Changing Relations C.I.C. delivers education to schools, businesses and communities, using the arts to transform the way people think about gender stereotypes and relationship behaviours. Their innovative work breaks down gender barriers, fosters healthy relationships and transforms lives.
I was honoured to be selected for a commission for their ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ campaign and created some images after collecting thoughts from students with Durham University. These images will be distributed as a zine in the coming summer.
Alongside three other amazing artists I have won a unique commission to create major works for the interior of the Tyne and Wear Metro’s £362m new train fleet.
Metro will be the first urban transit system in the world to feature permanent art inside trains when the new fleet enters service next year, thanks to a project led by operator Nexus and funded by Arts Council England through its National Lottery Project Grants programme.
Four artists have been chosen following an open call for submissions, and each one will go on to create a major new work to cover the full height and width of carriage end walls, right through the fleet of 46 trains being built for Metro by global train manufacturer Stadler.
Nexus is sharing a video introducing the artists and exploring more about the project which you can view here:
Nexus received more than 120 submissions from around the world, in response to an open call for artists to respond to the theme of ‘place’ in North East England. The final four artists were chosen by a panel bringing Nexus employees from train operations and the fleet project with community arts professionals from the region.
The four works the Metro artists create will be reproduced onto the train walls by Stadler as part of the manufacturing process at its factory in St Margrethen, Switzerland. The first new Metro train is set to arrive in North East England at the end of this year and will enter service in autumn 2023 after rigorous testing.
Nexus has ordered 46 trains from Stadler which will transform reliability and the customer experience, cut Metro’s use of high voltage power by at least 30% and allow a higher frequency service across the system.
Two works of art will appear on each train, at each end of the open-plan layout of carriages, with each work appearing 23 times across the whole fleet as a result.
I’m really looking forwards to the final design and have been researching key figures of the North East’s rich history to document on the illustration.
Do you ever have those designs you draw then set aside, not sure what you think of it, then come back to it a little while later ? That’s pretty much what happened with the Darjeeling Tin. I’d drawn up Earl Grey and Yorkshire Tea but wanted to do an Indian blend, so I wrote the letters and eventually came back to it. I had encompassed my thoughts of golden sun and bright mornings as a main palette but used very some very contrasting colours of bright red and green in the peacock feathers for vibrancy.
Though it follows the main template of the tea tin series, I wanted it to be more representative of Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a town in India’s West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills.
For me the tea has a light but complex taste, and brings a little sunshine to my morning.
Delighted to have been asked to be part of Love of the Norths Exhibition in Spanish City.
I’d been noticing spring emerging and various insects emerging. After a little bit of research (and a wander down the local nature reserve ) I’d found out about various butterfly species that frequent the North East Coast. Can you spot and name them ?
Originally inspired by a design of a trio of butterflies on a vintage matchbox, these butterflies were displayed on fresh spring green leaves with a bright pink background. I’ve made this a little different to what I’ve illustrated in the past with a smaller font and a singular border. This one off A2 canvas will be available to buy during exhibition starting tomorrow 4th April 2022
Excited to share I’ve completed the digital pack for the Lindisfarne Gospels Art Trail with Durham University Libraries and Durham Cathedral.
The pack contains multiple worksheets split into four sections. The first section is based on the different animals you can see in the gospels. The second section looks into patterns and interlocking techniques. This includes using borders and Celtic knots. The third section focuses on colour; working with drawing inks including using a bamboo pen as a quill. The final section explains how to go about the final artwork, choosing a letter from the medieval alphabet sheet, the geometric layout and how different participants can share tasks to complete the overall design. The work also involved making four videos for these four sections, full of information and tips on the four parts of the gospels. Exploring the style of the carpet pages, incipits, and portrait pages.
The trail itself will be with eight schools across Durham who’ll be using these resources along with materials to create their own collaborative artwork. Each school will be picking a letter, and the trail is due to go live in April 2022.
I cannot wait to see what the schools create and share the art trail details with you when it goes live.
Pleased to announce I’ll be the first Producing Place Artist in Residence for Monkfish Productions. 📣
The residency explores the area around the Victorian bandstand in Saltwell Park in the communities that live and visit there. Through community workshops, which will be open to key groups and the public.
