here are our residencies. These are some of the wonderful people who we admire...
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For our first residency of 2021, we are proud to feature the inventive and skilful Diana Dagadita aka @ephemre. Diana is an illustrator, printmaker and “letterpress printer on hiatus,” currently based in Croydon, London. They studied BA Illustration in Southampton and were part-way through a year as an artist in residence when the first lockdown began. “I was planning a lot of screen printing action throughout March to June, but then it all came to a halt,” Diana explained, “I moved house in March and have been limited to a desk ever since. It feels so long ago now, it’s like it’s always been this way! After losing access to the printing studio, I started experimenting with digital art - I’d always said I could never learn it or get used to a graphic tablet, but now, some nine months later, it’s like an extension of myself.” Diana quickly adapted to the sudden changes, “for the first couple of months I was directly influenced by what I had around me in the house - light, shadow and the cats.” Diana has a warm and vivid illustrative style - their choice of colour palette alludes to the hazy tones of summer and autumnal evenings and this depiction of light is detailed and captivating. Diana explains how the evening/nighttime proves to be the best time to work, as they enjoy coziness, candles and the lack of distractions. “As for media,” Diana remarks “everything I’ve done this year has been either digital or I’ve used coloured pencils and markers. I’m planning on returning to my beloved lino soon too!” Diana is also the proud author of their first written, illustrated and published book titled ‘Printer’s ABC” a true testament to their talent and versatility.
Diana pursued art from a young age and it remains a steadfast aspect of their identity and story. From entering art competitions at the age of seven to attending the local art club and keeping a DIY art magazine subscription, Diana’s loyalty to the arts never wavered. When they studied Philology in High School, they even completed an extra-curricular Fine Art course at the local school of Arts and Crafts. Art formed such an integral part of Diana’s life and interests, it seemed like the right choice to research illustration courses within Higher Education in the UK.
Diana values the importance of learning at ones’ own pace, “I used to think I needed some grand motive to make art, or that it all had to mean something deep. I learned to embrace the mundane wholeheartedly and find beauty in that. I draw for myself because that’s what I do best, because I enjoy it and it’s my most natural form of communication.” We asked Diana from where they draw inspiration? “Everywhere!” comes the endearing reply, “fragments of memories, matchbox labels and stamps, ephemera in general, songs, food, light, books, a house spotted on an evening walk, mainly photos - my memory is really bad so I rely on photos I’ve taken and revisit, and rework into something that feels right.” This process of inspiration eventually creates work “that can be seen, not just felt. Some other times, I make work purely for aesthetic reasons to celebrate something I am passionate about, it is a filtered version of my experiences and what I consume.” Diana is perceptive, truthful and their mindset concerning art is intuitive and refreshing. This approach and outlook is reflected by their favourite piece titled Groceries Bag. “I was working long hours standing and was in a lot of pain - grocery shopping at night on the way home was a ritual. I dumped my bags on the kitchen chair and there it was! Inspiration struck - I didn’t have a plan or any expectations of it, just wanted to capture a moment. It was so exciting! And that one drawing informed the way I continued to work on non digital drawings for time to come.”
When we asked Diana if they had any advice for fellow artists, Diana had this to say; “Be kind to yourself. Take your time. Having a routine helps more than you think. Rest is a human right, you don’t have to earn it. Trying a new approach/technique might just be what you need. You can’t produce without recharging your creative batteries: revisit something you love, watch a film, flick through a book. Everyone is more insecure than you think, no one has it quite figured out; that’s okay. What you see on social media is not all there is - don’t look at it for too long. Make a note of that idea you have when you have it.” Diana’s words truly resonated with us and needed little editing, we are grateful to chat to someone who is so thoughtful and considered with their words. We are excited to see what Diana gets up to in the new year, but for now, check out their Etsy shop, keep an eye out for art, books, lino-prints, ink and textiles. A huge thank you to Diana for sharing their wisdom!
Who are your favourite artists!
