My current practice is Illustration and the main body of my work focuses on the beauty of nature. A lot of the work I create centres around natural habitats and themes with a rooted interest in folklore and storytelling. Since working at Leeds Art Gallery I have had the opportunity to research and deliver talks about local art history and I have found a love for researching in the Leeds Library and finding out more about our city. I enjoy drawing people and want to bring my interest in social history and illustration together. As well as illustration I have also organised and taught community art sessions at schools and festivals such as Thought Bubble Comic Convention. I currently volunteer at the Drawing Room at Leeds Central Library, helping to facilitate creative events. I am interested in the way art can be taught to give people a voice and empowerment to express themselves and fight for political causes.
I recently completed a degree in Illustration at Leeds Arts University and after graduating I developed my professional portfolio. My dad was a comic artist and my mum always bought me the most beautiful illustrated children's books from around the world. Growing up with a parent as a full time illustrator I never questioned it as a career and I was lucky to have that support at home.
One of my biggest achievements is painting a mural for Unipol Leeds. I love the idea of public art being accessible for everyone to enjoy. I'm also extremely proud to have designed a range of fathers day cards to be released in Sainsbury's this year.
My work is inspired by texture and shape, all stemming from a love of nature. However since being asked to do a talk at Leeds Art Gallery recently, I have become really interested in local history. Leeds's colourful past has really inspired my writing and personal research projects and I love using the family history room in Leeds Central Library. I am also very interested in engaging children with activism and the arts and exploring the ideas of informal family learning.
About the project
For this commission I am creating illustrated GIFs of women, from Leeds's history, who have made huge contributions to our city. I have chosen:
Barbara Hepworth, a female artist and pioneer of sculpture
Leonara Cohen, an outspoken suffragette and one of the first female magistrates
Nicola Adams, A black, female boxer, and the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal.
Alongside these illustrations I am going to write a short biography and create a free worksheet for families to download, with activities linked to each woman. It's important to me that my artwork can be both enjoyable and educational, and can help tell a bit more of the story of Leeds.
My project is based around the Digital Programme's theme of connection with our bodies.
Barbra Hepworth’s work grew from a strong connection with her body and her mindful connection with her work. One of my favourite quotes of hers is ‘I rarely draw what I see, I draw what i feel in my body’.
Leonora Cohen’s life's mission was built on her connection with her body and gender, and her fire to fight for the rights that body deserved.
Nicola Adams in an amazingly inspirational Black, bisexual women from Leeds, she was outspoken about the positive effects exercise has on women's mental and physical health.