. The locations are very familiar to me. Old haunts or places I have lived naturally become the subject of my work. The city is changing at such a rapid pace, there will always be a new discovery.

What is your favourite takeaway?

 Quite simply ‘Babur To Go.

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New Church Street Screen Print!

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As you may remember, back in June we ran a charity auction for The Abney Park Trust with John Gosler’s original art. Thanks to everyone’s support and efforts we were able to raise £260 for the charity. Don’t forget we still have a few of the cemetery maps and festival posters for sale if you’re interested in owning a bit of Stoke Newington history!

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While working with John on getting the auction together, we found another original in his collection. The piece was made in the same scraper board technique as the festival posters and featured a streetscape based upon the shops and buildings lining Stoke Newington Church Street. It was also done around the same time in the mid-90s to promote the Stoke Newington Midsummer Festival. We loved it so much we decided to reproduce it ourselves to sell in the shop!

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Since the scraper board left such a distinctive woodcut style texture, we wanted to pick up as much of that as possible and decided that a screen print would reproduce it best. We worked with Mark at Atom Gallery in Newington Green who printed them up for us, on  beautiful Southbank Smooth 310 gsm paper stock, hand pulling each one in a limited edition of 500. Each print is hand numbered and embossed with the Of Cabbages & Kings logo for authenticity.

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People frequently ask after locally themed prints, so we are delighted to be able to offer something drawn, made and printed right here, and exclusively available from Of Cabbages & Kings!

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MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia

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On July 6th 2017 we will be hosting the official launch of MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia here at Of Cabbages and Kings in Stoke Newington. On the opening night there will be a special pop-up shop from 5:30-9pm and the exhibition will run from July 7th until the end of August. We spoke with Marcelina to find out a bit more about MESH and the idea behind the brand.

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MESH is a multidisciplinary art brand and design studio founded by artist Marcelina Amelia: Meshing shit up!

Marcelina has taken her artwork beyond the confines of the canvass and has applied it to affordable art objects and wearable art as well as limited edition prints, books and other artworks in a range of different media. Rather than focusing on product design, Marcelina often combines her image making with found household objects to create a series of one-offs within a theme.MESH_STUDIO_GICLEEPRINTS_POSTER_MARCELINAAMELIA.jpgThe Mission Statement:

“Our aim is to embody the term ‘Renaissance girl’, and as the name suggests, we love mixing different techniques and forms, like screen-printing, fashion, painting, ceramics, publications, illustration, politics and activism, because art shouldn’t have any boundaries. We hope that this fluid and meshy structure of the brand, will allow us to collaborate more and make a lot of exciting work and happenings.

MESH’s first collection is titled The Unsatisfied Girls Club and is inspired by the recent movement of strong and powerful women who aren’t afraid to walk tall and proud, manifesting their thoughts, fighting for their rights at the Women’s Marches and other activist happenings all around the world. 

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The Unsatisfied Girls Club is a movement of women wanting and deserving more. Women uplifting each other, and rolling their eyes at the old outdated, stereotypical ways, not being ashamed of their ‘girliness’, standing for themselves and each other, because being a women isn’t a weakness. Research shows that many women are conforming to outdated stereotypes and acting ‘like an alpha male’ to succeed at work – including dressing like a man and hiding ‘girlie’ emotions.”

You can also read our interview with Marcelina on the blog from a few years ago when she had her last exhibition us.

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Abney Park Trust Fundraiser

Do you remember the legendary Stoke Newington Midsummer Street Fair? How would you like to be the proud owner of the original artwork for the 1995 and 1996 Festival Posters?

Of Cabbages and Kings are very excited to announce an exhibition and charity auction of original framed art by John Gosler to benefit the Abney Park Trust here in Stoke Newington. We have two framed artworks up for grabs, which will be on display at the gallery alongside the original illustration for the map of Abney Park Cemetery, which you may recognise as it is still in use today. 

If you should miss out on the auction do not fret as there are a limited quantity of signed reproductions of the Abney Park map and signed 1994, 1995 and 1996 festival posters available for sale.

In keeping with the original spirit of the festival, our exhibition will run from Monday 12th June, culminating with an event and the end of the auction at 4pm in the shop on Sunday 18th June.

Final bids must be placed by 4pm on the Sunday and we’ll be announcing the winners the same day. To get everyone feeling nostalgic, we’ve got some old programmes to look through alongside other festival memorabilia, we’ll be playing some familiar tunes and serving up some homemade lemonade. See you there from 3pm!

Place your bids here!

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1996 Poster Artwork
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1995 Poster Artwork

John Gosler is a freelance illustrator and former Stokey local. In 1994 John was asked to contribute a poster for the new Stoke Newington Street Festival. He says: ‘It was so brilliant (the festival, that is) that I joined the committee and did the design and artwork the first three posters in 1994, 5 and 6′.

