Category Archives: Andrea Oke

Day Two at Thornreed Studio

Another busy day at Godney with lots of visitors coming in to see us. It is really positive that so many people are coming. It is very interesting to see the publics reaction and hear their comments. I have been working in my studio for a few weeks now, and whilst the work made perfect sense to me I am never sure if it will translate to an audience. However, people seem to really connect with the voices and the originality of the work.  I have even managed to get a couple more willing volunteers for my interviews which means the project can continue after Art Week has finished.

In yesterdays post I promised to share some images from Thornreed Studio so that you can get a feel of this amazing place, I have also taken a couple of pictures of Jane and Simon and a little of their work, I think you will agree its really worth a visit.  Please remember we are open every day from 11am – 6pm

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The walkway to Jane and Simon’s studios
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Jane’s Studio (look at the beautiful lining on that coat)
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Simon’s Studio complete with two of his Paintings hanging outside
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Jane hard at work
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Simon taking a quick break

24 hours in the life of an artist

I can’t believe how busy the last 24 hours have been. I wanted to keep up to date for the whole of Somerset Art Week but things got a little hectic during setting up the show. So please forgive my quick summary but I hope to post every day to share my experience of the exhibition with you.

I have been really thrilled with the response I received to my work I feel very positive that the work has really found its voice.

Simon, Jane and I had a really busy day with lots of visitors, interestingly lots of people travel to the venues by bicycle which seems a wonderful way of enjoying Arts Week and the Countryside at the same time. Tomorrow I will share some images from around Thornreed Studio, so you can get a feel of the place, and hopefully some  of Simon and Jane’s amazing work.

Just a reminder that Thornreed Studio is open every day from 11am to 6pm so please come and visit us.

Hanging the work
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hanging my work at Thornreed Studios
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Photographs taken during setting up the show

Drawing Breath

One of my Tutors at University always said  that approaching deadlines can make really interesting things happen to the work. I agree with him but I think it helps if you already have your work in place and can take time to think before giving a last minute push to see where it can go next.

In my case, as you know, I have been considering the unheard voices of the Somerset Levels which has led me to studying sound waves. I have always found that drawing features very heavily in my work but, for this brief, my drawing had really taken a back seat.  Whilst taking an pause to draw breath and evaluate my work  I accepted that I am not drawing because  I don’t know how to draw what I can’t see, but this isn’t really good enough reason not to try.  Well I am pleased to say the drawing has returned and the answer to how I draw breath (or voices) is this:

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‘There used to be houses all over the moors’ Graphite and charcoal on paper
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Drawing of Sound waves Charcoal and Graphite on paper

Lasers and Sound Waves

I spent a very successful bank holiday working with Artist, Juliet Arnison. I have been struggling to cut a crisp sound wave using a craft knife which is affecting the embossing. However,  as Juliet does a lot of her work with a laser cutter I  was very lucky to get her input on the project.  I took some of the  digital files down to her studio in Weare and we spent a couple of very successful hours developing the sound waves further. Here are some of the photos;


Laser cutter working on the sound wave image.


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Second image of the Laser Cutter, the outline looks like a skyline which seems fitting.


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Cut image coming out of the Laser Cutter – Success!!

Many thanks to Juliet for her input and the use of her fabulous Laser Cutter. 


Perfect metaphors?

There seems to be a pattern developing in my work which basically involves me having and initial idea which I then proceed to doubt/worry about/talk myself out of.  I then spend an increasing amount of time trying to reject my initial work before returning to it. I think my poor Mentor, Simon Ledson, would probably confirm that self doubt plays a large part in my work but maybe this has got more to do with being a Creative than being a unique character flaw?

Anyway my latest wobble went something like this:

Hours spent researching the Somerset Levels and Moors  and recording residents of the area led my views of the place altering drastically. It is apparent that the voices of the people who live there, their thoughts, feelings, memories and words are largely unseen and for the most part disregarded by the modern world. All of which led me to the dilemma, how do I make their words visible?

So then I stare for hours at my sound editing software listening to the voices before I realise that I am looking at the sounds all the time in the form of sound waves but, what do these look like if I take them from the screen and print with them?

Sound wave for ‘There used to be skylarks’ embossed on Somerset paper

I then played with making the structure more similar to the 3d sound wave program I posted here a couple of days ago

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3d sound wave ‘Big Skies’ embossed onto Somerset paper

Then self doubt made me worry that as the work is an imprint onto the paper using no ink it can be it be hard to see in some light conditions (this is why my images are taken in low light). I then made several attempts to add colour and tone before putting the work to one side and letting it nag at me from a wall on my studio. However, during a recent visit to Falmouth I visited the Drang Gallery and stood in front of Marc Quinn’s Labyrinth which comprise of two images side by side of a wood cut emboss and deboss  of a finger print. Here is one of them;

Marc Quinn Labyrinth deboss Somerset Paper

I have to say I probably stood in front of that image for quite along time thinking ‘yes the image can be hard to see, depending on how you are looking at it, but, isn’t that exactly what I am trying to say with this work?’