Creative LAB



A collaboration between artists Clarissa Ready & Stéphanie Max, expressing their influences, process, finding bridges and creating new collaborative artworks around the theme of nature.


Clarissa Ready and Stéphanie Max have a shared interest in materials and techniques.
They have a lot in common and both articulate their research within mixed media,including printmaking, painting, drawing, collage, embroidery and textiles.
They appreciate experimentation and discovery, letting the materials speak to them and the shapes and forms evolve.

During the year 2021, the two artists met 4 to 5 times to enjoy creating together, exploring new ways to work and know more about each other. They set up small art challenges to play whilst leaving room to surprises and experimentation. They started sharing stories and drawings using dice.

Clarissa is a textiles and mixed media artist and explores ideas in a great diversity of materials.  She has a background in print, embroidery and  knitwear, influenced in part by watching her mother and grandmother knit and sew as a child.  Clarissa studied at Glasgow School of Art after which she freelanced as a designer selling work in America and Europe alongside teaching.

Stéphanie is a french mix media artist and uses paper as principal support. Her childhood was cradled by strong popular imagerie “Les images d’épinales” from the East of France. The little french girl visited a local printmaker and illustrator with her grandmother,  writer. This meeting with Jean Morette was more than fascinating and shaped her dedication for art, the printing press and more specifically her attachment to pictures and narrations. Paper is a love story, including her attachment to books, old yellowing pictures and  texts.

Exhibition at Yeovil Art Space

October 2021
During one month show in Yeovil Art Space, the artists shared a selection of personal artworks as well as pieces that “four hands have made together” and works in progress. It was an evolving ‘lab’ of experimentation. The artists proposed several workshops to share their experiences and techniques.

OPEN STUDIOS 2021

8 yeovil Creatives members have been part of the art festival in September (18 Sept- 3 Oct 2021),  with Lucy Hawkins, Natasha Rand & Jill Preston.

Five of them were welcomed at Yeovil Art Space to set up temporary studio space as part of the Somerset Art Works Open Studios event. Grażyna Wikierska, Clarissa Ready, Stéphanie Max, Dawn Handy and Jess Egan have been showncasing an exciting range of work in printmaking, drawing, painting, mosaic and sculpture and proposed workshops to the community.

GRAZYNA WIKIERSKA

CREATIVE OF THE MONTH – September 2021

The artist in her studio in Yeovil

Grazyna WIKIERSKA

Grazyna is a mix media artist working in Yeovil, she like choosing all kinds of media to tell us a story. Recent works refer to spirituality, shamanism, self-discovery, fragility of  everyday life and vulnerability. 

“Subtle Body” 2021

“Subconscious paintings from a beginner’s mind … 

There is a story behind this painting : “Subtle Body” 2021… I wanted to paint it 18 years ago. Exactly the same age as my son. It is quite a personal, healing journey, or more like a surrender journey to biology.” 

“When you are young you learn your body, sometimes working against your will. Which can be the best thing ever happened to you. Like a blessing.  Subtle Body “is a “quasi material”aspect of the human body, being neither solely physical nor solely spiritual, according to various esoteric and mystical teachings. This contrasts with the Mind–body dualism .The Subtle Body is what connects our physical body to the Causal Body (AKA Universe, Spirit, God)”. It was an awakening moment for me and I started observing experiences in the human – woman body. Observing form from formlessness level. 

Line work in this painting represents a link to spirituality, meditative state, surrender, calm state. The field surrounding the body is the opposite – maybe – It is like chaos – vibrations – the universe of emotions without any form yet –  formlessness. Cosmic consciousness in which we should identify ourselves. Mystical quantum build from energy. 

Member of Somerset Art Works.

Exhibiting in Yeovil Art Space on the Somerset reacquainted show, until 11 September.

Grazyna takes part of Somerset Open Studios event, 18 Sept-3rd Oct 2021 with 4 others artists and Yeovil Creatives members, in Yeovil Art Space. The artist organises with the artist Clarissa Ready a Textile workshop Saturday 2 October, 10.30- 1 pm, Yeovil Art Space. More info here.

Here, find Grazyna Yeovil Creatives member’s profile.

