Megan Dowsett is a creative consultant working with museums and galleries, and an illustrator who is finding her voice through personal and local projects.

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.

13 October 2019

Lambeth Open

At the beginning of the summer, I put to my artist friend Wendy Horler, the idea that we display our work in her conservatory as part of Lambeth Open. It seemed a slightly insane idea - to hand the children to my husband for the entire weekend, to relinquish any 40th birthday celebrations in the name of art, to put every second of spare time across the summer into collecting my artwork together - but bizarrely everyone seemed to think it was also a great idea. IMG-20191006-WA0010 My thought came from the realisation that for perhaps the first time, I had a body of work that naturally held together in a coherent way - my illustrative style has crystalised somewhat in recent years but more importantly, the focus brought by making artwork and books for my children and the children of others has given a thematic coherence to my work. Exciting to find it came of its own accord at last!

Well, the experience was amazing - better than I dreamed, hoped for, or expected. I found the opportunity to chat to people about my work, and their responses, utterly rewarding. Wendy and I had agreed not to sell our work - except a few cards - and perhaps taking this approach enabled us and our visitors to relax into genuine discussions about our work and our stories without worries about whether we were correctly reading between the lines. IMG-20191006-WA0011 I was honestly gratified to find such genuine appreciation of my books. I don't know that I will ever have a commercial enough mind to make a regular income of personal books, but the conversations I had this weekend gave me to understand that at least I'm not a fool for dreaming!

And I was surprised by the amount of interest in one of my older illustrations, which is timely in an era of climate crisis, and reinforced my feeling that I should not be afraid to consider the climate in my work. IMG-20191006-WA0009 Lastly, I did have a few conversations with people interested in buying or commissioning - such a learning curve in itself, again to see my work from an outside perspective.

Thanks to everyone who came, everyone who encouraged me, and most especially, Wendy for hosting me!