Friday, March 28, 2014

Sweets Workshop on Vacation

Sweets Workshop will be closing temporarily while we (Emma and John) run off for our belated honeymoon. The gallery will be closed from the 28th March and will re-open on the 22nd April.

We appologise for any inconvenience and we will follow up any queries on our return.

Our next exhibition is ‘The Originals’ by Jackie Case. Jackie’s show of intricate pencil drawings will open on the 26th April at 2pm. Click here for details.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Interview with artist Jackie Case

An Exhibition by Jackie Case
26th April - 3rd June
You are a Melbourne based artist, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Jackie Case was born and raised in the very ‘Zone One’ suburb of North Balwyn in a Dental Surgery. Yes, the distinct smell of disinfectant and toothpaste feels just like home. Jackie was equal middle child in a large family of six siblings. In such chaos, retreating upstairs with a pad of paper and a handful of pencils Jackie could find peace and relaxation within her own imagination. Drawing was a very private and internal past time, showing others her work made her feel very embarrassed and vulnerable. She would always make her friends hold her folio at the tram stop because she didn’t like people knowing she ‘thought’ she could draw. At sixteen Jackie decided the best way to support herself financially was to get her B.A in Graphic Design, which she later did at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (R.M.I.T). Always with the hope of pursuing a fine art Jackie travelled extensively going to every major Art Museum and Gallery as humanly possible. Finally around 2003 Jackie put down the computer mouse and picked up a pencil... Jackie’s work can now be found in private collections all over the world including representation by Rebecca Hossack Gallery London. 
 Woolly Mammoth

What is the concept behind your upcoming exhibition at Sweets Workshop, what can people expect to find?
The concept for the Sweets Workshop exhibition is small but detailed quirky little slices of life. A mixture of complicated technique with often simple but endearing images. Expect to find anything from ‘Straw Sucking Gold Fish’, to extraordinary detailed trees, if Jackie finds the subject interesting maybe someone else will too. Jackie’s artist style was first inspired by the technique of etchings. The warmth of shading juxtaposed against the beautiful strength of line and intricate detail. Today Jackie focuses heavily on the line work in an effort of produce ever increasing detail.

What materials do you like to work with?

Jackie uses simple pencil and eraser as well as some ink on paper to create her drawings. Her technique has been perfected over many years and countless hours of drawing. Her fine drawing ingenuity she attributes to her Father (the Dental Surgeon) with steady hands she too inherited. 
Couldface Woodface

What inspires your work?
Everything inspires Jackie’s work. She has ‘lifetimes’ of ideas and even if she revisits an idea again she finds there are so many directions they can go. At the start of each drawing session Jackie simply doesn’t know what drawings she will produce. “It’s exciting to just wait and see what comes. To stare at a blank piece of paper and not know what to draw lasts only for a second. These are often my best drawings as I have no preconceived ideas.”
 

Do you have any advice for emerging artists?
“My advice to emerging artists is show your work as often as possible. I started out in my local Cafe. It’s a great place to learn what sells and what works for your audience. The costs are minimal and your out lay is basically your time. Learning to get ‘over myself’ was probably the most difficult first step. Another great piece of advice I go was from a dear friend; “Just because a work doesn’t sell doesn’t mean it’s not good. You just haven’t found your right audience”. I’m really excited about showing at Sweets Workshop. It’s the wonderful mixture of small and quirky, with real heart and soul...” just like Jackie Case’s drawings.     

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Interview with artist Nic Dalton


Nic Dalton kicks off our exhibition season for 2014 
with his show opening 15th Feb until 11th March 2014.

Nic has worked in the music industry for many years. He's a musician with his own label and has played in numerous bands including the Lemonheads and Ratcat, he also DJ's regularly around Sydney. Something you might not know about Nic is that he is an artist at heart. In this interview Nic talks about returning to his first passion and working on his 'first ever' painting exhibition.


Tell us a bit about you and your background, you are not just an artist...
 When I left school in the early 80s, my parents wanted me to go to art school in Sydney like my eldest sister did.  I thought that if I went to art school, I’d start a band with fellow students and we’d all fight over who got to design the record covers.  So I went and started a band instead. When I would run into old school friends, they couldn’t believe I wasn’t doing art.  I did feel like I had left my true love (art) and taken up with that wild and crazy girl (music). But over the last thirty years of being a musician and songwriter, I have done so much art, not just for all the bands I’ve been in, but for my record label Half A Cow and the bookshop of the same name. I have sold paintings online to friends and fans over the years but this is my first exhibition of my artwork.