The Stoke Newington Festival began in June 1993 as a small one day celebration on Church Street. It was such a success that by the following year it had grown into a week long event culminating on the final Sunday when the street was closed. With it’s focus on art, music and the local community, it ran for several years from 1994 to the early 2000s. Several stages were erected along the street hosting local bands and the numerous cafes and restaurants had stalls on the road running right up to Clissold Park.

John’s original images for the posters were worked in scraper board, a card surface coated with china clay and then a layer of black ink. Tools are used to scrape off the ink, revealing the white surface beneath, producing an image that looks similar to a woodcut or engraving. He then applied the colour over that with an airbrush.

Abney Park Cemetery is one of the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries opened in the mid 1800s to service London’s booming population. It was founded on the principles of renowned non-conformist Isaac Watts and became the burial place of choice for religious dissenters and radical thinkers of the time. It has a non-denominational chapel at its heart that was open to all, regardless of religious beliefs. Another unusual feature of the cemetery is that it was set up as an arboretum, with a wide variety of trees and plants as part of its original design. This meant that when it was abandoned in the 1970s it became completely overgrown and developed a uniquely wild atmosphere. Today the cemetery is maintained as an urban wilderness and is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as operating as a public park. It has also been the setting for open air theatre events and was among the venues taking part in this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival, an event that has it’s roots in the original Midsummer Fair.

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All Postersf you have any old photos or other bits and pieces at home please do let us know as we are hoping to put together a festival archive. Contact Maureen Diffley at maureen.diffley1@gmail.com

Adam Bartlett – Painting and Process

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We are excited to announce our next exhibition with Adam Bartlett aka Tigers of the Universe. You may have seen his prints in the shop over the few months, and we’ll be looking forward to see what comes next! Adam will be exhibiting some original paintings alongside limited edition giclée prints. The show opens with a private view on Thursday April 13th from 6:30pm, we hope you can join us.

Adam creates his paintings by building up many layers of painted patterns to create beautiful decorative artworks.  We were able to grab Adam for a few questions to ask about his work and process.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
My weapon of choice is the trusty pencil, followed closely by the brush.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?.
It feels like I have always been drawing and painting, although previously I was a digital illustrator for 8 years. It’s only been the in last 3 years that I’ve started painting again.

You often use a combination of media in your paintings, such as acrylic, spray paint, emulsion and even enamel. How do these combinations influence your final pieces?
The various mediums are used in layers. Emulsion is the base and finally the enamel for fine details. It’s not a hard and fast process, but more something that i enjoy. Also the paints have their own strengths and combined have good contrast and character. I am often unsure of the paints influence regarding the final piece, but more often than not pleasantly surprised.

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Many of your pieces have jungle animals and lush landscapes. Are they inspired by travel or imaginary locations?
The animals and forests are pure fantasy. I long for a world covered in jungle and forests where the animals and birds can roam free. The natural world is so stunning and I want to capture this in my paintings.

You have also worked in fashion textiles and design, does this background influence your current work?
More and more I feel the influence of textiles creeping back into the paintings, not only with introducing texture again, but thinking about fabric designs etc. It’s exciting to come full circle and bring these various experiences together again, but with a fresh perspective.

Do find you that you come back to certain motifs, themes and colours over pieces?
Yes, I think its important to keep certain repetitive elements in your paintings. Sometimes I feel guilty about repeating things, as if I’m not pushing myself enough, in which case exploiting repetitiveness will suffice.

What is your favourite takeaway?
Mmm, fish n chips or shish kebab

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An Interview with Lauren Mortimer

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Our next exhibition will be with London based illustrator Lauren Mortimer. The opening night is on Thursday September 1, from 7-9pm, and the show will hang until the end of October.

We love Lauren’s graphite illustrations that combine nature elements in unexpected ways, and so it was very exciting when we got to sit down with Lauren for an interview and find out more about the lady herself and her artistic process.Lauren Mortimer_Profile

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…
The pencil is pretty much my best friend!

You originally studied Fashion Promotion at Central St. Martins. Has that influenced your current illustration work?
I think that it must have influenced my current work on some level, though if it has, not purposefully. By not having an illustration background, it allowed me to have more freedom and find my style quickly. My work does lend itself well to the fashion world though… I do a lot of editorial work for instance for fashion magazines.Lauren Mortimer Prints_2Many of your pieces include visual puns and hidden meanings, as well as surrealist combinations. How do those themes come together for your pieces?
I think the wonderful thing about illustration is that you can create anything you like on a piece of paper. There are no limits. Though my work is very realistic, I like to mix themes and merge objects together to create something more visually exciting – something that isn’t a reality. Patterns and texture play a huge part of my work too. I like to change the meaning of the objects, and nature will always be huge starting point for me.
 

