Let’s Create!

Journey

We were delighted with our 2023 online summer exhibition, Let’s Create! a celebration of creativity in all its guises. 

The following gallery shows artwork from members of our Devon Artist Network who responded in such diverse ways to the theme of Journey.

A common thread throughout was the recognition that a journey is not just about getting from A to B, rather it provides a time frame for growth, change, transition and transformation.

As a result the exhibition, which you can see here, represented a range of thoughtful, imaginative, and sometimes poignant interpretations, including how we might consider the healing process as a journey, neuro-divergent experiences, and how giving ourselves up to the creative act can take us to new and surprising places.

Artists submitted artwork throughout the summer of 2023, and took part in the wider conversation through our social media platforms using the hashtag #artistjourney

Cheryll Kinsley Potter

Iconography has been a 25 year long diversion from my usual painting themes and style. It is from the Greek Orthodox Christian tradition which I am now applying to more secular and pagan themes so as to make it more inclusive in my catalogue raisonnée. The Young Green Man looms through the ivy leaves as a forest deity, the leaves coming from his young mouth are not yet a beard and moustache. 

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Mark Murton

“Devon’s sunken lanes are beautiful, mysterious places – wildlife corridors that connect habitat fragments, allowing wildlife to move between these spaces.”  They allow me to feel immersed in nature.  

Created by man in times when we tread more lightly on the earth –  if you listen closely you may hear the ghosts of the drovers – fellow Devonians from distant times.

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Rachael Bennett

This is a painting I made in 2009 when I was having a very difficult time as a teacher – lots of horrible political moves and disputes. I taught art in a special school and had a huge walk-in storage cupboard in my class room (I worked in a school for children with severe social and emotional needs so everything had to be locked away). I was so fed up I started this piece in my beautiful cupboard and it was a great refuge for me.

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Hagar Basis

My paintings develop intuitively almost like dreamscapes. I start with a blank canvas usually with no idea how the painting will evolve, often adding in a figure either from memory or using a life sketch as inspiration to start. All my paintings are self-portraits of a kind, and all reflect my own inner journey.

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Liz Swinbank

My journey in stitch has led me into natural dyeing and botanical printing. This piece called Sowing the Seeds inspired by the song Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears was in an exhibition I had with a friend. It’s aimed at inspiring others to take one stitch at a time and includes many techniques which I myself like to use. I love sewing and hope to inspire others to as well.

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Gigha Klinkenborg

This Hilltop Houses piece represents my journey to North Devon from Buckinghamshire over 37 years ago. They are made from stained glass using the copper foil (Tiffany) method.

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Daphne Currier

We Migrate is a large acrylic ink painting with intense colour showing the migratory path of an eel. One eel is Earth and Fire with warm colours; the other is Air and Water. Together they represent how inter-connected all of life on Earth is.

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Lucy Smerdon

These animals are on a journey to find a new land in which to live. Pushed to the margins of the land in a country of depleted wild spaces, many wild animals are forced to live in ever decreasing areas of land. My painting is a light hearted take on a serious issue, hopefully they are on a journey to a better future.

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Rhian Wyn Harrison

I am a mixed media artist/illustrator who is inspired by vintage papers and maps… 

I created this piece as a response to the vintage coastal chart showing Torbay, and strolling around my neighbourhood discovered that Paignton has a mermaid!

A beautiful creature pointing to Winner Street in the old part of the town, encouraging exploration and reflection.

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Nickdasculptor

This piece is part of my Global Warrior collection (I am their artist in residence) and it has a double inference… which highlights the impact of human waste on the polar ice caps and, more pertinent to the theme of a journey, celebrates the expedition of the Ice Warrior team to the Pole of Inaccessibility (the pole at the most northerly point of the globe), so named as there is no recorded evidence of human travel to this point ever.

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Kitty Pigfish

The Artist Cabin and the little fishing boats at Bucks Mills, North Devon, as viewed by the artist – a Flying Fish – journeying across the epically wild Atlantic Ocean. Is it safe to break her journey here and rest awhile? She can clearly see the rocks are wounding. The cliffs are unstable and unsupportive. But the Artist Cabin – her journey’s end – her  Sanctuary – is so tempting. 