This is your first solo art exhibition though you've been creating art for many years, have you enjoyed putting the show together? What have been some of the challenges you have faced? 
 I started working on new work for this exhibition in the middle of 2012 and thought I’d be ready around six months ago. How wrong I was! Even though I pretty much had every day available to paint, life (in the form of two young children and late nights djing or playing shows) got in the way. Since this is my first public display, I really felt I had to lift my game and challenge myself with some new ideas. A local gypsy jazz band called the Spyglass Gypsies inspired me to do some paintings of them and I have found these to be a lot more work that I anticipated!

 

Can you tell us about the concept and ideas explored in your show, what can people expect to see? 
Most of the art is from the last year and a half but I have also included one or two older ones that I wanted to be a part of the exhibition. Like my music, there is a bit of variety but I have a few themes I have always liked to paint. These are homely tea pot scenes, my ‘alien’ characters (an indigenous tribe of world travelers) and pop art collage pieces that I have been refining since school days. Bright and poppy, just like a Monkees song.

  

Can you tell us a bit about your artistic processes?
I use acrylic paints (from years of touring, the paintings can be packed away in a jiffy as they dry so quickly!) and collage. I have a large supply of old magazines, record covers from the 50s and 60s and a huge box of those colour test strips from packaging that seems to make its way onto most of my artwork!

What inspires your work? 
Sport. No, only joking. As far as other artists go, I am inspired by so much great art of the Twentieth Century (Marc Chagall, Martin Sharp, Albert Tucker, Warhol, Sydney Long, Sonia Delaunay, Mondrian, Charles Blackman, the Art Deco movement and architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and the art and spirit of the original Australians. Music and books also inspire my subject matter as does a good cup of tea and a lie down.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Hours

We'll be open right up until Christmas Eve this year.
Sunday 11am – 2pm
Monday 9am – 6.30pm
Tuesday 9am – 12pm

We hope you have a great festive season, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
Sweet Workshop will re-open for 2014 in mid January.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Showcase


Over the Christmas season we'll be showcasing some of our favourite artists. We would also like to welcome a handful of new artists to the gallery including inner-west locals Eli Gallwey, Filippa Buttitta,  as well as Bricks & Paper. To find out more about these artists visit out Featured Artists page. 


We're looking forward to taking part in the Summer Sydney Finders Keepers Market opening on Friday 6th - Saturday 7th December. We'll be selling our new Christmas decorations 'Speech baubles' as well as our Christmas Card range. Of course Sweets Workshop will be bringing along our own brand of tea towel designs, poster and art prints, zines and stationery. We'll be happy to see familiar faces, so if you  are checking out the market, pop by and say hi! 


OPENING SUNDAYS:  To help fight the Christmas rush, from the 10th December Sweets Workshop will also be opening on Sundays from 11am - 2pm, right up until Christmas Eve. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Food Fight - The Festive Feast Artists & writers revealed




Our 4th annual Food Fight exhibition and calendar launch is on this Sunday 13th Oct for the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast, which is part of Sydney's Good Food Month

The fabulous artists and writers to check out in this 2013's Food Fight event are:

John D-C
I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Toy Customiser. I use a mix of traditional hand-generated techniques along with digital processes to achieve a look that is new but that also has a very vintage commercial illustrative feel to it. I like to fill my creative work with colourful references to popular culture taken from my many hobbies and interests which usually include a healthy combination of comic books, 1980’s cinema, rock and roll music, vintage action figures, 1950’s movie posters and Saturday morning cartoons.

Emmajane Illustration
Emma Simmons is an illustrator and graphic designer. As a compulsive collector of shapes, textures, patterns and fabrics, I have a huge source of inspiration to draw from – but I need a bigger cupboard. Much of my work is collage based, I relish getting away from the computer and doing things by hand. 

Bev Malzard
Bev Malzard is a woman of significant age. For decades, even before the new millennium, she has worked as a journo, mainly in travel writing. In her journeys she has always been on the lookout for great food. She eats it, photographs it and writes about it. Sweet and savoury: but sweet wins her heart every time – she thinks there should be a little sugar in everyone’s life.