Website: www.grazynawikierska.com

JESS EGAN

CREATIVE OF THE MONTH – AUGUST 2021

The artist in her studio in Yeovil

JESS EGAN

Jess is a visual artist working in the South West, her work is primarily centred around landscape, works both figuratively and in an abstract style painting.  

Bamburgh Castle – Ink pen and pencil drawing – commission approx A4

Landscape, coastline, and the skies above are fundamental features in my work, they are where I find space to think and ever since I was small, I have been compelled to try and capture what I see around me; just recently I was prompted to remember drawing mountains in Spain on a childhood family holiday, trying to perfect an art and capture something of what it was like to be there in that magnificent landscape.   I am enthralled by openness, large scale vistas, and my human sized place within that.  Working with acrylics, inks, watercolour etc, I like to explore intuitively through my materials. The processes of painting and drawing are vital, the physicality of mark making, and so my work is often abstract as it takes the original focus into an emotional experience.

St Ives – Ink and Watercolour on paper – approx 10×7”

I am beginning to understand that I am interested in ‘experience’ and how I translate that in my work.  I think this partly stems back to a time when I lost confidence in my painting and drawing and took up a compulsion for taking photographs, obsessively recording places but not drawing them.  Now photos sometimes inform my work alongside my sketches but are mainly a way for me to have moments of creativity at a click of a button, an achievement, a capture, a new possession.  Then I can develop my ideas with drawing/markmaking later as a slower more considered approach.  I used these ideas on a large scale in my work for ‘Somerset Reacquainted’ exploring the lockdown experience, taking daily photographs and exploring my feelings about time and its influence on us, part of the experience of life.  

After spending many years apart from my practice I have realised how important making art is to maintaining my peace of mind and how key it is to my identity.  I am keen to promote the message of art for all and creativity for health. 

Underneath – Acrylic on Canvas, 90cm x 60cm

Jess is :

Our marketing & communication coordinator at Yeovil Art Space

Creative Pathways bursary from Somerset Art Works 2020/21

Tutor for Art for Memory groups with ArtsLink Fizz

Member of Somerset Art Works and the Yeovil Creatives Network.

Exhibiting in Yeovil Art Space as part of the Somerset Open Studios event, 18 Sept-3rd Oct 2021 with 4 others artists and Yeovil Creatives members.

Here, find Jess Yeovil Creatives member profile.

Pictures on the top:

Jess in her studio, and behind a sketchbook Page – watercolour

Morning Landscape – Acrylic Painting on Canvas 1mx1m

CREATIVE OF THE MONTH / JULY 2021

DAWN HANDY

My earliest memories of drawing and developing a passion for art, stem from my childhood and teen years in South Africa. I found inspiration and felt inspired everywhere I went. Memories of standing, aged 2, in front of profuse blooms of bougainvillea, bursting with Cape chameleons delight my imagination to this day.

I am about to embark on a Fine Art degree, focusing on sculpture and printmaking, followed by a Masters in Art Therapy. After completing a Foundation in Graphic Art in 1994 and subsequently a Journalism Diploma, I set out to discover the world as a backpacker. 18 months later, I unintentionally fell in love and Britain has been my home ever since. 

I’m a self-taught mosaic artist, with a formal background in drawing, printmaking and graphic art with a primary focus on linocuts, woodcuts, etchings and mixed media.

Whilst my degree is still on the horizon, I’ve picked up a handful of diplomas along the way as a healthcare and youth worker – the wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years have all inspired me to become an art therapist. 

The current focus of my art practice is primarily on mosaic art and sculpture using recycled materials, mixed media paintings and sculptures, as well as printmaking. 

Using recycled materials in my work has always been a passion – growing up in South Africa with limited resources, as art materials were expensive and imported – I learned to adapt, adjust and incorporate recycled materials into my work. The use of recycled materials is endemic in South Africa, leading to wondrous creations by extremely talented artisans, artists and crafts folk.

Necessity quite literally smashes preconceived notions of materials

Having been adopted, my art practice definitely currently centres around ‘identity’. It reflects my journey after undertaking DNA tests and a lot of research to discover the very mixed heritage of my biological ancestry. The outcome is reflected in my work, which reflects my processing of the documented stories, histories, ancestral art and cultures of my ancestors, whose origins span the globe. 