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Noah Taylor

The work alludes to the mythical ways by which certain Saints during the early centuries AD visited these shores to spread Christianity. Millstones, leaves and other fantastical craft were employed. Referring to our modern world, this version has similarities to a Windsurfer, Stand Up Paddle Board, Windcart and Skateboard. The Saint steering his way into the Westcountry

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Helyne Jennings

Reminiscences of times spent journeying by train through Egypt from Aswan to Luxor, to Cairo to Alexandria and along the coast towards Libya to Marsa Matruh, where the light is pure, the sands are white, the sea is Topaz blue and the sun always shines. 

Gilded, hand painted, block printed silk and Japanese paper wall piece with hand and machine stitch.

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Ann Blockley

Moving to Devon was a leap of faith- a huge journey – springing from the desire for new subjects to inspire in fresh ways. I spent a year immersed in my woodland garden and beyond, exploring the poetry of seasons using paint, collage, pottery, and poems.  It resulted in the book – Poetic Woods, published September 14th.  Coastal Hawthorn is part of this journey.  It began by spreading raw watercolour onto wet paper using my hands and bracken foraged from site.

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Nuala Taylor

I love walking: Dartmoor hills, coastal paths, riverside trails. Evening is best: the light is beautiful, the busy day behind; I breathe in calm and breathe out worry. I hope this painting reflects something of this. I paint as an emotive response to landscape. It’s about mood and atmosphere, not a particular place. In fact, it’s more about memory really; a memory of rocks, grass, skies, and water, of light and space,

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Helen Edwards

Summarising each day in my diary helps me to make sense of it ready to face the next day afresh. I began stitching fragments of old diaries between layers of silk just before my cancer diagnosis. After my surgery and before my chemotherapy, I was determined to complete the 2 metre hanging for the Summer Exhibition at MAKE Southwest where it won Peter Randall-Page’s President’s Prize.

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Roberta Ayles

This little panel was inspired by a journey to Kerala about ten years ago. It was before dawn and two men were setting off for work by canoe. Across the water drifted the most beautiful sound of early morning prayer singing, mingled with birdsong. 

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Hannah Oram

Three Wise Men represents the journeys we take to unwind or play after a busy day at work. I feel the ocean is like another world and when we journey into it, we can be carried out of our usual life. The water has an amazing ability to wash away our worries and bring us into the present in such a special way: it intensifies the feeling of being alive in such a special way.

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Steve Manning

This print was inspired by the Brent Geese that make their annual journey from the Arctic Tundra to the rich feeding grounds of the Exe Estuary. From late autumn the air is filled with their evocative call as arriving flocks greet each other with reassurances that a long and arduous journey has again been completed safely.  

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Julie Noles

Tapestry in Green reflects my journey, from living in leafy Surrey in a wooded valley for over fifty years, to moving to Devon and getting used to having huge skies, open landscape, wildflower hedgerows and patchwork fields in every shade of green ochre and beyond.

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Anna Brewster

A journey for me is usually a walk, on foot.  As a land and seascape painter I find myself walking the paths and less-trodden, more overgrown ways around our beautiful county.  Dartmoor was a place I visited earlier this year and found myself bewitched – not by the bleak tors and the sweeping views but instead by the lush green valleys and river. 

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Martin Staniforth

‘Resurgence’ journeyed to me.  It was part of an oak tree that was washed down in floodwater, near my studio. The trunk was wedged and directing water to undermine the bank. It was too heavy to remove but I could winch it upright. So, I put on wellies and safety gear and then carved it in situ. 

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Dawn Jordan

My connection to the Arts means so much to me in so many ways. Perseverance and hard work, I feel, are key to moving forward on a journey.  This painting was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show and gave me the impetus to keep moving forwards.

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Susie Honnor

I hand-printed this cushion in my sudio which overlooks Dartmoor. It is printed with potatoes and it is not only the journey of balls bouncing in the air but also about my recent and ongoing and experimental journey with textile design and printing. I use potatoes and other unusual objects to create low-tech, fun and attractive cushions and lampshades which would delight any living space!

