Artsite Studios

Thought I’d take this opportunity to put together a blog to introduce all the studio members at Artsite, their artwork and some thoughts about what it means to have a studio space to create in Swindon. So here they are…….     

  Paula Sullivan

3334 35

Working as an artist can be isolating and having an affordable studio is important so you are not restrained by big fees. Its great to have a dedicated space available 24/7 which encourages your creative practice among other artists.   At the moment my inspiration comes from my collection of old china and pottery from the Victorian era and the the decades of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. I am fascinated by the history of these objects which influence me and I incorporate into my work.  
  I run a weekly Art Club on a Wednesday morning.  
      I often work on different pieces at once switching from mosaic making to drawing and painting. I’ll start with a large mug of tea. I spend time researching, experimenting, and getting inspiration for ideas. I catch up with the other artists and help with jobs that need doing at Artsite.    My studio is full of shelves of broken china, pottery, books, paints and lots of clutter! A  large table that I work on, and a cabinet displaying my collected jugs and pots. I have a wall dedicated to inspiring me with other artists images, and quotes. I have drawings and paintings spread around the studio. It’s my haven.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Phyllida Richards -
Having space to be able to make is the thing that helps keep my life in balance.
It is especially nice to be able to walk down the road, arrive, and tune in to what I was doing last time and connect again..

121413 A typical day for me is lots of lovely people, a busy café and probably some washing up or some coffee making and lots of listening, planning and encouraging at The Olive Tree Café. Its then time for a dog walk, and hopefully some time down at my studio, unless it is Silent Witness on the telly!
Loads of people and things inspire me, and like many, our beautiful countryside and landscape does too. Sometimes a cold rainy walk at dusk or to Barbury is the best.
My studio is a bit of a hotch potch with a ) ash of enamelling and wools and cords everywhere. There are usually 3 or 4 things on the go, as I have the concentration of a gnat. I’m so lucky to have the space to do it.
 I used to run the craft studio at TWIGS. When I left that, the thing I missed most was making with people and sharing that creative process. It is lovely to be doing some workshops again,-Make and Cake has been established nearly 2 years now, and I keep saying I will do some felting and some enamelling. It was lovely to do a couple of young carers workshops last year. I enjoy sharing my materials and gathering for new projects. I am looking at ways of combining some felting with enamelling, and  also enamelling onto good old copper piping . There are also some Chinese lanterns almost finished, I think I could happily spend all my time trying out different seed head forms…but then that would mean some concentration.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Kelly Ishwari Waldek
Printmaking and Mixed Media

57 6

My studio is my place to hide and re-set., my sieve-space of survival, where all the noise and the chat can be refracted or rejected.
Here I can pick jewels from chaos, and pause to sense with clarity where beauty lies in all that loud dreary funk, and quietly digest, regard, tease out and transform beautiful truth.

A typical day begins with my priority firmly in place: maintaining a functioning standard of health and well-being necessary to look after my beloved family. If energy or time remain, creativity and contemplation ensue. I may be lucky enough to indulge in the nutritious business of making; that could be designing/transferring/cutting/proofing or printing a block, or I may spend time in productive meditation, steadily producing a mandala.  Occasionally I am able to venture out into nature, to drink in the freely available splendour of landscape, and/or ancient creations and sign-posts. Most importantly, every day I endeavour to allow and arrange as much time as possible to be still, to be idle, to be quiet, to be even.
What inspires me?
Natural spaces, forms, shapes and repeats.
Archetypes and symbols.
That which I encounter during glimpses of peace… moments of brain-gap nothingness.
Generosity and selflessness.
My studio is a place where I can more easily recognise my authentic self. A place of messy beauty, untamed trying and un-self-conscious glee, where my own inherent ability to heal and survive is honoured and protected.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

SALLY TAYLOR

23a 22 23

My studio is a haven, a place away from home which is all about me. A space not just for making art but over the years where I can store and curate my collection that both inspires and informs my practice

My days when I’m not making art, are usually a mix of planning projects, admin and meetings. I enjoy being creative generally whether cooking, sewing, decorating or working on my allotment.

Being with other artists at Artsite enriches and inspires me and the process of collaboration, whether exhibitions, events and workshops or creating public artwork. Working within the community with people to become more creative has played a major motivating force as a artist over the years.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
PAUL EXTON

38 36 37
The studio for me is a special place where I can surround myself with creativity. Its a sanctuary from the distresses of everyday life, and is a place where art can be experimented with, the equivalent to a scientist in the laboratory. The studio offers as much return as one is prepared to use it. A must for all artists.
Other interests include going out in my camper van and enjoying different parts of the country. Exploring historical sites which can feed into my artwork.
I love natural surroundings and am partial to old ruined buildings for inspiration and atmosphere. Going to art gallery’s and museums. Walking country paths, wooded areas and canals