I’m a member of the Yeovil Creatives and South-West Mosaic Artists. My work is available in multiple locations, including the Yeovil Art Space, where I also run art workshops.” (more info about workshop soon).

Dawn Handy is going to take part in Somerset Open Studio 18 Sep-2 Oct 2021 with 4 other Yeovil Creatives’ members at Yeovil Art Space.

Pictures (from the top, clock wise) :

Contemplation of the ancestral‘ copyright 2021 Dawn Handy for the South West Mosaic Artists’ ‘Picking up the Pieces’ exhibition at the Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury.

Headdress of my foremothers‘ copyright Dawn Handy 2021. 30cm contemporary mosaic. Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury with the South West Mosaic Artists.

Flowering Hope‘  copyright 2021 Dawn Handy for the South West Mosaic Artists’ ‘Picking up the Pieces’ exhibition at the Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury.

Hold on to your dreams‘ copyright 2021 Dawn Handy for the South West Mosaic Artists’ ‘Picking up the Pieces’ exhibition at the Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury.

The Woods‘ copyright 2021 Dawn Handy for the South West Mosaic Artists’ ‘Picking up the Pieces’ exhibition at the Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury.

Rising Phoenix‘ copyright 2021 Dawn Handy for the Together We Are Stronger community project, in conjunction with the Yeovil Creatives, led by Natasha Rand.

We honour you’ copyright Dawn Handy 2021. 30cm contemporary mosaic skull. Tesserae handcut from vitreous tiles, vintage and modern china and crockery, displayed alongside beads and found objects. Showing in the Picking up the pieces 2021 exhibition, st the Sou’ Sou’ West gallery, Symondsbury.

Rachel Akerman window display

We are so glad to have a wonderfull window display to go along with our plant pot project for raising money for our Yeovil Creatives art group!

Our member Rachel put together the lovely pots hand decorated by our members and her green and poetic paper elements to create a stunning scene.

“I’m an illustrator and designer based in Yeovil, Somerset. This window display was originally commissioned by Weston Artspace on the theme ‘Ray of Light’ to coincide with the high streets reopening back in March. I tried to focus on a positive aspect from the COVID pandemic that I hope people will continue to value.

During this time most people have been able to slow down, take time outside in their local surroundings and appreciate how good being in nature makes them feel. Carbon emissions have dropped as well as noise pollution, which in turn has given wildlife an opportunity to thrive. More wildflower have bloomed in verges making them welcome habitats for bees and insects. The greens cape backdrop felt like the perfect fit to help display and promote Yeovil Creative’s Plant Pot Project and upcoming Front Yard Fest.

Rachel is a creative designer with a degree in illustration from Falmouth University. The artit’s work spans editorial and information illustration to window displays and site specific design work. Rachel does a lot of drawing mixed with collage, painting and digital work.

rachelakerman.co.uk

@rachelakerman on Instagram

Hannah, look how the worm matches with one of your pot !!!

We are raising money!

Members decorated clay plant pots to raise money for their activities and projects. Each pot is unique, handmade and brightened with painting, collage or mosaic.

They are lovely characters in our wildlife window created by the artist and illustrator Rachel Akerman in Yeovil Art space. Rachel Akerman Illustration

All of this is taking part of the Front Yard Fest Yeovil, community art event to celebrate our homes, which will be 8 to 29 AUGUST 2021. For more, see Front Yard Fest Yeovil – Yeovil Art Space .

Each pot is for sale, £15, £20 and £25 for the bigger ones. Thank you for supporting us and enjoying a rare and very local plant pot!

FIND HERE ALL OUR PLANT POT COLLECTION

Small pots (hight: 10cm, diamater on top: 11cm), £15 each.

Medium pots (hight: 10cm, diamater on top: 11cm), £20 each.

Big pot(Hight:16cm, diameter on top: 17cm), £25 each.

You are very welcome to send us a picture of it on display in your house, flat, garden or whatever! Use the #plantpotyeovil in Instagram or @yeovilcreatives in Facebook, or send us an email yeovilcreatives@gmail.com.