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Nigel Moores

“The good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.”

Tao Te Ching.

My best work comes when I have no fixed plans but only an inkling or feeling. This journey or process, in my painting practice, is exciting, troublesome, challenging and hopefully surprising at its conclusion.

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Anne Amosford

I have been collecting my bus tickets for a few years now, not wanting to waste them. I have also been ‘collecting’ overheard conversations and sound bites whilst travelling on the buses. This work is a direct result of these habits. The pared down and plaited bus tickets form pouches from which ‘gems’ of sentences emerge.

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Susan Purser-Hope

During the pandemic, birds were a great inspiration for me as I watched them circling and weaving over head – free in contrast to my captivity.  The world had stopped but the birds still journeyed around the world.

This work is inspired by looking down at the world and gaining a new perspective on what we see. Look up and take your eyes off the ground!

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Wendy Greaves

My journey of discovery at Combe Martin beach differs every time I visit. This piece entitled “Sedimentary Stones and Stitches” 2023 combines and reflects my love of the coast and the patterns, colours and textures that emerge through the large overhanging caverns, the differing seaweeds that are abundant in the murky rock pools, 

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Vicki Gardner

This image is from a new series of images ’Seaweeds of South Devon,’ which looks at the beauty of our local seaweeds collected from local beaches. I have been sea swimming for 18 months through all weathers and with no wetsuit. This has been a journey;

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Clare Rogers

Much of my work is inspired by the beautiful landscape of Dartmoor. The rolling moorland, rocky tors, filigree hawthorns and densely wooded valleys offer an opportunity for mind and body to journey through the wide open spaces.

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Lynda Kettle

As I get older I am becoming more nostalgic . This is my pastel called ‘Arrival’ . Over many years there have been arrivals into our country. Who are these two people in my painting? They are on their own journey. Do they live in this town or are they just visiting?  Why are they […]

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Sue Side

The drama of the starling dance against winter skies is quite a thing. I spend most winters searching out and observing roosts in the UK. This leads to a few works each winter. These are thousands of individually ink-drawn birds overlapping one another again and again in an attempt to recreate the remarkable fluidity of aerial display.

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Alison Summerfield

Norway is a country of outstanding beauty. I was fortunate enough to live there for 3 years and be associated with the British Embassy. Each day was a journey of new experiences, and there was always time for hiking, cycling, and my passion cross country skiing.

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Rachel Mclaughlin

The walk around Berry Head Nature Reserve got into my bones over 10 years ago. A sad time when I was looking for meaning. Since that day, I have travelled all over the world but still my paintings and I always end up here.  

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Lu Hillier

Find Your Fire is one part of two paintings, and belongs to a recent abstract series titled ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’, which represents my long journey to self care. The forms and colours express significant emotions and capture the moments of joy where I have instilled positive change,

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Susan Crowther

The journey starts with a walk along the Thames Embankment at dusk, of which I made a video. My artistic journey started with the video and progressed to picking out shots that I like. I made montages of these images.

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Thorie Hinds

Paper on cradled panel is the beginning of a familiar journey 
but with new little side roads towards unknown vistas. A new surface, 
the paint responds differently, new hand gestures required in 
mark-making, colour contrasts are more vivid, imagery and edges are 
ghosting in multiple layers. 

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Sarah Tansey

This painting represents a journey I took through Australia. The aboriginal art really inspired me. The journey is from the earth at the ground level to the sky and sunlight through the jungle and waterways of our planet. It also represents the emotional journey I go on when I suffer with my mental health.

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John Elliot

Firefly is a sculpture that represents a journey like a record or snapshot of an object (or objects) as it changes shape and moves through space like a 3D representation of a vector diagram. The objects can be thought of as abstract representations of birds or insects but at the same time are also cargo-cult representations of fantastical flying machines.

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Louise Bougourd

Painting with watercolour has always brought immense pleasure. The immediacy, the fluidity and transparency have always thrilled me but, I found I was becoming restless desiring something more, something different. 

