The residency gave me a blank space to transform in to an inclusive studio that people could come to and, not only gain insight in to how I work, but be inspired to push themselves creatively too.
It was two weeks of immersing myself in the local area, experimenting with a new body of work around the themes of culture and identity, and running a series of creative workshops and events.
I ran four creative workshops at the Pop up Studio on various illustrative processes including print, animation and collage. I worked with children from resettled families group, an early onset Dementia group and general public from the Tees Valley area. I also hosted a ‘Drink + Draw’ evening where I transformed the floors, walls and windows in to drawing canvasses on which people could get creative in a fun and informal way (whilst socialising with a beverage!)
I took one of the empty white walls of the space as my ‘process wall’, building up a body of experimental work, testing out different mark-making ideas and getting inspiration from the people I was meeting and seeing, the Tees Valley music I was listening to, and also my personal connections to the theme of identity and cultural. It is not often I get chance to create work with a focus on exploration rather than outcome, and the time spent in the studio was liberating. I found myself being pulled back to my long-time love of print making, along with responsive collage and portraiture.
Looking at the wall on the final day, the body of illustrations felt like a deconstructed sketchbook, with nuggets of ideas for me to investigate and develop further. I will be exhibiting them as part of Empty Shop’s closing event to mark their time at The ConTemporary Space on 18th July 2019.