CREATIVE OF THE MONTH / JUNE 2021

NATASHA RAND

Each month, Yeovil Creatives art group present to you one of their members. A close-up of their actual artworks, projects, and preoccupations.

June 2021, Natasha Rand, Artist & Creative Tutor is our creative of the month.

” I made the unusual decision to study a combined degree, in visual arts and English literature. I would play with the words I had read and incorporate meanings, and sometime the text, into my work and art into my written narrative. My travels, my everyday life was always about the objects you find, the landscapes you explore and of course the people you meet.

Visual art to me has always been about a narrative. It is the story telling from artist that engages the viewer. For me, it is the viewer’s response, possibly through their own creativity, is when the magical happens. As a creative tutor, teacher of 20 years and now an engagement producer I explore the process and the creative conversations as important as the outcomes that are produced. This connection to creativity has the power to draw people together.

The power of audio recording, like in the project “Together We Are Stronger” is, to me, a perfect example about the power of story can help co-create empowering art. Sure, we talk to one other, everyday conversation take place, but do we find the time to really listen? Rarely do we consider our response before firing back our answers.

By listening and responding to a recorded story, a consideration to what we are listening too is applied. We choose to become connected; we listen with more intensity and take time to respond. Add on another layer of “making and creating” an artistic response, takes time, thought, and develops a meaningful art, which in turn is then viewed, read, and responded too by others. In truth the time taken to listen and respond through the art impacts the original storyteller, emphasizing to them that what they have said has been heard. The conversation happens without even the need to meet. Preserved in time for others to hear and see. Connected, ignoring the constraints of distance, space, and time.

Since recording the podcasts and visually responding I have started to explore the beauty of the soundscapes on the digital screen as the words play in audio. The patterns formed by the words of spoken narrative to me have a beauty, a unique pattern that I intend to play with and further develop my own narrative art.”

Natasha invited Yeovil Creatives’ members to take part on the “Together We Are Stronger” Project.

Find the responses here and on the exhibition in Yeovil Art Space, Quedam, Yeovil, until end of June.

Opening times: Wed, Thu, Fri 11-2 & Sat 11-3 pm.

Find more about the artist on her Yeovil creative’s profile page here.

Front top left, clock wise:

Sketchbook

Sea Time” Mixed media

Your face is your story”, silkscreen print on text

Sketchbook

“Together We Are Stronger” exhibition

LAST DAYS ! CLOSURE WEDNESDAY 30 JUNE !

Twelve members of the Yeovil Creatives art group answered a call from Natasha Rand to make and contribute a piece of work in response to the theme of ‘Resilience’. All artworks will be donated to the Somerset Care home where the podcasts were recorded.

Yeovil Creatives artists involved: Rhiannon Cross, Jess Egan, Samantha Hann, Dale Perrett, Elizabeth Caires, Grazyna Wikierska, Lucy Hawkins, Joanna Martin, Natasha Rand, Hannah Botomley, Dawn Handy, Stephanie Max and Julien Bird.

“Oh, the places you’ll go” Rhiannon Cross

Mixed Media Illustration/42x52cm

We all have a journey to make, but which route will we decide to take? Whatever life lays down in our way, there is always a path to a brighter day.

Instagram: rhiannon.cross

“This Moment In time” Jess EGAN

Acrylic painting on canvas / 60x60cm

When I think about Resilience, I think of inner strength, perseverance, and truth to yourself.  The podcasts reminded me of the reassurance gained from others’ experiences from the past and a joy in our connections made over generations and over time.  

When I listen to myself I am here, looking out to sea. I find inner strength putting myself in place to absorb the vastness of our nature and time.

www.jesseganart.com/Facebook: jess.egan.art/Instagram: jess.egan.art

“Solace” Samantha HANN

Mixed materials, 33x33cm framed.

Over the last year I have found great joy in nature, walking miles, exploring the Somerset levels, listening to birds, finding peace and solace in worrying times. I spent many hours at a local bird reserve, a beautiful environment to observe the seasons change and watch the starlings arrive in their thousands at dusk to nest in the reeds. A magical site. These memories I have combined to create the work; the softness of the waving reeds, the evening sky over the water as the starlings arrive.