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Caroline Lumb

The image is of a painting which visually describes the River Great Ouse’s journey from source, through the countryside, onto the towns and through the flat open space and out to the estuary.

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Marion Adams

The pieces in this series are built on a used parcel-wrap substrate with other recycled paperincluding old books, notepads and fragmented drawings. They encapsulate for me a journey that began about 18 months ago, when I started to transition to eco-friendly, non-toxic materials,

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Avenda Burnell Walsh 

Slow, slow I draw breath, my breath
So I might breathe it out on paper.
My breath. Drawn down to belly and toes,
Drawn in, passing colours through closed eyes,
Feeling a path through charcoaled fingers

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Jay Xanthe Russ

My life has always been a puzzle. I am different from many people because I’m Autistic. This piece represents how I see the World. My Journey through life. There is lots to see in it and viewers can interpret each part as they wish.

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Christophe Szpajdel

“La nostra destinazione non e un luogo ma un nuovo modo di vedere le cose” is an Italian quote which translates as: “Our destination is not a place but a new way to see things”.

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Rosemary Bonney

The painting is titled ‘Battle at Sea’ and represents a journey in two ways. Firstly, it progressed through three paintings, and secondly, it evoked the journey of a character in a series of novels that I had read.  

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Belinda Reynell

Winding Waters Winding Waters is a painting inspired by a train journey from Tiverton Parkway to Totnes, and is one of a series of new pieces. I made small quick charcoal drawings from the train window and used these to create paintings, along with my memories of the journey. I was particularly taken by the […]

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Celia Olsson

On some journeys you encounter obstacle after diversion. So, with this painting. I thought I knew where I was going when I started but I just couldn’t find my way. I tried layers of collage, gesso, watercolour, ink, mark-making media, but all proved to be the wrong way. Before giving up,

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Helen Stamp

I feature pathways a lot in my landscapes. It makes me feel that wherever we are going we are always looking to see what lies ahead of us, while enjoying where we currently are. What is coming next, what is way off on the horizon and what is hidden around the next corner.

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Lee Holman – The Coastal Creative

My first plein air painting experience of a remote tree sitting above an incredible valley of heather produced in cobra water based oils on location at The Warren House Inn, Postbridge.

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Donna White

The artwork I have chosen for Journey shows the journey of the River Dart from its source on Dartmoor to the sea at Dartmouth. It is embedded with river sediment taken from along the River Dart. It also represents the journey of a life of a dear friend who loved the river.

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Catherine Kennedy

Sea Wave is inspired by my walks along the coastline of North Cornwall. The colours in this painting are often found along this route. The south west coastal path, especially in winter, gives this stark contrast between turquoise blue of a cresting wave and a brooding grey sky.

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Lili John

I live near Broadsands Beach and I regularly walk along the seafront in quiet contemplation and in awe of the incredible scenes as they unfold before me.

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Geoff Sellick

I have been painting for about 9 months and my works, although always abstracted and inspired by local landscapes, have developed through various styles as I try different techniques and landscapes. ’Brackish Waters’ is my current favourite, it shows the journey of the river as it meets the sea.

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Steve Bowden

A journey of 630miles undertaken by many for many different reasons. I’ve been tramping sections over the last ten years and recently worked my way around Land End. I was blessed with beautiful sunshine over three days and found the Cornish hedgerows absolutely bursting with colour and wildlife.

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Kevin Tharme

My Time An impressionist abstract commission in acrylic on canvas. A reflection about a restorative retreat taken on the Isle of Iona following successfully navigating cancer, major surgeries and Covid. The artwork references things important to them including music, colour, energy, optimism, faith, reflection, and peace. Their time in Scotland profoundly affected them on their […]

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Angie Seaway

Living just minutes from the East Devon coast in Exmouth I study and paint the kite surfers polish their craft from the first tentative journeys to the established and confident soirées. 

I painted this flock of kites playing with the idea of the shapes and contours of the kites becoming a new species of flying birds. I positioned them in the painting on the horizon as they had journeyed from the shore.

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Janis Ridley

The sculpture represents the journey between horse and human. A relationship that is as emotional as it is physical, and which is about sharing and empathy.

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