BS9 Arts Trail was a resounding success, featuring talented local artists.  Read on to find out more about some of the artists who appeared…  And stay tuned for next year’s BS9 Arts Trail! i

Jacqui Habgood-Hall

Jacqui Habgood-Hall is a Bristol based artist who works as a physiotherapist at Southmead Hospital by day, and moonlights as a watercolour paint artist by night (or, whenever she gets the opportunity!)

Jacqui was inspired to merge her creative background in sign writing, with the natural world observed in the local area – specifically, influenced by Bristol being awarded the European Green City in 2015, Jacqui has developed a series of illustrations which reflect the diversity of the trees found within Bristol.

“I’m inspired by what I love – particularly, hedgerows and nature.  I was asked to create a series of 12 pictures in the physiotherapy department at Southmead Hospital and decided to extend that idea.  I gave myself a year, and tried to find trees around the city that inspired me – from cedar at Blaise Castle, to sweet chestnut, and cherry from just down the road from where I live.”  Jacqui explains.

“I tried to depict the character of the tree in the image that I created.  Everyday things that people would recognise around the city.  They are watercolours with a bit of silver work and gilding and ink, from my sign writing background.”  She explains.

Working with patients who cannot always get out and about, to enjoy the local countryside, Jacqui often uses her watercolour pictures to provide impetus for her therapeutic work at Southmead Hospital – to spark a memory or inspire someone to get outside and enjoy being active again.

“Because some of the patients that I work with are not able to take lovely country strolls, it’s nice to encourage them through artwork and relate them to local walks.  So I can help them from that perspective – there’s Blaise Castle, which is very flat and easy to walk around.”  She says.

As a result of her work with BS9 Arts Trail two years ago, Jacqui was invited to exhibit in 2015 with the Botanical Gardens.  Her distinctive style often gets a lot of positive feedback – with unusual texturing and an attention to detail.

“There’s no measuring stick to measure how good a piece of work is, in the art world.  It’s really only people’s feedback that gives you the courage and confidence to continue.”  Jacqui reflects.

Pauline Pearce

Pauline Pearce is a print-maker and a bookmaker.  She will be exhibiting at this year’s BS9 Arts Trail.

Pauline attended the University of Plymouth which partially took her to the Somerset College of Arts and Technology where she pursued her degree.  Having grown up living close to the Jurassic Coastline, Pauline has taken direct inspiration from coastal geology within her work, as she explains:

“Growing up on Dorset’s Jurassic coast means the sea and costal geology has formed the basis for much of my work.  The north Cornish coast with its mining history, which I have visited regularly since childhood, has also had a strong influence.”Pauline-Pearce-(Credit-Jane-Krish)Preferring to use mono printing or collagraph, although having a love for lino and woodcuts, Pauline develops abstract ideas with an emotional resonance at the core of her designs.  With an emphasis on creating Artist books from recycled paper and print, she runs book art workshops at Holy Trinity Church in Hotwells and across North Devon, Exmoor and Somerset.

Pauline moved to Bristol 4 years ago, and has been drawn to its industrial landscapes, which she uses to base her artwork on:

“I was drawn to the industrial landscape, particularly the semi-derelict areas that nature has been able to reclaim, and the old/new imagery. This is an ongoing theme that links well with the Cornish landscape.”  Pauline says.

Assembling her art into beautifully crafted art books, Pauline finds endless inspiration from the natural world including gardens, open spaces and landscapes.  John Stops, Bristol painter and print-maker introduced Pauline to linocut printing and black and white photography – which ultimately filtered through to the work she produces today.

“You need to understand where the creativity is coming from. It’s what’s inside that matters, not what people think about it.”  She says.

For more information on Pauline Pearce:  www.paulinepearce.co.uk

Jill Dunmore

Inspired by Nigel Konstam, an English sculptor living and working in Italy, Jill began her own journey into stone carving sculpting.  Studying both in Italy and at West Dean College in Chicheter, Jill’s knowledge and understanding of stone and clay sculpting has evolved.

“I enjoy the making of my sculptures which I find to be a very therapeutic process.”  Jill explains.

Inspired by real and lived experiences – from the reflective moments of welcoming a newborn into the world, to family connections and bonds.

“The themes that inspire me are mostly drawn from real life.  People in moments of contemplation.  I have also been inspired by the coastal footpaths which inspired a series of abstract works.”  Jill explains.

Caroline Casswell

Caroline likes nothing more than to create something completely original.  Having nurtured her love for making mosaics, this developed into a rediscovery of the pleasures of polymer clay crafting.  With a vibrant and lively approach, Caroline’s pieces – from bowls, jewellery and mosaic portraits – conjure up idyllic Greek paradises, long, lost underwater worlds and azure oceans.

For more information:  www.carolinecasswell.co.uk

Felicity Ball

Felicity Ball is a mosaic artist working from her studio in Bristol. With an individual style, featuring bold colours and striking subjects, her work has unusual depth and texture.

Combining the figurative with the abstract, Felicity creates mosaics with the illusion of literally coming to life with their 3D form.  One of her most ambitious projects to date is the sea-themed mosaic.

Felicity takes inspiration from the likes of Monet, Kandinsky, Hepworth and Gaudi in particular – with her bright and bold designs, it’s clear to make the connections between the vibrant architecture of Barcelona, including Gaudi’s infamous Parc Güell on Carmel Hill in Catalunya’s buzzing capital.