Facebook: Samanthahannartist

Insta: samhann42

“Faisões” Dale Perret

Paper/ 13.5 x 13.5 inches

It has seemed that no matter where I have ventured, on one of the many walks I have been on over the past few months, it has been impossible to escape either the siting of or the vocal stridency of the male Common Pheasant. Across the South Somerset landscape, males encountering one another, fuelled by territorial instinct, have competed to prove who is strongest when together. The piece I have produced is a reflection of this experience with nature and of spending the time with a Portuguese close friend. Inspired by the ‘Galo de Barcelos’ I have decorated a black pheasant in a style influenced by this symbol of Portugal.

http://www.dailydale.co.uk/Facebook: DailyDaleArt/Instagram: dailydaleartist

“Feminine Power” Liz Caires

Collage and gouache on paper / 13.5 x 13.5 inches

My artwork is about women working stronger together during lockdown,for a better society. Women are a pivotal part of a larger revolution, like the feminist movement to make us all equal under the law and everyday lives. It’s important that we women continue to support each other in order to achieve a more balanced world beyond the virus and unite ourselves. The picture is about a celebration of liberation, solidarity, insight and empathy.

Instagram: theartworkoflizcaires

“The roots of awakening” Grazyna WIKIERSKA

Mixed media on paper.

When I am thinking about words together and strength I am thinking about collective, oneness with everything, wholeness, about being connected to the roots, to our ancestors, to nature, time – transcending past and future in the infinite now. In this sketch I was inspired by an old picture of my grandparents, their stories and my appreciation to all ancestors before me,  also I am reflecting about awareness and what we are creating as a collective with our minds. In this work I use flowers as a  symbol of beauty, fragility, and cycle of life. Thanks to these project I started to think about a new series of paintings and root sculpture in the future which will be  reflecting about coming back to roots. As a collective we are working together and apart on inner transformation to create a beautiful meadow (world) of our minds.

http://www.grazynawikierska.com/Fb: grazynawikierska.art/Insta: grazyna.wikierska

“Somerset Holloway” Lucy Hawkins

Drypoint etching and watercolour. On Fabriano paper, print size A5 on approx A4.

My interpretation of our theme “resilience” is about daily walks in lockdown; one foot in front of the other, keeping going and moving foward. I’ve spent most days exploring the Somerset countryside, walking through fields, woods and holloways, noticing the changing of the seasons more intently.

Facebook: lucytiptop/Instagram: Lucy Hawkins

“Here now” Jo MARTIN

Materials textiles and branches /52x42cm

This piece’s starting point was looking at us all as stars, thinking about the friendships and networks we make that make us stronger and make us feel supported. The cloud is a delicate, yet strong structure as is often found in nature. The cloud is in a branch of a tree – we have landed there in these pandemic times and we are finding new ways of working and creating, and coping, with this new everyday life.

Facebook: jomartinart/Instagram: Jo martin singing/art

“Soft Soundscapes” Natasha Rand

As the artist and producer of the podcasts, I wanted to visually represent the virtual connections I have made with the voices in the podcasts. I have been unable to meet them in person. The cushions represent this desire for physical contact, to hold and to hug. These are objects of symbolism for the homes we have spent so much time in.

Portraits podcast interviewees are photographically printed onto the canvas and hand painted with beautiful soundscapes of their interviews. These colourful abstract patterns are the images I viewed on the screen in the editing process. Not only is their beauty in the words spoken but there is visual beauty in how their words look when digitally translated.

www.creation-generation.com/Fb&Insta: Natasha Rand Creation Generation

“Things can be better” Hannah Bottomley

Silver foiled card and adhesive vinyl, 30x30cm

I was very drawn to Carol’s podcast in particular, she conveyed such a positive message of facing adversity and finding a way out the other side. She used her experience of post-natal depression as a positive and went on to help other people who were going through the same ordeal. My use of reflective card represents us accepting what is in front of us. The words which are partly obscuring it are both a barrier and a challenge; once completed, the view is clearer and life can go on.

www.hannahbottomley.co.uk/Instagram:  hannahbottomleyart

“Rising Phoenix” Dawn Handy

Handcut tesserae shaped from vitreous glass, mirrors, recycled crockery, tiles and millefiori/45x45cm

I thought long and hard about the theme of resilience and a phoenix sprang to mind. It is the physical embodiment of resilience…I have created a rising phoenix out of recycled materials such as crockery and mirrors but am also using traditional mosaic materials like millefiori, stained glass and handcut tesserae.

