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.

31 October 2014

In Celebration of the Gothic

A complete treat of a day out, Liam, Feets and I went to see Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination at the British Library.  I wasn't sure what to expect - I don't think of myself as a big fan of the macabre, but we anticipated a good cross over of our interests.

Well, it was a fabulous, rich, comprehensive exhibition that left me determined to read a sequence of books that have never previously taken my fancy, and with another new list of favourite illustrators.  I will never entirely understand the singular focus on the dark and sinister, but you can't fault the imagination of writers, artists and filmmakers in the gothic tradition!

A few artists I noted ...
Leonard Baskin, illustrated some poems by Sylvia Plath.  This is Death Among the Thistles
Jim Kay - I can't find the picture from the exhibition, but the weight and extremes of black and white in his illustrations is incredible.

That's all for now, but there was of course a glorious reunion with Harry Clarke, Dulac, Rackham and Aubrey Beardsley.  The temptation to return to monochrome is excruciating!

28 October 2014

More Spanish Sketchbook

A few more, slightly eclectic pages, from my Spanish sketchbook... IMG_7234 A detail from Picasso's Guernica, at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid IMG_7236
A few trees (from the garden in my fantasy palace!) IMG_7239 The very steep hill to my house ...

24 October 2014

Sue Walton at the Knitting and Stitching Show

A little distracted by a grouchy baby, for once I didn't leave the Knitting and Stitching Show with an exploding imagination.  But one artist I did come across, who had me utterly mesmerised, was Sue Walton.
The majority of her display was based around felted textiles, and I was bewitched by the fanciful, fairytale lightness of it all.  And by her use of spoons.  Teaspoons dressed up as fairies, little theatre sets featuring teaspoons ... her work brought together my love of beauty and imagination in total harmony.

Unfortunately I can't find images of the exact display, but these 'Fork Fairies' from her collection, 'Jabberwocky' give a pretty good flavour.

21 October 2014

Spanish Sketchbook

IMG_7235I found myself consumed with inspiration on our recent trip to Madrid and Seville. The Alcazar in Seville kicked off a frenzied few days of collecting patterns in photos and sketches as I began to fantasize about an imaginary world where I live in an extravagant palace. Here, a few pages from my sketchbook ... IMG_7237 IMG_7238

17 October 2014

A Field of Flowers

IMG_7214 I'm back on the workshop trail, once more, in a gently way! Kicking off with Sunday Afternoon Art for families at Orleans House Gallery, inspired by the Harmony Project Exhibition and the work of Christopher Dresser.  An army of families explored three different ways to create flowers from fabric, and added them to our field over the course of the afternoon.IMG_7230 IMG_7217

14 October 2014

Sorolla

I took a little jolly north of Madrid's centre to visit the Museo Sorolla ... I should confess, I'd never heard of Joaquin Sorolla. There's nothing like visiting the home of an artist - it's different to a gallery. In honesty, there was a small collection of paintings that I loved - they filled me with nostalgia for distant family holidays by the sea, and overwhelmed me with Sorolla's love for his own family. The rest, I was a little indifferent to, but his home and garden were an exquisite island of tranquillity.

7 October 2014

Richard Hamilton with a Baby

IMG_6999On our recent holiday in Spain, Feets and I visited the Reina Sofia.  I had the suspicion that she might find the temporary exhibitions more interractive than the permanent collection so off we went to explore the Richard Hamilton exhibition.  I do love seeing exhibits in Spain that would have been packed, crowded and uncomfortable in London and instead are filled with a trickle of tourists who had energy left after they'd seen Guernica. IMG_6997 Anyway, it turns out that Richard Hamilton is THE artist for babies!  From watching monochrome patterns spin near a juke box blasting classic music, to playing peekaboo in the mirrors hidden within paintings, to rolling on the carpet in an installation piece, Feets had and amazing time.  And consequently, so did I!