This coming weekend is the start of Gallery Fifty Five’s winter exhibition. I’ll be there along with some of the other featured artists on Saturday 7th November from 11 – 1pm, so please pop in, if you’re in the area, would be lovely to see you! Their address is Gallery FiftyFive, High Street, Hartley Wintney, RG27 8NY

A selection of both my paper dresses and jelly pictures will be in the exhibition, which runs until the end of January 2016. However if you can’t make it, check out my website instead. I’ve spent the past week giving it a major overhaul and updating it with lots of images of my recent work.

Paper dresses and jelly pictures

Paper dresses and jelly pictures.

In other news I recently took part in Access Art’s Share a Bird project. AccessArt is a UK charity which aims to inspire and enable through the sharing of good practice. For the Share a Bird project, artists were invited to create a bird in any medium of their choice. These birds were then collated and sent out to primary schools across the UK to help inspire a new generation of artists. My freehand machine embroidered bird Colin has made his way to a primary school in Hove.

Access Art Share a Bird - Nervous Colin

Nervous Colin – a free hand machine embroidered drawing for Access Art’s Share a Bird project.

I also submitted work for a second year running to the A Letter in Mind exhibition, and am delighted to report that my envelope was snapped up at the private view, raising another £80 for the charity.

A Letter in Mind 2015

My envelope submitted as part of A Letter in Mind 2015.

And finally you can now follow me on Facebook and Instagram, if you want to be kept up to date with what I’m up to, on a slightly more regular basis!

A Letter in Mind Exhibition Update

Just realised I updated my Facebook page but never my blog after the A Letter in Mind exhibition. I’m pleased to say my envelope was sold on the opening night, raising £80 for the National Brain Appeal charity. Here’s a photo taken on the night, you can just make out my paper cut nearest the camera on the top shelf, next to one by Grayson Perry no less! Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 16.56.49And here’s a slightly clearer view!

a letter in mind 1

A Letter in Mind Exhibition – Oxo Gallery

Private-view-for-Charities-emailA Letter in mind Oh wow, just spotted some of my artwork on Timeout, promoting the forthcoming “A Letter in Mind’ exhibition at the gallery@oxo. Click here for the link.

All work was submitted anonymously, so not meant to say which artwork is mine, but as they’ve only used four does narrow it down a bit!

It’s for an exhibition celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of The National Brain Appeal, so loads of artists – including Grayson Perry, Billy Childish and Natasha Kidd – have created visual responses to the title ‘A Letter in Mind’ but all had to use a plain white envelope as their starting point. The results include paintings, collages, sewing and one envelope was even cooked. All of the creations will be sold anonymously for £80 each in aid of The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Thursday 2 October to Sunday 5 October 2014. 11-6pm. Admission free

Oxo Gallery, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH.

Inspired by . . . Exhibition

Yay, just had an email from the Morley Gallery to say that the paper dress I made during my Fine Art rotation, right at the beginning of the course, has been selected for their exhibition Inspired by . . . Inspired by . . . is a national arts competition open to anyone in part time education, it was launched by and is normally held at the V&A, but this year it’s been entrusted to the Morley Gallery. You were asked to submit work inspired by pieces in the collections of the V&A and the V&A Museum of Childhood. So I chose to submit my paper dress, which I created after looking into the parallels between paper and fabric. It was inspired by an Organza Origami dress in the V&A collection, which was created by Lie Sang-Bong for his Spring/Summer 2009 collection.

Paper Dress

Paper Dress, 2013

Organza Origami Dress, Lie Sang-Bong, 2009

Organza Origami Dress, Lie Sang-Bong, 2009

Having managed to find a lovely local picture framer, who was prepared to frame it for me at very short notice, and over a bank holiday weekend too, am now looking forward to taking it up to London for the exhibition, and having a chance to look at everybody else’s work too. Not a bad way to celebrate finishing the end of my course, should be fun.

UCA End of Year Show

The Gobstopper

Inspired by Fritz Kahn’s Man as Industrial Palace poster, The Gobstopper has been designed as a concept for a children’s interactive science exhibit, to illustrate the process of digestion in the human body.

To engage the intended audience, analogies have been made with children’s toys and games, primarily pinball, but also catapult, windmills, marble runs and Mouse Trap.

This conceptual piece has been realised using paper, with the intention that if it were to be produced, a more suitable material be used, such as plastic or wood. The components, the various organs, would be modular in form, allowing children to construct the digestive system for themselves.

The accompanying film,  may be viewed by clicking on the following link – The Gobstopper.

The Gobstopper - UCA End of Year Show

The Gobstopper – UCA End of Year Show

Pinball Model.

Pinball Model.

The Gobstopper installed at last!

Phew . . . at last The Gobstopper is finally in position for the forthcoming end of year show.

The Gobstopper - UCA End of Year Show

The Gobstopper – UCA End of Year Show

The pinball model and the IMac running the film, are set into a housing I created, which is designed to be a halfway house between a pinball machine and a display cabinet. Originally I created a housing from papier-mâche, and designed it to look a lot like a real pinball machine, with buttons at the side and on the front. However I felt it detracted from the actual pinball model itself, so I created a new version, much simpler in appearance and using materials similar to the model itself. I also cut away the top section of the housing around the pinball model, so that it looked more like it was sitting in a display cabinet and so that it could be viewed more easily.

