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 September 2015

Norwegian Sketchbook - Landscapes

Norway (1) In a couple of rare moments in Norway, I managed to sketch the view ... Norway (5)

27 September 2015

Soft Monuments in Bergen

In Bergen, Norway, I found myself in a textile exhibition at KODE 2 gallery.  What a place to land in!  Soft Monuments was a display of the Museums textile collection by women in the last 25 years.  The variety was amazing, and reminded me again and again of the versatility and sensuality of textiles as a medium.  I want to share everything I saw here, but I'll settle for a taste.  Inspired though I was by the re-used and recycled fabrics, the highlight for me was a political piece.  
IMAG0198 In Wounds, Mari Meen Halsoy visited destroyed buildings in Beirut, Lebanon, and traced the holes left by bullets.  Then she sat in the building and worked on a frame loom to create woven pieces to fill the holes.  The thoughtfulness, respect and labour-of-love of the project really appealed to me, perhaps thanks in part to my own love of weaving.  

23 September 2015

Norwegian Sketchbook - Water

Norway (7) With rain, husband and child, I didn't find so many opportunities to sketch 'live' in Norway.  It always seems to me that I should be drawing 'the real thing' while I can, but more often I found myself looking at things to remember them, and trying to figure out how I might draw them later.  It's quite liberating to throw the 'observational Norway (6) drawing rulebook' out of the window and experiment with drawing from memory and imagination!  One day, I was at Kinsarvik and tried to figure out just how to make water 'move'.  I did a few quick drawings out, and a few more quick experiments that evening.  Not there yet - this is a challenge to explore further!

20 September 2015

The Children's Art Museum

IMAG0250 An absolute highlight of our Norwegian trip, my little dream come true, a gallery just for children ... and it was fabulous. The current exhibition in the Kunstlab at KODE 4 in Bergen celebrated children's illustrators. With reproductions of a range of illustrations displayed at low levels, there was a range of incredible, experiential installations for children to interactive, to climb into the worlds of the stories.
From a netted room with movable elastic 'web', to a dark room with a bouncy furry floor, ladders that climbed through holes into another world, and golden treasures that dangled from the sky. Small worlds to peer into and rearrange and a natural looking floor with mysterious mountains bulging from it. And then, there was a whole series of commissioned sculptural pieces that interpretted the illustrations too. Displayed behind glass, these ones, I found them inspiring as artefacts in themselves. Feets was in paradise!

16 September 2015

Circles in Stones

IMAG0266 In between Galleries and sightseeing, Feets found time to play with the stones on the ground. When she'd finished inserting them into a drainage grate, she began to bring them to me, so we arranged them into circles. Early collaborative art!!

13 September 2015

The Evangerista

IMAG0103The most adventurous accommodation of our Norwegian trip was to stay at the Kunstkafe of Mona Nordaas in Evanger, a tiny hamlet by a lake. It was a challenge with a small child and the wet weather, but nevertheless the hostel-cum-cafe was an inspiration! Mona is an artist and has made her home her art, filling it with strange sculptures and intriguing textiles. It tempted me again towards dreams of painting flowers all over the walls of our home, something I'd never get away with! IMAG0109 However, I was also bewitched and inspired by the pictures of Mona's installation art - a technique that really resonate for me, if only I had the space to work this way! Mona creates floor installations with found materials and ephemera. Usually pattern or spiritual based designs, they are large, colourful and bewitching and make lovely use of the magical things that we find all the time!
Must do something with all my bits and pieces! Colour tubs? Mona and I also discussed the brilliance of doing activities in this style with families, where everyone can contribute to something beautiful and bigger than themselves.

9 September 2015

The Beginnings of the Little City

Full of beans, thoughts and creative energy (and as little time as ever!) from our recent trip to Norway. For starters, Liam and I finally started something that's been brewing in my mind for some time - to draw buildings that are meaningful to our lives onto wooden blocks. With the idea that these wooden blocks may become toys for imaginative play for Feets but also a memory and story of times and places for all of us. IMAG0298 I'd like to remind myself to be very flexible about this project, to give it the chance to grow. Perhaps with time Feets will draw on the blocks too. Perhaps friends and family will send us blocks with their own homes drawn on. Some will be big, others will be small. And though we start in black and white, perhaps we'll finish in colour. Anyway, it was fun to get started!

6 September 2015

In Memory of Tabby

IMG_7643A few pages from my sketchbook as I focussed on Feets' bunny, who has sadly disappeared, thus ending this particular study of the friendship between child and bunny! IMG_7644 IMG_7645 IMG_7641 IMG_7646