January 12th, 2015

That is pretty much my reaction every time I look at the calendar nowadays. Where did the time go?

In December last year, two of my selkie lithographs were exhibited in the 117th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Scottish Artists in Edinburgh. I am very pleased and honoured to announce that Boat was awarded the Lithography Residency Prize from the Lithografie Werkstatt Eichstätt in Germany. Run by the delightful Li Portenlänger, this is a tiny workshop and gallery in Bavaria, not too far from where I grew up. I will spend two weeks there in July, working with Li, and it will be great (and weird) to be working and exhibiting for the first time on my home turf. I’m really looking forward to it!

Closer in time and space, the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh is hosting its Artist’s Book Market again this year, this time over two days on the 21st and 22nd of February. I will be sharing a stall with the marvellously talented Cécile Simonis and look forward to seeing you there – hopefully with a new book or two!

In other more general news, it is my intent this year to re-do my website. It’s been a great one to have since I started it in 2009, but I feel the need to make some rather major changes to it to reflect the changes in my approach to my work. So keep an eye out for that!

In the meantime, there’s always facebook, twitter, and my etsy shop, which I update only marginally more frequently than this website…

Upcoming exhibition & news

March 19th, 2014

Hello everyone!

I am alerting you herewith to an upcoming group exhibition at my studio. Myself and five other illustrators & designers and in the same building are hosting a small showcase of our work in April. My fantastic co-exhibitors are Mina Braun, Emily MacKenzie, Lizzie Cameron, Laura Davis and Keith Thompson, and our exhibitions runs from April 5th – 13th at Gallery 3 in St. Margaret’s House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh EH7 6AE. We’ll have a wee opening on the evening of the 4th, from 7 – 9pm, with drinks and some live music. I hope to see you there! More details, including how to get there, can be found on our facebook page and at edinburghpalette.co.uk.

In other news, I would like to thank everyone who came to the ArtistBookMarket at the Fruitmarket Gallery on March 1st. I had been so busy that I didn’t announce it here, but I was very pleased when the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art wanted to buy my artist book made in collaboration with Nalini Paul, Hrafn Floki, for their Special Books collection. I’m incredibly flattered to be in such a fantastic collection of artist’s books now. The collection does regular monthly talks, and anyone can visit this astonishing resource by appointment. It’s well worth a visit.

how cold my toes

December 2nd, 2013

Midwinter is approaching! May I direct your attention to two current exhibitions in Edinburgh, in which I am showing my latest creations:

The first is The Written Image, a joint project between Edinburgh Printmakers and the Scottish Poetry Library. Printmakers were paired up with poets to produce collaborative works, and you can see the stunning results at Edinburgh Printmakers until December 21st: an astounding variety of work in printmaking media, including artist books, sculpture, laser-cutting and comic art.
My humble contribution is an artist book, an illustration and embodiment of Glasgow-based poet Nalini Paul’s beautiful poem Hrafn Floki, which tells the story of the mythical discovery of Iceland by a Norwegian explorer. I screenprinted the pages at Edinburgh Printmakers and laser-cut the book cover into the shape of a raven at the Edinburgh Laser Cutting Studio. Do go to the exhibition if you can, and have a look at the work – you will be able to read Nalini’s poem in full as you walk around the raven.

Gallery Ten is now also showing their Winter Exhibition, with works by Spektrum Print Collective and Hole Editions, as well as jewellery by Silverhub Studios. My latest selkie prints are on the wall and in the browsers there, so do go by and have a look! The new prints are a mix of stone and plate lithography, as I have been working on combining a mix of digital and traditional techniques which has been very exciting, and pushed my approach to printmaking in new directions.
Gallery Ten also has my recent artist’s book To the Land/to the Sea, which shows the transformation of a woman into a seal (to the sea) and on the other side, transformation from a seal to a woman (to the land). This book is also available online in my etsy shop, as are various cards and miniprints, all ready for the Xmas season!

I hope some of you will be able to see the exhibitions in Edinburgh. I am currently having problems accessing my server, so I haven’t been able to upload images of all these works to the website, but will do so a.s.a.p.

As a little midwinter bonus, I have made a little advent calendar story, posting a picture a day to my facebook and twitter pages from December 1st to 24th. Do have a peek – they are publically accessible pages, even if you’re not on facebook or twitter.

Wishing you all a warm winter season! Thanks for reading.

to the Land – to the Sea

August 31st, 2013

It is high time I finally wrote about my latest set of prints, and the direction my work is currently taking! From late 2012 through the early part of this year, I worked on a set of stone lithographs on the theme of Selkies, or seal people. Three things came together for this series: theme, technique and style.

I have long been interested in myths and fairytales, and more specifically in mythical beasts, monsters and shape-shifting, part-human creatures. I knew of the Selkie myth before I moved to Scotland, but since living here have become more familiar with these dual-natured creatures. Selkies (also Selchies, Silkies) are a mythological people who live as seals in the sea, but can take off their sealskins to walk as humans on land. There are many tales in which the Selkies are portrayed both as gentle, benevolent people, but also as more uncanny and even dangerous creatures. An underlying theme I have found in all the tales is the desire and necessity for humans to live sustainably in harmony with nature, sharing the world with all creatures.

