Wonky Wheel opened its doors to the public on 18th September 2019 and swiftly found a talented group of artists to exhibit their work in the Gallery. A common topic of discussion with all of our artists was 'why did you become an artist?'.
Many were inspired by a person. Others by an experience. Or a place.
For our first Exhibition we asked our artists to enter a piece of work to showcase why they became the artist or crafter they are today.
You can view their work below and in person in the Gallery.
Supporting Endometriosis UK
In the lead up to Mothers Day Wonky Wheel would like to donate 10% of the sales to Endometriosis UK. As this exhibition will be celebrating Mothering Sunday and bringing awareness of Endometriosis. This is a condition that so many women suffer with in silent and it can take on average 7 years to get a diagnosis
The artists mother, like many women living through WW2, was very adept with a needle and thread, transforming second-hand garments into the latest fashions. The artists mother's creativity and vision through sheer practicality has been a great inspiration in her own creative process.
"Sunset Behind Barge, Blakeney"
'In this painting I have captured that very special light that you only see at sunset on the North Norfolk coast. Its that light, in all seasons and weather conditions, that inspired me to become a professional artist'.
….what did the romans ever do for us?
Roads, aqueducts, viaducts, numerals, newspapers and yes, of course - mosaic art.
There is much to admire and emulate from those long ago artists who produced designs some of which are amazingly contemporary today. My inspiration comes not from an individual known artist but by those wealthy citizens who competitively commissioned the work to cover acres of their home, on floors and walls, on streets and shops. From Pompeii to Rome to Colchester, the work still inspires.
Guineafowl, detail of fifth century mosaic floor in Roman baths, Curium, Cyprus
"The sky widens to Cornwall"
This work is entitled 'The sky widens to Cornwall' which is a line from a poem by Sir John Betjeman entitled 'Old friends'.
As a child I would sit with my sister in the back of our car, July heat bearing down, tucking into homemade sandwiches and full of anticipation for our holiday to North Cornwall.
As a place it has been under my skin ever since. It was my father who knew it best, having lived there as a child. But my mother adored the poems of Betjeman whose spiritual home was this stretch of the Atlantic coast and it features in a great many of his works.
My mother would recite these to us on the journey down and again whilst we were amidst the landscapes. She had a good strong voice and her words resonated with me. So this painting is a homage to those times and to my mother's voice and inspiration.
She always encouraged my art, despite school insisting on more 'befitting' academic pursuits. I had a crayon or paint brush in my hand from as early as I can remember.
She was bemused by my ambidexterity, yet encouraged me endlessly. My favourite photograph is a black and white one taken in the 1960s of her at her easel.
"Musical Bottle Form"
This vessel has been inspired by the work of Grayson Perry. He produces larger vessels of similar shape.
He uses ceramic transfers which are fired into the glaze of his pots and has then transfers printed from artwork he produces on paper like regular paintings.
I have transfers printed from artwork which I obtain from musical instrument promotional material and fire them into the glaze surface in the same way.
The rim of this musical bottle from is coated with 18ct gold lustre and fired into the surface of the glaze. Grayson Perry uses gold lustre on his vessels to highlight various features.
This piece of work honours my two grandmothers each of whom inspired me in different ways. Both of these women travelled extensively, although not for pleasure. Instead it was through necessity and adversity. They taught me resilience and provided me with the creative confidence to embrace new ideas.
My English grandmother left the UK to travel with her husband. She created family homes in 18 different places as his engineering job took him from country to country. A music teacher by training, she taught me to play the piano, to knit, and to love painting flowers. My childhood rainy day activity of organising the buttons in her button tin was a delight of colour, size and shape. She travelled from England to Turkey, Rhodesia and South Africa.
My Russian grandmother was displaced by wars twice in her life. She travelled from Russia to China, United Kingdom, Singapore and South Africa. She was a seamstress and a physiotherapist. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to set up a haberdashery business in Cape Town. Her love of the outdoors started in her childhood.
My painting is a piece in three sections, one for each of my grandmothers, and another in the centre - which is actually two sections overlaid on each other denoting the dual influences of these two quietly impressive grandmothers. The central piece represents my own migration from Johannesburg to Cambridge where I finally started painting.
The railway track that runs through each section represents our migrations. The darker section of the painting where symbols of Singapore and Cape Town can be found are a reflection of my Babushka’s difficult war-induced journey. The top part of the painting is created with lighter colours and floral motifs to represent my English, home making Nana. Both sections are sewn together through the middle section - my life, joined by the common threads of creativity, strength and resilience I learned from these two inspiring women.
Who are the inspiring people in your life? What are their stories?
My inspiration is my grandmother. She taught me how to knit at the age of three and also the love of cooking scones and brown bread in her very small kitchen in rural west Ireland.
I always had a little cup at Grannies where i would have a cup of tea waiting for the scones to come out of the oven after a morning in the garden,
My grandmother wasn't an artist however in my opinion she was because of the colours in her stunning garden. During the Spring there was daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, wallflowers and polyanthus (purple and yellow) which grew all around the house, In the summer she would have roses, hollyhocks and many others which were yellow and orange, and then she had dahlias from late summer into autumn.