Amélie Baer Collyer runs the Art House in Worthing, a community art studio for adults and children.
Art House opened its doors in December 2019 and, sadly, had to close temporarily due to the pandemic the following February. Amélie was heartbroken that the dream that they had worked so hard to build, had to be put on hold for an unknown period of time.
Amélie said: “I found myself a bit lost: my husband was still working, my child was home schooling and I had a lovely studio that I couldn’t go to.”
After feeling sad for a week or so, they decided to do something and learn something new. There are so many wonderful learning resources out there for the taking: online courses, YouTube videos and Instagram creators posting their ideas and experience; this was when Amélie’s journey of discovery began.
After being inspired; Amélie taught themself watercolour and pottery; finding new techniques to practice; and turned the kitchen into a mini studio. During this time, Amélie was drawn to botanicals, so they painted, sketched, decorated and adorned pottery with beautiful flowers and leaves.
Amélie said: “I have kept going with all of this after all the lockdowns and have now been painting on furniture, I’ve learned to use a potter’s wheel and I’ve started painting with acrylics again!”
Some of the botanicals in the exhibition are dark and twisted, reflecting the uncertain and frightening times we all found ourselves in, but most are bright and full of hope and joy.
Amélie hopes that you enjoy this series of work, rooted in a dark period that continues to push up through that soil and reach for the sunlight.