These prints are done with the technique of stone lithography, which I learned – and am still learning! – from master lithographer Alastair Clark at Edinburgh Printmakers. Though I took part in the weekend course almost by chance (friends were doing it also, and I wanted to expand my repertoire of techniques), I became quite enamoured with the beautiful stones. In the end, I admit, the materials and the process draw me to lithography as much as the marks I can make with it. Lithography is one of the most direct ways of using drawing or painting in print, and is most often used in a very painterly way with Tusche washes or crayon drawings. I started out in this way also, but was not happy with my results. They looked too much like derivatives of Toulouse-Lautrec or Kaethe Kollwitz, and not like the type of prints I wanted to make. However, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted my prints to look like!

This all changed when – another chance encounter – I saw a retrospective exhibition of the Cape Dorset/Kinngait workshop at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver in 2011. The stark and simple imagery of the Inuit printmakers, particularly the early works, is incredibly effective, and was just what I needed to see at the time. I realised that I was putting a lot of unnecessary detail – lines, textures, layers – into my lithographic efforts, and the work of these Arctic printmakers (notably Kenojuak Ashevak and Lucy Qinnuayuak) allowed me to greatly reduce all this visual noise and let the nature of the stone and the technique take over. This idea of reduction helped me bring together my theme and my technique into what I hope is a coherent and enjoyable visual narrative.

I’ve always felt an affinity with hybrid creatures that live in two realms. I have read and heard many stories and songs about the seal people, but these images are not illustrations of any particular one tale. Instead, the visual effects available with the lithographic technique and ways of arranging pictorial elements inspire the combination of figures, and the stories invent themselves.

More recently, I also produced a screenprinted artist’s book on the subject of selkie transformation. The lithographs and the artist’s book are currently available at Gallery Ten, Edinburgh (the book also through my online shop). A new set of selkie-themed lithographs is in the making, this time with some photo-litho work mixed in. We shall see where this goes!

One of TEN

February 11th, 2013

I’m very pleased to announce my participation in this wonderful illustration exhibition at Gallery TEN this month! It is a great collection of new and emerging illustrators such as Robbie Porter (whose image is on the flyer), Kara Seaman and Mina Braun, as well as more well-known names Alice Melvin and Catherine Rayner.

The exhibition is running from now until March 10th at Gallery TEN, 10 Stafford Street, Edinburgh (in the West End). There will be a special Meet the Artists event on Thursday, March 21st from 17:30 to 19:30. It will be a lovely evening, with the event taking place across other shops on Stafford Street such as Paper Tiger, Remus interior design and Studio One. I hope to see you there!

…when roasted crabs hiss in the bowl

November 14th, 2012

The winter festive season is approaching, and I have a bit of news for you!

Edinburgh Printmakers, where I make my prints and where I’m proud and pleased to say I currently work as studio assistant, is having its annual Open Day this Saturday, November 17th, 11:00 – 17:00. The EP members’ exhibition will also open on this day and there are many fun events, demonstrations and taster courses to participate in. Unfortunately this year I will not be helping out, however, for the Christmas season has begun! and I will be holding a market stall with studio-mate Mina Braun at the Market at St.Columba’s by the Castle, also on November 17th 11:00-17:00. You lucky folk can make a day of it and come to both events!

Another very exciting development is the opening of a new gallery in Edinburgh’s West End, run by Paul Musgrove and Gill Tyson. Gallery TEN opened its doors at the beginning of the month with a spectacular collection of original prints from printmaking collective SpeKtrum Collective, among them Patrizio Belcampo, Kelly Stewart, Jessica Crisp, Alfons Bytautas and Anne Forte as well as Paul and Gill themselves. My newest collection of selkie lithographs are also premiering there and are hanging very beautifully! (I will write more about this ongoing series in a later blog post.) Gallery TEN is located very centrally on Stafford Street, and I am pleased to say there is a lot of footfall and things are going well! There will be a special Meet-the-Artist opening day 11:00 – 19:00 on December 1st, which I might be able to drop in to in the evening – it would be delightful to see you!

The reason I won’t be at Gallery TEN all day is because December 1st also sees the next market at which I’ll be selling my work: the Christmas Arts Market at Out of the Blue in Leith. I have been busy printing a new Christmas card design onto lovely Gmund beer paper (made of beer fibres and recycled beermats!) – in fact it is quite non-denominational and contains no writing, and so is ideal for sending seasonal cheer to anyone at your midwinter-festival-of-choice. I’ll be selling these at the markets on November 17th and December 1st, and they are also available in my online shops. I look forward to seeing you at all or any of these events!

all set for the summer

July 7th, 2012

Well it’s been a long time since my last update and there is suddenly a lot to say!

