2017 a farewell note

As I stop to ponder back over 2017 I will firstly take a moment to mention the passing of two important people, which I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without them. The world of Illustration and of course the wider world has lost two of its gems.  Gary Powell, thank you for all the fun times learning from and teaching with you, your sense of humour and 'silly streak' is greatly missed by all and your compassion for others unmatched. Paul Bowman, Thank you for 'taking a chance' on me after interviewing me on the steps of the LCC all those years ago, and for the encouragement and attitude about work, life and ethics I still live by and refer to till this day. Thank you both, I hope to bring a little of your style and attitude in to all my future endeavours. 

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2017 was also the year I broke my arm. I have always taken pride in my ability to risk assess at life and its many daily choices (obstacles). A skill that I have officially revoked from my personal arsenal of 'skills'. Remember kids, when having fun - health and safety first! It's a dangerous world our there, full of concrete ready to make contact with your drawing arms!

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A mention, while I'm here, to the staff of the NHS at every level of care, Thank You!  The NHS is a priceless gem to be treasured. From being able to walk in to the team in A&E and in a matter of moments being looked after by such care and compassion (even a total buffoon like myself - a special thanks for not mocking me) having emergency surgery to fix the badly broken bone within a day (making me part robot) and all the effort and care of getting me back in business so soon. The NHS does so well at looking after people, lets not forget to make sure we keep looking after the NHS in return.

Physiotherapy exercise - tendon gliding

Physiotherapy exercise - tendon gliding

Video Sketchbook - Study of familiar location

I’m not sure what interests me more, seeking the familiarity in the unknown or the excavation of the unknown in the already familiar. Part of an ongoing current project, interconnected with a few other sideline projects this is a video sketchbook exploring a small area of woodland local to where I live. Sound is key in this collection of frames, an altered dimension of viewing to invite you into a new version of reality. Haunting cries and echoes of possibly familiar sounds creating a ghosted portrait of a landscape. Like a voice not fitting the face. 

 

A fond farewell to another good year

Well today is the last day of the year that was 2016. Aside from some of the more ‘memorable although we’d like to forget’ global events that have befallen upon our worlds this year I would like to take a step back and enjoy a few things that have made 2016 an inspiring place to be. 

In February of this year I had the pleasure of taking part in the Brighton University european study trip to Berlin. We took students to a number of studio visits across the city, seeing museums and galleries and a visit to Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial site on a day so bitterly cold that I could legitimately wear my balaclava (incidentally bought in the desert during a previous residency). Both Stewart Easton and myself were not prepared for just how much Berlin inspired and fuelled our work following our experience there. A city that honours the scars of its past but celebrates creativity through self expression and a ‘joie de vivre’ I have not experienced anywhere else. Berlin I salute you!

For nearly two months of the summer Stewart Easton and I took part in the Silver City artist residency program in Nevada. During our time there we each had a solo exhibition of our work, we ran workshops for the good folk of Silver City looking at ‘drawing and identity’ and ‘Stitching our history’. We journeyed across the desert to Idaho, saw a ten thousand year old canyon carved by a flood at the end of the last ice age, explored an undergroundice cave in the middle of the searing heat of the desert, rafted down a river, saw bald eagles and lived in a geodesic dome, to mention but a few highlights. And above all, we got to spend time with some amazing people in a breathtaking landscape.

During the whole of this year I have continued teaching at Brighton University and as a freelance Illustrator this has been a wonderful environment to step into. Being in the company of the level 4 degree students has forced me to introspect into my own practice, to re-examine my own working methods and allowed me to return to play within my own personal development. Watching people start their creative journeys is a joyful thing to behold. 

Now looking ahead to 2017 I have new projects for the new year: I have recently been playing around with a few research projects one of which is incorporating art & exercise. The ’Art Run’ project is still in its embryonic stage with just a handful of sessions completed but some of the initial aims are:

  • To look at how we ‘see’ our everyday environment
  • To increase physical & emotional wellbeing through exercise and creativity
  • Strengthen observational drawing skills though repetition of experience

So on reflection 2016 has taught me that it is easy to look at the world with wide open eyes when you visit somewhere new and exotic but also reminded me to pay close attention to the world I am already familiar with. When you set off on a new adventure to distant places you gasp at the sight of mountains or marvel at a dust devil spiralling into the sky but how do you look at your everyday environment with the same level of wonder? This is what I have planned for 2017.

Exhibition at Outline Editions

The exhibition is officially open but only on for a few days. If you are in the 'Shoreditch' area this coming weekend (12-13th November 2016) then head on over to Outline Editions at Lo & Behold, 2B Swanfield Street, London E2 7DS. 

'Sketchbooks, drawing and thinking'

'Sketchbooks, drawing and thinking' is an exhibition of drawings and collages from the perspective of the past and visions of possible future events. This collection work brings sense of a time and a place but in the existence of memory only, not now but then, exactly then in that precise moment in time. A view of an existence from a very specific point in space and time. I have examined the process of my ability to recall moments of past experience to bring a sense of a new space and time.

The exhibition will run from the 10th-13th November 2016 at OUTLINE EDITIONS, 2B Swanfield Street, London, E2 7DS. Private View 6-9pm Thursday 10th November 2016.

Internal Wilderness

A journal of a sequence of events occurring over a period of time and location in space.

Internal Wilderness is part of an ongoing project looking at ‘landscape and memory’ - our relationship with the environment, effects we have on the world and space around us and in turn it’s profound affect on our own memory and emotions.

Each of these landscapes is a starting point to a much bigger adventure that strives to answer the question of what lays beyond the horizon.

Within the space on each sheet of paper a world can be created either from a distant memory of a childhood holiday or from the desire to see parts of the world that for now are only dreamed about.

Available to BUY HERE

Lino Sunday

As I was clearing my desk for a days work I was about to put away the lino inks I recently ordered... and before I knew it I was into a 4 colour print run... Sometimes you just can't help but procrastinate...

Easter Sketchbook Work

Since our Study Trip to Berlin with the Brighton University Illustration and Graphic Design students, both myself and Stewart have been refreshed and inspired to create a new body of work. So over the Easter Weekend I took all the inspiration from Berlin and my ongoing project research and spent a few days doing 'Sketchbook Work' for the first time in a LONG TIME.

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Nordische Wildnis

First time I have seen this in the flesh and its looking rather splendid. I worked on this for most of the Autumn last year and at one stage it felt like I was at the foot of a mountain I had to climb... but eventually after many weekly 'to do' lists and sticky bits of tape on my walls I got to the other side.

Currently available in Germany.

Nordische Wildnis by Claire Scully, Published by Grafe und Unzer, Germany.

The Menagerie

Last year I worked on art therapy adult colouring in books for the first time. The Menagerie was the first to be published by Michael 'O' Mara books. It's been a real journey for me, learning how to make the drawing of my bejewelled series more streamlined. This is the first series I have employed digital drawing from the start.

Cover illustration for 'The Menagerie'

Cover illustration for 'The Menagerie'

A selection of drawings from 'The Menagerie' created for the mindfulness relaxation of colouring in.

A selection of drawings from 'The Menagerie' created for the mindfulness relaxation of colouring in.