Bonnie Boogaard
Bonnie Boogaard is a Perth based artist whose love for food inspires her watercolour paintings and sculpture work. She likes to create fun and happy artwork that can be enjoyed by a large audience. Bonnie gained her Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University in 2010, studied her honours in Paris in 2011 and has been creating food based art ever since.

Carmen Hui
An illustrator from Sydney’s Inner West, Carmen is very much inspired by animals and nature. Often working with mixed media, her work is very much influenced by early botanical and anatomical drawings. When she is not drawing, you will very likely find her either crafting like a crazy nanna or sharing milky tea with her cat Miso.

Dianne Conlon
I’ve loved arts and crafts forever, my playroom is overflowing with stuff ready for whatever inspiration comes to mind. New materials to experiment with is my guilty pleasure but the traditional crafts should not be ignored either. Practice, practice, practice and have fun is the best advice ever given.

Emma Kidd (Benconservato)
Emma Kidd works in a room of black painted paper, paint, metal brads & disjointed limbs. Full pieces of paper & scraps litter most surfaces in her flat (she even finds paper pieces in bed). She carefully creates each body, feather and expression, then pieces them together to create creatures that wriggle & dance.

Glenn Harvey
Glenn has 17 years’ experience producing unique designs that give clients a point of difference. Glenn has produced work for Disney, Mattel, Virgin and a number of small businesses. In Beaster Egg, his two great loves - chocolate and design, have finally come together.

Julie Mia Holmes
Julie is a printmaker and artist who lives on the South Coast of NSW.   When she’s not pecking about her studio making feathered and furry work she earns her feed moonlighting as a bookseller & wholefoods retailer.

Kate Allan
Vegetarian. Animal lover. Baker. Sewer. When she’s not being Mrs Sprout of Sprout & Bean catering, she’s fighting the dogs for the couch, the cats for the bed, chasing the chickens and making treats for her husband. She can be found teapot in hand, looking after all of them in a rust coloured cottage on top of a mountain. If she’s not in the garden growing beans, she’s wielding a knife in the kitchen murdering carrots.

Meredith Walker-Harding
Part time puppeteer, tour organiser & ukelele player; full time tea drinker, pineapple enthusiast, crafter and sweet treat baker for Sprout & Bean catering.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

JOIN US FOR OUR FOUTH ANNUAL FOOD FIGHT!



FOOD FIGHT
13th October - 6th November 2013

At Sweets Workshop we love art, not to mention food. Our annual Food Fight event combines these two passions by inviting artists and writers to submit pieces around a specified food theme during Sydney's Good Food Month

This is our 4th collaborative Food Fight exhibition and accompanying calendar produced by Sweets Workshop. Food Fight is all about food, pitting image against text, recipe against illustration, photograph against story. In the ring this year – FESTIVE FEAST!! 

The official exhibition opening and calendar launch will take place on the 13th October to co-inside with the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast and Sydney's Good Food Month. The exhibition will run from Sunday, 13th of October until Wednesday, 6th November 2013. The calendar is a limited edition print run, printed on 100% recycled paper and will be available from Sweets Workshop while stocks last.


Date: Launch day - Sunday 13th Oct 2013 for the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast
Exhibition runs from 13th October - 6th November 2013
Where: Sweets Workshop, Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill 2130 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Interview with stencil artist Maria Harding


Stencil Portraits on reclaimed wood by Maria Harding
EXHIBITION EXTENDED UNTIL 24th SEPTEMBER

What is the concept behind ‘Chasing Rainbows’ and what can people expect to see in your exhibition?
Since starting Stencil Portraits in 2011, I’ve absolutely loved creating custom portraits of children, capturing a moment in time and making it into something that can be treasured for years to come as an artwork.  But with all my portraits, I’ve had to part with them as they’ve been commissions for other people. So I thought it would be really nice to create some of my own personal portraits and have a bit of fun with them by adding whimsical and imaginative aspects to them and giving myself the freedom of doing my own thing.

People can expect to see joyful paintings of kids all engaged in fun nostalgic activities all painted on variety of wooden pieces.


Can you tell us a bit about the artistic processes you use to create your work? 
It starts with an idea in my head, a memory from my childhood or often an idea sparked from something my 3 year old has said or done. Then I’ll take photos of my son and his friends playing and work out which of these can be interpreted into my idea. I start out in photoshop, working with initially a filter, then redrawing and reworking elements to get the desired two tone effect. Then I print it out and hand cut the stencils, before painting with acrylic paints. I should say this is also a bit of a team effort as my husband has helped me in cutting, sanding and sticking together the planks of reclaimed wood ready for me to paint on. I can’t saw in a straight line so without him, I think I would have had to stick with canvases!