“I have always enjoyed nature and art, and known which kind of compositions appealed to me. I love colour and shape.”  Felicity explains.

Having recently completed a unique commission for a new build in Dorset, based on a sea-themed design incorporated into floor panels, Felicity always seeks a new challenge in her work and is currently working on bistro tables with her intricate mosaic designs.

“I like the research aspect of trying to replicate things accurately in my mosaic designs. Soon, I will be making a garden bistro table for a client who is recovering from cancer, and wants somewhere lovely to sit in the sun.”  She says.

Felicity is a self taught mosaic artist, which gives her an incredible freedom to create the designs that resonate with her and her clients.  She will be exhibiting a wide range of work at this year’s BS9 Arts Trail including framed coastal mosaics, flowers, a 3D spitfire mosaic, driftwood inspired designs and greetings cards.

Laura Howarth

Having studied at Fairhaven College and Western Washington State University in the USA, Laura settled in Bristol to complete a Multimedia Extension Studies course, where she now resides and practices as an artist specialising in oil paint, oil and wax, printmaking and collage.  She has taught at Colston’s School and is particularly interested in the natural weathering processes, taking her inspiration from landscape and organic forms.

Laura is a member of Spike Print in Bristol and has exhibited throughout the Southwest and in the East Midlands. An artist member of the RWA, Laura has exhibited work in two recent RWA Annual Exhibitions. Her work can also be seen at the A2 Gallery, Wells, Tinca Gallery, Portishead and Hidden Gallery, Clifton Arcade and Coldharbour Gallery, Bristol.  

For more information on Laura Howarth:  www.laurahowarth.com

Sue Pickering

Sue Pickering is a trained cognitive psychologist who decided to pursue her interest in art and design by enrolling at Bristol School of Art in 2008.  Sue works from her own studio at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft – capturing the complexity of everyday experience in the form of paintings, prints and jewellery.

“I love to experiment with lots of different processes and materials, and I take courses (in Bristol and online) to get ideas, inspiration and technical skills.”  Sue explains.

Sue is a member of Group C Artists, a collective of 7 artists whom all graduated from the Bristol School of Art.  She has found Bristol to be wholly inspiring to her own artwork, as she tells us:

“I am not from Bristol originally, but the city has played a hugely important role in my art work. I don’t think I would have had the courage to make the move from academia to art in another city. The unique atmosphere that exists here – and the diverse cultural community – made it all seem possible.”

Paying attention to the varied landscapes and landmarks within Bristol, has provided a constant source of creative impetus to Sue, who talks about the city:

“The visual landscape of Bristol is a constant inspiration for my work. I love the big, celebrated features of Bristol, like the Suspension Bridge and the Harbour, but I also love the small, everyday stuff that we don’t tend to notice. I have a particular passion for manhole covers and hope to do some work based on them soon. And I love bright colours.”  She says.

She has worked with the charity, Headway, to create a piece of artwork which was sold with proceeds donated to the charity.  Her work is vivid and distinctive – with many designs being applied directly to tangible products including necklaces and beaded jewellery.

“I have been asked to make items of jewellery to match an outfit worn to a special occasion, which has been a really lovely thing to do. I have quite a few experiences of bumping into people wearing a piece of jewellery that I have made – and I am so pleased when people really seem to enjoy wearing my work.”  Sue says.

Working from such a creative hub in Bristol has given Sue a completely fresh perspective on her own artwork, and she uses this to fuel her many ideas and future projects:

“I have met some amazing people at Hamilton House and I never tire of being in the building, with its great location and fantastically creative vibe.”  She says.

For more information:  www.suepickering.co.uk and Creative Bristol:  www.creativebristol.org

Jackie Johnson

Jackie works mainly with textiles and clay and sometimes a combination of the two. In both media, experimentation plays an important part, both in the production of her work and a contribution to the final meaning of some of her individual pieces.

Jackie has spent her adult life sewing, making crochet, knitting, and spinning.  Utilising the skills taught to her by her grandmother, Jackie has developed these talents by incorporating designs using fishing twine, yarn and spinning strips of plastic bags or J-cloths.  Upcycling at its best!

Her previous experience as a mathematics teacher has had an impact on her ceramic work, where strong, simple forms figure highly in her work.

“After doing my art degree, I wanted to produce pieces that were designed and executed by me and I was able to calculate how to produce these and use mathematical information on shape and space in the generation of some of these ideas.”  Jackie explains.

Inspired by living more consciously and with eco-friendly designs coming more to the forefront of people’s minds, Jackie first decided to experiment with spinning yarn made from plastic bag strips, when working on a project related to the use of plastic supermarket bags:

“I liked the idea of making use of materials that would otherwise be discarded or recycled. I went on from there to use fishing twine, subsequently thinking of spinning strips of plastic bin liners and J-cloths to produce tighter yarns to crochet or sometimes knit.”  Jackie says.

Jackie created a man’s waistcoat and trousers, made out of J-cloths for a piece called ‘Changing Roles’ – illustrating the importance of materials to the meaning behind the project.

Inspired by research artists who use crochet in their work, including Norma Minkowitz and Ruth Asawa, or David Cole for his interesting use of materials in his work, Jackie thinks through each project with careful consideration.

“I hope that by seeing my work at the BS9 Art Trail people will think about the use of world resources and have an appreciation of handicraft skills.”  Jackie adds.

For more information on BS9 Arts Trail:  www.bs9arts.co.uk