Brooklyn Sketchbook project

The Brooklyn sketchbook library began in 2006 and is a not-for-profit organisation, based in the US. Their aim is to ‘encourage creative storytelling within a global community’ and currently has over 50,000 sketchbooks from artists from around the globe.

We’ve pondered over the idea of submitting a sketchbook to the Brooklyn Sketchbook library for a while and this year we did it!

Brooklyn Sketchbook Project arrived

In September 2020 SEVEN agreed that the Brooklyn Sketchbook project would be our next challenge. We duly sent off our payment and received our blank 5″x7″ sketchbooks a few weeks later.

We participated in Vol. 17, which meant our deadline was 15 February 2021. Each submission comes with a new list of suggested themes, that you can use as a starting point, and I was inspired by ‘marks and markers’, which I developed using mark-making techniques.

I chose to combine my theme with reference to Warley Place in Essex, a former Edwardian garden owned by horticulturalist Miss Willmott until 1934. After her death, the house was demolished and the gardens left unattended for several decades. It has been maintained as a nature reserve, by the Essex Wildlife Trust, since the 1970s where it still provides glimpses of its former charm.

Mark-making inspired by Warley Place

When I received my blank sketchbook, I was disappointed in the quality of the paper, which I thought was too thin and wouldn’t stand up well to being painted and collaged onto. So from the start I decided that I would rebind my book using thicker paper.

The first session SEVEN did involved mark-making with inks, which gave me a good foundation to work on. Once I had a selection of inky papers I chose a few and cut them up into long strips. I then glued these strips together to form one long piece and folded it into 18 concertina pages.

NB: If you rebind your sketchbook, the only limitations to consider are that the pages must be the same size, the overall thickness of the sketchbook must be no more than 1″, and the barcode on the backcover must remain visible.

I collaged cyanotype prints, old artwork and scraps of ephemera onto the pages, which I worked into using intuitive mark-making, drawing and painting.

These are some of the finished pages I created:

Jo’s sketchbook pages
Jo’s sketchbook pages
Jo’s sketchbook pages

I thought it would be difficult to send off my sketchbook once I had finished it (you do get very attached to your work!), but I think as I knew this was the outcome all along, I was happy to let it go. Before posting it to Brooklyn I did scan all my pages, so that I have a record. I have also opted for the library to digitize the pages, so they will be available to view on their website anytime.

If you fancy a challenge, I would highly recommend taking part.

Leigh Art Trail 2019 invitation

SEVEN has had busy year and is showing at the Leigh Art Trail for the third consecutive year at Venue 52: Planet Leasing. We’ll be open late on Thursday 13 June for drinks and nibbles and we’d like to invite you to join us and take a look through our books. This year we have been making our own books and taking inspiration from an artist or art movement.

We look forward to seeing you!

Preview evening invitation – Leigh Art Trail 2018

SEVEN is having a preview evening on Friday 8 June from 6pm-8pm at Venue 49.  We’d like to invite you to join us and take a look through our books, which this year have an estuarine theme.

There will be a selection of venues also open on the evening, so you can meet other artists and enjoy a mini preview trail with a few drinks and nibbles.

Future Park Talk @MetalSouthend

This evening Metal in Southend are hosting an event called Future Park and SEVEN artists have been invited to present a 3 minute wonder talk.

Come along to find out about creative opportunities and hear what local artists are working on.

The event is FREE. Doors open at 7pm (Chalkwell Hall), there will be drinks & nibbles, guest speakers, networking and more.

Hope to see you there!

Day Trip to Margate

SEVEN went on a day trip to Margate to see the exhibition Entangled: Threads & Making at the Turner Contemporary gallery. It was a very blustery day!

Entangled: Threads & Making poster

The exhibition included sculpture, installation, tapestry, textiles and jewellery from the early 20th century to the present day. It featured work from over 40 female artists, from different cultures and generations, who challenge established categories of craft, design and fine art.

Here’s a small example of what we enjoyed:

Margate Knot – Anna Ray

You are a Lady – Ghada Amer

Erotic Cases – Rivane Neuenschwander

Penguins – Laura Ford

Sky – Kiki Smith

Exhibiting artists: Anni Albers; Caroline Achaintre; Ghada Amer; Paola Anziché; Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter; Phyllida Barlow; Marion Baruch; Karla Black; Margrét H Blöndal; Regina Bogat; Louise Bourgeois; Geta Brătescu; Sonia Delaunay; Sonia Gomes; Ximena Garrido-Lecca; Eva Hesse; Ann Cathrin November Høibo; Laura Ford; Mona Hatoum; Marianne Heske; Sheila Hicks; Susan Hiller; Maureen Hodge; Christiane Löhr; Kate MccGwire; Annette Messager; Rivane Neuenschwander; Lucy + Jorge Orta; Arna Óttarsdottir; Sidsel Paaske; Maria Papadimitriou; Anna Ray; Maria Roosen; Ursula von Rydingsvard; Hannah Ryggen; Betye Saar; Judith Scott; Samara Scott; Kiki Smith; Aiko Tezuka; Rosemarie Trockel; Tatiana Trouvé; Frances Upritchard and Joana Vasconcelos.

The exhibition runs from Sat 28 Jan – Sun 7 May 2017 @ Turner Contemporary