Blossom Project

To me there are few more wondrous celebrations of nature than the fresh fizz of spring blossom. Within this project I wanted to
celebrate the arrival of  blossom, documenting it's abundance & delicacy from bud to petal fall, responding to its beauty by creating a new body of paintings. Concerned people are losing their connection to nature in our highly technological world I felt compelled to share my passion for this season, to stir up enthusiasm for blossom & reconnect people to the natural world through art. My blossom project took place in two very different locations; an arts residency at the National Trust's Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire & Chaddesden a suburb in the city of Derby amidst it's glorious cherry blossom edged roads. This involved delivering 22 blossom art workshops & 3 Pop Up Blossom Studios at Hardwick Hall, Chaddesden Fire Station, Chaddesden Children's centre, Cherry Tree school , Weston on Trent Primary School & the Quad in Derby.  The project was supported by Arts Council England, Arts Derbyshire & The National Trust. 
Losing Lace
I researched the disappearance of the Nottingham lace industry through my arts project 'Losing Lace' supported by Arts Council England & Erewash Borough Council. I wanted to piece together the facts, preserve and celebrate the history of lace manufacturing  by creating an archive of interviews; photographs, memories and stories connected with the industry. I carried out this research through visiting old factory sites, gathering lace artefacts and interviewing people connected to the industry. Workshops for schoolchildren and the elderly were also delivered which finished with a community lace  exhibition in Draycott  where my family's lace business began. I created 20 paintings inspired by old lace pattern books dating from 1912. These were exhibited across the region alongside a lace installation of artefacts gathered during the research. The project was supported by Arts Council England and Erewash Borough Council.
Bean Project
The Bean arts project started in Spring 2016 with the planting of a 90 acre bean crop on our farm in Derbyshire. Recognising the importance of agriculture I  developed this project  to celebrate the natural world, the miracle of growing food and raise awareness of our dependency upon the land. I had wanted to paint a crop from seed to harvest for some time and as 2016 was United Nations Year of Pulses I decided to follow our bean crop from the planting of the seed to harvest & create a series of Bean Scroll paintings on canvas.
  I received funding from the British Edible Pulse Organisation, Pulse Growers Research Organisation and Derby City Council to deliver arts workshops at Dale Primary School, Derby & Weston Upon Trent Primary school  with year 2, 5 & 6 pupils and an Artist Residency at Little Explorers pre- school, Derby College. The  pre- school residency took part in their poly tunnel which I transformed into a Bean Art Studio where the children could dig, plant seeds, nurture the plants and respond creatively with a wide range of artist materials which I brought to the studio. The children's work  from the project was exhibited at The Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show at Tatton Park, Cheshire in the Fruit & Vegetable Pavilion.

Flower Fairies & Sprites

This project was developed to encourage children & adults to enjoy the beauty of the natural world, be imaginative & create their own characters & stories. The Flower Fairies books by Mary Cicely Barker were one of my childhood favourites, I was Inspired by the beautiful botanically accurate illustrations. Partnering with Umbrella a charity supporting disabled children, I secured funding from Erewash Council to run fairy art workshops in Erewash Museum, Ilkeston, Long Eaton & Little Explorers Pre School at Derby College, Broomfield Hall. Participants were encouraged to take inspiration from Mary Cicely Barker's Illustrations to paint miniature fairy & sprite portraits & create stick  characters from natural materials.  
The Flower fairy & Sprite Studio went to RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in Cheshire exhibiting as a show feature; Woodpecker Joinery in Staffordshire kindly loaned a greenhouse for the five days. I transformed this into a 'Fairy Art Studio' installation with support from Swarkestone Nursery in Derbyshire who supplied the plants & the Vintage Garden Store who provided a range of old garden tools. Fairy Goodies supplied  Fiddlehead Fairy Homes  &  funds to pay for art materials so I could provide free art activities in the studio tent; hundreds of flower fairies  were created & painted over the five day show here are just a few: