Solo Exhibition at Lakeside Arts Nottingham 2018
Posted on 24 April 2018 by Billie
This body of work charts my experience of pregnancy and motherhood. As a recent mother to twin boys and a daughter I document this alien state, with all its mystery and ambivalence, both physical and emotional. I explore the meanings of two very different experiences of pregnancy, birth and nurturing. Pregnancy and birth stirred up the loss of my own mother, loss of myself and the stark reality of my own mortality.
I want my images to embody and echo the inherent contrasts of strength and beauty with loss and conflict. The cycle of birth and death, light and dark appear obliquely and more obviously, interwoven with intergenerational and universal experience. The works evoke deep dichotomies and the eternal cycle. Carrying and feeding identical twins meant naturally creating symmetry in images. It also calmed and created space to meditate on my acts of feeding and my physical positioning. In contrast the organic visceral nature of the more abstract paintings attempt to visualise the unseen workings of the birthing body and beyond.
It is always fundamental that I grapple with materials and processes, creating images that capture a spiritual dimension through the use of ancient and traditional techniques. The time intensive preparation of gesso grounds, carved and layered, permanently record these fleeting moments. I draw using hair fixed with wax and egg yolk. I burn into paper and use fluid paint and intense mark making.
The work includes humour, a necessary component to creating artwork against the background of the constant demands of three very young children. Their contribution is an exciting and essential part of the work, both materially and emotionally. Without them this work would not exist.
If you would like to be a patron to support my work, please do get in touch.
Four new murals just installed at disabled children's home
Posted on 20 May 2016 by Billie
I loved working on this project. Children bring such lively creative elements to any project.
Interestingly this is the first mural project I have painted solo. All the others you will see on my community arts page were made with students in my college enterprise groups.
These four murals were commissioned by a council run, inner city, children's home. Each painting is 122cm x 122cm and painted on plywood.
I work on boards for many reasons, as with this client it means the murals can be moved if necessary. It also means that I can paint them at my studio. This means no health and safety issue for the client or it's service users. Obviously painting direct onto walls has its own set of problems, this way we avoid any structural issues or unstable surfaces.
I worked with the kids creating ideas and artworks during 2 workshops at the home. I used manipulated portraits of children and staff and composed images using the kids abstracted drawings and paintings.
I'm really pleased with the results and most importantly so are the kids at the home. They really liven up the play area.
A testimonial from the client. ‘This has been a really enjoyable and fun project for the kids to be involved in. As always, Billie has an intuitive understanding of how to work with disabled young people. The end results look fabulous in our new garden. Thank you Billie!’
If you know of a group or community setting that might like a mural, please get in touch.
I'd love to hear from you.
In search of the long lost mural
Posted on 20 May 2016 by Billie
This week I decided to search out some community murals made some 10 years ago. Were they still up? Paint peeling? Colours any good?
Whilst teaching for a city college, I worked with a wonderful group of adults with quite profound needs to build an enterprise called BugArts.
For this project we worked with a Surestart Children Centre and designed and painted two murals using the children's drawings. I remember my students being so proud and pleased with their work and Surestart put a lovely party on for the unveiling.
I was so pleased to find the Murals were still up and intact after such a long time. The colours were still good and with a bit of a clean they would look as good as the day they were painted.
I'll be adding more community murals to my portfolio as I work through my archive.
Website launch - April 2016
Posted on 02 April 2016 by Billie
Welcome to my new website!
Come on in, sit back for 5 and have a cuppa with me. It's finally here.
A HUGE thank you to the brilliant and gorgeous Rob of the awesome www.thearthole.co.uk for making this happen.
If you are interested in how my paintings develop. As well as following me on Facebook and Instagram you can see videos of the process here, as I get them uploaded.
Being a busy mum of 3 little kids this site will be updated and new archive material will be added when i have time.
My new role as mother and the experiences surrounding my new adventure have and will continue to change and develop my work.
Keep in touch to see these developments.