News: V&A Residency January – June 2012
My Muswell Hill studio has been transported to a spacious room overlooking Exhibition Road at the V&A, where I now work 5 days a week. I have had 6 Open Studios so far, one of which took place in the Medieval and Renaissance gallery where I demonstrated contemporary gilding techniques. It attracted a wide passing audience.
With meetings, tours and inductions organised during my first month, I quickly became familiar with how to access material, speak to curators and obtain technical assistance.
The V&A run some excellent courses, and I am able to attend any that might be of interest. So far I have studied Carolingian book production with Sally Dormer, and learnt about Ottonian Art. I also attended a talk on illuminated manuscripts by curator Rowan Watson.
The National Art Library at the V&A contains a wealth of illuminated manuscripts and contemporary calligraphy. I joined Sally Mae Joseph and second-year Kensington Palace students to study work by well known calligraphers such as Villa Toots, Donald Jackson, Werner Schneider and Thomas Ingmire.
To date, my priority has been workshop preparation which has been an inspiring learning process in itself. I have researched unusual lettering and monograms on different materials in galleries and created instruction sheets and visuals for a children's activity called "Lively Letters, Marvelous monograms". I have also studied gilding in both European and Asian galleries in preparation for my gold workshops for adults. I have taken on an exciting project for Dickens Day with the help of some of the Kensington Palace students. We are creating paper sculptures containing calligraphic Dickens quotes for the Sackler Foyer. I am also coordinating a drop-in workshop and installation on the same theme.