nature at Creake Abbey

Below is a list of exhibitors who took part in our exhibition showcase in March 2016, held at Creake Abbey, North Norfolk. Please click on the bar for each artist / designer-maker to find out more details about their practice and an example of their work.



Egge Alecsdottir decorates well-designed mid-century modern furniture and objects with painterly surfaces in bold geometric designs. Using artists’ acrylic paint and a miniscule paintbrush, she applies a unique design to each piece, bringing out its inate qualities with a subtle yet contemporary palette. Each piece is then gentlty distressed and finished with 3 coats water-based varnish.

Egge works from her rural workshop in Aylsham, and is happy to undertake commissions.



Guy discovered his passion for print making during his time in Paris studying at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts in 2010, when he became particularly fascinated with the traditional etching process. Following hisgraduation from Central Saint Martins School of Art in 2010, Guy moved back to his home in Norfolk, from where he finds his inspiration.

 In 2012 Guy trained as an assistant print maker under Mary Dalton and  Stanley Jones at Curwen Studios, Cambridge; where he had to learn at a fast clip how to  master other types of print making.

In 2013 and 2014 Guy had one of his etchings selected to be exhibited in the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London.

Guy is represtented by Grandy Art and is working as a full time artist in London where he spends the majority of his time at Artichoke Printmaking Studios in London.

After a successful first solo exhibition in London with Grandy Art where he had a inspiring response from his horse studies, this year Guy is focusing on the horse as a subject matter and is currently preparing for an exhibition in Dubai this April.



Susan Bacon studied sculpture at City and Guilds School of Art, and drawing at the Royal Academy. Here work is primarily involved in the movement, action and life of theatre/music and dance. She has exhibited in various national venues including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Susan teaches Drawing from the Imagination at the Royal Drawing School.



Debby Besford is an established professional photographer who lives with her young family in North Norfolk.

Since graduating from London College of Communication with a Masters in Photography, Debby has built a strong client base with her commercial photography and combines her time freelancing, working on personal projects and teaching photography at university level.

Her diverse portfolio reveals specialisms in documentary and editorial work. She has published in The Guardian and Independent Newspapers, numerous photography magazines as well as touring exhibitions across the UK.

In 2015, Debby was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Association of Photography Awards 2015. Running along side this, Debby was chosen as one of the most highly rated documentary portrait photographers from 145 countries with LensCulture Photography Awards.

Debby has worked on photography projects across the globe, including, Barcelona, where she lived for many years, East Africa, Moscow, SW France, Utah, and Las Vegas.

Her clients have included, Arts Council of Great Britain, The Guardian and Independent Newspapers, The Wellcome Trust, Ocean Music Trust, Meridian Television, BBC and Channel Four. Her commercial work is available through Getty Images, Millennium Images and Plain Picture.



Alec Birkbeck always had a tendency to build things. After training as a furniture maker at Rhode Island School of Design he started making lively chairs and other items under the banner of Anti-quaint.

After ten years of production, where life veered towards the sales more than the design, Alec moved to Norfolk where he got rural, left the products, shops and selling en-mass behind and started to reaffirm why he liked building stuff in the first place.

Living on and around farms has provided way too much agri-scrap to ever need to worry about inspiration. The curved components currently employed ooze anthropomorphic association, allowing life to travel forward without losing focus.



After 25 years in the darkroom Garlinda Birkbeck switched from film to digital photography and printing in about 2007. She mainly works in black and white. Garlinda has lived in Norfolk for 34 years and is exhibiting some Norfolk photography

Her interests, as visitors to her website can tell, are wide. She has taken many portraits (including every Treasurer of the Inner Temple over a period of about 20 years), but her core work has always been connected with place.

She works for several charities and her photographs have appeared in many publications. She has had several solo shows at – among others – Rebecca Hossack Galleries and at Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, and her work is widely collected.



Annabel Bluesky is a photographer who was brought up in Norfolk, and is once again settling in, back by the sea.

