I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to Paris recently. Despite the cold and wet it was wonderful to explore by foot and with the help of the ‘Batobus’ which was a great place to see the city from, and to do some sketches as things passed by above us. We stayed in a very traditional (miniature!) Parisian apartment so really felt like locals for a few days, and had a go at some French cooking Rachel Koo style. Heres a few pics from my French adventure. More can be seen by following hayley_potter on Instagram.
Heres a few sketches from my recent weekend in Bath.
I haven’t shared any of my adventures recently so heres some photos from a walk I did with the designers Ed Clark, Frances Faulder and Paul Currah over the August Bank Holiday. We decided to explore some of Studland and Old Harry’s Rocks in Dorset. We saw a pod of wild dolphins in the distance – sadly I didn’t have my fancy camera with me to capture them. An epic and beautiful walk though – I recommend it! (Stop at the dog friendly pub Bankes Arms and get the scampi).
You may remember me mentioning that I had been invited to collaborate with Hazel Evans – the resident artist at The Lighthouse in Poole, Dorset. Our collaboration meet ups resulted in a display of our work as part of Hazel’s exhibition Adventures into The Monochronium this summer. This included a large live art piece that was worked on by each of us intermittently whilst the exhibition was on between May and July. Today I went back to The Lighthouse to work with Hazel on editing our very large piece of work that had been made collaboratively, sometimes together sometimes individually, into smaller images. We were looking for pictures within pictures, using A3 paper frames to aid the process. These images may be bound into a book, or displayed at another event, we’re not sure just yet. We were dressed in black and white for the occasion, keeping on theme with Hazel’s Adventures into the Monochronium show for which all of this was for. It has been quite an adventure working with Hazel this year. We had never collaborated before so this opened up lots of new possibilities, challenges and discoveries. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I was interested in working with someone who had experience using art as performance, developing my experience in Live Art – which I had previously been commissioned to do a couple of times for clients in London. Hazel was interested in working with someone with more experience in Illustration and drawing, developing that side of her practice. And so the conclusion? I very much feel this has been a process led collaboration. I was never too concerned about the outcomes, because when you work with a new artist on collaborative artwork you expose how you work, and you run the risk of that artist’s work not working in harmony with your own way of working. I have learned a lot about performance, working with Hazel and through open exploration we have discovered when our approach to drawing can work together, and when it cannot. We both have very different approaches to drawing so it has been interesting to see what happens when our worlds collide. The larger live artwork became another element of Hazel’s Adventures into The Monochronium show fused with some ‘monochromatic Hayley Potter’ which created a new world of twiggy dancers and bold brush strokes of black shapes, that grew from trees embellished with blue black birds and falling leaves. My silhouettes of star trees and rabbit topiary grew out of Hazel’s inky black pools – plays with reactions between ink and water. Drawing for Hazel is just one part of her performance and the world that she creates through a mix of mediums, representing different sides to her own and imagined characters that she performs. Drawing is just another form of expressing herself, and the theatre of drawing itself is often more important than the final outcome. Possibly inspired by our collaboration, Hazel is now doing a Masters Degree in Illustration. Please visit Hazel’s blog for her view of our collaboration in her own words. Drawing for me is still the main focus of my practice, it has been helpful to work with a multidisciplinary artist to re-discover how specialised I have become through an already very long journey through art education and professional creative practice. For me illustration transports my drawings into the narrative realm, as the wonderful Andrzej Klimowski pointed out to me when I was studying at the RCA. Drawing as performance is still intriguing to me, I will always accept live art commissions, building upon the experience of working in front of an audience and eagerly anticipating how their presence will affect what I draw in a way that my studio never could. So will I be developing performance in my practice? Not exactly. I continue to be interested in how I become part of the artwork whilst I make it, and I will continue to take these kinds of commissions on, I am also still interested in how my presence within a story can be explored using props and photography to create a 2D illustration, however I am very grateful to have had the experience of working with Hazel on performance because I now know that this isn’t appropriate for the way that I work, and for me I don’t think it enhances what I make or the stories I tell. I will quite happily leave performance to the experts and my work will continue to be drawing focused, but every now and again my images and stories will leap out of the book and onto another platform. I am still very excited about that! Its amazing what you discover about yourself when working with others! Thank you to everyone who became part of our collaboration, especially Hazel herself, everyone who helped to install Adventures into the Monochronium, and the wonderful photographer Danika Westwood who was great to work with and who created some of the atmospheric photography in this post.
Whilst I was in San Francisco I visited the Illustration department and graduate’s show at San Francisco Art Institute. I really appreciated being welcomed to the beautiful Illustration building by Chuck Pyle, Director of BFA Illustration at the art school. I took part in a life drawing class whilst I was there, which is very different to the traditional life drawing class in England. We drew a model who was in full cowboy costume, complete with props. I related to this approach to creating characters because I am often looking to cast characters from the every day people and animals I see around me. Drawing from observation is always my starting point. Where Illustration graduates might seek work is a little different to the typical areas our students at Arts University College at Bournemouth (where I am a visiting lecturer) might find theirs in the UK. In SF there is a lot of opportunity for students to work with the nearby moving image and movie industry which is reflected in the programme’s focus on character studies and creation. This is a course with a strong identity, run by a great team. It was great to meet a new group of students and staff in a different country, and in a very exciting location. Thank you San Francisco Art Institute for making me so welcome and for showing me your inspiring department!
If you’ve been following this blog regularly then you will know that I have been involved in a process led collaboration with The Lighthouse’s resident visual artist Hazel Evans. After identifying some cross-overs in our creative practices and influences, Hazel and I began traveling around Dorset, responding to various locations and creating collaborative drawings – documenting the process of drawing on location.
A selection from our collaboration will be ready to view at The Lighthouse from this Saturday 26th May until the end of July as part of Hazel’s second exhibition and sequel to The Monochronium – Adventures into The Monochronium.
During the two months that the exhibition is on, our collaboration will continue and will include live explosive drawing in the gallery. I will have a changing wall of drawings throughout the two months that are created in response to the themes of the exhibition and the magic that I find in our local surroundings. Most of these drawings will be created or added to in the gallery itself and each drawing will be available for sale at an accessible price. I am encouraging all buyers to enjoy their drawing at home straight away in order to make room for new drawings on the ever-changing wall!
So if you fancy discovering how colourful black and white can be then please come and visit our curious new world that will grow and change every week.
The Lighthouse can be found at 21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1UG which is a five minute walk from Poole train station. This station serves all major routes including fast trains from London.
For more information about The Lighthouse, including opening times , please visit their website.
Theres been a lot of character designing going on in the studio this week. Heres some work in progress.
I was recently asked whether I could start to include more of my excursions in my blog. Sometimes I share them on Twitter via Instagram but I’m happy to oblige and begin to add them here too. I suppose the little adventures I go on do feed my drawing and stories. Even if I don’t produce drawings or writing on location that day (this is very common if I have Mr Bumble with me – if you lose concentration you might lose him down a rabbit hole!) I always take photos if I find somewhere interesting so here’s a couple of photos from my recent adventure to find Corfe Castle in Dorset. We like to off-road as much as we can, so it really did feel like a discovery when we came over the hill and found this…