Some of the projects you’ve worked on include illustrating books. Can you tell us a bit about the process for a larger project like that?
I’ve got 5 books under my belt so far, and I’m working my way through the final artwork of my 6
th, a colouring book. The wonderful thing about big projects like these is that you have a physical product at the end of it with all of your artwork put together. You see it in a different context to the piece of paper you created it on, and you have that proud moment. When my two cocktail books, Tequila Mockingbird, and Gone With The Gin arrived in the post from the publisher, it was really exciting, and definitely a highlight for me.Lauren Mortimer_Gone With The Gin Cover GWTG_Lauren Mortimer_Blade Rummer

There is a slightly macabre and dark undertone to many of your pieces, is that something you find yourself consciously drawn to? Do you find that graphite lends itself particularly well to those themes?
I think that it’s just my style and my interests that come together that way. By contrasting an object that’s soft and beautiful with something that’s hard, for instance, enhances each of them, and creates something poetic in my eyes. For me it’s more about how the viewer interprets it. Everyone should take what he or she wants from it in their own way.

How long have you been making prints?
I’ve been producing limited edition prints for about 4 years now! Time flies!

What is your favourite takeaway?
That’s easy… Pizzzzaaaaaaa!  

Thanks so much! You can see more of Lauren’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Thursday the 1st to meet her in person, enjoy the work up on the walls and have a glass of wine.

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On The Other Side Of Town by Tom Berry

Tom Berry creates intricate drawings mainly with pen and ink. His original illustrations, which often feature animal and nature scenes with incredible depth and detail are then giclée printed in limited editions.

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Recently, Tom launched a Kickstarter to help publish his first illustrated book ‘On The Other Side Of Town‘. The campaign was so successful that it was fully funded in just over 24 hours, and he was able to do a print run of 1000 copies! The book is in a large format, with 24 pages and 15 detailed original illustrations and short poems. Together they tell the story of a busy town and the characters that make it. Each book in this first edition is numbered out of 1000 and signed by Tom.

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As a part of his Kickstarter campaign Tom filmed part of the process of illustrating the book as well as images from his early morning commutes through the city that provided his inspiration. He found that travelling at unusual times of the day revealed further layers of the city, in people and buildings than he would encounter during the day. These layers became the fantastical illustrations and poems found in the book.

We have ‘On The Other Side of Town’ and a number of Tom’s original digital prints in stock in the shop and online.

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An Interview with Freya Cumming

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Spring is just about here. Or at least surely it must be close – we can almost smell it! Also, right around the corner is our brand new exhibition with one of Of Cabbages and Kings’ longest standing collaborators Freya Cumming. Freya will be traveling down from Dundee with her latest collection of screen prints fresh of the drying rack. The private view is on Thursday May 5th from 6:30 – 9pm. We hope you can make it along. In the meantime, we caught up with Freya and found out a little bit more about her art process and influences.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…
I use them all, but if I had too choose one, my weapon of choice would be a propelling pencil. I love ’em! 

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Your art features many repetitive motifs (hot air balloons, Victorian figures, the ocean, etc.). Do you feel like you work with themes or that you are drawn to a particular image?
I don’t think that I have any particular themes other than that most of the work I enjoy making has some form of pattern, however small a detail it is, it’ll be in there! The balloon images became a theme by accident, I lived in Bristol for seven years and I thought one day I might try a balloon print, as they are such a familiar sight in the city. I enjoyed the endless possibilities of patterns and colours within the balloons and so I got quite carried away and produced a whole series of these. 

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Your images feature many built up layers. Can you tell us a bit more about that process? 
One of the pleasures of screen printing for me, is the ability to play around with the opacity of the inks when mixing them. Printing in overlapping layers, in varying opacity can come up with colours and effects that I aren’t planned, but that make printmaking more interesting for me. I like making it up as I go along! It makes what can be a very technical process, much more interesting and spontaneous.  

Can you tell us a bit more about founding Snap Studio, the artists co-operative in Bristol?
It all came about very serendipitously. My friend Frea and I were manning a pop-up shop in an old hairdressers in Bristol for a few days. We were chatting about how amazing it would be to have a studio, gallery and printmaking facilities under one roof. The man who had the keys to the hairdressers, just so happened to be the founding member of the ethical property company, and owner of  a beautiful 16th century building across the street. He offered it to us at a really reasonable rate which allowed us to seek help from the co-operative development agency in Bristol and go on to form a co-op with six other printmaking friends. We are all either just graduated/ or graduating, so it was perfect timing. It was the perfect setting- post-uni to have somewhere to work. 

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You recently moved back to your hometown in rural Scotland. Has this move changed or influenced your work? 
I’ve realised with hindsight that it did at the time. I’ve always been inspired by my surroundings so suddenly, instead of urban scenes, I was drawing chickens and squirrels. I found I missed the urban landscape and I realised there was a danger that my work was unintentionally becoming overly countrified, so I moved my studio from the village to nearby Dundee.

How long have you been printing?
I learned to screen print the same year I graduated in 2001 – so on and off, around fifteen years of squeegeeing ! 

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What is your favourite takeaway?
All of them?!. I live in the middle of nowhere though so takeaway is rare! No-one will deliver this far either 😦