Tag Archives: Exhibition

Come and see me work!

I have been quiet for a while as I have been developing my business (The Arts School), raising a toddler boy, and making some work, but I am now back!

I have (for my sins) organised another group exhibition as part of the Hailsham Festival artists trail and I would love you to come and visit! It opens today 10:30-15:00

It is a group exhibition of local artists work at Moieties Barn, BN274JJ.

I am showing new and older work, alongside other local painters and sculptors.



Starting new projects- having reflective weeks

The inspiration word for The Arts School‘s 52 week challenge this week is SELF. I am using it to reflect on where I am with my own art practise and what I want to do this year.

It’s great to spend some time stopping to look both in and out.

So far (it’s day one!) I am seeing a renewed interest in how “we” are effecting the environment around us (my BA final project was on this), story telling (which my MA thesis considered), and lots of exploring materials.

Now to start making some goals.

©️Sophie Douglas 2018

2018 – The Arts School

Wow! It’s been a long time since I posted and the reasons good!

The Arts School is up and running and I am loving teaching again! Now we start the new year with lots of courses and a new teacher working with us teaching watercolour (Jo Hudson).

Come and take a class and hopefully enjoy it as much as our past students (and we) do! www.theartsschool.co.uk

Saturday Addition 15: Photographing the every day

What do you photograph?

I have recently seen “Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr” (21 September 2013 – 16 March 2014 at the Science Museum, £8), and Miyako Ishiuchi “Yokosuka story” 1977 at Tate Modern ( Part of “Transformed Visions”, Level 3) and been following a friends (Arnab Ghosal) photographic project “100 strangers”.

These works/exhibitions have made me consider how we photograph, and what we photograph. The everyday Photograph taken by most people (rather than photographers) has a tendency to be for the special, photographing happy memories, recording things that’s are important to our lives, or documenting a big change. These three selected works are about photographing the everyday, documenting a time,and recording people and spaces.

The exhibitions made me think about how photography is used to highlight an idea, and how the collections of multiple images make interesting discussion points. The exhibition also makes me consider that collections can give an impression of how something is, that is false, for example Only in England shows a quite surreal and eccentric England, it reminded me of Carry On Films,. I am not saying this is good or bad, I am merely considering how as a photographer, and artists, we play with the idea of reality, and what reality we are showing the audience.

20131207-083617.jpgWithin 100 Stranges there is a diverse range of portraits, I find that it highlights the diversity of people in London, and makes me consider how a project naturally develops from an idea to a statement.

Having always studied, and worked in Art and Design, photography has always just been part of what I do, and something I am beginning to take more seriously as part of my professional practise. This movement has made me consider how and why people get into photography. I selected Arnabs work because I love the work, but thought I would take this opportunity to ask him a few questions about the how’s and whys:


I did a street photography tour in Argentina which is run by Foto-Ruta which I loved so much that I bought my first DSLR soon after coming back to the UK. One of the things I found really hard during this tour was to ask people for their portraits. I saw so many awesome portraits and really wanted to have a go myself but found it terrifying. Later on I found a blog post by Eric Kim about a street photographer named Danny Santos who had done this project. Seeing that he went through the same fears that I do encouraged me to get off my arse and do something about it. I found the “100 strangers” group on Flickr and joined them; they are a very encouraging group and tightly managed with committed members. I have now made some good friends from this group.

How I go about doing it:

I always have my camera with me just in case, but I find that I am more focussed if I go out with the intention of finding strangers to take portraits. Although, I sometimes go myself, I find doing it with one or more friends to be even more enjoyable.

When I first started, I found that I needed to get used to approaching strangers and so that’s what I concentrated on. My approach is simple and friendly. I explain the project I am doing and say exactly why I chose them. I find I have more success if I have more energy, which isn’t always possible.

I now find myself practising different aspects that I want to work on, for example, I am currently really interested in using colour theory and will then focus on that. That doesn’t mean that I won’t do anything else, since the streets are unpredictable and you have to take the opportunities when you can.

Groups can go either way, sometimes other people in the group can do your persuading for you.


What I love best about it is meeting people. We live in London where everyone is head down getting from A to B, headphones on, head buried in mobiles etc. As Londoners we have a reputation for being less friendly. This has taught me that if you can break through that initial shield there are some awesome people out here.

Last week, we met a group of people from various parts of Europe who all met in Botswana and had a meetup in London. They shared photos and stories of their trip which was voluntary in nature. Such a cool bunch of people that we would have never met if I we weren’t doing this. I have met people from all works of life and from all over the world – something which I wouldn’t have done.

I suppose the surprising thing is that I have not had one horrible rejection yet. I have had rejections but they have all been polite. I also thought I would find it easier as I got more experienced but that fear is always there, but now its a good fear, a buzz which means that you are more likely to go ahead. I have seen friends who are fearless, but I let a lot of strangers go because of fear disguised as looking for perfection – but this is getting better the more I do it.

I love it so much that I know that I will continue even after I reach 100 – well it gets you out the house doesn’t it 😊

One more thing, is meeting likeminded photographers who have become friends, re-meeting old friends and also learning that some of my friends were also into photography.”

