Megan Dowsett is a freelance creative consultant working with museums and galleries.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

Her core values come down to two simple things:

People: At the heart of everything she does, people are there – be it audiences of any age or background, volunteers, staff or freelancers and apprentices. She believes that the best projects take everybody with them on a learning journey.

Creativity: In every role she’s taken, creativity has played a key priority. Working in Museums and Galleries, creativity brings a valuable opportunity to think about the same things in a different way.

Museums and galleries are the perfect place to bring the joy of discovery and magic of adventure to everyone who passes through the doors - and to invite those who haven't yet braved these sometimes intimidating buildings, to do so in a dynamic and inviting way.

Over twelve years working in these exciting settings, Megan has developed extensive experience in both managing and delivering creative projects that engage with a wide variety of audiences.

30 December 2012

Discerning Eye

A few weeks ago now, I visited the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries, where my friend Wendy Horler, had two paintings on display. I had mixed feelings about some parts of the exhibition, but like the Royal Academy's Summer exhibition, the sheer density of artwork from such a wide range of artists, and curated in sections by different people, means that inevitably, I came away inspired. These are a few of the artists who caught my eye.
Jessie Brennan has drawn the most incredible landscape made from all the ordinary things in our office.  Whether for aesthetics, concept or pure drawing skill, surely everybody can be inspired by this?  I think I found it mesmerising for all three.
Betty Fraser Myerscough is an inspiration to me to figure out how my (Gran's) sewing machine works.    Without undermining the beauty, planning and construction of her incredible textile pieces, her work struck me as textile collage held together by a mass of straight lines - surely, in my current embroidery experiments (yet to be shared here), I can at least conquer straight lines on the machine?  Sadly I couldn't find the pieces from the exhibition, which seem to combine the qualities of both the pictures above - a crazy mass of text amidst a mountain of buildings.
Although Meg Lipke paints more abstractly than I usually prefer, I was inspired by the media she experiments with - she seems to play with layers through wax resist, batik, collage, watercolours, inks, in a way that comes together very vividly.

Many things for me to try in 2013!

13 December 2012

London Unfurled

Sometimes I hold an idea in my head for years.  I guess I know, subconsciously, that I'm never going to do it, but I like to believe that one day I will.  But in the meantime, somebody else has the same idea. Sometimes I feel a sense of peace that my idea has been brought into existence, even if not by me.

Today though, I'm a tiny bit disappointed.  I found London Unfurled by Matteo Pericoli as I moved through the books in Waterstone's.  I've long wanted to create a lengthy pen drawing of the entirety of London's riverbanks and Matteo Pericoli has done exactly that, in a beautifully formed book.  I should be delighted to see my idea in substance, but somehow it's rather dry, to be honest.  There is no contrast, little personality or individuality.  It's almost, but not quite, a pure architectural drawing.

Where does that leave me?  Do I lay my vision to rest, achieved by the world if not by me?  Or do I do it, one day, and remind people of that book they saw some time ago?

Perhaps I take it as a challenge, to push the boundaries further, take on my idea and stretch it, change and evolve it.  Into something better ...

9 December 2012

Bookshelves

Bookshelves
One week, I drew one of our chaotic sitting room bookshelves every evening, and built this montage from the separate illustrations.

7 December 2012

Secret London

We're coming to the end of a gorgeous exhibition at the London Transport Museum ... it's been a place for me to sneak away to during breaks as I settle into a new job there.  Secret London is an exhibition of graduates' illustration, on one of our eternally favourite themes.  Perhaps in the thrill of working for a museum with such an enormous poster collection, I found myself most drawn to the illustrations which reminded me of London's posters.  This one, by Harry Haysom, makes me want to follow up with an entire story ...
And this one, by Matt Higgins, simply makes me laugh ...

1 December 2012

Happy Birthday Mum!

Final 2 For the past six weeks or so, I've been doing a quick sketch every evening before bed, as a challenge with a friend. It's been satisfying to operate in such a structured way, and I've given myself a theme each week. I used the sketches of flowers to make this image for my Mum's 60th birthday.