The Classroom Gallery in Hopkinsons, Nottingham “Colourful Creations”

Recently sent off   “Butterfly Core” for the Colourful exhibition at The Classroom Gallery.  The Classroom Gallery is a back room on the first floor of Hopkinsons retro and bric-a-brac market at 21 Station Street in Nottingham.  Hopkinsons is a Community Interest Company providing space and facilities for creative businesses actively working within the creative industries.  Ever interested in history, here is a little quote from their blurb:

“Who is Hopkinson?  H. HOPKINSON LTD Established around 1880 by Mr. Hopkinson as “Engineers Merchants” selling to factories, collieries, textile mills, anything relating to engineering, steel, aluminum, brass, nuts, bolts, tools etc. As we are located in ‘old Hopo’s’ we found it fitting that we re-named ourselves in 2010 after this iconic establishment within Nottingham’s industrial history.”

I like history.  I like engineering.  (it’s in the blood).  Here is the poster for the exhibition which Izzy put together using “Butterfly Core” as the background.  It certainly does the job!  As you can see the exhibition runs from 23rd March until Saturday 6th April 2013.  The work will be coming back soon.  Thank you Parcelforce!

the classroom gallery nottingham poster jenny meehan butterfly core image

the classroom gallery nottingham poster jenny meehan butterfly core image

butterfly core fabric wall hanging jenny meehan exhibited at the classroom gallery nottingham uk

butterfly core fabric wall hanging jenny meehan exhibited at the classroom gallery nottingham uk

I’ve popped in the work on show “Butterfly Core” and here is the text which I submitted along with the work.

Medium:  Dye sublimation print on polycotton fabric

“This work started from an image of some paint splodges.  I started with poster paint and folding the paper in half with paint on one side, made one of those butterfly prints many of us remember from childhood.  Next, after a lot of experimentation and rather a lot of processing with image manipulation software, I ended up with something which made me think of new life and creative force.  It was amusing to me that I started with  butterfly wings and ended up with something reminiscent of the body of a butterfly.  The work still has it’s splodge-like character, and the dyes in the printing process are so rich and deep.

Jenny Meehan is an artist based in South West London who works with paint and digital photography.  She exhibits regularly in her local area and also teaches painting and drawing in her kitchen studio.  For more of her work see her website:

I don’t think the expression “splodge-like” is found much in art criticism presently, though I hope this will change ((!!!!000))  There are too many overused words, so I feel at liberty to include this descriptive.

 Thoughts On Creativity

I think creativity is a matter of hard work.  And confidence.  Maybe putting yourself on the edge of what you can see.  Maybe the word” insight” is better termed “chosen blindness”.  Because there is a flinging of oneself, fear-filled, into the unknown.  It is beyond “the box” of known outcomes.  There must be faith.  But it doesn’t need to be untested.  Indeed, I think that preceeding the massive leaps one needs to take from time to time when creating and experimenting, let me say, playing, there are things we know we can depend on.  Things we have done before.  Things which suggested something a little further beyond themselves, though the substance of them we are not quite certain about.  Things we have been tentative about, but risked doing anyway.

So courage is important.  There is no way around this.  We can develop a lot of skill and this is very important.  Practice and working very hard are essential.  I don’t think one is just given something which then just dribbles out, at no cost to ourselves.

There is a childlike openness which is needful.  I think it might be to do with a surrendering of control, and a certain vulnerability.  It’s seeing how much is beyond you, and not counting that as some kind of defeat, but rather of being placed in a place of awe, where you wonder, and that wondering is so great, that there is nothing else that can happen except that your mind is filled with endless possibilities.  And the whole thing is not scary, but beautiful, because you can go any way you want, and it won’t matter if you make a mistake, because anything is possible.  That is faith. It is childlike.  This enables a lot of creativity to happen. The freedom is there for it to happen.  There are lots of ways to see things, and trying them is the centre of playfulness.

New Studios at Hawks Road, Kingston Upon Thames.

Really enjoyed visiting the new ASC (Artist Studio Company) studios at Hawks Road, Kingston.  Founded in 1995, ASC is a registered charity that exists to support visual and performing artists, educate the public in the arts and promote the arts.  They also manage various studio spaces, and I think the Hawks Road studios are the newest, though I’m not sure.  I took a look around several months ago, wishing for a space of my own, but cannot afford it at the present time, though I hope maybe in the future it might be something I can try out.   It was nice to see some familiar faces of people I met previously at Wimbledon Studios, and also meet some other artists whose work I had not come across before.

Something I stumbled on – Abstract Critical

 Only he who conceives art through sensuous feelings can grasp it whole; whoever would master it conceptually will possess it only in its parts.’

Karl Scheffler, The Gothic Spirit, 1917

Came across this on Abstract Critical recently, and like it lots!

