Celia works to explore line, colour, pattern and texture based on the landscape and ephemera of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Looking backwards to go forwards is the basis of new works
About Celia Kent
As a creative artist my main specialisms have always been textiles and mixed media based latterly on a narrative of historical information. I spent the first 12 yrs. of my working life in textile manufacturing in Leek, before returning to study art and design in my 30’s here at Leek School of Art. I had started an evening class in bobbin lace making, achieving City and Guilds pt.1 and 2 and then realising that I wanted to pursue my education further on a full time course, as I had not had the opportunity when I left school. Starting in a class of 16 yr. olds was a bit daunting but it has stood me in good stead ever since.
The opportunity to redirect my skills was the start of a career as an art and design teacher, alongside producing my own work in textiles and creating workshops primarily for The Threshing Barn, in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands.
As part of my continued professional development I have spent the last 15yrs (around my teaching roles) achieving a Cert Ed. Alongside a Foundation Degree and Top up in Contemporary Art and Design Practice; these courses enabled me to explore textiles in new and exciting ways, through problem solving structures and 3D outcomes to researching and visualising the diary of a farmer and Methodist preacher from the late 1880’s. I found that having a narrative that came from something real and historical thoroughly engrossing, finding ways to portray the family, their life good and bad, pushed my creative design skills.
Famous Artists Who Have Influenced Me
Notable artists that influenced the techniques and materials I used were Ruth Singer, Mandy Pattullo and Jennifer Collier; that mix of reclaimed materials with traditional stitchery and dyeing, alongside using contemporary transferring techniques enable me to visualise the lives within the diary in a range of clothing based artifacts.
As a full-time teacher here at Leek School of Art (part of Buxton and Leek College) I have many ‘specialisms’ and I find enjoyment and creative fulfilment discussing concepts and ideas with students; the chance to introduce artists and designers not just those high profile names such as Hockney, Perry or Shonibare, but those closer to home who contribute to Leek Open Studios shows students the potential for being a successful artist not matter where you live.
How to Buy my Work
Because I also enjoy working in practical workshops from printmaking to fashion and surface pattern, no two days are ever the same its exciting and demands much of my creative energies; as a result of my ‘day job’ I rarely create work for sale, but I am open to commissions for those who have a family story to tell.
Leek Open Studios and Art Trail
As part of Leek Open Studios and Arts Trail, my role as facilitator enables me to provide an exciting and open workshop space within Leek School of Art (Part of Buxton and Leek College) to our degree graduates and past students, previous exhibitors have included Jackie White, Penny Meakin and Carolyn Trafford. The Open Studios weekend enables them to develop their professional practice, to create workshops and present their work to an audience through the Open Studios and Arts Trail event in May.
This venture also allows me to bring the wealth of courses and opportunities we can offer in college to a wider audience, enabling visitors to meet the artists in spaces that show the creative skills not only of the artist doing the workshop open day, but be surrounded by the work and equipment that all our students enjoy and the finished work they create.
By opening the college to visitors it shows that Leek School of Art is an integral part of the community, that those who have studied here are now professional makers and artists who are successfully running businesses and are part of the wider creative community of Leek and Staffordshire Moorlands; we are incredibly proud to be part of this growing creative community in the town.
Leek as a whole has come together to create this diverse artist community, and we have been an integral part of establishing ‘Art in the Park’ the forerunner of the Leek Open Studios, also Sunday Supplement and Fox and Crow Gallery to name a few. We know that by working together everyone will benefit; Leek has become well known for its artisan markets and independent makers, it really is the jewel in the Staffordshire Moorlands crown and we are all looking forward to welcoming visitors into our College and town once again.