This month in the Café gallery we are pleased to be showing the works of local artist, Stacey Allan. We spoke to Stacey to find out more about her work and what inspires her. All works on show along with a selection of unframed prints are available to buy in the Shop.
Tell us a little about yourself, how did you become an artist?
I’m a freelance artist based in Godalming and I split my time between working on commissions and running creative workshops for children and adults.
I’ve always loved to draw. Art was my favourite subject at school, and my parents allowed me to paint murals on my bedroom wall! I remember drawing great sprawling pictures on the back of sheets of wallpaper leftover from my dad’s decorating. I also enjoyed playing video games and so combined the two hobbies by studying Video Game Art at Bournemouth University. I then worked as a video game artist at various companies for just over ten years.
After a while I started drawing again using traditional methods in my spare time and I eventually left video games to become a freelance artist.
What inspires you?
A lot of my personal work celebrates everyday things which we often take for granted such as a cup of tea or the company of garden birds. I absolutely love birds, and most of my work lately has revolved around them! My ‘Cookery Birds’ series sprung from the idea of what might happen if birds lived in your kitchen.
I’m hugely inspired by colour, geometric shapes and patterns - I like to tip out different papers onto my desk, see which colours catch my eye and cut them into different designs. I would never be without my scissors or a craft knife!
I’m also inspired by paper. There are so many beautiful papers out there, and so many ways to work with it. I want to learn and experiment in the future with making my own papers for collage and paper sculpture.
How do you create your works? What is the process?
My collages are comprised of separate elements cut from paper or card. I detail each shape with black or white ink before composing and gluing all the pieces in place. I have begun to assemble my paper-cuts in box frames, separating the layers to add depth.
What is your favourite Surrey pastime?
I live close to the stretch of river between Godalming and Guildford, and often go for walks there. It’s a constant source of inspiration! There are so many birds to see, including a kingfisher which I’ve been lucky enough to glimpse. Lots of other wildlife too such as deer and badgers. The boats on the river are so colourfully painted! It’s just the best place to take a stroll.
You also run the Junior Art School and have held several workshops for us at The Lightbox, what do you enjoy about these?
I love running creative workshops. I get a lot of enjoyment from art and so it means a lot to see others achieve in making their own art too. I just love seeing what people come up with, and all of the different artwork that can arise from the same set of materials.
What’s brilliant about Junior Art School is that it is run over ten weeks, so the class all get to know each other over that period of time. Most of my workshops are one-off’s with different people each time, so it’s nice to have the time to specially tailor some of the classes for those taking part.
What has been your favourite exhibition at The Lightbox?
My favourite exhibition is the current Pop Art exhibition. It’s an explosion of colour and a feast for the eyes. I feel honoured to be displaying my art in the same building as those iconic works! Tying in with the show, this term of Junior Art School has a Pop Art theme. Whilst researching ideas for the classes, I’ve been enjoying finding out more about the art and artists featured in the exhibit.
Stacey’s work will be on display in the Café Gallery until 8 November 2015, all works on show will be available to buy in the Shop.
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Find out more about Stacey’s work at www.staceyallanart.com
Images: Banner image courtesy of Stacey Allen, Early Bird by Stacey Allen © The Artist, Featherweights by Stacey Allen © The Artist