I have mostly been busy with a series of lithographs on the theme of selkies. Each print seems to bring a new challenge, as I am still relatively new to stone lithography and there is a lot to learn, but I am enjoying it immensely. Not only are you making nice prints, you also get a full work-out using the big ink rollers and moving the large slabs of limestone about. I should think lithographers are easily the fittest of printmakers! There is also a rhythm to grinding the stones and rolling the ink that made me think there should be lithography-shanties. Or perhaps that is just my maritime theme…

On to the news of upcoming exhibitions, fairs and shows!

Last night was the opening night of Wonderland, an Alice-themed show at the O3 Gallery in Oxford. I am very pleased to have one of my Childfriend pieces included in the exhibition. It is a rather old piece of mine and it was really wonderful to get it framed and show it to the public, as that was really not foremost in my mind when I made that series of collages in my student days in Berlin. (It also occurred to me while looking at Xie Kitchin’s sullen face that while my hair was quite short when I made that piece, I now have rather much the same hairstyle and quite possibly the same facial expression). In any case, the exhibition in Oxford runs until August 5th, there will be several events during that time, among others a talk by Mark Richards, the chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society.

Next Friday is the opening of the first group exhibition in Berlin I have done in a while. It is curated by fellow alumnus Simona Soare and includes many old friends such as Gowara Minsa and Annegret Eisele, and many other fantastic artists. The title of the show is Licht Farbe Linie – Light Color Line, and opens on July 13th at 7 p.m. There will be talks and performances. It is in the Spreehöfe in Berlin-Köpenick, and will be open to the public throughout the weekend as part of the “Kunst am Spreeknie” arts festival. The exhibition will still be able to be viewed by arrangement until July 28th. You can see the flyer and find out more on Simona’s website here.

Closer to home, The Fruitmarket Gallery is hosting another Design Market the coming weekend, which I will be attending with Mina Braun, Emily Mackenzie and Lizzie Cameron. It opens on Friday 13th at 5 p.m. and will be open Saturday and Sunday too – I hope to see you there!

I’m also pleased to announce that I now have cards and artist books in two shops in England, LMNOP in Brighton and Nook&Cranny in Liverpool. If you’re in the area, please pay them a visit!

Another exhibition that I hiley recommend you go and see, if you can, is Reflective Histories at Traquair House in the Scottish Borders. It is curated by Edinburgh Printmakers and shows the sometimes half-concealed reflections of the invited artists on Traquair House and its colourful history. You will have to keep your eyes peeled to find all of the artworks! I really enjoyed it.

That’s all for now! I hope you have a good summer – as always, if you have any questions, please get in touch via the “contact” page on this website, or find me on facebook and twitter for smaller, unsignificant updates and snippets of works in progress…

April Markets

April 15th, 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to the Artists’ BookMarket at the Fruitmarket Gallery yesterday – I had a very good time and was pleased with the reception of my new book, Selkie, which you can now see in the Books section. I’ve been fascinated by the myths of the seal people ever since coming to Scotland three years ago, and I think this will be reflected more in my future work as well.

The next market I will be at is on April 28th, in St.Columba’s by the Castle, Edinburgh. This will be an arts&crafts market with many fantastic stalls by local artisans. I look forward to being a part of it, and may have some wee surprises for you! I shall once again be sharing a stall with my comrade-in-arms Mina Braun, and we’re looking forward to seeing you!


Absolutely barking!

February 28th, 2012

I am proud to announce that my first digitally produced booklet, Dogs I Have Known (and feared) is finished! You can see some images in the books section, and buy it in both my online shops.

This book was inspired by a suggestion from a friend, and is based on true stories about dogs I have known… yes, and feared! Due to my own mild cynophobia (which probably isn’t a real phobia but just due to not having grown up with dogs and not being used to them) I was always slightly nervous of my friends’ dogs, although in retrospect almost all of them were really nice and friendly, as dogs generally tend to be! In fact, I’ve got much better at being around dogs and have been known to stroke them and take them for walks. Because…I like dogs! As do most people, I think.

Read the rest of this entry »


February 1st, 2012

Hello everyone & hope you’re having a good start to MMXII! I have dived right in:

Online Shops:
I have opened a shop on that great mall of online arts&crafts, etsy: HileyRemarkable
I am still in the process of setting things up there, but I will continue to add new items to the shop in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. If you’re already an etsy member we can have fun admiring each others’ shops and adding each other to our “circles” and generally communing online, it will be fabulous!

My other online shop at bigcartel is still running, of course, and there is now a more obvious link to it on my website, with a whole new page (and trapeze move for the girl on the front page!) created to accommodate it! See up there on the right, there is a new link called “shop”. But etsy is a big and well known online community, so I am giving it a go too.

I have no shows planned for the near future, as I am working on a new technique in lithography called “lo-shu”, a.k.a. gum wash. It’s tricksy but the results will look fantastic – if I can get them to work!

But I am also working on a heap of new books and zines, as I will be taking part in the next Artist’s BookMarket at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, on April 14th. Judging by last year’s line-up, it is bound to be a fantastic event with lots of wonderful fine press, finely crafted artifacts and I am proud to be part of it. Expect more news on the book-front soon!