(Images by Arnab Ghosal)

So to conclude this weeks addition:
Photograph is a way of seeing the world around and taking note, of creating questions and comments, of meeting new people, and re connecting with olds friends,
I want to start moving towards a more focused practise through selecting directed themes
(I need to see more photography exhibitions!)

So here are my new tasks, and a few images inspired by this discussion:
To photograph 100 objects that define me
To develop and challenge my photographic skills through a collaborative project
To research more photographers to help challenge and develop my work.


Further reading:
http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/display/miyako-ishiuchiArnab Ghosal)
The <a href="http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/home”>Photographers Gallery, London
Lenscratch: Martin Luther King Blvd
This work is created by Sophie Mayer

Saturday Addition 11: The Other Art Fair


“Now in its 5th edition, The Other Art Fair has firmly established itself as the only event art buyers of all experiences and tastes need attend, to buy directly from over 100 of the most talented, unrepresented artists.

Coinciding with Frieze Week, the most important date in London’s art calendar, as well as sharing our new East London home, The Old Truman Brewery, with The Moniker Art Fair, the fair this October will present an art buying experience like no other.

2 fairs, over 100 unrepresented artists, 20 innovative galleries, 1 weekend!”

Yesterday I headed to east London to check out The Other Art Fair. The Other Art Fair is a paid fair for artists like me, although I haven’t yet mustered the courage or funds to apply! It is great in that it puts artists at the centre of their commercial practice, has a large audience so you don’t have to worry about nobody coming to your show, and a great way to see others work, and speak to the artists. It is also cheaper than Frieze and has more work you actually want and be able to afford.

I loved loads of the art displayed but will highlight just few and encourage you to go and see for yourself!

Mark Powell:
I have been aware of his work for a while now and still love it, and am interested in how he is professionally progressing. I saw his work last year and chatted to him on his stand. He creates beautiful detailed portraits with Biro on found paper. He is exhibiting within the show, but also at the Ben Sherman shop nearby, and has an image on the Fair bags.
All images from his website: http://markpowellartist.com/


Hitomi Kammai.
Hitomi firstly took the time to talk to me, and secondly has interesting and beautiful work. She is exhibiting paintings along side what I would describe as movement work. She told me she is interested in inventions and has manipulated music boxes into moving illustrations. Along side these she us showing other works as video pieces. I love her varied practise that all seems to convey a feeling of movement. All images from her website http://hitomikammai.com/


Other artists I loved:
The illustrations/drawings by Damilola
The paintings, friendliness and shared exhibition space of Rod McIntosh
The “typewriter artist Keira Rathbone,
The photographs of Juliana Manara , Nicholas Gentilli and Maria Konstanse Bruun

Also worth taking a look as another show taking place a few doors up by graduates from Northumbria University! Just because it isn’t part of the show doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of your time, and it’s free!

Images taken from the artists website not by me, blog content written by me ©www.sophiemayer.com

Saturday Addition 9: Bringing drawing back

Today’s addition again comes from the Paper exhibition at Saatchi, although it is now ended.

Today we look at a Dawn Clements work “Movie”. Dawm Celement creates large scale drawings of scenes, this one a movie. This work makes me think about our fascination with others, with living vicariously through films, and TV, through magazines and watching others. I love eavesdropping, knowing what others are doing, I think it is part of human nature, to not feel alone, or different.

20130928-185903.jpgThis work makes me think about what we take, or rather what we understand, as we never get the whole picture, it is only our interpretation. Between the drawings of scenes and the little bits of text, there is no clear picture or narrative, but the idea of what is being observed by the artist and passed to the viewer. Like Descartes “I think therefore I am” I understand this as: I know from what I have experienced before and can make things relate to each other to gain an understanding I can except. Someone might know this “movie” and understand every detail, whilst others will not.

20130928-185852.jpgThe three reasons for selecting this work are skills, inspiration and because. Firstly I admire the skills in both the drawing, and the concept of creating a narrative from narrative. For me this is about art, as an artists I am reshowing something, whether a story, or an emotion. Secondly, I love work that when you are somewhere else, it pops into your head and inspires you to create something, and this is the work that inspired me to create my commute blogart earlier in the week. It is the idea of capturing little moments, remembering, retelling a story. And lastly, because, I just like it, and sometimes that is enough of a reason.

20130928-185932.jpgWhat do you think?

What Saatchi says: (Text by Ben Street)
“Dawn Clements’ works use drawing as a way to document and describe durational experiences: watching a film, for instance. Employing a painstaking precision of description and often writing notes directly onto the paper, Clements uses the act of drawing as a parallel to remembering: these are aides-memoires, attempts to hold transient things in the mind. Like the tracking shots of cinema, they sweep through interiors, gathering visual information, but by eliding the human presence, abstract place and setting from their narrative contexts.”

What others have said:
From The Whitney museum Of American Art

Dawn Clements’s large-scale drawings depict interior domestic spaces, either her own surroundings or those in classic 1940s and 1950s Hollywood melodramas. She is especially interested in the idea of the home as a place of both comfort and confinement: “They are places, no matter how beautiful and wonderful they may appear, that are incarcerating of all these characters. The doors may be unlocked, but somehow the women can’t walk out the door.”


Duck Rabbit Digital

Saatchi Gallery