Contemporary and known to be amazing: Louise Lockhart, Roman Muradov, JooHee Yoon, Jon McNaught, Carson Ellis, Jonny Hannah
Contemporary and deserving of more attention: Louise Gouet, Sasha Staicu, Phoebe Roze, Jono Ganz, Jordan Amy Lee, Tjitske Kamphuis
Long gone and all time favourites: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Claude Monet, Aubrey Beardsley, Gustav Klimt.
Do you listen to music while you work, if so could you tell us a favourite song?
At the moment it has to be ‘Inside the Cockpit of the EVA’ (Kill Bill: The Rapper & Rav)
A few months ago, we were approached by the wonderful and sweet Eva Rodríguez and we are pleased to announce her virtual residency. Eva is from Spain but she has lived and explored many places; she lived in Pau, France and later on lived in Leipzig in Germany. Imaginative and open to adventure, Eva explains although she has returned to sunny Spain, she misses the snow and swirling rain of Germany.
Eva describes her creative practice as “kidlit” but this dreamy quality blurs the boundary of eeriness and the fairy-like nature of her work, intriguing for children and adults alike. Through the medium of illustration, Eva creates feminist re-imaginings of the classical fairy-tale, exploring escapism through her characters, which relates to her own dreamy ambition and interior world. “There’s always a patina of nostalgia and longing that coats every aspect of my life,” Eva explains “and this is a point that people can see in my art.” Eva uses traditional media, pastels, coloured pencils and gouache, most recently experimenting with watercolour, enjoying its soft transparency and its texture upon paper. For Eva art is therapeutic and immersive, “losing track of time always feels incredibly rewarding,” she adds. Eva draws inspiration from the classical Disney animators such as Glen Keane and is fascinated by folkloric stories, anything from ghosts, vampires, mermaids to Russian fairy-tales. She also revealed that silence is a source of inspiration, “I love silence, and when I’m silent, I can hear my ideas coming out.”
Eva’s art is winsome and endearing, yet her interest in the gothic fairy-tale suggests there is a world beyond her work - her characters are adventurers captured in a universe of forests, mystery and pursuit. We were so honoured to chat to such a talented artist and wish we could exist within her illustrations.
This is an extract from our newsletter! Please subscribe! This week our resident artist is Alice Burnhope, a textiles graduate from the University of Loughborough’s School of Design and Creative Arts. We met Alice when we visited her exhibition HARMONY taking place at the radical art space GALLERY NO 32 based in Bexley, Kent. The gallery is an unconventional outdoor site which questions how art operates in the natural environment; how a space may be imbued by the elements and by the general public, who become active participants as they engage with the space.
Alice’s exhibition “Harmony” has an industrial edge beside the railway lines, especially when the quiet bird-song is interrupted by the surge of the train. The gallery's founder and director Megan Stuart invites artists to immerse themselves in the landscape and the exhibitions that take place here become fluid, changing with the context of the outside world. Alice Burnhope and Gallery No.32 were not afraid to push the boundaries of texture and touch. In the cold air, Alice’s carefully crafted fabric sculptures seem sturdy and resolved, as if unfolding in their habitat. Drawing inspiration from organic forms, Alice is influenced by skin tones and nature.
On a single white wall, a soft-pink fabric flutters in the breeze, its peachy hues produced from natural dyes. In contrast, a darker square seems to reveal the embroidered outline of a city, when actually it is an example of refined laser-cutting. Alice employs reclaimed and biodegradable materials for a sustainable approach to textiles, using fabric to ensure that green spaces can be mobile and accessible for all. Fabric, space and plants synthesise within Alice's creativity and we look forward to seeing more. Gallery No. 32 is a site of metamorphosis, so as winter approaches, we are excited to see what happens next.
