I have added a Gallery page to my blog. It collects together a selection of my work as a young artist in Plymouth. There are examples of my illustration and game art work as well as examples of other types of creative work I have completed or participated in. Don’t forget to check my instagram as I add new work there regularly!
For the last part of Saturday I went to Ocean Studios at Royal William Yard. We started upstairs at Emerge which is “a communal workspace for artists and creative businesses.” I looked at Esin Forster’s ocean inspired clay pieces and paintings, and I really liked her character design and marker work. I looked through one of her sketchbooks and found comic style drawings of adventurous characters and they were full of energy. I met Gabriella Van Der Stelt who was working on vivid and warm feeling acrylic paintings of fruit in bowls and buildings. Gabriella was very friendly and I looked her up online afterwards, she also does manga and videogame influenced painting and drawing. I really liked the open space of Emerge studios and can imagine how peaceful it must be to have an area like that to work in.
We went into Lisa Stokes‘ studio and talked to her daughter. Lisa paints large oil paintings which are dark and ominous. Along the corridor, Mary Hick does linocut printing of animals and insects. Her work is intricate and she patiently carves out every blade of grass and hair. Sarah Smalldon (instagram)and Shayne House share a studio where she works on her illustration work and he works on his photography. Sarah showed us her brightly coloured and cheery pictures of houses and buildings, and her hand-decorated plates and furniture. She primes the surface and then draws on them with Uni Posca pens. I am going to try this on some of my own things and for cosplay. Shayne has been working with pin prick photography and talked us through the process. He takes photos and vintage postcards and pricks them with an awl to highlight certain parts, then places the photo on a lightbox and photographs them again. He said he has been inspired by Amy Friend. Pin prick photography gives a really beautiful effect and I recommend you visit his site and see his work, you can also read the backs of the vintage postcards he has collected to work on. I also met Stella in their studio who is a young artist with similar tastes to me, and who I would like to meet again and maybe collaborate with.
There are so many other artists at Ocean Studios and many of them were happy to talk to us. Matt Tomas works on contemporary sculpture, mixing concrete and glass. He showed us the moulds he uses to create glass spikes. Rachel Darbourne makes jewellery from colourful plastic sheets, similar to that used in plastic bags. She folds and bends lots of tiny pieces to make shapes that look like carnations or coral, or Chinese dragon costumes. She also makes art from dismantling teddy bears! Teresa Pemberton is a mixed media artist whose work is inspired by Devon and Cornwall. We looked at her canvases which included oil paints, wire, bits of metal and other found objects. We didn’t meet her unfortunately but the two ladies in her studio were very welcoming, and her artwork has a sense of being welcoming and natural.
The last studio on the top floor we went to belonged to Martyn Cross. Martyn works with unusual materials in experimental ways, and he has ironed plastic bags and shaped them into the shape of a hat and a shoe. He collects old knitting patterns, cuts parts of them away and rearranges them to create strange images. I really liked his simple character drawings that were framed at the side of the studio. Downstairs Annette Daly and Melanie Cassidy share a glasswork studio where they make jewellery and decorations. We quickly looked into a couple of other studios and glimpsed some acrylic paintings we liked by Mike Hanny, but the Studios were closing and so it was time to leave. Looking online afterwards I found out that the paintings I liked are part of a series called ‘The Architects Glittering Plan’, and involve lots of patterned coloured ‘worms’ on a black background. I would love a poster of one of these on my wall.
Outside me and my brother took part in a ‘sketch-a-thon’ and spoke to Nikki Taylor about her wire mesh sculptures. Nikki uses sketches, photos and exact measurements to create life-size sculptures of human bodies in motion. There was so much more I didn’t have time to see in the few hours I was there, as Ocean Studios is filled with all sorts of artists and craftspeople. The Royal William Yard is a very peaceful place to be and I’d like to spend more time there.
In my next post I will write about the Union Street Party, the exhibitions at Devonport Guildhall, and the fine art exhibition also at Royal William Yard.
Links to previous posts on this years Weekender:
This weekend is Plymouth Art Weekender, an annual event lasting three days and celebrating visual arts in Plymouth.
This afternoon I started by meeting some friends in the Radiant Gallery’s exhibition called Dog Show. The first thing we saw when we entered the gallery were three enormous dog sculptures. Snoopy dog is a scaled-up model of a Fisher Price toy from the 1960’s by Liam Ainscough. I had never seen the toy before but it is a cute design and has a fun springy tail. The other two sculptures were made from paper mache and had wheels on the bottoms and leads attached around their necks so that visitors can take them for walks around the gallery.
We walked to the back of the room and found a display of bowls holding dog biscuits. This section was an interesting way of gathering information about visitors, as we had to answer the questions on the wall by putting a biscuit into one of the bowls. We had to work out how old we were in dog years, and I found out that 1 dog year is worth 7 human years.
There was a dressing up corner containing a coat rack of costumes and creepy dog masks. I dressed up in different outfits and posed to have my pictures taken. It was really funny coming up with bizarre combinations and my favourite was a shiny gold jacket, a pug mask and a top hat. I looked at the photos by Emma Saffy Wilson of people with their dogs or groups of friends playing with costumes, and it felt good to see the happy relationships in them.
We stayed at Rumpus Cosy afterwards and I had a strawberry and vanilla cordial fizz and a slice of blueberry cake. The cafe is pretty and the cake was tasty. If you would like to visit yourself, Dog Show will be at the Radiant Gallery until the 30th of September.
We moved on to the Barbican and stopped at 40RTY5IVE Southside, a shop which sells lots of different things by local designer-makers. We saw two of Piers Edsall’s Krakens and pottery by Christina Peters. I really liked some of the prints that I saw here by Jan Brewerton (twitter) which have a unique style. We went into Only Originals and it was filled with tons and tons of Sue Wills’s paintings, some still in progress. I spoke to her daughter Christie Wills (instagram) who is an illustrator studying at Plymouth University and who had some of her own work on display. Her artwork is inspired by animals and uses unusual techniques. She made one print using an extremely carefully cut out paper elephant, and she has dripped and layered watercolours to make colourful paintings.
Lastly we went to Barbican New Street Artists. Their studio is on the top floor of the building up lots of steep winding stairs. Here we talked to Glyn White who does extremely personal paintings, some with shocking stories behind them. The painting of a shore he was working on was inspired by an accident he had where he broke his foot and wasn’t able to go surfing for many months. Glyn is really friendly and I recommend a visit to his studio to hear his stories. I also looked at paintings of pubs by another artist in the studio, Dave Crocker, and he told us about his plein air painting at weddings.
I had a good day and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.