Thursday, October 3, 2013

Memories and Vixens

I recently read an article announcing that the art college that I attended  many years back now, was to close. After completing a fantastic local foundation course in Wiltshire I went on to study  illustration and graphic design at Maidstone College Of Art  under the instruction of Gerald Rose, Stephen Cartwright and several other teachers.
                                                                 Illustration by Gerald Rose
During the end of my first year the college changed it's name, merged  and became the Kent Institute of Art and Design. Maidstone produced some prominent artists over the years, some of whom I have only just found out about. Tracy Emin  famous, somewhat controversial was there when I was. She was down stairs in the fine art/printing department. Angela Barrett  an illustrator that I admire greatly also went there a few years before me. Other notable artists include Karen Millen  fashion designer, Tony Hart  (do you remember Take Hart and Vision on?) and Martin Handford of 'Where's Wally' fame.
I enjoyed my years at Maidstone and have good memories. Thinking about them prompted me into digging out some old work...
I was recently reminded in a comment  that I had promised to share a mask that I had made, so here it is...
At the time I was working on a project producing  illustrations for a text of our choice. I chose a book called 'Lady into Fox' by David Garnet. I did a painting, but also decided to make a mask and do a series of photographs.
 Remember these were made when photoshop was not the norm. I made the mask out of papier mache and added faux fur, took the photo's then hand coloured the prints with paint to get an old effect.  My sister was the model as I took the photo's in half term.  :)

It's funny looking back as it only seems just the other day and the photographs look surprisingly contemporary rather than late 1980's.   It's also interesting to see how we always return to a theme that is dear to our hearts. :)


  1. Goodness Karen the pictures have a really ethereal quality! Spooky... in a good way!? lol
    And it seems you were in good company at college!! x

    1. It's strange looking back at old work sometimes isn't it. Some of my work was quite spooky back then. I liked to create an atmosphere. I still do but not the macabre anymore. Although I miss it sometimes so maybe one day I will go back and frighten you all. ;) Yes the college had quite a few notable students over the years. I forgot to include Brian Froud as well, as I believe he went there too. x

  2. How lovely to look back on some of your work Karen and see the threads , love the atmosphere in your images.


  3. Thanks Ruthie. :) Scary how time has gone so fast. It doesn't seem long ago that I took these pictures in the fields at the back of my parents house. Now there is no grass it's totally wooded with blackthorn.

  4. These old photos are so moving! Vixen...beautiful. I am constantly enchanted by your work :)

  5. Lovely to see some of your early designs - any more to show us? We were saying the other day how the last 20 years have passed in a blur its probably down to bringing up our children :) xx

  6. Amazing photos! The werefox,perhaps? The sly, bold Reynardine.


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