Below you will find some of my favourite highlights from recent years, including my TEDx talk. Do you fancy keeping in touch? Sign up here: Studio Diaries for inspirations in your inbox, or The Plot podcast in your ears.
Finding Words to Live By | TEDxTotnes
In this TEDx talk, I share lessons learned about the power in finding our own 'words to live by', with a story about how they might have become so painfully absent in the first place.
I explore the value in making our human marks to express those words, and in a difficult and uncertain political landscape, why and how we might want to turn these into beautiful, personal manifestos to inspire action and engagement.
This talk was part of TEDxTotnes 2017, held at beautiful Dartington Hall. It was a real delight to take my place on that red carpet alongside such a great line up of activists and thinkers.
KILLHOPE Lead Mining Museum
“It has been a pleasure working with you. You have produced some lovely stuff for us and it has been quite a highlight for me!”
Mike Boase, Director of Killhope – 2016
Killhope - An Introduction
Killhope is a multi-award winning, 19th century mining museum in the centre of the North Pennines AONB. They commissioned me to create this welcome film, which visitors are invited to watch before they head off on a tour of the working exhibits and venture underground down the mine shaft.
Thomas Sopwith's Geological Models
This short story introduces 19thC polymath and social reformist Thomas Sopwith, and accompanies a rare, complete set of his exquisite wooden geological models.
KILLHOPE – AN INTRODUCTION
A highlight of this introduction film was mastering how to explain geological events that cause formation of galena—the mineral ore from which lead is extracted. Writing my script I had generous support from an expert geologist who made sure poetic story-telling was matched with scientific accuracy. I then set about creating something which visual learners would immediately grasp, highly memorable in design style, that was also factually spot on in its verbal message.
It was a really lovely project to work on, conveying the extraordinary life and work of mining families on these harsh moors and why lead was important to them. Some of the words and terminology were an absolute pleasure to design with too!
Thomas Sopwith made his wonderful, small, wooden sculptures to teach miners about geology. Again, it was important to ensure the all the facts were correctly matched to gorgeous visuals, and had to work without audio, so I worked with an expert geologist to get this just right.
Still photographs provided some beautiful material to work with – on one of my visits to the museum I made a tiny pop-up studio and got to work! They suited our available space, time and budget perfectly.
Capability Brown at Alnwick
This tells the story behind Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown's ambitious and dramatic transformation of the Alnwick Castle landscape in the late 1700s. This film was commissioned for the national celebration of 300 years since Brown's birth, and exhibited in the castle's state rooms overlooking that same landscape.
The new exhibitions in Alnwick Castle’s Constable’s Tower were opened by the Duke in June this year. The films form large, key focal points, and are on permanent display.
Constable's Tower - If Only These Walls Could Speak!
Constable’s Tower at Alnwick Castle has become like a mini Pitt Rivers museum, housing some very rare artefacts now beautifully displayed in a new exhibition. The film celebrates 700 years of life at Alnwick Castle by way of these objects, the tower’s architectural features, and archival material.
I found a narrative to weave together this diverse and complicated history, and told the tower’s story with the help of several experts who kindly shared their brilliant knowledge.
The Story of the Percy Tenantry Volunteers
Occasionally dubbed the ‘Napoleonic Dad’s Army’, the Percy Tenantry Volunteers were local heroes nationally celebrated, who rose against the odds and stood up in defence of their families and their country. Their story marks an important chapter in Alnwick’s history.
This work—projected in large scale—forms the central exhibit in the PTV exhibition at Alnwick castle.
One day from each season on Wicken Fen, shown in time lapse, with narrative vignettes introducing wildlife that may be found, and why it is there on the Fen.
This piece runs at 24’ and plays quietly on large scale in the visitor centre at the Museum – a chance for visitors to sit and rest, and contemplate hundreds of millions of years of natural history on display.
This film forms part of a larger exhibit about endangered Honeycreeper birds in Hawaii, a fascinating chapter in the story of evolution. It sits alongside specimens from Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage, all within the whole, world-renowned scientific collection of several million specimens.
Many thanks to Angela Wade for her beautiful illustrations.
A short reflection on finding your way out of darkness.
This personal project was filmed in Leigh Woods just outside Bristol. Music is by Chelsea McGough on a CC License via Soundstripe.
Thank You NYC
My Little NYC • 2016
Between the calm greens of Central Park and the noisy grime of the subway and back again – a short personal portrait of a few days on the go in the Big Apple.
A personal project, which began with the simple brief written on a post-it: 'Positive words every day, one way or another.'
It was simply a way of nurturing a hunch that there was something new coming out in my work and thinking – a little devotion each day to give this breathing space, without a determined outcome. These images are a tiny sample from the whole, which can be viewed on my tumblr page. It later, unexpectedly, became the basis for my TEDx talk.
japanese calligraphy brush – preparation for a poster version of the Rob Bell quote
Quote from Rob Bell
Poem by John O'Donahue
Ink and brush pen
Ink and brush pen
Wanderer by Antonio Machado
Wanderer by Antonio Machado
Detail from poster version of the poem – ink and brush pen with gold leaf.
Love IS the answer
Lino print, 100 Days project
Lino print which kicked off my 100 Days project.
For anyone braving new adventures, without a guarantee.
This was an experimental film for Sparkol, makers of Videoscribe animation software, who commissioned me to throw them some new inspiration and also see how far their kit could be pushed.
The Sparkol team followed up by filming me delivering a trio of tutorials at my previous studio in Spike Island, to share with their sizeable international audience.
A very small nod to a huge few years working as lead-designer at BBC Resources on cross-platform branding projects, and with NHU and Features on broadcast titles and content – titles such as Blue Planet, Natural World and Animal Zone, to name a few.
Most of this is now lost on obsolete video formats and a few print samples are all that remain, but soaking in the spirit of brilliant image making, artful story-telling and precise attention to detail will never be forgotten from these young years of my career.
MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN
A dream book design project in collaboration with Business Consultant Jane Northcote.
Jane asked me to translate her insightful words and ideas about ‘Making Change Happen’ in organisations into a highly visual piece of book design and illustration. It was to present plenty of brilliant, clear thinking and exercise prompts for anyone wanting to see change happen in their working environment.
These stills show a few illustrations which punctuated various topics, case studies, and exercises. Also included were special spaces at the end of each chapter with visual prompts for reflecting on the previous pages, as well as extra margin space for note-making.
My job for Jane was to consult at conception, design the book and all its illustrations, and see it right through to final printing. I worked with Sonja Jefferson to make it happen.
A public art commission during redevelopment of Bristol’s Cabot Circus. The project involved creating concepts, shooting models in a central Bristol studio across the road from the site, then preparing illustrations and artwork. It was then translated into large-scale industrial standard mosaic by water-jet cutting approximately 60sq m of tiles, then applied by a local tiler who didn’t mind my sitting alongside in the flowerbed to watch as he applied the first sheets.
The biggest physical project I have ever worked on, and certainly the most publicly visible too.