Came across this in “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers regarding Abraham’s Life of Faith

“He went out, not knowing where he was going”  Hebrews 11:8

“Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led.  But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading.  It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason – a life of knowing Him who calls us to go”

It’s interesting to me the relationship between my faith and the importance of it in my life and also the importance of it in creativity.  The two things cannot be seperated for me, because one begets the other.   Maybe at this time when working with the paintings I am working in right now, (yes, I am working IN them, because they become my world in that present moment)   I find the structures which emerge from the uncertainty helpful in some way.  They ultimately emerge from my own experience and imagination, and there is a point when I use my will in a more determinate way, and define the direction, and my path ahead.  They have to go somewhere.  I don’t seem to want to make paintings which don’t arrive somewhere.  There is always an arrival point.  A point at which the relationship I have been having with the work has to stop.  And sometimes that place is more definable to others and sometimes it is not.  But this is the way I have been working.

I wonder now if I might change this direction a little and start with some structures and work the other way?  This is what I think I would like to do with the work I do next.  I also miss and want the drama of the human figure.  My recent life drawing course at West Dean has given me some figures to work with.  The bottom line is that I want to paint everything I think of, which is most certainly impossible.  I fear also that I have probably already written countless times before pretty much the same thing.  My problem isn’t not knowing what to do, it is simply the matter of time restrictions.  However, there might be some positive in this, because even time spent thinking can be working too.  And just looking.  It can all contribute to a single painting in very unexpected and unplannable ways.  That is pretty much where I find my comfort when I cannot paint as much as I need or want to.  The restraint of desire might be hard, but restraint is a blessing in the face of total freedom, which is how painting presents itself to me.  Without end.

And washing up, without end.

See here!

my beautiful kitchen sink drama jenny meehan

my beautiful kitchen sink drama jenny meehan

Well, it’s an arrangement.  I need to add that there are advantages of having a kitchen studio.  However, one is not the space.  It is handy to have brushes mixed up with everything else though.  There is never a moment in the day that I have any reason to have difficulty in finding a brush.

Graphic Design

I’ve been doing a little bit of poster/invite design myself in preparation for the Leatherhead Theatre painting exhibition.  The exhibition of paintings by Derek Turner, Nigel  Prabhavalkar and myself will be on show at Leatherhead Theatre, Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey for a month.  It runs from May 5th until May 31st.  It’s a busy time for the theatre, which is good as there will be a good footfall.

Here is the Leatherhead Theatre Invite Design.  The Exhibition is called “Order and KAOS”.

 painting surrey art exhibition, jamartlondon jenny meehan,contemporary abstraction surrey painters, kingston artists open studios painting exhibition ,order and KAOS leatherhead painting exhibition curated by jenny meehan

order and KAOS leatherhead painting exhibition curated by jenny meehan

Quite pleased with the invite design.  If you think you would like to come along to the “Meet the Painters ” evening event, which will be a very informal and relaxed do, contact me at or via the contact form on my website which is and I will send you an invitation.  The event is open to all but I would like an idea of numbers roughly if possible.

Other Exhibitions

Alongside the exhibitions above, I also have a solo exhibition at The Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton, Surrey.  Not sure how or why I ended up with these two exhibitions so close to eachother, but they are rather too close for comfort.  The Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre Exhibition is at 116, Douglas Road Surbiton, Surrey KT 6 7SB.  Bus routes nearby are 218, 406, 418, K1 and 71.  Opening hours are basically not a lot, only at times the centre is open to the public for other events, so you would need to look at The Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre website and see what was on and on which days/evenings.  You would be able to pop in and see the exhibition at any time the centre is open, but a much easier way would be to come along to the Opening Evening, where you can meet me and others for a chat, a drink and nibbles.  The opening evening event will be Tuesday 4th June between 7pm and 9pm.   Let me know if you are interested in coming along by emailing or leaving a message on the contact form on my website

I have three works selected for “Allotted” an exhibition at The Beetroot Gallery, but more on that later on.

Later on in early June, at the Strand Gallery I have “London Downpour” being show as part of an exhibition focusing on the ‘practice and process’ of an idea.   “The hope is to reconceptualise the artworks by exhibiting them in relation to works of varying practices, therefore creating a new narrative with one another – drawing a line between them.”  This exhibition will include a variety of media;  photography, sculpture, illustrations, graphic design, fine art, crafts and installations.

This exhibition is organised by Advertising Exhibitions.  Details from the Advertising Exhibitons website: ” Artist and sculptor Lawrence Lek is currently designer in residence at the Design Museum in London; Ben Street, a free-lance art-historian, writer and curator working mainly with The National Gallery and who also founded the Sluice Art Fair in 2011; and renowned still life photographer, Polly Morgan who practices under the Guild of Taxidermists to create her striking pieces.”


There was a wonderful programme on TV recently about Polly Morgan and her amazing work.  Seeing all those dead animals reminded me of when I worked in a reptile shop, many years ago.  We used to take the frozen rats out of the freezer in order to thaw before feeding the snakes, and they came out in some very unusual poses…with all kinds of dramatic gestures depending on how they had been packed.  We used to make little drama sketches with them, give them voices, and holding them by the tails like puppets play with them.  Oops, rather diverted by that memory.

That is probably more than enough for the time being!

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