She trained at the London College of Printing and worked as a commercials photographer for more than a decade in London. She then did a Masters in Fine Art Photography at the University of the Arts London.

Annabel’s work is, on the whole, landscape, whether it’s the gentle land and sea in her homeland of North Norfolk, or the more gritty urban jungle from her Shoreditch base, her work is always poetic and looks to revisit the ordinary vista and find a new peace.

Commercially she loves architecture, and is currently working on a new book.



Paul Bommer is a graduate of the National College of Art & Design in Dublin. Originally from London, Paul now works from his studio in Aylsham, Norfolk.

Paul’s work is informed by an irreverent sense of humour and a love of character, history and deft line-work. Paul recently completed a ceramic delft tile plaque commemorating the Huguenots of Spitalfields on Hanbury Street, London E1.

Clients include Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, the London Guildhall, Angela Hartnett, Spitalfields Life, the Guardian, Eye magazine, Hodder & Stoughton, the Poetry Society, Birlinn, Quadrille, Greene King and the BBC, amongst others.

Paul is currently represented by Hornseys (Ripon), the Town House (Spitalfields), Tinsmiths (Ledbury), the Lion Street Store (Rye), the Gallery Norfolk (Cromer/ Norwich),the Museum of British Folklore, Bluejacket Workshop (Morston) & St. Jude’s.



Carolyn graduated from The Royal College of Art in 1982 having achieved a Masters degree in Fine Art. She than developed a career in London spanning 25 years as a fashion designer, before moving to the North Norfolk coast in 2003.

Carolyn’s background as a sculptor, and her love of the natural form, led her to explore further her childhood interest of shell collecting. Shells with accidental beauty, subtle colours, shapes and textures appealed to her. Their endless ornamental possibilities have inspired her recent work.

Carolyn makes ornamental shellwork; elaborately decorative objects which are exquisitely beautiful, intricate and as unique as the shells themselves.




George Carter is a leading garden designer and writer who is currently working on the restoration of the garden at The Royal Hospital at Chelsea to its original classical formal appearance.

He is a multiple Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist.

His latest book, George Carter: The Magic Garden, published in September 2015 by Double Barrelled Books, is about his own Norfolk garden, with photography by Harry Cory Wright



Catherine Cazalet spent much of her childhood here in Norfolk.

Her work is built on a foundation of classical training and is developed through her knowledge of the history and origins of design.

Cazalet’s works are signified by their representation of nature using vibrant colours and abstract composition.



Photographer Harry Cory Wright explores and celebrates the beauty and subtleties of the landscape.  Often it is the very physicality of a place to which Cory Wright is drawn; a feeling for the scale of things, their mass and volume. The vivid and immaculate nature of these large format works convey a real sense of ‘being there’. These photographs are first-hand accounts of landscapes to which we are all witness.



Karen Downing gained a BA from Georgetown University Washington, DC, served two apprenticeships with potters on the east coast of America and worked at Penland School of Crafts (North Carolina) before settling in the UK.

Her hand thrown porcelain is included in many private collections and has been widely exhibited in the UK, as well as in Europe, Japan and the United States. She is a member of the Craft Potters’ Association and is on the Crafts Council’s ‘Index of Selected Makers’. Karen lives and works in the Brecklands.



Cornelia Fitzroy is a landscape painter based in east Anglia . She trained at Byam Shaw,and Chelsea school of art , BA Hons . Her work is a direct response to the changing colours, light , weather and seasons , and is created outside in the plein air tradition . Cornelia is a member of Group Eight , a collective of 8 Norfolk painters ,who meet regularly for life drawing sessions .



Louis’ formal training in Graphic Design enabled him to develop a very critical approach to his process by understanding the need for clarity in graphic design to solve particular problems. However for him, the balance of ambiguity and abstraction is a fundamental consideration. This turbulent relationship between precision and abstraction is at the heart of much of his process.

