Last month I finished all of the drawings for my big Thomas Nashe project for the University of Sheffield. The next stage is to create a zine of the images and then next month I'll be heading up to Newcastle to work with a drama group and see how they are choosing to respond to the text we were given. It's been such an exciting and challenging project to be involved with, and I'm so excited to see how other creatives have explored Nashe's writing and ideas. There'll be a bit of academic discussion before the first workshop and then I'll go back up to Newcastle towards the end of the month to watch the finished production. I haven't yet posted all the completed images, but will be putting them up on my Instagram and the 'commissions' page of this site before too long. Here's a sneak peak image!
Earlier this week I was commissioned to decorated the front windows of the gorgeous Bird's Yard shop. They have been so supportive of me and my commercial practice and I love selling my pigeons with them and hearing stories about the variety of customers they get in, so it was a real pleasure to do it. I also created my first ever 'reel' on Instagram of the process, which was much less daunting than I had assumed it would be, so it's something I will keep exploring. I hate how much the Instagram algorithm has changed and I really dislike to way the app is now - I find it very hard to get good engagement or promote my work & everything is ad and video focussed. It's a shame but I'll persevere with it and not move over to other social media platforms like TikTok, because I'm more interested in images then videos. But I suppose I may have to bow to the algorithm pressure and make a few reels now and again...
I've also made a couple of *huge* pigeons called Pedro and Paloma who are for sale in Bird's Yard - they're a lot of fun. I'm hoping I'll be able to make some more in the future, but there isn't the space to store any more for the time being!
A while ago I made a super labour intensive embroidered piece of a pigeon - I really liked it but unfortunately the fabric warped a bit as I was making it and I couldn't ever fully stretch it out again. It was available for sale but unsurprisingly no one was interested due to the fault, so I took it out of its hoop and had a go at making a little embroidered pigeon plush. I've learnt a lot from the process - I'm going to do another one of a lobster, but I'll need a heavier cotton and I'll also need to machine the outside stitches to prevent fraying and tearing. Lobsters are my current animal obsession, so I'm very excited to stitch one!
Finally, I just came back from running a painting workshop at Typeset in Rotherham. I'm not a painter so I was surprised but thrilled to be asked to do this workshop - we loosened up with my usual drawing tricks and then we had some written prompts about our identity and the spaces we feel comfortable. I encouraged everyone to play with the loosening techniques they'd learnt and to create lots of different textures and expressions, so as not to become too precious about their imagery. It was a really lovely group and everyone had a nice, relaxed time painting and collaging onto canvas. All of the materials were from Poundland, B&M or just scrap material from under my bed, so it was also really great to show how you make things on a budget and don't need fancy materials to create art and be creative.