Our Artists & Us

Mairead Holohan (Eire)

"Painting The Tropics”  AHK Tutor January 2020

Artist’s Statement.
I work in many media. At this point in time in my teaching practice I am focusing on watercolours and textiles. Working in watercolours I like to let the media dictate the work I do and use it in a manner that is in tune with the fluidity of the medium. I think watercolours work best when the artist allows the paint to flow, not to fight it or try to control it too much. 

I am inspired by my surroundings and allow where I am to feed my work. I am very tuned in to what I call the spirit of place. Trying to keep my work loose, different situations inspire my use of colour.  

Watercolour can be gentle and soft or strong and colourful. I see watercolour as a very contemporary media when used with creativity and courage. Loving the freedom that watercolours give to be creative and responsive wherever I am. I do believe in drawing being the basis of good art, not necessarily academic drawing but drawing to understand our surroundings, to sit still and observe and record in a visual language that the artist understands. I carry a small watercolour sketch pad, pencils and pocket watercolour box with me when I travel to enable me to sketch when inspired and help me to resolve my responses to new situations. I may or may not use these in a finished painting but it all feeds my practice and informs my work. 

Much of my work is inspired by my lifestyle which is rural and as a former riding instructor I enjoy equestrian and animal subjects as well as seasonal themes. 

I just love what the watercolour medium can do and letting the paint do the work. Constantly challenging myself I am always looking for interesting ideas and subjects to push me to work better. If we do something often enough we can do it automatically and that is where I like to be when I’m painting. 

We never stop learning and as a tutor I often find my students inspire me, they certainly challenge me to keep improving. As adults we all have knowledge that we are not aware of and perhaps are just not confident of expressing ourselves, I try to draw that out of my students. 

Mairead Holohan C.V.

Brett Manley

Artist’s Statement.
My work comes in many forms, mainly reached by trying to resolve questions and elucidate curiosities about glass.

I love experimenting and the unexpected quirks that making kiln formed glass throws up. I use the magical nature of glass to make the two dimensional into three dimensions: layering the glass and showing the spaces in between and within the glass, between the surfaces, inside the edges. I also love exposing glass’s light transmitting qualities; using its ability to obscure, reflect, project, reveal and alter to create optical illusion kinetic effects and other simpler pieces. Swinging from clear ghostly simplicity to vivid boiled sweetie colours, and opaque flats to twinkling light spangled clears in my glass work, I reveal the changing hues of colour as the glass angles move or alter depth.

Playing with glass is playing with light and colour. What could be better?

As Dannie Abse said: “Art is a game only if you play at it, a mirror that reflects from the inside out.”

I often work in series and in hugely differing scales, from my jewellery to my “Glassscape” installation of 28 x 32 metres and 28 tonnes of blue recycled glass. My inspiration can be material led, but also comes from nature, gut emotions and an overwhelming need to create. I use paint, paper, drawing, found objects, collage, textiles, intense staring, my collections, travel and my photography to gather and develop new ideas, and the art of creative gathering to inspire. These devices of inspiration become part of my art. In essence, a lifetime of habits and patterns are being developed to suit my art.

Brett Manley C.V.

Lucinda Martin

Lucinda Martin began her career in the production department of the high street chain Chelsea Girl. She moved rapidly into haute couture where she worked as Production Manager under the likes of Bill Gibb, Shuji Tojo and Bruce Oldfield.

She moved on to theatrical costume and became a partner in her own company, Theatre of the Primitive Future (TPF). This company made costumes and props for (mainly) the light entertainment arm of the television industry at the time: such shows as Morecombe and Wise, Benny Hill, Russ Abbott, etc. When TV big budget shows began to disappear for economic reasons, TPF shifted back into more theatre work, such as Cats, Les Miserables and the Royal Opera House in the West End and the occasional big film job, i.e. the first Harry Potter film.

After relinquishing her partnership to focus on raising a family, Lucinda then diverged into independent publishing but never left her creative side behind. She began “pimping” bras following a request from a family friend and, realising how much she had missed sewing, is currently building this into a small business. After all, embellished bras are not just for mermaids!