What lead you to work with reclaimed materials, what do you enjoy about it?
I love the idea of taking something that has been discarded and destined for landfill and turning it into something beautiful, and wood has so much potential for this. I often see offcuts/ old furniture thrown out on roadsides in my neighbourhood and one day picked one up and thought it would make a great little ‘canvas’. Painting on wood, especially if its got alot of natural grain or is rough cut has its challenges but I also find it so much more rewarding than painting on canvas and enjoy working with the texture, I feel it adds more depth and character to a painting.



What inspires your work? 
I’m inspired by alot of different things and people. My little boy is hugely inspiring with his abundant energy and enthusiasm for life, and I find kids in general inspiring as they remind me of my childhood and all the imagined worlds and games I would play in. Artistically, I’m inspired by street art, abstract art, interior design and expressive portraiture. I’m a big fan of colour, and get inspired when I see nice colour schemes, in nature or otherwise. At the moment with it being winter, I”m loving the sunsets we get around Marrickville - there are some awe-inspiring colours out there.

www.stencilportraits.com.au

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Artist call out for Food Fight 2013


The FESTIVE FEAST – Edition
Food Fight is a yearly collaborative exhibition and accompanying calendar produced by Sweets Workshop. Food Fight is all about food, pitting image against text, recipe against illustration, photograph against story. In the ring this year – FESTIVE FEAST!!

We’re calling for submissions from artists and writers to contribute to the exhibition and calendar. What we’re looking for are illustrations, design, photography, recipes, stories, poems and so on, that focus on the theme FESTIVE FEAST. For example, it could be about party food or a festivity!

The official exhibition opening and calendar launch will taking place on the 13th October to co-inside with the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast and Good Food Month. The exhibition will run from Sunday, 13th of October until Wednesday, 13th November 2013.  The calendar will be a limited edition print run and will be available while stocks last. Check out what was on offer in the previous 3 editions of Food FightSnack Attack, The Pack a Picnic Edition and The Sweet Tooth Edition.

If your artwork/written piece is selected it may feature in the calendar and/or the exhibition. Any written piece or artwork chosen to be included in the Food Fight calendar or exhibition will receive a free copy of the calendar. There will also be one arts prize and one writer’s prize awarded for Food Fight. The arts prize winner will receive a solo exhibition at Sweets Workshop in 2014. The winning writer will receive a Sweets Workshop gift voucher.

 Submissions close on the 25th of August 2013. Email us your entry as a low res electronic file (pdf or jpg) to info@sweetsworkshop.com. If your work is chosen, we will contact you for high res files, which we will require by the 1st September 2013. If working digitally please make sure you work to 300dpi, and if working by hand we can organise high res scans. Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested in contributing. 

For those of you who don’t know about Sweets Workshop we are a retail art gallery which exhibits and stocks art, decorative objects, giftware and independent publications with a strong focus on locally handmade items. Located in Summer Hill, our aim is to offer the community something original, sweet and within reach. We have a dedicated exhibition space, which can feature one particular artist/designer, object, artistic process or theme at a time. The exhibitions change regularly to incorporate as many artists and designers as possible. For information about us please visit our website www.sweetsworkshop.com

The selection criteria for Food Fight will be at the discretion of Sweets Workshop. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Interview with felt artist Meredith Walker-Harding


We've finally tracked down the mysterious master felt forger Meredith Walker-Harding from the underground to tell us a bit about her show 'Felt Forgeries'. 
The show is now extended until the 13th August.

Can you tell us about the concept for your show ‘Felt Forgeries’? What can people expect to see?
Well, the title of my exhibition says it all really - the concept was to rip off famous works of art and re-create them in felt! The idea sprung up as a joke whilst brainstorming what the heck I could do, and stuck. As someone who dreams of making a living by making things, the possibility of this ever becoming a reality grows more remote, naive and desperate with each passing year. So what else was I to do but turn to art forgery to make ends meet?! 

People can expect to see very lumpy copies of masterpieces from Monet, Picasso, Mondrian, Miro, Matisse and Nolan.


Your creations are quite intricate, can you describe your processes?  
After I chose which piece to forge, I simplified the work down to it’s basic lines, colours and composition. Using this, I made a stylised template, cut out each felt piece and then stitched like crazy! The stitching really made each piece come to life - I was able to emulate brush strokes, add details and depth to the flat block colours of the felt.


