“Number seven resonates with the vibrations and energies of the collective consciousness”

Joanne Walmsley


SEVEN is an artist’s book collective, based in Leigh on sea. Formed in January 2017 by local artists who met on a Creative Journal course at Metal in Southend, we have as a group, continued to develop our art practice using creative sketchbooks and altered books.

We think of our art books as the ideal space for artistic experimentation; a place where doodling is encouraged, where anything can be an art material, and mistakes can provide inspiration. Making our altered books is a way of repurposing a second hand/found book to give it a new narrative and meaning. The books we create are very tactile and full of texture; and we love to share our explorations.

Individually, we are all successful artists/designers/makers with a variety of backgrounds and skills. We love the synergy of bouncing ideas off each other and it continually surprises us to see how each person interprets the same brief in their own unique way.

“We’re more than the sum-total of our individual parts”.

Collectively we inspire and motivate each other to take greater risks than we would individually, which we believe results in a stronger body of work.

Using processes and working within themed parameters means we relinquish control, which helps to silence our inner-critic. We believe in ‘happy accidents’ and in unconscious intentions, which can often be self-revelatory.


As a collective we are committed to finding our authentic voice, encouraging each other and sharing our work. To date we have exhibited our work at various local events including the Village Green and Leigh Art Trail. We believe that by inviting others to touch the books, we are making the work more accessible; this in turn provides a more engaging and memorable experience that we hope will extend the conversation to a wider audience.

Our manifesto

Our work

At the last count SEVEN had developed over 40 artist books and altered books; that’s in excess of 4000 pages of work! Below are some of the pages from our ‘Seasons’ project we made for the Leigh Art Trail 2023.

Follow us on Instagram if you’d like to see more.


Leigh Art Trail 2023 – SEVEN Does the Seasons and More…

So, #LAT2023 saw a return to seven members of SEVEN Sketchbook Collective. Our third year showing at waste-free grocery store The Refill Room. And, 14 concertina art journals featuring our shared theme: the four seasons. Why The Seasons? Well, saturated with visual inspiration and symbolic meaning, the seasons provide the perfect backdrop against which to …


We’re based in Leigh-on-sea in Essex. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more – we’re a friendly bunch…

email: hello@sevenartists.co.uk


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“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”