I drew this little illustration of the bandstand after a visit last week. I used to live in Bensham (near Saltwell Park) a few years ago and was a frequent visitor. It is interesting to think about how many people pass, take shelter and sit under this bandstand. The collective stories and experiences around this landmark would be fascinating to learn about.
My idea for the bandstand is like the illustration, getting individuals and groups to draw or write about their experiences in the area and create a vine that wraps itself around the bandstand. Reflective of the wild life around it. A symbol perhaps of how people have used the park during lockdown, and how the perceptions of parks has grown more important with the need for outdoor space.
I’ll be updating the blog as I go along in the project, doing lots of workshops and of course displaying the artwork on the bandstand itself at the end.
I was commissioned by Art Matters Now to create artwork around the theme of migration. I explored the many ways of transport immigrants can take, the landmarks of Sunderland and the hopes and dreams people have. Adding the flower of the area in blooming across hands reaching out for one another.
Reflected on my own history as a child constantly translating, dealing with racism and finding my own way to communicate through art.
‘The idea for the ‘Home Away from Home’ publication project emerged from my experiences navigating a new identity as an immigrant in the UK. They were formed against a backdrop of a global pandemic: worsening xenophobia, little real-life contact and the further marginalisation of minoritised people. In these testing and precarious times, I am eager to create a collaborative platform for artists and writers from a minority ethnic or diasporic background—like myself—to connect with each other and communicate through creative expression. I hope that this can be a place where we can define the terms in which we wish to be seen and heard.
I was fortunate to be awarded Sunderland Culture’s 2021 Creative Development Fellowship, which enabled me to commission work from artists and writers as part of this publication. The project has evolved over time and now manifests in two forms: a physical publication and a digital VR exhibition that both presents and extends the ideas through multimedia works.
The ﬁrst edition of ‘Home Away from Home’ looks into the ﬂuid notion of ‘home’ and narratives surrounding it—from frustrations to contentment, shared vulnerabilities to collective hopes. The publication brings together artworks and texts by ﬁve contributors who have made Britain their home. These individuals are Claudia Obag, Dovile Lapinskaite, Marga RH, Soﬁa Barton and myself.
Readers are invited to reﬂect on how the ideas raised might relate to their own experiences of belonging and their sense of home. Is ‘home’ deﬁned by a location? Or is it deﬁned by people? Is having a home a right? Or is it a privilege?
I’ve always wanted to draw a matchbook in contrast to the matchboxes I do. This design was the first to pop out of my head as it were. The shy bairns get nowt print was quite popular lately so I’ve used the saying again, this time adding a LIT match and of course the Geordie icon – the magpie sitting right next to it.
With the past couple of years being different due to the pandemic I hadn’t been trading at markets so was delighted when the opportunity arose to get a table at Fenwick’s Local Maker’s Market. It’s been a fantastic incentive for local business’s to trade at the reputable department store and I’m grateful to be one of them. I signed up for 4 weeks until the 22nd December- perfect for the run up to Christmas.
Selling at Fenwick’s are three variants of magnets (Newcastle, You’re Amazing and Shy Bairns Get Nowt). Sets of white Framed Giclee prints from A6-A3, Frameless Giclee prints, Tiger mugs, a brand new 2022 calendar, Sustainable screen printed tote bags and various greeting cards.
My Etsy shop is now closed until January, which makes this location ideal for anyone wanting any artwork or gifts for Christmas this year. Set on the ground floor it’s easy to get to, and has had an interesting mix of local businesses.
I was so sohappy to be able to design this for Northern Pride. As a mini pride artist I had worked alongside Northern Pride doing workshops at Ouseburn Family Festival with Curious Arts, and was over the moon when they asked me to make this design for them. I created multiple assets too for an animation focused on how gay rights have changed over the years too, which was quite emotional!
The main design encompasses The Tyne Bridge, with mirrored designs behind it representing bridges between cultures. The two magpies flying up, the symbols of Newcastle. With Alex, the rainbow angel of the north in the centre symbolising Northern Pride in the centre. Inspired by Victorian and Vintage Design around the Miners who are very important in the history of the North of England.
If you haven’t already I would highly recommend following them on social media to see what events they have planned, just go to : https://www.northern-pride.com