Last week we said goodbye to our Communications Officer Harry Scott. As a final task, we asked Harry to select a few favourite artworks from his time with Outside In and in this blog post Harry tells us why these images are special to him.
Petra Loa (detail) by Aradne
I think Encounters with the Spirit World has been my favourite Outside In exhibition. Held at the College of Psychic Studies in Kensington, Encounters with the Spirit World showcased the work of four Outside In artists who create mediumistic, automatic and visionary artworks. The works were presented as part of a wider exhibition at the college, which shared historical mediumistic artworks, spirit photographs, Ouija boards, crystal balls and other objects from their archive. I found the whole thing fascinating and was immediately drawn to Aradne’s textile pieces. She uses machine embroidery to create these beautiful yet haunting little figures which are often connected by intricate webs. Petra Loa is my favourite artwork in Aradne’s online gallery.
Birmingham New Street by Mark Lloyd
Running our regular Artist of the Month feature has been a real pleasure. Each month I’ve asked a series of questions to a chosen artist and the answers always reveal a lot about what motivates and inspires them. Mark Lloyd was our Artist of the Month in February 2017. Mark’s inspired by his fascination with trains, stations, cars and roads. He creates these brilliant single point perspective drawings and I love his very bold, bright, graphic style. This drawing of Birmingham New Street Station is a particular favourite so I kept it as the wallpaper image on the desktop of my computer.
Chichester Cathedral by Peter Baker
Outside In was originally established as an outreach project at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. While the work of Outside In now has a national and international reach, our offices have remained in Chichester and it has been great to get to know many of the local artists who are both part of Outside In and part of Pallant House Gallery’s Community Programme. Over the last year I have caught up regularly with Peter Baker and chatted to him about the latest piece he’s been working on. This pastel drawing of Chichester Cathedral at sunset was completed quite recently. I love how the orange background shows through parts of the drawing. It looks like the sun light is being cast against the stonework and reflected in the windows.
Nine Ladies Dancing by Atom and Wendy
Last Christmas we ran a social media campaign which celebrated some of the organisations that Outside In had partnered with over the course of that year. I contacted 12 art groups, studio spaces and charities across the country, assigned them each a line from the 12 Days of Christmas and challenged their artists to create an image to illustrate the line they’d been given. Atom and Wendy from Pritchard’s Road Day Centre in Tower Hamlets created this striking photo collage for 9 Ladies Dancing. In the lead up to Christmas we shared all 12 of the final artworks across our social media platforms and published them all together on the blog.
Cobweb by Vincent Goff
Outside In’s online galleries are an incredible resource. Literally thousands of images have been uploaded to the site by artists all over the world and a really brilliant aspect of my job has been to share that artwork with the public. Instagram has proved to be a perfect outlet for this and our account has grown in popularity enormously over the last year (we had around 150 followers when I joined Outside In and now have more than 900 followers). It’s been fun searching the online galleries for new images, particularly if I’m looking for something related to a specific theme. Last Halloween I posted Cobweb by Vincent Goff which is still one of my favourite images shared on our Instagram account.
The Open Door by Yvonne J Foster
I first met Yvonne J. Foster when she was working on the Insight Partnership. I like how Yvonne plays with scale, creating these compact collages using found images and the pages of old books. I originally trained as a theatre designer and devoted hours of my life to making models of stage sets so I think the miniature scale that Yvonne works in appeals to that part of my brain.
Makoots by Makoto Okawa
Makoto Okawa was one of three artists from Japan whose work we brought over to the UK for the 2016 exhibition Nama Āto: Japanese Outsider Art. Everyone who saw that exhibition loved Makoto’s felted dolls, which he named ‘Makoots’, as they each had such character. Sadly, Makoto passed away shortly before the exhibition opened. Makoto’s mother traveled to London from Osaka, Japan to see the exhibition when it opened at the Southbank Centre. She carried her own miniature Makoot doll and a photograph of Makoto with her wherever she went. She cried and told us all how proud she was to be seeing her son’s work exhibited on the other side of the world. It was a real honour to play a part in that project.