Brighton-based charity Creative Future has just launched an online shop which showcases work by under-represented artists and makes it available to buy as high-quality prints. The shop launches with an inaugural curated selection, entitled ‘Eleven,’ which showcases emerging artists from the South East. The artists work in a range of styles from abstract to figurative and in all media from paint to photography to digital and everything in between, ensuring there is something for everyone.
Creative Future is a Brighton-based charity supporting under-represented artists and writers, and acting as a bridge from the margins to the mainstream and a catalyst for individual change, enabling people to use their creative talent to change their lives. ‘Creative Future Art’ is a new digital venture, enabling their artists to earn income from sales of their work. All artwork displayed here, plus much more, can be bought online as high quality, limited edition prints.
Artist Bios for Creative Future’s Online Shop
“What is looking and what is seeing? Is to see to look past looking?”
In the initial process of constructing an image Glen Turner begins with drawing. He then partially erases what he draws, leaving a trace memory of line and thought. This trace is usually left visible so that there is an option to return to it, just as we can return to memories. As the image emerges, through the process of time, Turner connects what has been to what is.
Turner explains, “The later stages of the image are a gathering of parts with intent of cohesion. Cohesion is an attempt to surmise, or complete a calculation. A completed calculation is a platform, or a kind of place where I can jump from the image to the next image. From one action, to another. This could also be viewed as creating a bridge, rather like a synaptic pathway in the brain. The process of learning and development relies on an electrical charge travelling from one point to another in order to create the connection required to store new information.”
Turner’s interests encompass physics, psychology and theology, all methods of comprehending conflict with the self and in the world.
Joel Apps explores what it is that makes individual places recognisable, special and unique, whilst adding what he refers to simply as his ‘own interpretation’ to the landscapes. He creates his work by taking multiple photographs, combining them digitally and creating flat collages of sometimes slightly altered views, and other times surreal interacting layers, of the same place.
Apps considers himself to be an outsider artist; outsider artists view the world from a distinctive perspective due to disability or disadvantage. Apps had a stroke when he was just a few months old and this disability motivates his interest in visual language and gives him a strong determination to find new ways of expressing himself.
Apps has exhibited at Silverhill Studios, St Leonards-on-Sea (his first solo exhibition) in September 2016 as part of the Coastal Currents/Root 1066 Festival and PhotoHastings 2016. Apps’ work Another Hastings 1 was exhibited in 2014-15 Tight Modern, a national touring exhibition of outsider art, winning first prize in the Tight Modern Public Vote.
John Jennings is an abstract colourist painter. Born in Edinburgh in 1950, Jennings is the youngest of three children. His father was an Army officer and the family were posted to Germany soon after he was born. Jennings’ earliest memories are of giant railway engines, dark deep forests and pine heaths peppered with colourful toadstools.
On moving to Oxford at the age of five, he spent the next ten years completely oblivious to art and the art world. At age 15, purely by chance, he visited a contemporary art gallery where he saw sculptures by Elizabeth Frink and Anthony Caro amongst others. He says of this occasion, “It was a revelation.” From that moment on Jennings has been driven to make art, and in particular, painting.
Despite his manic depressive disorder with its coterie of periodic chaos and debility, Jennings continues to paint with unabated colourful enthusiasm.
Kim Noble is a mother, artist and author who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID is a creative way to cope with unbearable pain. The main personality splits into several parts each having an amnesic barrier between them. In and out of hospital from the age of 14, with no formal art training, Noble and her alters became interested in painting in 2004 after spending a short time with an art therapist. The resulting 13 artists each have their own distinctive style, colour and themes that they work with. Many are unaware they share a body with other artists. Combined, they have had over 60 exhibitions, nationally and internationally.
Noble was the first Artist in Residence at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, South West London. Her book ‘All of me’ was published by Piatkus in 2011. Noble has had many TV and radio appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, This Morning Show, Anderson Cooper Show and BBC Radio1 with Victoria Derbyshire.
Maria Kuipers aims to make paintings that have emotional depth and portray a sense of lived history, spirituality and mystery. “I always aim to be true to who I am in my work.”
Kuipers is particularly interested in constructing an array of rich surfaces, alluding to a sense of archaeology and limitless time and space. Equally important are colour and spatial relationships, which reveal strong geometric form, holding narratives of experience and memory, of strength and fragility, of hidden and overt ‘states of being’.