This process mostly starts with materials, which Louis gathers from wherever he can find them. Often the origin of the material is not important to the final piece. It’s more about the exploration of texture, weight, and the physical perspective a material juxtaposed to another and how this can manifest itself into a completely new existence. He applies fundamental questions to all this work, ‘Does it take you somewhere?’ ‘Why should this work be a painting and not a photograph?’ ‘Does it engage and on what level?’ ‘Does it challenge and intrigue?’

During an international residency  in Delhi, India, the materials in an urban scene created a very different range of works from those around his studio in rural Norfolk. There is a predominant use of found materials in Louis’ work – being among people and a culture with a strong emphasis on re-using and not discarding. he has also recently begun to explore the relationships of materials to sound, light and interaction. This has come about from his work in film having worked as a lighting and production designer and director.



For this exhibition Laura Huston is showing a mixture of work – white vases made by joining thrown and hand built forms in earthenware and applying a white tin glaze.

The coloured vases use the technique of sgraffito to embellish the surface. Sgraffito means scratching a pattern into the slip, that has been applied to the leather hard clay body, to reveal the clay colour beneath.

The instinctive approach used to make and decorate each form means no two pieces are the same.

My approach for making relies on spontaneity and an open mind.
The forms and marks I make are simplified representations of the natural environment.

Through continual experimentation I hope to achieve subtle individuality.



Fred Ingrams is an artist living in Norfolk mainly painting in the Fens.



Louisa Jones’ etchings are inspired by the natural world and her curiosity about what lies beneath the surface: energy, shapes, forms, colours and layers. She explores the mysterious places that are beyond our visual plain; the depths of the sea, the roots of the earth, outer space and the continuous cycle of energy which connects them all.

Louisa’s work is characterized by her playful use of colour and detail, and also her desire to capture hidden human emotions in her exploration of the vast and unknown. Etching is an intaglio process where the image is incised into the zinc plate, and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. The etching process is therefore also about surface, and layers, and in this way – reflects the subject matter.

Since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts in 2006 she has created bespoke illustrations for Vogue, Tatler, The Spectator, Paul Smith and her work is now in the Collection of the V&A. She has also worked on a variety of other private commissions – children’s clothing designs, maps and wedding/ party invitations.



Blott Kerr-Wilson is an international sea shell artist. Ingrid Thomas, in the book The Shell, wrote “Kerr-Wilson is the most innovative shell artist working today.” Blott set off at full steam on her shell career in 1993 after winning a design competition in The World of Interiors magazine. Since then she has created works both privately and publicly worldwide.

Her designs are informed by the mathematical nature of shells, their movement and colour. Her works are tapestries of energy, playing with light. She is inspired by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919, zoologist) and the sketches of Nigel Peake.

She works to commission from her Norfolk studio as well as travelling the world creating shell installations.



Lucy first came to Norfolk to study at the Norwich School of Art. She then went on to do a postgraduate at The Royal College of Art in London. She later returned permanently to North Norfolk where she has worked as a full-time artist, illustrator and designer for over 20 years.

Lucy specialises in creating unique magical pictures with a naïve and childlike charm. She has worked on many one-off commissions for private clients and has also been commissioned by Chatsworth, Kew Gardens, Virgin and Sugar Beach Hotel in St Lucia to produce paintings for them. She has exhibited widely and for the last five years she has been invited to Japan to show her paintings at the British Fair.

Lucy has also worked as a freelance designer and illustrator working on a varied range of projects creating images for cards, prints, fabrics and products. Clients have included Café Rouge, Osborne and Little, Liberty, Boots, Susie Watson Designs, The Fairyland Trust, Art Angels, GMTV, Habitat and Amnesty International. Lucy has also illustrated a successful range of children’s books written by her mother Meg, which have sold worldwide.

Having run her business with her husband for many years, they recently formed a new company with three business creatives, to help them manage the commercial aspects of their work. In May of this year they launched their own branded range of cards, prints, mugs, note books and tote bags.



