Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Brighton Fishing Quarter Exhibition 2015

Handmade Vases by Helen Rebecca Ceramics

Hello all! I'm organising an exhibition at Brighton Fishing Quarter Gallery which starts next Saturday.

I will be showcasing my jewellery, aswell as my handmade driftwood boats and upcycled vintage plates alongside 12 other fabulous talented artists.

There will be an eclectic range of wares on display from stained glass to original art, prints, ceramics, jewellery, soaps, cards, homewares and general gifts. They are all affordable and made by local artists from around the East Sussex area. Some of them I know well and have worked with their amazing work before, but there are also lots of new exciting artists whose work I'm sure you will love as much as I do!

Beach Shack Project wares...

It runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April 11th untill May 31st 2015, and you can find us slapbang on the beach in the Fisherman's Quarter which is to the right of the main Palace Pier, just near the carousel, on Kings Road Arches. 
Here is a round up of all the lovely people showcasing...

Liz Toole

Liz Toole is a talented local artist who uses a combination of various techniques to create her beautiful work including screen printing, lino cutting and painting original pieces. In her recent work, she has been creating imaginary scenes filled with the patterns of nature inspired by both the Sussex countryside and the diversity of life she found whilst travelling in Africa. Liz is interested in looking at details of trees and plants, Indian textiles and bird encyclopaedias, and merging these sources to create, wall-paper like patterns that celebrate the English decorative tradition.

Jo Collins

Jo runs "OntheTide" selling her pretty handmade homewares made using Flotsam and Jetsam she finds whilst beachcombing around  Eastbourne. Jo picks up driftwood, shells, pebbles and plastic materials and cleverly uses these to create tiny evocative sculptures of coastal scenes , like a row of rugged cottages or a lifeboat guarding its harbour. Her pieces are ornamental but she has recently started making unique wall mounted scenes too. Each piece truly is a one of and she also does custom orders if you had a particular project you want her to create. 

Victoria Dewing
Victoria creates stunning dreamy images of the landscape around her. Since moving to Hove in 2014 Victoria has become increasingly intrigued by the landscape and the sea. She has always enjoyed working with mixed media and therefore her heavily textured recent semi-abstract works have been created using mod roc, hessian, texture paste and paint. An almost isolated yet restful atmosphere has been important as Victoria finds living by the sea creates a sense of peace and tranquillity in one’s life. Her soft, pastel tones and clever textures reflect and evoke a calming mood.

 Naomi Frances
Naomi creates unusual and affordable stained glass homewares and art using her distinct style. Also inspired by the coast her pieces can often be found to not just source inspiration, like a fish or boat shape, but to actually encase things she finds whilst beachcombing into the glass. Shells, pebbles, shards of pottery or beer can lids all can make their way into Naomi's work, creating a pleasing juxtaposition of materials. Her work always looks most spectacular infront of a sunny window so the light can beam through and showcase the subtle textures and colours of the glass. 


Mica Peet 
Mica is an illustrator and all round creator of lovely things including illustrations, jewellery, phone cases and pocket mirrors. Her design philosophy consists of juxtaposing her love of the beautiful natural world with an edgier, modern and idiosyncratic design aesthetic. Find subtle candy colours paired with darker hues of bold colour which have become her signature style, and pieces depicting very english creatures like foxes, birds, stags, squirrels and rabbits, as well as her geometric inspired range. 

 Lola Hoad
Lola runs "LHoad Design", an independent, one-woman run business based in Brighton. Lola creates inspiring handlettered paper goods with contemporary expressions and quotes, intended to motivate and brighten up the owner's day. Her stylised approach has a bold hand spun typography which makes her work recognisable and instantly chic for the home. Find prints, cards and stationary all guaranteed to make you smile :-)

 Helen Lucas
Helen runs "Helen Rebecca Ceramics", a delightful range of handmade ceramic homewares with a quirky twist!  Helen can't remember a time when she didn't make things with her hands. Inspiration comes from the material landscape, materials represent ingenuity. She enjoys casting well known or familiar objects, textures or surfaces which are then reused for their own unique qualities creating familiar, yet surprising objects. Find teeny tiny pretty vases cast from original charity shop finds and unusual mugs cast from takeaway cups!


 Anna Vartiainen
Anna runs "Anna's Drawing Room" a beautiful brand which showcases Anna's love and talent of illustration and pattern. Anna is very much inspired by the natural world around her and creates pretty prints, cards, and original pieces of her work. She has started printing her work onto home wares like tea towels, and gorgeous stationary like her recycled paper notebooks. Birds feature heavily in Anna's work but you will also find many other creatures, my favourite being the lobster! 

Gill Copeland
Gill's professional career in photography has spanned over 25 years. She knew from the age of fourteen that she wanted to be a photographer. Her work captures serene and tranquil moments, and many of her subject matters are coastal destinations close to home, although she frequently travels the globe photographing too looking for the perfect moment . Gill has won numerous national awards for her photographic work and has worked with many big brands.  “I love working with light… its colours and intensities can shape an image into something quite unique.”