Kuipers trusts that the content will emerge through the creative process as she predominantly works without a subject; each painting is conceived intuitively. Being materials-led, Kuipers loves working with mixed media, using a variety of materials and tools, choosing what she is powerfully drawn to at each moment in time including her starting point, essentially going with the intuitive flow whilst carefully considering the structure of each painting until it is resolved.
Influences include artists such as Antoni Tapies, Alberto Burri, Picasso, artists of the St. Ives Movement and the Abstract Expressionists.
1990 was a pivotal turning point in the artist’s life, this is when she began painting. In 1998, Kuipers graduated with a First Class Fine Art BA from Chichester University College. Kuipers has received funding awards to develop her own work and for various community art projects, such as West Pier Art. Prizes won include the ‘Red Crucifixion’ for Kress Project, Georgia Museum of Art. She has exhibited in galleries across the South of England and in the ‘Art and Health’ context.
“Besides showing paintings, my personal experience of the creative process, with its therapeutic values for individual empowerment and healing, has impacted my life considerably and motivates my desire to help others.” Kuipers works as a Peer Mentor facilitating art workshops with The Recovery Collage and as a tutor for art workshops with Creative Future, while facilitating her own courses in her local community.
Mandy McCartin’s work has always been concerned with human emotions and interactions in the urban environment.
McCartin’s working class background and interest in street culture has informed the imagery she uses and the way it is created. Earlier work by McCartin concentrated on people living outside comfortable “norms”, characters seen in the street and who affected her in ways ranging from joy to sorrow.
“I felt that paintings full of emotion and brushstrokes were out of step with the prevailing ‘conceptual-intellecto-boredom” vibe, so one day, in a charity shop, I felt a soft toy looking at me and realised that it could convey human emotion in a less direct and challenging way than the previous energetic works. That was the beginning of the “Toys” series. And, yes, they did appeal to people who found my previous work a bit too strong for their delicate sensibilities. And they reined me in and made me paint with more control.”
Subsequent series of paintings moved organically along and McCartin wanted to bring the expressionism and the graffiti back to her work. She found watching urban animals fed her soul, and liked the way they were positioned alongside the ‘crap and detritus of a big city’. She painted ‘Squirrel’, and the rest of the Urban Animals series followed. This series of paintings can be seen as a bridge between “Toys” and the “Urban People”.
McCartin has since started to make paintings of more exotic animals and endangered animals, surrounded and imprisoned by urban graffiti. Wild nature is being forced into a small corner by the burgeoning and uncaring human population of the planet. McCartin feels that humans who are sensitive and thoughtful are in a similar position to wild nature, that they are being destroyed by the capitalist clamour to occupy and exploit, stating, “I fear for them, and for myself.”
McCartin’s new work will attempt to pull together feelings about being human in the 21st Century
“I have been a creative all my life, my Dad taught me how to draw horses, ships, Mickey Mouse and all about animals. I would go on mini safaris in the woods behind our house, lost for hours, just searching for and watching nature.”
While Mik Strevens’ work is digital for the most part, he also draws photorealistic images, retouches old or damaged photographs, combines multiple photographs and textures to make what is known as Grunge art or Fine art photography.
At school, Strevens studied photography and fell in love with it. He could never take a picture and leave it alone; he would have to do some experimenting in the darkroom to make the image “better or different”. In sixth form he helped out in the photography department, including building a darkroom and a cinema, and spent every free lesson there. He has spent most of his adult life taking photographs.
Strevens was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2010. It has had a profound effect on him; coming to terms with a lifelong debilitating disease, he has found it very hard and at times, even now, on a bad day he struggles both physically and emotionally. His wife bought him a digital SLR camera, to give him ‘something to do’. This single act reignited his passion for art and has helped lift him every day, something for which he will be eternally grateful to her for. Going digital has been a revelation. As his mobility has become worse, he has found not being restricted in his creativity has helped get that ‘virtual shed’ back, providing “somewhere to just escape and do stuff”.
Strevens feels he has come out of the dark days now, feeling stronger and able to cope with life; “I have learned that I can do whatever I want to do, not reined in by fear of failure, the one thing that held me back before.”
