Megan Dowsett is a creative consultant working in museums, galleries and the arts, an illustrator who is finding her voice through personal and local projects, and a parent to two young beings who can't help but influence her creative journey.

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.

30 March 2013

The Knitting and Stitching Show

I recently visited the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, and spent the consequent week exploding with enthusiasm, inspiration and ideas.  So many different techniques, ideas and colours caught my eye that I'd like to share them here over a few entries.  To begin ...

An exhibition by the Traditional Quiltmakers Group convinced me that the patient art of quilting can be both exquisitely beautiful and utterly creative. I still can't quite imagine taking on a project as ambitious as this but I was inspired neverthless!  
This is Whirligig by Lesley Hurrell.

... And a little extra today, for Laura Long's knitting - one of the best and most characterful ways for taking knitting out of the world of twee and into creativity, humour and versatility!  

27 March 2013

Two Exhibitions at Orleans House

Flamingo Boxes 006 I happen to have two pieces on show at once, in two different exhibitions at Orleans House Gallery. Above, Flamingo Boxes are a part of Noah's Art open exhibition, and below, my Dragon Book is a part of Meet the Artists, an exhibition featuring the work of all the artists who deliver the education programmes at the gallery. DSC_1333

24 March 2013

Experiments with the Heat Press

Heat Transfer Inks 003 For some time we've had a heat press at Orleans House, but it wasn't until fairly recently that I found the time simply to experiment with it for my own purposes, undistracted by children or participants begging to know more and have a go. I took a page from my Chile sketchbook, made dozens of photocopies and spent a happy couple of hours layering, collaging and transferring the colour with them. Here's what happened in the end.

20 March 2013

Make and Create ... Mosaic

IMG_5345 IMG_5350 This February, Make and Create embarked on mosaic projects, and simultaneously took on a life of its own as we gained members almost weekly, to the extend that we have had to close to newbies for the present. I found myself with an enthusiastic group of ambitious creators who took projects away to work on between sessions. Their dedication paid off as we had a lovely, varied collection to finish!

The above photo shows mosaics by Fi (several!), Judith, Mary and Hannah. The photo below shows the work of Bettina.

17 March 2013

Harry Ellam at Sands Films Studio

When visiting my friend in Rotherhithe a few weeks ago, she took me to visit a film studio based just around the corner.  Sands Films focuses on period dramas, and on display in the ancient, enticing ground floor of the building, bewitched by beams and stacks of archives, was an exhibition of costumes embroidered by Harry Ellam, an accountant turned embroiderer who has now passed away.
I was bewitched!  The discovery of a new place tucked down a quiet street, so full of mystery and atmosphere, added to which was the incredible meticulousness and the patience of a man who was both a scientist and an artist, made my day.  From slippers, to blouses, to bags and buttons, the inspiration was magical and I need to go back for a little longer ... with a sketchbook.

13 March 2013

The Dragon Book

DSC_1350 Following a workshop with my mum and Annette Bolton some time ago, I embarked on an evolving project that has kept me happily occupied through my train journeys for months. A bit of intense embroidery at the last minute and here it is, finished ... The Dragon Book! DSC_1338 Now on display in Meet the Artists exhibition at Orleans House Gallery. DSC_1343

10 March 2013

Paint meets another bump

35weekspregnant_20130303_4702sInspired the adventures of painting Emma's 8 month pregnant belly, Ele decided it was worth letting me loose on her bump too.

Last Sunday we passed a delightful afternoon building fairytale stories amidst spring trees on the bump ... we leave you to decide the meaning of the violin and the fox! 35weekspregnant_20130303_4722s

6 March 2013

Scissors Paper Cloth meets Heat Transfer

Anne Pagholm 1Scissors Paper Cloth continued into its second successful term with a series of workshops exploring the magic of Heat Transfer Dyes. Ruth Goodwyn 2I find myself really enjoying what is a fairly new experience of working regularly with groups of adults. The mutual inspiration of sharing an excitement can apply to both children and adults, but in very different ways!

The work shown here is by Ann Tagholm, above and Ruth Goodwyn, below.  I could share many more ...

1 March 2013

Objects, Memories and Patterns

Whitefarm Lodge Session 2 005I've had the privilege to work with a group of older people in a residential home on a project that began with patterns and moved through objects and memories to create more patterns. Whitefarm Lodge February 2013 007It was also an opportunity to work in a collaborative way to an extent that I haven't done in a long time. I invited a very talented volunteer, Sarah Cowley, to work with me on the project and the depth and richness she gave it balanced my anxieties about time. Credits to Sarah for her vision and hours of work in putting it together. A participant who opened up more with each session said he would remember it each time he passed the hanging in the corridor ... I hope he does!