Kate MccGwire at The RWA

September 15, 2015

Last week, I managed to get up to the RWA in Bristol to catch the Peter Randall-Page and Kate MccGwire exhibition that ended on the 10th of September.

I was completely blown away by the work of Kate MccGwire. Kate is a sculptor who uses natural, found materials in her work, in this exhibition hundreds upon hundreds of bird feathers. The work was exquisite, absolutely beautiful in its stark simplicity yet multi layered complexity. I just loved it, and it really resonated with the repeating patterns and detail that has been emerging in my work lately.


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Stone carving workshop

September 02, 2015

Over the last year, my work has been increasingly moving towards using more texture, and and sculptural elements, such as knitted wire pieces incorporated into the canvas. I decided I wanted to try learn more sculptural techniques, to see where this leads me.

On Friday 21st January, I attended a stone carving workshop with Tania Josham as part of the Step in Stone project, which is bringing sculpture trails to used and disused Quarries across Somerset. I had considered woodcarving and welding, but not stonework. But the course was really affordable and in a great location, so it seemed madness not to give it a go. Tania turned out to be a great teacher, the workshop was laid back and I got a huge amount from it. Most of all, a real ‘feel’ for this material. We carved into blocks of lovely soft Bath stone. My fear for the day was that I would not be able to get the techniques and would end up looking a little foolish. What I found was that I easilly picked up the techniques and really got into the zone of carving. However, as easy as it was to pick up the intital techniques, Tania demonstrated the immense skill that goes into getting the techniques down flawlessly. Its one of those art forms where you can master the basics in a day and come up with a decent end product, but it takes years of practice and skill to become a proper master!

I loved this course, it inspired me so much as I had been feeling a little bit in a rut and blocked after recent exhibitions that left me tired and a little stressed. I’m energised and want to practice more so I can get better. So much so, I have asked all my family for stone carving tools for my birthday in a few weeks. I will keep you posted on how my unfinished piece turns out.

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Works in Progress

September 16, 2013

Things have been busy since North Somerset Arts Week, which ended on a high of sold work and positive feedback. I am currently in the middle of two commissions, and have been being dragged away by the beautiful summer we have been having. Many camping adventures have meant less adventures in the studio! As Autumn begins to draw in, my mind turns to being in the studio, and I’m looking forward to showing some sneak peeks of works in progress.



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May 09, 2013

A few posts ago, I shared this photo which showed just how much work I had to do to get my studio up together for North Somerset Arts Week.

Arts Week is now well under way, and I realised I hadn’t shared the ‘after’ photos. So, here is the transformation of this messy garage into the gallery space that is currently open to the public.

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Nearing the finish line.

April 10, 2013

The preparations for North Somerset Arts Week 2013 are well under way. I’m not quite as far ahead as I would like to be after being well and truly knocked over by illness in the Blake household, but as the date draws nearer, I can feel the excitement building.

A dedicated band of friends fuelled by the promise of curry helped to paint the space for me over the weekend, and I have 20 boxes of brochures in the garage waiting to be delivered to some of my fellow local artists and to the rest of the local area. Tickets are already being booked for the poetry and short story reading event hosted by The Liminal that will be taking place at my venue, and it all looks set to be a brilliant night.

So, now all that remains for me to do is to finish off some canvasses to fill up venue 90!

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February 24, 2013

This week, I have been  inspired by -

Rembering how lovely my home town can look in the sunshine

Exploring at Broomhill sculpture garden.



And spending way too much time looking at this blog. And, yes, feeling jealous!



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February 10, 2013

Not only am I opening up my garage as an exhibition space for North Somerset Arts Week, but I will be letting people inside my studio which is at the back of the garage. I used to have a studio in a shared space with other artists, so people were seeing that one all the time. This space is more personal, as the only people who tend to come in it are my husband and my children, and the eldest has learnt to stay out as I got a little irate at her once for ‘adding’ to a commission I was working on with a crayon! I feel a little shy about letting people in, I have written on the walls and I’m not sure I want people to being to see the workings of my brain like that!  I am debating how much to spruce it up, it is very much a working space and not very pretty. But then I see photos like these by Kamina Walton of artists spaces at Spike Island in Bristol where she also has a studio, and it makes me think about wanting to make my space more inspiring as well as practical.

This job of preparing for Arts Week just keeps on getting bigger.

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January 30, 2013

I’m taking part in North Somerset Arts Week 2013 opening my studio up to the public and having an exhibition in my garage space. And here is that garage that I am going to have to transform into a crisp, clean exhibition space in a matter of months.

This is my garage at home, with my messy little studio at the back of it. It is a general dumping ground, play area and tool storage. Transforming it will be no mean feet, as I also have to do some work for the exhibition and look after my 3 month old and 3 year old. Did I mention it is also freezing cold at the moment?!


I’m more than a little daunted.

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Blog Comments

March 12, 2012

Blog comments are now available once more. I had to remove them due to the amount of spam I was receiving but I have now got a decent filter in place.


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Tape Melbourne

November 15, 2011

I have a passion for materials, and am drawn to finding new ways to use paint, found objects and other media to create sculptural elements in my work. So I am totally in love with this installation created in collaboration by Sven JonkeChristoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković. This this two-metre high structure made entirely of packing tape extends over Fed Square in Melbourne. And it totally blows my tiny mind. Amazing stuff.

All work can be viewed at

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