Heather’s Studio

The visit to Heather’s studio was insightful and inspiring. At first entry, you might not think much of the small studio where she works and shares with others. Even finding the place was hard, as you can easily walk past the building without another glance. However, upon listening to her and looking around the studio, you realise that there is actually a lot to take in.

Many questions were asked and answered, opening our eyes and minds a little bit more. One of the things I think I’ll remember for a long time was the response Heather gave when asked why she produces work. She replied that work is made, because she had to, that it was like an obsession to produce work and there was a need. A lot of her work is self-initiated too, and that usually it is made from her immediate reaction to something. I like this idea and way of thinking, because it really shows the passion and desire to simply create.

The studio was quite refreshing to look at, because the walls were white and bare, giving off a clean feel. Even though as a creator, you produce a lot of work, the white walls really help to give you a clear space, so that you can stick up work and look at it from a different angle. The white walls served another purpose as they were also used for other things such as mini exhibitions and photo shoots.

In her 16 years of being in that space, she currently shares it with two other people; a photographer and an illustrator. It’s nice to hear her talk about them, how they work with each other, lending and sharing ideas. Many people have come and gone, which is interesting, as I’m sure she must have gained many ideas and viewpoints from a lot of different people, as well as given some too.
One question asked to the photographer who also shares the space, was why did he choose photography, and his answer was that he was naïve and wanted to follow his dreams, which I thought was funny, but also rather admirable, as he did it because it is his passion.

The studio served mainly as a workshop and thinking space, a place where you can just sit and let the ideas come to you. There were also a lot of drawers and cupboards, which contained a lot of the previous works, which contrasted with the plain white walls.
Heather also produced a lot of small books of her photos, which was fascinating, because it meant that she could actually visualise her ideas and let other’s see them too.

Later we went to see a set of photos she took, and upon walking to the exhibition, we happened to stumble upon another photography exhibition. The work, held at ‘Flowers Gallery’ was thought provoking, as it was of images which made you realise how small you were compared to the whole world.

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Edward Burtynsky Salt Pans – Essential Elements

Heather’s set of photos, part of “The Disinherited” series, were quite touching as they showed the reality of the Calais refugee camp.

The size of the photo really emphasises the point being made, as you can clearly see all the rubbish and junk, dumped in something that could be beautiful.

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Overall this visit was eye opening, as it made me realise that to produce work and ideas, you don’t need a huge space. Also a blank canvas can sometimes give you more ideas, than one with a ton of images stuck on it.

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