Step Up is a pilot which will explore a sustainable approach to providing inclusive professional development opportunities to visual artists in Suffolk, including artists with learning disabilities.
Learning disabled artists have been paired with non-learning disabled artists to take part in a year-long programme of practice sharing and skills workshops which will include an opportunity to showcase their work through an exhibition at the Jerwood DanceHouse.
Meet the pairs
Shelly O’Brien and Briagha Grant: Shelly is a textiles artist and Briagha is currently studying art at West Suffolk College. The pair have discussed working in Shelly’s studio creating art with her industrial sewing machine, graffiti and street art, lots of making and exploring new techniques.
Gareth Bayliss and Harvey Harris: Gareth is an artist and graphic designer, and both Gareth and Harvey are interested in pattern, design and digital art. Areas they’d like to research include Indian dance, henna tattoos, costume, street art, graffiti film making, digital art and drawing.
Patrick Parker and Amy Nettleton: Both Amy and Patrick like to create 3D artworks. On a recent Jumpstart course, Patrick created pop up clubs under umbrellas and Amy too creates pop up exhibitions in the street. They both enjoy using found objects in their work.
Hayley Field and Ruth Williams: Both Ruth and Hayley are drawn to colour and shape in their artwork. Ruth would like to experiment with more materials and try out painting with acrylic inks. Hayley has a studio in Woodbridge where they will start to work together.
Colin Brinkley and Genista Dunham: Genista and Colin are both artists local to Bury St Edmunds. The town is a big part of inspiration to Colin – he likes to make drawings of maps, streets and houses. Genista has experience of many different art forms and techniques and the pair have plans to continue with the theme of Bury, using tile painting, sketching outdoors, printing and map making.
Emma Withers and Sean McManus: Both Emma and Sean have a passion for drawing. Sean is particularly keen on drawing people and likes to capture character and movement in his figures. Emma started the Asylum Studios and is keen to do some life drawing and have a pop up exhibition of work with Sean.
Zoe Martin and Wendy Rees: Zoe has recently been on a research trip to China where she was drawing trees. Wendy won a competition with Art Branches for a painting of tree from Abbey Gardens. Both artists are inspired by nature and on their first meeting decided they’d like to recreate the works of Constable. They plan to do some outdoor drawing and experimenting with charcoal.
Kasia Posen and Sophie Johnson: Kasia and Sophie will be focusing on ideas and process. They will be visiting Norwich, going to exhibitions and working at Kasia’s studio in Halesworth.