 Dinah Dufton
Dinah is an artist of many talents and frequently applies herself to many mediums including jewellery and artwork which she will be showcasing at Brighton Fishing Quarter Gallery. Dinah's artwork is playful and often involves a repetitive theme of a subject matter, like her stunning pebble prints with subtle glittery colours and shimmering inks. Her jewellery style spans many different styles too and ranges from organic shaped "ugly" pearls to unusual feather light plastic jewellery cleverly made using recycled drinks bottles. By exploring so many different avenues Dinah's work is ever expanding but comfortably all fitting Dinah's code. She will also be selling her new range of handmade soaps that smell devine! 

 Lisa Lubilou 
Lisa is a ceramist living in Seaford who creates a range of eccentric decorative items and homewares under her brand "Lubilou". Each of her animal ornaments has been lovingly handmade one by one, and feature beautiful under-saturated hues paired with bold colours and plush deep decorative textures in the clay. Each little animal she creates comes with its own cute little story presented on a card to take away with your purchase. Her unique design style transcends easily into other areas too, like her homeware range, featuring stunning tiles, coasters, brooches, hanging charms and plates. 

Stoats and Weasels
Lisa Bamford runs Stoats & Weasels, a Brighton based graphic design company with an enduring love for all things silly. 
In Lisa’s spare time she likes to keep her inner child very much alive by creating quirky designs for badges, magnets, greetings cards, books and prints. Find lots of cute nostalgic images in bright poppy techni colours. 

Goodbye, untill next time!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Small acts of kindness, social networking and Selkies

Random title for a blog post hahaha! 

What I love about "social networking" is thats its great for building a brand up online, so many businesses use it to build a fanbase, network and promote their wares. But it is also full of other amazing opportunities, like meeting lovely people and learning new shizzle. 
I have been focusing on building mainly my Facebook and Twitter pages since the end of last year, and I've met some fabulous people, seen fabulous art and had some really important feedback. It can sometimes be very isolating being an artist and its very important and motivational to receive positive comments about your work. It makes you feel like your doing something good and people like it, and inspires you to make more! 

"Is this seagull head-dress a bit weird?" I ask Steve.
"Why are you making stuff you can't sell?" he replies, sceptically eyeing up the neon thread (Steve hates neon!) 

Feeling slightly deflated I post my image online and it gets lots of amazing comments and then I want to make more and more and more crazy neon seagull feather head-dresses! Point being a.) don't listen to men, especially men who don't like neon, and b.) social networking is great for getting feedback about your new ideas, whether good or bad. 

Anyway, as usual I'm getting off point again!

I love Seals! Started following loads of marine themed pages on Twitter, some of them post beautiful images, some are more harrowing. There are seals being culled in Scotland, which makes me sad. Don't know why you need to cull a seal. Its not the biggest crime in the world to eat fish. Its not like they can pop to Tesco's and go "actually I'll have a lasagne today." Seals eat fish. Get over it. You don't need to cull them so that humans can go out and mass fish even more fish. It just bamboozles me the way we always think nature is "in our way" so "get rid of them." It happens in Brighton, people hate seagulls. "How dare they eat our rubbish, the dirty scavengers." Whereas funnily enough there would be less seagulls around if we weren't such a lazy throwaway society. 

Flora Kennedy said that illegal shooting of seals was a theme in her book "The Wild Folk" and after enquiring where I could get the book she very kindly offered to send me a copy. A signed copy. My absolute favourite book in the world is set in Scotland and surrounds a musical seal living in a croft (Seal Morning by Rowenna Farre, think I've waffled many times on this blog about how much I love that book!) so I will be curling up with Bean on the sofa with a big pot of Earl Grey later and reading it. 

In this day and age strangers rarely do anything kind so it makes gestures like that all the more prominent. Its like a virtual hug! Even more strange to find it on Twitter! Made me so happy to receive it in the post. So social networking really is a great way to not just to blow your own trumpet about whats going on and collect fans, but to engage, inspire and interact with other people too. No one likes that person at a party who talks AT you! 

Another interesting thing that came out of talking to Flora was that she called me a "selkie" so in true me-style I had to google the word asap to look it up! Its basically a seal-woman! They are mythological creatures found in ScottishIrish, and Faroese folklore. Reminds me of similar Cornish Folklores, like the Droll of the Mermaid. Wikipedia sums it up far better than I can...

"Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. If she finds her skin she will immediately return to her true home, and sometimes to her selkie husband, in the sea. Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin (often unwitting of its significance) and she soon returns to the sea. The selkie woman usually avoids seeing her human husband again but is sometimes shown visiting her children and playing with them in the waves. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. In other stories the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing the selkie from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before the selkie must return to the sea. The selkie is unable to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human steals their selkie skin and hides it or burns it.

Theres an amazing illustrator online called Stressed Jenny who did loads of studies of Selkies like the one above. 

Anyhoo I know everytime I blog I say I won't leave it so long next time, hahaha, and then I leave it like a billion years, but if you do fancy a more up to date version of what I'm doing then follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I have loads of things I want to update on here, like my trip to Amsterdam and my feature in Oh Comely magazine where I went mud larking (like beachcombing but on a river). But I'll just leave you with some pretty leaves I saw earlier when I was walking the dog... one of them matches my shoe! Leafy bonus points :-)

Goodbye, untill next time