Alice Burnhope created this collection for her project “A Sense of Nature” which was part of the University of Loughborough’s Art Degree Show. This innovative body of work explores how green spaces can become a part of the body through garments and textiles. With re-claimed objects, edible plant features, naturally dyed fabrics, Alice brings the body back into nature and weaves the garden into material that can be worn; with creative flair, Alice quite literally embodies nature.
A large part of Alice Burnhope’s “A Sense of Nature” explores Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) and how mental health can be influenced by the lack of green space. This inspired Alice to create work which investigates the value of plants to heal and remedy the overwhelming nature of built space.
Alice is an advocate for community spaces, well-being in nature and utilises her fantastic skills in textiles to create art which celebrates nature and soothes the soul. An ambassador for Fashion Revolution, Alice has sustainability at the heart of her creative work, connecting with the outdoors from within. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Alice and we at Cherry are excited to work together once more.
Our resident of the week is Millie Elliott. Millie studied BA Photography at Falmouth University between 2015-2018. A strong advocate for studying in Cornwall, Millie always enjoyed exploring the coastline and sea, leading her to live in Brisbane, Australia for a year following her graduation.
Millie describes her process of work: “I’ve been cutting and sticking for 23 years of my life! I work combining personal and archival imagery to explore themes of dreams, memories, and the line between fact and fiction.” Metallic colours become striking reds and oranges, hues of sepia and slivers of form, clasped hands and obscure history.
"I’m hugely influenced by paintings from the Italian Renaissance (see The Mocking of Christ by Fra Angelico) and brutalist architecture. Keeping a mixture of mediums is important, but I seem to always get drawn to shapes and hands. Parts of my inspiration also come from collecting things. Whether it’s glass slides from the 1930s, scraps of paper found on the pavement, oat milk boxes or glass prisms - everything I view will have an impact on my work, even if it’s subconscious.
My influences come from many directions. The media I use varies, while I try and use images of my own I always get drawn towards found images. I might find them in the street, antique store, attic cleanout - these are images of people’s lives so I do my best to protect the people they include and the invisible weight they hold.”
Millie Elliot’s work is a familiar fantasy, moving in-between spaces of antique postcards, found objects, illusion, nature and cityscapes. Millie describes her process as “putting together a puzzle. I’ll sit on projects for weeks while adjusting and adding elements, I enjoy that my practice is paced and allows time for reflection.” Millie’s images feel like antiques but move through her contemporary scope and vision which ensures they become timeless.
I enjoy pushing the boundaries of analogue and digital techniques, and then working to combine the two. Making mistakes is important in my work as it often leads to the next process idea, even if it’s a grossly pixelated image or mould riddled photo album. I take everything as a sign now, whether it will be used for current work or not.” Thank you Millie Elliott for sharing your work with us.
Thank you to our resident artist Shannon Osborne for her recent submission to Cherry. Shannon Osborne is a photographer and digital creative currently based in Brixton, London and a recent graduate from Solent University in Southampton (2019). In her project "A Beauty of One's Own" Shannon created a series of portraits to document her childhood and home - channeling light, shadow, interior familial scenes and depictions of nature into an intimate and immersive collection of memory landscape. "A Beauty of One's Own" speaks to momentum, stillness and a quiet sense of reflection.
Check her out on Instagram at @ozzyphotography_
Katie Cox is our resident Illustrator and soon-to-be Cherry Member. Katie studies BA Illustration at Falmouth University. Her wondrous critters celebrate and pursue diverse representation, ethical values, kindness and positive affirmation. This cute little critter has a cleft lip and is wearing Lucy&Yak, a lovely vegan brand.
Follow @yum_fluff for more!
AKA LOUISE BROWN
Louise Brown is an interdisciplinary artist and Cherry Resident currently in her final year at Newcastle University studying Combined Honours in Politics, Psychology, and Sociology. Louise developed her stunning practice alongside her degree. For Louise, drawing allows "you to imagine your own reality and communicate something that others can relate to." The emotional grounding and detail of her work is truly thought-provoking and inspiring.
Follow @goodstrangevibes on Instagram for more!