Helena has always been involved with textiles and design. Originally, she trained and worked in London as a fashion designer, producing and selling her own designs in her own printed fabrics. More recently, Helena has worked with various interior designers and now, based in Norfolk, combines textiles and interiors with her love of the decorative arts.

Well-made but forgotten pieces of furniture are re-upholstered to a high standard and re-covered with expressive and fun designs. The designs are unique and individually created, with special regard for the shape and style of the piece. Mainly commissioned, these designs are often applied to the clients’ own chairs.



Born in 1952. He has a Ph.D in medieval architecture and was for ten years National Trust Historic Buildings Representative for East Anglia. He has has made painting his career over the last 25 years. He paints still life, interiors and landscapes in oil, gouache and distemper. Also designs and executes installations in historic buildings: two altarpieces in Ely Cathedral; ceiling and mural decoration at St Albans Cathedral; at Stowe House, the recreation of the lost mural decoration of the Egyptian Hall including a zodiac ceiling, wall panels, and stained glass. He lives in Norwich and is married to the architect Jane Kennedy.



Liz McGowan works with natural and found materials, creating responses to particular environments through installation, sculpture, drawing and conversation.  Her focus is the meeting point between inner and outer landscapes, where personal creativity is given inspiration and form by those elements – stone, reed, tree, earth, tideline – that combine to form a landscape.

Liz also works with those processes that shape and transform landscape – snow, wind, water and time.  Her personal concerns in this work are about containment and expansion, about the cycles of growth, change and decay, and about the shifting relationship between the human and the more than human world.



Par-Avion co. is a design partnership consisting of husband and wife team Simon and Monica Cass. Their different backgrounds in architecture and furniture making bring a broad range of skills and experience to their work.

Through environmental methods and sustainable materials, their designs mix traditional craft and modern styling.  Local craftsmen and regionally available materials are key to giving their products a unique appeal.

Their aim is to design and make good quality products for a reasonable price.  They are not interested in transient fads and fashions; they hope what they make is timeless and will be treasured for many years to come.



For the past fifteen years Justin Partyka has been photographing the rural landscape and culture in his native region of East Anglia. His photographs have featured in many exhibitions including at the Tate Britain, Gainsborough’s House, the Museum of English Rural Life (University of Reading), the Boutographies Photo Festival in Montpellier, a major solo show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich in 2009, Flatford, Suffolk in 2014, Osborne Samuel gallery, London, 2013, and the Black Barn, Cockley Cley, 2015. Partyka will be the feature exhibiting visual artist at the 2016 Aldeburgh Festival.



Maria Pavledis is an artist and printmaker whose works with the dream like world  of fairy tale and narrative, including its darker and uncanny elements.  Starting from a very strong commitment to drawing, she develops  images using a mixture of traditional and non traditional methods, including etching which she uses to explore  new ways of mark making and expression.  She is interested in the qualities of fragility and destruction both in nature and in the printmaking process itself.  Other explorations of destruction in her work take place in the unique smoke drawings, which are made with fire and smoke. Recent work has also included moving light installation creating the sense of being inside a dramatic space.     Maria  originally studied painting studied at Norwich School of Art and  then continued to  an  MA in printmaking  at Camberwell College of Art

Maria has exhibited widely, and is a member of London Organisation of Original Printmakers



Symbolic references throughout the images indicates a sense of how trapped we are by ourselves. Often, Fran’s work shows characters walking into, or up to, a box or definite line. The lines and boxes are symbols of life and allude to human behaviour, our parameters and boundaries.

The paintings are as much about the process as anything else – each image informs through colour, composition and brush work. Often layering and scraping back, with both brush and palette knife. There is a hurried panic to some mark making and a sense of something ending; a finale of sorts.

Fran’s images are playful and dark, awkward and fundamentally about expression. She currently lives on the North Norfolk coast.