What were some of the challenges you faced in putting together your pieces for the show?
The biggest challenge was choosing which pieces to copy. Each work needed to be instantly recognisable, but also able to be translated into felt and still look good! I learnt quickly to stay away from people after an attempt to copy ‘The Mona Lisa’ resulted in a weird disfigured pink blob! Finishing off and framing each work was also tricky and involved lots of cardboard and double sided tape! I began to lose confidence in my idea, abilities and work the closer the exhibition opening got, but fortunately for me, my very kind and encouraging husband and friends pulled me out of my artists’ funk and got me to the finish line in one piece!

To View photos of the exhibition opening, click here


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pack of Heroes Contest

You may have noticed that Sweets Workshop has gone a little superhero crazy lately. So we're hosting a "Create a Superhero" Competition to coincide with the current exhibition Pack of Heroes.


All you have to do is come up with your own superhero idea and return it to us by June 18th and you could win a Pack of Heroes T-shirt or poster.

You can download the entry form here.

Here are some great entries we have already received!

Of course you can still help Pack of Heroes get produced by supporting it on Kickstarter.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Interview with Illustrator and Graphic Designer of 'Pack of Heroes' John D-C



What Is Pack Heroes? How have you been involved?
Pack of Heroes is an up-and-coming, action packed card game where players control a team of comic book superheroes and battle it out in a quest to gain control of Power City.

A little over a year ago my good friend and game designer Phil Walker-Harding from Adventureland games asked me whether I wanted to help him illustrate and work on the graphic design for his latest game, a superhero card game. This was pretty much my dream job. Phil really understood what he wanted the game to be and we were definitely on the same page about creating a fun group of brand new superheroes for the game. Phil set the scene with a few ideas for characters but was happy to let my imagination run wild.


Describe your illustration style and influences?
My illustrations are based around the many characters I create, they include the ever romantic Dorothy Dish and Edward Spoon, the hip shakin’ chain rattling Frankie, a pink fluffy monster with a sweet tooth for vinyl records, an attacking race of pizza slice aliens and now a pack of 30 brand new superheroes.

I have my own particular style of illustration, where I use a mix of traditional hand generated techniques as well as digital processes to achieve a 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s commercial illustrative feel. I like to fill my work with colourful pop culture references from comic books to album covers and movie posters to animation. 

I have been reading and collecting comic books for the past 25 years, it is one of my favorite hobbies. From the beginning of the Pack of Heroes project it was clear that we were looking for a fun and offbeat group of Superheroes to make the game enjoyable and accessible to a wide audience of people of all ages who aren't necessarily comic book fans. Here I decided to look back to the silver-age of comic book production for a little inspiration.

For a little bit of background, the silver-age of comic books spanned from about the mid 1950's until the 1970's. It left behind a lot of the gritty realism and propaganda seen in comic books of the World War II era (think of the early gangster crime and detective world of Batman, or the War efforts of Captain America) in exchange for more fun science fiction based story lines. This period saw the creative talent of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby help Marvel Comics take the spotlight with the creation of characters such as The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Ironman, Spider-Man and the X-Men, characters who were fun, new, exciting and well and truly fictional.


When it came to illustrating the game, I looked to the dynamic, poses and bold costumes created by illustrators such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Buscema, Sal Buscema and Herb Trimpe. Within the game each character is only shown once and the illustration had to clearly represent what the character is all about while also show off their powers at a glance.


What are some challenges you faced while working on 'Pack of Heroes'?
By far the biggest challenge I faced was the scope of this project, conceptualizing, sketching, refining and creating finished art for 30 new heroes is no mean feat and while I lost track of the actual time I spent on this project many times, I reckon It was somewhere around the 300 hour mark. A further challenge was really keeping continuity in the illustrations, how could a Humanoid Unicorn in a pair of rainbow metallic shorts and a Blind Female Superhero Judge carrying a giant gavel exist within the one game? It was all down to the illustration. I had to make sure each character worked on their own and together as part of the whole project, ensuring that my Illustration style didn’t change as the project moved forward. I overcame this challenge by making sure that my sketches were well and truly locked in before I began working on the finished artwork.

A further challenge was treading, a sometimes very fine line between referencing, acknowledging and parodying existing superheroes and popular culture to create something new, exciting and fun which appeals to a broad audience.