Instagram: dawnhandyart

“Together” Stéphanie MAX

Drawing and cutting on paper / 15x11cm / 46 pages

For the Together We Are Stronger commission, I wanted a new challenge and to create something I had never done before, in response to the new challenging times we had and still have. I shaped a theatre book, page after page, storytelling about my own feelings and stories of the last months in response to the title ant theme of resilience. This pictorial  narration is mixed with some parts of the podcasts too which resonated a lot with me. In regards of that, I designed a story of resurrection, through winter to spring, where being part of communities was more important than ever, which gave me strength, confidence and support. The wonder can be everywhere, inside of outside of us, meeting and listening people is a huge source of inspiration; people are treasure. Please, find the whole book on my website: stephanie-max.com

Fb&Insta: Maxdemoiselle

“Veerkrachtige” (Spring back)  ph: veer-crack-tuh” Julian Bird

Sculptural welding / H 60cm W40 D40 cm

I attended Kara’s writing workshop which focused on the Resilience in the pod casts (of which my mother is one).Using mixed media: steel, aluminium and stainless steel spoons welded together, I have used recycled elements to reflect the passage of time. The spring represents the idea of bouncing back after trauma; the base is black with sporadic patches of silver to show we all have glimmers of hope in dark times. The cables represent how we can be held down by external factors at points in our lives; and the flower shows that no matter how dark things may seem there will be something bright and beautiful at the end.
Facebook: reclamationcreation/Instagram: reclamationcreations

CREATIVE OF THE MONTH / MAY 2021

MARK PENDER

Each month, Yeovil Creatives are going to present to you one of our members. A close-up of their actual artworks, projects, and preoccupations.

Mark joined Yeovil Creatives in 2020. An established but part-time artist, he moved to the area 4 years ago following his retirement from an office career to concentrate on his art. Recently he has been painting larger pieces, up to 1500cm, exploring traditional oil painting methods. He has followed da Vinci, Rubens, Jan Steen and Victorian artists in recent works, using their techniques but adapting their subject matter into scenes featuring, for instance, Daisy the cow, a popular model who features in several of his works.


The photos show two of these, both finished in March. The Bride in Death is loosely based on a Thomas Barker painting in the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. Three Gold Coins even more loosely follows a Jan Steen bar scene. For the latter, the process is illustrated by four photos showing the original idea, initial sketch on the canvas, work in progress and nearly final piece on the easel.


His normal oil painting process though is a little different from that of The Masters. He often lays a vivid pink or yellow background on the canvas in acrylic paint and then, when dry, draws out his subject in oil paint which is about as thin with medium as possible. Sometimes the acrylic is left to show through an oil varnish in places so that the finished work is strictly “mixed media”. More often, it is covered completely but the colour helps him deal with his dislike of bright white canvas while working. He keeps preparatory sketches or drawings loose and to a minimum and varies the picture’s form on the canvas itself until he is happy. He prefers to have several paintings in progress at the same time, using the same quite restricted palette, and taking time to stand back and consider each one.

Part of his learning experience, he says, has been to slow down and truly consider what remains to finish a work and also to identify that exact moment when it is “done”.


At the moment he is experimenting with pointillism (referencing Seurat) and with a mixed media Klimt interpretation, both also featuring Daisy.


Mark is participating in Dorset Art Weeks 22 May – 6 June this year, and would love you to visit his studio in Sherborne, which will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (pandemic rules applying of course). You can find out more on the DAW website or the supplement accompanying the latest edition of Evolver.

And he has a virtual gallery to explore, accessible through his website www.markpender-art.com.

Find more about the artist on his Yeovil creative’s profile page here.

Step-by-step of “Tree Gold Coins“, oil on canvas, 60x42cm and inspired by the Dutch Masters but featuring Daisy the cow.

Mark in his studio in Sherborne, Dorset.
The Bride in Death“, oil on canvas, 60cm x 42cm