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 August 2013

Print Rooms at the Summer Exhibition

To my sadness, I stumbled across the Print Rooms at the tail end of my visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and they were, inevitably, my favourite place; filled with inspiration, and with a wall of mesmerising book arts thrown in for good measure.  For my own benefit as much as anyone else's, here I aim to list a few of my favourite print pieces, for me to refer back to on a rainy day ... I shall return to the book artists at a later date.
This is Silent Spring by Rebecca Jewell, with pictures of birds printed directly onto a mass of feathers.  All the things that most catch my imagination ... beauty, birds and the memory of their song, and an entirely unusual canvas!
I couldn't find the piece that caught my eye in the exhibition, but the work of Mila Furstova is something I would like to explore further.  I'm captured by the delicacy of her designs, and entranced by the way she takes her prints and then manipulates them, on a whole range of paper cuts, folds and structures.  The piece in the exhibition was a spiral of imagery so delicate that I had to check the label to identify the medium.
There's something reassuring in finding yourself drawn to the work of a well-known artist.  As if to confirm that the choices of the establishment aren't entirely arbitrary, but there is some kind of common aesthetic.  Stephen Chambers attracted me last time I visited - the world of pattern, decorative detail and fairytale.  A whole wall was dedicated to these 'Fantasmi' - a world of gold leaf and pattern from the days of icons.
This piece drew me on two levels ... first for the mixed media painting an printing, the colours, textures and patterns ... and then because I recognised it ... Charlotte Hodes has a piece in the Crafts Council Block Party exhibition currently on show at Orleans House Gallery.  It's like seeing an old friend!

26 August 2013

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

In the nick of time, I made it to Royal Academy's Summer exhibition.  The thoughts, ideas and discoveries of new artists (to me, at least!) are too many for one entry, so I shall share them over a few in the coming weeks.  To start with though, the initial wow factor: El Anatsui's hanging installation in the courtyard.
It fills me with joy and, ahem, ambition, to see such a beautiful and high profile piece made entirely from recycled pieces.  And the sound of it shimmering in the breeze is utterly unique.  I like the video of its installation too...

22 August 2013

Carnival Hats

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For Art Club's contribution to this year's Twickenham Carnival parade, I was keen to give a creative free reign to my group, who feature a number of talented, imaginative and independently minded souls. I knew they'd relish the opportunity to simply 'go for it' and really, there's nothing I like better than moving about, helping each person solve the troubles they encounter on their own mission.
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That said, we needed some coherence in order to be recognised as a group. They were tasked with making hats, as flamboyant as possible, and fitting with this year's theme of 'gardens'. Furthermore, we were requested by the lead Carnival artists to keep a colour scheme of 'hot colours' for our flowers. And so we set to work ...

18 August 2013

More Linocut Magic

IMG_6241Often I find it very humbling to see the magic that students, adults and children, manage to create in my groups. I've always seen myself as the useful person who knows how to use the press, how much ink to use, or how much paint to mix, and each time I see what people come out with, I reminded how true that is - how much talent, imagination and inspiration people turn up with! IMG_6236This is the work of Scissors Paper Cloth, in our second block of lino printing classes. From top to bottom, pieces by Ann, Carole and Yumi. IMG_6231

14 August 2013

Flower of Felt

IMG_6177 A small gift made from scraps of handmade felt, and put together on a train journey north to visit my cousin ...

10 August 2013

Art Club Paints on Silk

IMG_6200 These two vibrant masterpieces were painted by Grace and Amrita, as we explored the summer theme of Gardens celebrated in the recent Arcadian Vistas exhibition at Orleans House. Everybody loved the quick, explosive effects of painting on silk, even if it didn't always go as planned! IMG_6201

6 August 2013

Make and Paper ... Mache

IMG_6193Make and Create's final project for the year took on the multiple possibilities of papier mache. Some people turned the basic form of a plant pot into a magical, eccentric construction. Others explored the sculptural forms of animals, such as Claudia, below with her tree-frog. IMG_6186
Fi, above, brought in a chair and transformed it into a decoupage masterpiece. All in all, we merely touched on the numerous theraeuptic possibilities of papier mache!