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.

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...

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Knights Templar Festival Week - summer 2009

A few more examples and the work put up for us all to see!

Knights Templar School, Baldock - Festival Week workshop 2009 Yrs 8 - 11

These paper cuts were from a two hour Festival Week workshop at Knights Templar School, Baldock in 2009 - pupils were mainly Year 8 rising to Year 11's. The pupils were free to cut the paper I supplied in the way they wanted. Many fixed on making faces and densely patterned ones... but the blue boat cut at the bottom was unusual. It takes a lot of nerve and sophistication to make a cut like this especially for a child. Most children want to add more and more detail but this piece is wholly about the very simplest of paper cut away.

Friday, 6 August 2010

These little paper creatures were made at a two hour workshop at Letchworth Art Centre by students aged 7 - 10. There wasn't a set outcome - I simply showed them how to make a bowl shape and the students themselves took the construction and added their natural creativity to it and out came creatures and frogs and rainbow bowls!!

Arts Award Silver students workshop painting to music:Dvorak and Muse

These pictures show some of the work produced in a student lead mini workshop that was about painting to music. The student was heavily influenced by Kandinsky in her work and the whole idea of painting as you hear music. She selected two very different pieces of music to work from...  Dvorak was very fluid with great rising cadences and sounds, whilst Muse was fantastic in its heavy base and rock opera feel. We all got completely absorbed in what we were doing. There was a hum in the room as everyone was in their own little art bubble. It was magical.

This student was studying on the Silver Arts Award course I ran at Letchworth Art Centre from Sept 09-April 2010. All the students on the course passed and gained their Silver Award.