Pat Gregson is a textile design artist and teacher. Gregson works across a broad range of media, producing digital collage, watercolours and embroideries. She uses drawings, paintings and photographs to produce the collage works, combining her art approach with her design techniques. The works produced are developed through drawings of the natural world and through a process of experimentation. Gregson’s embroideries of imaginative landscapes use appliqué with recycled fabrics. These pieces are hand stitched and each piece is unique.
Gregson’s work is produced in a contemplative manner. Through her readings of the Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh and her faith, Gregson has developed a way of working that gives her pure clarity of thought and peacefulness. This clarity allows Gregson to take a complex world and filter, highlight and convey certain visual aspects of it to the viewer.
Gregson obtained a degree in textile design from Nottingham Trent University (formally Nottingham Trent Polytechnic) in 1976 and was she was selected as one of 24 graduates throughout the UK to show her work at TEXPRINT held at the Design Centre, The Haymarket, London.
She has sold work in the UK and America and exhibited extensively throughout England. Most recently, Gregson has exhibited in The Near Far Pool at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery in 2008, in Sprachcaffe, Brighton and Hove Open Houses in 2009, at the 2013 Impact Art Fair in London and with Creative Future’s ‘Tight Modern’ UK tours in 2009, 2014 and 2017. Earlier exhibitions include group shows ‘Natural Forms’ at Penn’s Art Gallery, Eastbourne in 1986, the prestigious ‘Young Contemporaries’ now called ‘New Contemporaries’, and in ‘Botanical Art’ in Plannahead Art Gallery in Eastbourne 1998.
“My fascination and love of art grows and intensifies as I continue to make it.”
Paul Bellingham’s work is primarily painting, drawing and collage. He is interested in the process of painting and in the paint itself, describing his process as a partnership between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Bellingham’s work is partially spontaneous and partially pre-planned. He explains: “sometimes I have a loose or general idea at the beginning of my process, in the hope that this will evolve into something with more credibility. Often the end result is a surprise to me. I am trying not to think too much about outcome.” Experimentation is vital to his work, keeping it alive and dynamic. He aims to be “honest and to remember the code of chance and experiment.”
Bellingham started to paint in 1994, as a self-taught artist, however he has always drawn from the age of 4. He is currently studying for a BA (hons) Fine Art degree at Chichester School of Art, where he is enjoying exploring his practice from an academic perspective.
Terence Wilde describes creativity “as a healing tool, emotionally to describe, spirituality make sense of, occupationally to work alongside.’
Wilde draws on his own mental health journey from the perspective of an adult survivor. Alongside his interest in design and colour, Wilde makes a lot of black and white work, particularly pen drawings and ceramic based radical crafts. These are responses to situations and what he considers to be his life’s work; using personal experience to express struggles, fears and dreams. Wilde’s visual language helps to convey a sense of history and reality to the present moment.
Wilde is a visual artist based in London. He studied at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 1986 with a first class degree in Textiles. Terence worked as a fashion print designer in the west end for many years before retraining through Croydon’s voluntary mental health services as an art group facilitator. He currently teaches art, pottery and textiles within the occupational therapy department at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.
Yvonne J Foster – artist, designer, scribbler, storyteller and maker of tiny curious things.
Trained as a designer and silversmith, Foster graduated in 1998 with a BA (Hons) from Sir John Cass, but in the working world became disillusioned and switched to a career working with children.
In 2011, following a breakdown stemming from past traumatic experiences Foster returned to art, creating images to express and process emotion. “Art is still my way of processing life, it helps me to unburden emotions and gives me a way to express the inexpressible. It is also my escape, relaxation and enjoyment. I often draw to please myself, as well as to challenge, to amuse and entertain.”
Focusing on minute details, Foster is extremely measured, particular and precise; hugely diverse, her work ranges from stylistic graphic portraits and scribbled sketchbooks, to miniature artworks and tiny boxes.
“I purposely restrict in order to exercise an element of control. It focusses me and gives a welcome break from a self-critical and traumatised brain. It is a very solitary and personal process. I can hide the most precious or raw emotions inside every detail.”
In the Ice Cream Artworks series Foster explores idealism and perfection, combining the use of flat, bright colours and greyscale to form highly stylised images.
Drawing on the popular culture of the 1930s, the golden age of cinema and illustrations promising the lure of escapism, she mimics the perfection sought in an imperfect world. “Since reality is so completely imperfect, I choose to play with worlds of escapism, optimism, longing and possibility.”