How beginning to paint helped me to change as a designer …

“Bikes & Blooms” was the name of my first solo exhibition of paintings and textiles which took place at Four Walls, Melton.

The exhibition content was made up of a series of street art paintings, digital illustrations, writing and some textiles.

I started to paint again after a period of depression which I struggled to get out of last year. I painted my way out of it (with some help along the way as well). All the time thinking about what it means to be an experienced designer, what it means to be a mother of teenagers, what the point of “art” was. In a way it felt as though I had to start again. I taught myself social media (with some workshops and book reading along the way) and looked at how I could still be valid in the ever changing world we now live in.

Over the years I have worked as an illustrator, designer, photographer and copywriter. I have mainly specialised in brand identity but it is hard to be a logo designer and make clients understand your value, so I have invariably had to get involved in the murky world of marketing, even though my real value lies in advertising. But this combination of work made me realise that brand identity and content are intrinsically linked. Putting out images of your lunch time avocado and your cat stuck in a cat flap will no longer inspire people to meaningfully engage with your product or service.

Anyway I digress; back to the exhibition …

It is about nature, both nature of the world and our nature. 

 

The work was done in a muted palette with splashes of metallics, typography and textured layering.

Preview night was great fun. Friends and family came from far and wide to support me for which I was v thankful – some even wore matching shoes!

Preview night …

Four Walls window.

The theme in the exhibition was about change, and how change has always got a positive and a negative side.

For example changing transport links are the very things that enable us to evolve and develop. Yet are also the very things that have eroded the planet. Our networks are viewed as being important, wildlife networks are often overlooked. It is why I love the designer simplicity of a bike. It is a pure method of transport.

Butterflies and dragonflies changing forms seem very like a metaphor for the changing inner (and outer lives) of us humans. Middle age is a type of metamorphosis, as are the teenage years and the early stages of development of a baby.

The odd rock star has snuck in, as well as the occasional stars I have spotted whilst living in France and Rutland. All have stories of evolution and metamorphosis aplenty …

 

#ChrissieHynde. Very much a creative butterfly. The symbol is the symbol for longevity.

Bike Freedom I.

Emerald Dragonfly.

Nature Battle I. A piece about how gardening is actually destroying nature. Our desire for pristine perfection is not always helpful to nature. It is a negative positive.

CiCLE Rutland 2015. A piece I created after watching the 2015 CiCLE event from Langham where I live.

Winter solstice. A digital piece I created from a winter photograph of a lone tree.

Air, Earth, Fire, Water. Alchemy. Without these elements …

Bike Bloke III, IV, V. Part of a series (I gave the first two to Twitterartexhibit which is a charity art sale). They are of a chap in France. On his bike he looked like a mix of history and futurism as he cycled past. Ancient yet modern. Cool.

CiCLE 2015. Part of the development pieces I did whilst working on the painting.

Textiles. Digitally printed vibrant linen backed cushions. Shown are the bike chap and the spin piece.

 

Thanks to Laz at Four Walls, Melton for being so patient with me and doing all the framing for the exhibition.

I am working on my next exhibition which will be an open studio.

The writing I am putting together as a book which I am going to call “Tales from the middle”.

Sarah Hatherill

Well Street is run by me - designer Sarah Hatherill. I have worked for many years as a freelance designer as well as being employed as a creative director and marketing manager but am now self-employed and trading as Well Street Studio. I work alongside marketing teams, social media experts, manufacturers & printers to provide content and creativity to local businesses.

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