Illustrating a game is one thing but working on the graphic design for it is another thing entirely. It is quite tricky with usability and continuity definitely being the most important factors to consider. While working on the graphic design for the game I also really wanted to fill it with references to superhero comic book design, be it through layout, typography and logo or icon design.
What can people expect to see at the exhibition 'Pack of Heroes'?
The Exhibition is really the first public outing for Pack of Heroes as it now moves from its play-testing phase into its production stage. It will unveil the 30 brand new superhero characters that John D-C has illustrated for the game as well as featuring a behind the scenes look into the development process of the game.
The exhibition will allow you to meet the creators of the game and even have a play of it before its release!  It will also feature a few things created to help advertise Pack of Heroes, such as a promotional-viral video and a series of one-off action figures created by John D-C




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Interview with creator of 'Creature Cravings' Julie Holmes


What is the concept behind your show?
There is something particularly special about glimpsing a bird of prey on the horizon or catching a rustling of leaves in the nearby bushes. 
I am a fauna fanatic and I know that not everyone would feel a sense of rapture like I do when I capture a glimpse of creature in my nearby vicinity.
 BUT they are there! Even if you don't know they are or choose to ignore them. 
In Janine Bourke's book 'Nest' she says "We tend to take birds for granted, in the landscape or in our neighbourhoods. The presence of birds communicates the health of a place. When they're gone, it's as though there's a hole in the sky, in the air, an absence of beauty and grace, and vivid chatter or haunting cries are replaced with eerie silence."
This is just a reminder, a gentle prod and peck….. You might even make a new friend of two…


What can people expect to see in your exhibition?
Prints, prints, PRINTS! 
Creature Cravings is a collection of Linocuts and Etchings with a little bit of Screen Printing, Bunting and Collage thrown in.


What inspires your work?
Anything from the natural world. Give me a cup of tea and a David Attenborough doco and I'm one contented little bird.
I live on the South Coast so walks on the beach are a good way to get out and have a break. There are a pair of White Bellied Sea Eagles that live nearby and no matter how lost or frustrated I feel with some work I'm doing they always make me feel better.

Looking at other artists' work always helps to think in a different way too. 
At the moment I've been looking at David Hockney's landscapes, Sally Mann's 'Deep South' photos and Ben Quilty's new paintings. But there are too many to name! 
For printmaking inspiration there is always Kiki Smith or William Kentridge and for drawing ideas there's Aida Tomescu, Anselm Keifer, Mike Parr…….the list goes on!

I read A LOT. Sometimes I read when I should be doing other things. I'm particularly good at procrastinating…….
I love Kids books from authors like Oliver Jeffers, Emily Gravett and Tove Jansson's Moomin books. They have a sense of humour and the drawings are fantastic. 
Fiction is important too. Sometimes a sentence or phrase can pop up that magically fits with what I'm thinking about in my work. Angela Carter, Gerald Durrell and Yann Martell are just a few names in a big pond!


Can you tell us a bit about the artistic processes you use to create your work?
I approach making an image in a very experimental way. I like to play with different materials and compositions as I put the plates down on the press just before printing. Sometimes I'll bolt out the door at the last minute to grab some gum leaves or plant matter to emboss or do a rubbing to collage on. I can get quite impatient so things happen very quickly and spontaneously. 
I am a bookish person (possibly an understatement….) and have a large collection of animal and bird books that I take images from for prints. I like cropping the creatures back so they are almost ambiguous, a peep hole into another world.


We realise that you have a fondness for animals, what draws you to capture them in art form... And do you give them names like pets?
I love animals. There are so many varied and wild creatures out there that sometimes we can find it hard to imagine they even exist. 
They teach us things about the world around us and are indications of how much things are changing in our environment. 
I use them as metaphors for the human condition, as reminders of the fragility and beauty of life.
I don't think of my creatures as pets, they are characters in their own right and naming them is the best part! Charles Dickens is always in the back of my mind - now there's a man who could name his characters! Polly Toodle, Pumblechook, Uriah Heep….They roll off your tongue. I always have to say them aloud to decide which name is best….Ms. Drusilla Duck, Mr. Eustace Hare, Mr. Reginald Badger, Miss Matilda Tawny Frog Mouth….
I'm interested in how we anthropomorphise animals, giving them human qualities and characteristics to understand and empathise with them. Language is the thing that separates us.