October’s Showcases are introduced by Pen to Print and Write On! regular Michelle Sutton.
Today’s showcase is less about words and more about images. October 25 is International Artist Day, and as an artist myself, I couldn’t pass up the chance to collate different forms of art from several fellow artists.
Art comes in many forms and artists are always experimenting, finding new mediums to use, or a different way of expressing themselves. In this showcase, I’m including a wide range: visual art, rock art, photography, film-making, performance, comic book art, street art, wildlife artivism and textiles.
I describe myself as a wildlife and rock artist, but also produce wildlife artivism pieces. I work in a variety of media, including: acrylic paint, pen and different pencils (graphite, coloured, watercolour, inktense & pastel), and I like to mix them as well. I also work on different surfaces, paper, canvas, wood (inc. reclaimed), pebbles and rocks. I recently completed a mural on some metal doors for the Friends Of Bush Hill Park, in Enfield, which is the biggest I’ve ever worked to date.
Currently, I’m taking part in Inktober – an annual challenge to produce daily art that fits specific prompts. This year, I’m creating small pen drawings as ACEOs (Art Cards Editions & Originals) or ATCs (Artists Trading Cards). You can see the first six of these below, along with one of my painted rocks. If you’d like to see more, you can connect with me on Instagram: @msuttonartwork.
The first of these wonderful artists to feature in this showcase is Alicia Hayden.
An award-winning wildlife artist, photographer, writer and filmmaker from North Yorkshire, Alicia has a degree in Biological Sciences from Oxford University and is currently studying for a Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE, Bristol.
She created this piece of wildlife artivism, When The Whale Sang, to demonstrate the impact of anthropogenic noise pollution on whales, and how it is harming their populations. It won the ‘Human Impact’ category in the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021, and was awarded the inaugural Ingrid Beazley Award. It’s also part of UNESCO’s Creative Resilience Exhibition ‘Art by Women in Science’.
Alicia also produces some wonderful and educational nature short films. This one, about Nursery Web Spiders, seemed an apt choice for October.
Next up, we have Danny Baxter. A regular to our online and physical magazine, Danny has created comic strips and artwork for Write On! and here are two more of his creations:
The first, Teenage Mecha DagFest Flamingoes, was a T-shirt commissioned by Creative Barking and Dagenham for the fifth and final DagFest, 15 June 2019. Unfortunately, the T-shirt never saw the light of day, as the onsite printers had to pull out. The design was inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the franchise was instrumental to Danny learning how to draw comic book style illustrations – and flamingoes, a popular DagFest theme.
His second piece, Intervention At The XIth Hour, a poster as part of his Who Is Captain K? installation in the Not So White House Exhibition (part of the White House artist residency programme) in October 2018. It’s a digital image made from mixed media collage, in the style of a spoof comic book cover.
You can listen to some of Danny’s music on YouTube, including this one: https://youtu.be/upBswAsPheg and connect with him on Instagram: @baxx_xf
Some people wouldn’t think so, but jewellery making is an art form as well. Katie Yexley creates jewellery in her spare time from natural forms cast in sterling silver, bronze and copper. Below are examples of her work: a sterling silver stone necklace, a sterling silver butterfly wing necklace and a bronze beak bone necklace, all on silver chains.
You can connect with Katie and see more of her work on Instagram: @katieyexley
On Friday 15 October, you might have read Write On! Extra’s feature: Fuelling Creativity With The Reading Network + Guild Of Experience, which included a write-up about a collaborative performance by artist Iesha Denize and fellow Pen to Print & Write On! regular, H.B. O’Neill. Friday’s feature included each of their poems that O’Neill recited for an audience while Iesha painted in real-time, translating their poetry visually live on stage.
Below you can see both paintings, oil on canvas, Iesha created during the performance: the landscape from O’Neill’s poem and the portrait from her own. Studio 3 Arts requested the pieces to be included as part of the borough’s upcoming Art Trail – which actually begins on International Artist Day.
