About Me

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Arlesey, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I am originally from Wiltshire, from a very long village called Winterslow, just outside Salisbury. I make my work by drawing into a black piece of paper and then layering colours from behind which I cut into again. This makes very delicate and intricate paper pieces that are inspired by my love of the landscape and the natural world about me.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Stonehill School art club - Paper Angels - a piece of paper, a bit of glue and some drawing!

Here are the paper angels the art club childen made this week during the wednesday after school one hour session. I provided a template for the children to draw around and cut out and then it was over to them to decorate the angels in the way they wanted. These little winges angels were intended as some light hearted Christmas arty fun and the kids loved it. I think the expressions on their angels faces are simply gorgeous. The kind of thing only children can make. It was such a happy end to the term and a great start to the art club that will be rolled out across the the next term as a further six week project  for other children in the school to experience.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Stonehill School Wednesday Art Club - looking at perspective and crazy worlds

The Wednesday Art club that I have started at Stonehill School in Letchworth Garden City is a group of 12 students aged from Year 3 - Year 6. Its an art club that's running for an initial six weeks. I hope to be able to deliver it as a rolling programme there and at other schools locally too. It is partly funded by the children and Extended Schools Programme. The first week was spent cutting paper, making little bowls that then transformed to creatures: turtles and puppies and even to a boxing glove and a chef's hat!! The emphasis of the club is to have a theme that runs through it, but with pupil lead creativity so that they get the chance to let their ideas grow and develop.The loosest part of the theme is that its all paper that we are using, the main theme being imaginary worlds, creatures and places. So far its just been the best fun. I have worked at Stonehill before and was keeping my fingers crossed to have the chance again. I really like the school, the staff and the children.

Stonehill School Wednesday Art Club - room set drawings and imaginary places

The children were given a template that I had cut out and prepared. We looked at the drawings at that we had worked on last week and wediscussd  all the rooms or views they could do. Some were drawn to interiors, bedrooms and places whilst others jumped straight into bridges and landscapes. It was entirely their choice. I helped them with scale and  a few pointers for other objects to draw. It worked so well. I was completely chuffed to see what they achieved in just an HOUR!!!amazing. The children at Stonehill are so lovely and this session was exactly why I like working with children and giving them the chance to push their own innate creativity forward with help from me. Its a joy to see their work.

Stonehill School Wednesday Art Club - imaginary world sets

Here are some more of the pupils fantastic little imaginary world sets.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bishop's Hatfield Girls School - Gifted and Talented Summer School

More examples of the collages made by the pupils of  Bishop's Hatfield Girls School, Hatfield, Herts from last July. The work was essentially about exploring pattern and rhythm of architectural forms through paper cutting and collage techniques. Pupils started with a simple line drawing based on their photos that they had taken around Buckingham Palace the previous day. That line drawing formed the basis of their design. the pupils hadn't worked like this before. It seems simple but to be able to cut directly into paper and to arrange those elements together to get a design to balance requires lots of skills. There is an immediacy to cutting paper that is liberating and scary too for young people. Some were able to be freer and draw with their scissors, whilst other used their drawings more as a template to work from. All students were amazed at the quality of the work produced that day and were able to think about and experience pattern making in different and challenging way. I loved the day. The staff were simply wonderful to work with and the girls were fantastic also.It was a great experience for me too.

Bishop's Hatfield Girls School - Summer school for G&T

These photos are the work produced at a summer school I ran in July 2009 at Bishop's Hatfield Girls School in Hatfield, Herts. The workshop day was part of a week long Gifted and Talented programme of events in which pupils explored the idea of "London- a city of contrasts".  The previous day to the workshop, the girls has visited Buckingham Palace. They gathered many photos of architectural details from which to base their paper cuts and collages that they would be developing with me. The girls involved ranged from Yr10's up to Year 12's.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

More photos of Mr. Winters Vanishing

A brief description of the story....Mr. Winter, feeling unloved and unappreciated decides not to visit this year. this causes havoc.... Mr Autumn cant go home, the swifts of the air cant return to the warmth of Africa... even Father Christmas cant visit and so stockings hang empty at the chimneys and  there are no twinkling bells of the reindeer. A small boy looks out of his bedroom window sees the north star and decides to get his friends to make lots of beautiful kites to show Mr. Winter just how much he is missed and longed for. Mr. Winter sees how he is missed, comes back and the winter can soon come and be celebrated with the falling snow and the joyous arrival of Father Christmas!

Here are some more photos of Mr. Winters Vanishing - the shadow play.

Mr. Winter's House

Mr. Winter is so sad and feels unloved

Tim looks out of his room and thinks of a plan

The North Star appears
The swifts are kept flying in the air

Mr. Winters Vanishing - shadow play at Howgills, Letchworth Garden City

Before the magical day starts....

Forty children, two artists and a composer - me, James Mayhew and Rebecca Leek - black paper, scissors, a strong light and shadows made - all mixed up with carols, music and a beautifully poetic story "Mr. Winter Vanishing" by French illustrator and writer Quitterie de Castelbajac. This was a Rhapsode event of making a play in a day to celebrate the winter Solstice. The day was Solstice day 2009.

We started the day off with simple tools - scissors and paper along with some beautiful specially written songs by Rebecca and let the day organically, creatively grow and form to result in a performance at the end of the day!   It was a truly magical experience. I have always wanted to use paper cutting to use shadows. Its a natural development of them. As soon as you hold them in your hands and see the delicacy of them and the way the light plays behind and through them - it makes them even more transitory. Their actual being seems transitory - easily broken, fragile and yet tangible. That why I think they are so beautiful when they are expressing love and thought and longings.

Howgills interior

This experience in part was out of my comfort zone. I am oddly schizophrenic... I love being with people and out in the world - but truthfully I am never happier that when I am completely alone and working in silence so I can hear the rumble of the traffic and the sound of the wind in the trees. I love the solitude. And its very meditative what I do. The cutting can be repetitive and soothing too. I like knowing what I am doing and seeing the cut appear before me.

I haven’t ever really been part of any performances. I did school plays of course... but was always one of the chorus, or hidden away somehere. I was horse mad - so riding was my thing.That too of course is off on your own or with a group, but essentially you are just in your own head.

So Solstice was many things I am not used to, even though a big part of my personality is stepping off the metaphorical cliff. You have to as an artist - people can tell if you are a phoney or if something isnt genuine. I really loved the whole experience. We were all in it together - developing our ideas, seeing what worked and what didnt. And all the individual parts grew to a beautiful whole. There was a great sense of community and togetherness and knowing that the children involved would really remember the day!

I wont ever forget it, and it makes me want to do lots more...