A sturdy wooden base is hidden underneath to support the IMac, the model and the housing. Originally I was planning on painting the legs of this wooden frame white or at least covering them with paper, but in the end I painted them grey. I think they give the pinball machine a feeling of solidity left grey, and the colour works well with the grey of the floor.

The headphones, were a bit of a pain. My tutor, quite rightly, thought that ideally they should be white. So I bought a pair, even checked the length of the cable before I bought them to make sure they’d be suitable. A  2m long cable, easily long enough I thought, actually no, not nearly long enough. So I ended up having to make holes in the housing to ensure they were much more accessible, which wasn’t really something I wanted to do, at such late stage, but luckily worked out fine in the end.

As a finishing touch, the hook to hang up the headphones, references the two blue gobstoppers in the film.

The Gobstopper

For the purposes of presenting my pinball model at the end of year show, I realised that it was fairly essential to have a video of some kind, showing it working.

I wanted the film to show the story of a piece of food, moving around the body. I thought a gobstopper would work quite well, representing the food element. Gobstoppers, not only are round like a marble but come in a great array of colours, which would work well against the pure white of the model, and are associated with being a treat, fun, and even theatrical in the way they change colour the more they are sucked. So I thought a Gobstopper would work well.

Slide2 Slide3

I used stamps to create a title sequence, to give the film a handmade quality, thereby linking to the hand made nature of the model. I also started off the film by having a shot of a child taking a gobstopper from a dispenser made of Lego, thereby referencing a link again to children’s toys.

A link to the finished film can be found here The Gobstopper


Having finished making versions of all the necessary organs, I have finished the model off by adding elements that one would associate with pinball. So I have added a pillar hiding the hole where the ball will disappear down, using a star motif often used within pinball graphics. I’ve also added two flippers, for the purposes of illustrating digestion they don’t really need to work, but I thought it would be more fun if they did. So I created a simple mechanism, that could be hidden under the base.

flipper mechanism

flipper mechanism

I’ve only added the mechanism on one side, as unfortunately there wasn’t enough room on the right hand side to fit it in, it would have meant a complete redesign of the oesophagus slope. So the finished working pinball machine is as shown below:

Pinball model showing process of digestion.

Pinball model showing process of digestion.

The model works pretty well, obviously it’s a little delicate as its just made out of paper, but the marble moves around the whole layout pretty well, once its been launched. You don’t even need to use the flipper, the ball will roll out of sight without any further human intervention.

I was unsure whether I would cover it when finished with a sheet of acrylic, to prevent the marble flying out as its launched, but in practice because the initial slope is quite steep, the marble rarely shoots out of the box. I looked at various transparent coverings anyway, but they all seemed to distort the view of the model through it. So I decided not to bother covering it with anything, as it wasn’t essential to the design and looked aesthetically better without.

If I was making the model again, I’d like to make it a lot more detailed, and show a higher level of skill in the paper cutting. However I ‘m fairly pleased with the end result, I like the fact its mainly white, I think it shows off the shadows cast, and emphasises the precise nature of the paper cutting.  Originally I was intending to create a piece which had a much darker feel, echoing the ‘elegant macabre’ medical illustrations of Gaultier D’Agoty. However I think it might have ended up a bit confused if  had pursued this route, instead I like the limited use of black drawing attention to the mouth and the heart. The mouth works well being black representing the food disappearing down into the dark depths of the oesophagus. Whilst the black drawing on the heart makes it stand out from the other organs, which is important as the ball doesn’t actually pass through it.

However now that I know the model will actually work, but will be too delicate to be left out for anyone at the end of year show play with, annoyingly I think its now essential that I produce some kind of video that shows it working.

Cut Fold Construct Paper Sculpture Workshop

One of the first paper artists I started researching at the beginning of my final major project was Richard Sweeney, renowned for his expertise in folding paper and creating complex sculptural forms. It was with fantastic good timing that I then discovered he was about to run a paper sculpture workshop, at the Victor Felix Gallery in London, and immediately booked my place.


Cut, Fold, Construct Paper Workshop with Richard Sweeney and Andy Singleton

Cut, Fold, Construct Paper Workshop with Richard Sweeney and Andy Singleton


The day was fantastic, really interesting and very well structured, and a lovely opportunity to meet other people interested in a similar area.  The morning primarily focused on paper cutting techniques and was led by Andy Singleton. Andy, a paper artist and illustrator, specialises in working in response to the natural and man-made world.

Andy Singleton's work in progress for the Victoria Revealed Exhibition, Kensington Palace

Andy Singleton’s work in progress for the Victoria Revealed Exhibition, Kensington Palace

We were shown various techniques, during the course of the morning, including an insight in to translating continuous line drawings into paper cuts, how one could build up modular forms  and manipulate 2d paper cuts into 3d sculptures. A couple of my pieces produced during the workshop as below:

Continuous line drawing turned into a paper cut

Continuous line drawing turned into a paper cut.

Andy Singleton template cut to show how one can create a 3d sculpture and build modular forms.

Andy Singleton template cut to show how one can create a 3d sculpture and build modular forms.

Richard then ran the afternoon session, which focused upon paper folding techniques, using a variety of crease patterns, to form geometric sculptures.

Icosahedron, Richard Sweeney, 2006

Icosahedron, Richard Sweeney, 2006

Richard obviously made it all look extremely easy, in practice it was a little more challenging, as the more you tried to manipulate the paper into the desired direction, the more handled and creased the paper looked.

However I had another go, after I left, whilst experimenting with designs for my large intestine, and the results were a lot better.

X Span folded tubes

X Span folded tubes