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.

Amanda – Spring

Why The Seasons?

Well, saturated with visual inspiration and symbolic meaning, the seasons provide the perfect backdrop against which to ponder a variety of ideas. 

Life. Death. Growth. Decay. The transience of nature.  The stages of human life.  From personal memories to imaginative musings. Through hares, haiku, and beyond.  We took a creative trip through the seasons SEVEN-style. 

Helen – Autumn

Why Such Small Books?

Having handmade our books and gone all out size-wise in 2022, for 2023 we went small. Deciding on palm-sized concertina sketchbooks, which would feature two seasons per book making it a fourteen book display. 

While some might think a small book is a restricted book, in fact working within tighter boundaries can really help focus the creative eye. Plus, this particular book is ultra portable, making it not just easy to work in, but also to display, and for Trailers to explore.

Juliet – Spring

And, due to the concertina or accordion format, we had the option to work across pages.  In fact, this is how we began our seasonal explorations back in autumn 2022, working throughout one side of our first sketchbook, making random marks in ink. 

Kim – Winter

What Inspired the Window Display?

Our newest member Karen Christensen had introduced us to collage carpets at one of our workshop evenings. Inspired, we took this new technique  and used it to make seasonally-themed banners to hang in the window of The Refill Room, to help signal our presence beyond our LAT A-board and eco balloons.

After a lot of faffing, and with the help of some medical tape (we were MacGyver-ing it!), the window display turned out to be something of a success in its own right. Not only was The Refill’s Gemma pretty keen on it, some visitors likened the glowing banners to prayer flags, while others even asked if they were for sale…

Nicola – Summer

What About the Animation?

In other creative news, this year also saw SEVEN make a foray into animation.  A group excursion to the William Kentridge exhibition at the RA featured some fascinating stop-frame films, so when Nikki returned with her interactive, stage-set of an autumn-themed journal just before Christmas, last year, this seemed like the ideal way to present her vision. 

So, Jo — who’d decided to use William Kentridge as her inspirational guide for her winter journaling — took this opportunity to help Nikki create a magical mini movie. You can watch this nostalgic fairytale-esque film here.  

Never one to do things by halves, Jo also created a wee windy winter scene of her own, accessible via QR code from the pages of her journal. View the animation.


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