I create intricate, multi layered often surreal large scale line drawings which are inspired by natural history and museum collections. They are specific in both internal and external environments, either for gallery installations or public spaces. I also make delicately scalpeled paper drawings, illustrated publications and have designed product labels. I have an endless fascination with natural history specimens, archaeology, anatomical collections and childhood drawing memories.
My work focuses on the nature of humanity, the environment and relationships between humans and other creatures, often in alternative realities blurring boundaries between species. There is always an element of wellbeing to my work, either through the calmness I am told my work brings or by the journey of taking part in my mindful museum drawing workshops.
I am the Resident Visual Artist for Air Arts a national award winning team, the Arts Charity for NHS University Hospitals of Derby & Burton Trust.
I have exhibited in galleries and museums nationally. My exhibitions include: da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, a Royal Collections Trust exhibition, Earthbound a project with The Natural History Museum and Still Spirits for Manchester Museum. More recently I have been commissioned to create Harlequin’s dream' permanent large scale installation for Pickford's House and as part of my resident Air Arts role, created 'A Choral Forest' with sculptor Miles Halpin, a series of large scale intricate trees inspired by NHS staff's experiences of Covid 19. In Autumn 2022 these were exhibited at Lichfield Cathedral and Derby Cathedral. Images of my work have also been displayed at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace as part of the Regional exhibitions context for Leonardo da Vinci: A life in Drawing.
I am currently working on 'Visual Literacy': Seeing the skin project with the Royal College of Physicians Museum and Derby Museum, using their collections to exploring the concept of creative observation enhancing clinical skills and wellbeing with physicians. One of the outcomes of the project will be an exhibition of large scale drawings inspired by the studies and feedback from the medical staff in 2024/2025.
I am also working with The National Trust, Hardwick Hall and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on new murals for the NHS in 2023. Transforming spaces by creating intricate delicate murals inspired by natural history and museum collections is key part of wellbeing in my practice. Two of garden's I have created large scale murals for have won NHS awards and the forthcoming new designs for the ICU Patient Garden at Royal Derby Hospital were unveiled by HRH Prince Richard.
2023 will also see the Air Arts 'The Choral Forest' original drawings redesigned for a book commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of the NHS.
My drawings are part of the permanent collections at Calke Abbey:The National Trust, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Pickfords House Museum, Fleet Arts, Royal Derby Hospital Library and UHDB Hospitals.
by Photographer Chris Clarke for Air Arts