Louise is a talented ceramicist, textile artist, storyteller and poet, inspired by Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl.
Louise has always loved reading and uses the medium of storytelling to bring her ideas to life. She has created a series of magical, otherworldly ‘Garden Centre Monsters’ in ceramics, which she uses to teach children about the importance of recycling and other environmental themes.
How long have you been making art?
“I first started making art when I went to BlueSCI in Old Trafford, a wellbeing centre. I started getting more inspired by nature when I started my voluntary work at Hulme Community Garden Centre (HCGC). I developed my storytelling from the Garden Centre Monsters, it was inspired by HCGC as they like to do a lot of recycling. HCGC introduced me to Venture Arts where I brought the Garden Centre Monsters to life using clay!”
What are your favourite art materials to work with?
“Clay and fabrics, I like the feel of them. When I work with clay I feel like I am at one with the earth, I like the earthy texture of clay. With fabrics I feel like I can enhance the colour and the feel of the work more.
“I have recently been enjoying typographics too, this has helped enhance my book and contents pages more.”
What is your art about?
“My art is about trying to tell stories of the environment through monsters. My stories are aimed at children, everything is based on teaching children how things work and has an educational slant and is inspiring for them. I like working with toddlers and primary school children.”
What, or who, inspires you as an artist?
“Beatrix Potter, I like her stories and the way that she brings her characters to life, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck, she was my mum’s favourite!
“My dad also inspires me, my dad paints with oil paints, he has painted horses in the snow and they look very very realistic. My parents used to run a floristry business for 32 years, I used to help them out on Saturdays. I didn’t want to go into the business but I think that it did help with my creativity and also interest in garden centres, I still love going around garden centres and natural and historical places for inspiration.
“Roald Dahl also inspires me, Charlie and the Chocolate factory is one of my favourites. Looking and thinking about all of the textures and colours in the film.”
Why is art important to you?
“With my autism it relaxes my mind and allows my creativity to flow. It used to be more of a hobby to me but now I see myself as an inspired artist.”
What has been your proudest moment as an artist?
“Getting my work in the Portico exhibition (Second Nature). I was exhibiting alongside artists who had shown their work in many places and they picked my work for the promotional poster of the exhibition, I was really proud of this.
“Also, getting my work in the Manchester Open (HOME Manchester), there were so many people in that exhibition, I was so surprised my work got chosen. I felt overwhelmed and quite proud of myself by how many people saw my work.
“Seeing my work in Manchester Histories Digifest 2020, it was nice to see how it looked digitally.
“Another proudest moment was being asked by Venture Arts to create some ceramic kit boxes showing kids how to make my Watering Can Monster.” (This was for a 2020 project commissioned by Manchester City Council/Young Manchester, to create clay activities for families during the lockdown).
“I like working with children and adults. I deliver creative workshops exploring my Garden Monster’s work, most recently I have worked with groups at the Portico Library and MMU PHD students. Workshops can be in drawing, clay, puppet making and incorporate my storytelling. I want my workshops to give people a chance to de-stress and have fun being creative. If you are interested in booking me for a workshop please contact firstname.lastname@example.org”
Manchester Histories Digifest, September 2020-ongoing (online exhibition)
The Manchester Open, HOME Manchester, January-March 2020
Second Nature: What is Nature, Anyway?, Portico Library, Manchester, October 2019 – January 2020
Grow: An exhibition of ceramics in association with Crafts Council and Hey Clay!, Venture Arts, May-June 2019