You can connect with Iesha on Instagram: @iesha.denize
The next artist in this showcase is Charlotte Webb, a UK-based artist, illustrator, and cat-mum-of-two, aptly named Vincent Van Kitty and Frida Catlo.
When I was looking for pieces to feature in this Showcase, I stumbled upon Charlotte’s Instagram post about making her own paper from junk mail. I’ve used recycled paper for art pieces before and thought this would be great to show the inventiveness of artists, especially when it comes to reusing instead of throwing things away.
Charlotte explains: “Fed up with getting an overwhelming amount of junk mail, I decided to have a go at recycling some, before slapping a big fat sticker on my front door. I gathered up five or six pizza delivery menus, supermarket flyers, and internet provider bribes, and took great satisfaction in shredding them all by hand into two to three centimetre-sized pieces. Apparently, you only need to submerge the paper for around two hours. However, given the paper had a glossy finish, I left mine overnight, in the hope this would improve the results. The next morning, I drained and then blitzed the sodden paper with an old food blender for a few minutes, adding the resulting mushy pulp to a bowl of fresh lukewarm water. To make my paper-making frame, I found an old embroidery hoop, and a left-over piece of fibreglass mesh I had previously bought to insect-proof the windows during the summer. You simply place the mesh in between the two hoops, pull taut and tighten the catch.”
The pictures below show the steps Charlotte took to create her paper, the results and finally an acrylic painting on her homemade paper.
She even made a video: Making Papers
Charlotte also recently took an online puppet mastery foundation course. You can read about her experience on her blog and see some pictures of her buddy puppet below:
Next up, we have Norma Armand. Norma is a talented writer and her writing has featured in Write On! before. She’s also an equally talented artist and sent in these two beautiful drawings of a tabby cat and a goldfinch.
An art showcase wouldn’t be complete without featuring some photography, and what better person to feature than local photographer, Jimmy Lee? As well as street photography and portraits, Jimmy can often be seen at events around Barking & Dagenham.
Now, we have sculptures made from reclaimed items by local artist, Griffi. Griffi has a multidiscipinary approach to work, exploring areas of neuroscience, physics, psychology, philosophy, semiotics and cultural studies. Griffi’s work is usually intricate and complex, automatically and systematically made, posing subliminal questions and producing subtextual messages. Using an array of reclaimed materials such as screws, nails, kitchen utensils and other building paraphernalia, the artist makes collages and sculptures mixing new and old objects, some of which have been donated from local people and building sites. Griffi also works as a creative producer at The White House Dagenham, collaborating with makers, designers and other artists to deliver workshops and support for local people and their community.
Below, are two examples of Griffi’s work, Kokoro and Screw TV :
Image credits: Kokoro – Photographer Robin Sinha & Screw T.V – Photographer Jimmy Lee
You can connect with Griffi on Instagram: @griffi2468
Finally, what better way to end a showcase for International Artist Day than with the next generation of artists?
Wonder, by 15-year-old art student, Sophia Pelc, shows a young person looking up in wonder at fish in an aquarium. Personally, I’m always happy to see young people engaging with nature, and through art, especially with what’s going on in the world today. The natural world is full of wonder, if only we take the time to stop and look.
These next two pieces are by my seven-year-old niece, Lucy. She drew this leopard and tiger from actual specimens in the Natural History Museum. She then, logically, had to add meat, because the tiger was hungry!
Last, but by no means least, we have some very creative drawings from three and three quarter-year-old, Anabelle Buss (the three-quarters are very important, apparently!). I do have questions about that treasure map, though. Is there treasure at all the X’s, or are some of them decoys or traps?
If you’d like to see your writing appear in the Write On! Showcase, please send your short stories, poetry or novel extracts, to: email@example.com.
You can read more fiction, poetry, interviews and author advice in the latest issue of Write On! Issue 10 of Write On! is available now. You can see it here.