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

SAMANTHA SILVERTON

41 40 39

My studio space is my quiet and creative place, my escape from the everyday ordinary.  It’s a place where I can focus my energy on what makes me happy which is making ceramics.  I’ve recently just finished my masters degree in ceramics so I’m currently re organising my studio space, which mostly involves a lot of tidying.
A typical day could be mixing and sieving glazes and slips, kiln firings, rolling out slabs of clay or doing mundane tasks like reclaiming clay.
    My recent work is inspired by abstract expressionism and the landscape which surrounds us. Each piece I make is unique and slightly sculptural, highly decorated tuning into an intuitive and spontaneous way of working. Focusing mostly on surface decoration.  I’m inspired by the depth of colour and marks which can be achieved on the ceramic surface

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

VICKY SILVER

21 19 20

My studio is the only place I have where can go and for a short time and forget all my responsibilities. It is my thinking space, my breathing space, a space where I can go and work, without judgement or interruption.
I sometimes start working with no preconceived thoughts or idea other than to explore the medium in front of me, concentrating more on atmospheric perspective and depth
It does not simulate or pretend to be anything other than what it is, an instinctive and undisguised emotional event. Birds and creatures feature in my work describing both the strength and fragility of living. I am in fascinated by the dichotomy of the natural world including that of humanity.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

MARTIN KING

32 31 30

I have a studio at home but at times can feel isolated, I also have a studio at a Artsite. Being part of an art community who give you support and encouragement enables me to focus far more on my work. I like to work with oils and acrylic. I support Paula Sullivan delivering art sessions on Wednesdays. My other hobbies are working with wood, at the moment I am teaching myself to make a 15 century longbows, music is also a hobby of mine

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
KATE DAWSON

43 42

My studio represents a safe little haven where I can forget about other stuff going on in my life. Surrounded by my own most personal belongings the privacy is such a comfort. Most other people are not invited in! It’s my sanctuary that doesn’t exist anywhere else in life. I work mostly from observation.. the nude and landscape and then they come together in my studio with imaginary images from my inner psyche to create a more personal depth. Artsite is affordable, keeps one engaged with like minded people and we always have a good laugh. I am so happy to have this space and consider it a privilege in my life.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
BILL COX

18 17 16

Artsite gave me a studio when I was affected by health issues, I was given my studio free for years when we were at the top of Cricklade rd when the Octobus Project hosted Artsite. Through their help I have been enabled to maintain my art practice which helps me deal with those health issues.
I can honestly say that Artsite have made me able to live in a community that supports both my health and my art. Thank you Artsite

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

DEIRDRE LEVY

26 28 29

Having a studio space is fun, inspiring and keeps me working in a different way to my practice at home. My studio self is more disciplined and un distracted, my studio is small and cosy with plenty of hanging space for my soft sculptures and papers that I prefer to see hanging loosely.
I tend to dream up ideas, collect resources and materials and bring them down to Artsite to continue forming ideas and projects. The studio atmosphere is creative and nurturing in that I can meet and work with other artists as well as spending time alone, a process that seems essential to most artists.
Currently I am working on a ‘ darning as art’ project and continuing the work with masks for the dreaming project at the Richard Jefferies museum – and something close to my heart, workshops for participants to create installations that trace and inform their lives.
As an installation artist the studio space provides a workplace for me to develop ideas and roll with them & see progress reflected in my practice.
A big thank you and much gratitude for Artsite and fellow studio holders

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SUE BARDWELL

8 9 11

Having an affordable studio close to home allows me the space to focus on my creativity without the distractions I would normally have at home. Being surrounded by other artists is inspiring and gives me a sense of community.
I work as a lecturer at Swindon college and also run an art room at a well being charity called SWADS, both my jobs allow me to be creative and I enjoy inspiring others to get involved.
At the moment my inspiration lies in ‘ the everyday’ – I have set myself the task of a drawing a day for the year and have enjoyed the challenge of interpreting mundane objects into creative works of art.
My workshops at Artsite include Artsite Kidz, Make and Cake and I run  alternative life drawing sessions at the Beehive pub.
As well as my drawing a day I am working on collaborative makeup/body painting projects, an art residency and working towards a joint exhibition using shrines as inspiration
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Lynette Thomas

124

I’ve been a member of Artsite for over 10 years, I met  two of the founders Sally and Martin when I was working on a community arts scheme ‘The Octobus Project’ in the mid 90’s. They were based in the same building on Cricklade road and at the time were just a small group. They asked if  I’d like to join them and initially I took part in some of their exhibitions then later on rented a studio when they moved into the old post office building in Theatre square.
As a member of Artsite you are expected to help out in various ways – running community workshops, cleaning, helping with the up keep of the building etc
Having my own studio has been a godsend over the years, a space to escape and create and also collaborate with other artists.  I help Sue Bardwell with  the Artsite Kidz group and also run a weekly mosaic workshop.
I  enjoy the collecting and researching of ideas as much as the creating and finishing the final piece. My studio is full of curiosities and items I’ve collected from walks, car boot sales and charity shops with a view to using them in my artwork.
I get inspired by the ancient Wiltshire landscape, the chalk downs, monuments,  stories and folklore that can be found within it.

3 3a

For more information about Artsite go to www.artsite.ltd.uk

Comments are closed.