With a BSc in Environmental Science and involvement in direct action opposing the destruction of ancient forests and cultures, it is important to Tim that all his work is made from locally sourced wood.

Entirely self taught through trial (and often painful error) he strives to produce elegant, functional pieces with graceful uncluttered lines, for the kitchen and table.



A freelance journalist and writer for 18 years based in London, New Zealand, Miami and Ibiza, today Abbey works as a copywriter and blogger from the tranquillity of her Norfolk home. No longer lurking beneath the darkness of clubs and screening rooms scribing music, culture and lifestyle features, she is now penning her magnum opus, a novel of Victorian gothic proportions, far from the madding crowd.

When she’s not writing Abbey likes to get distressed in her West Acre workshop, reviving, revamping and reloving unwanted furniture using painting, distressing and decoupage techniques to create quirky, unique and environmentally sustainable pieces for her shabby chic upcycled furniture business Abbey Chic.

Passionate about low carbon living and minimising her footprint on the Earth, Abbey finds that recycling and reusing redundant items and giving them a new lease of life is a fantastic way of clearing her carbon conscience. She loves working with Annie Sloan chalk paint – a non-toxic, water-based medium that is lead-free, EG-free, odour-free and has very low volatile organic compounds – on all of her furniture, and what began as a hobby – taking unloved treasures and giving them a new story to tell, with a touch of creativity – has become the ethos for her brand and her life.



Kate came to Norfolk to join the degree course in Fine Art, Sculpture at, what was then, Norwich School of Art.

Returning to Norwich after a post graduate course, she taught sculpture and ceramics for many years at a local comprehensive school, adult education centres, in primary and special needs schools.

More recently, Kate chose to concentrate on developing her work from her studio, selling through galleries. She exhibits regularly and teaches sculpture and pottery to students of all ages.



A graduate of Norwich University of the Arts, Zheni has been a practising artist and teacher for nearly forty years. Her mother, Violeta Maslarova, was a highly regarded artist in Zheni’s native Bulgaria and her first teacher.

She ascribes her love of colour to the beauties of her grandmother’s exhuberant garden in which she grew up and to the brilliant colours of Bulgarian folk art and its thousand year old tradition of icon painting.

Of her way of working she says: “As a painter I am instinctive; I let the painting talk to me and we argue about where it is going to go. Sometimes the painting thinks it is winning and will get away with it for a while. But I am very stubborn and I always win in the end, even if it takes months or years.”



Using her unique, innovative form of weaving, Maryrose Watson’s work is an exploration of the inherent tension between horizontal and vertical, in relation to her chosen themes.

She creates geometric forms which react with light, playing on the transition between two and three dimensions to create a constantly changing visual experience, intensifying as the observer moves around the work.

By hand-dyeing the yarns Maryrose is able to fine-tune colour combinations to create specific resonance and contrast.

Her work has been commissioned for private and commercial collections and has been exhibited both in London and internationally with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art.



Teucer Wilson studied stonemasonry and architectural carving at Weymouth College before learning the art of letter-cutting at the Richard Kindersley studio in London.

He produces a variety of work including sculptures for private settings and public art projects, garden pieces, signage and memorial work. He enjoys making anything from three dimensional abstract sculptures to more functional work such as birdbaths, sundials, seating, house name plaques and headstones. He generally works to commission, mainly in limestone, sandstone and slate, although he has also worked in wood, glass, stainless steel and cast iron.



Toby Winteringham is a furniture designer and maker based in King’s Lynn. His work encompasses a variety of styles from elegantly simple statements to bold marquetry decoration.

He combines original design ideas with innovative construction to produce striking pieces for any setting.

He says: ‘To me design is like poetry: the stripping away of all unnecessary detail in order to leave an object in its purest form.’



From the Himalayan range to the Masonic Temples of London to the tranquillity of Norfolk, worldwide tour schedules to sober raves, regal weddings to illustrious openings of The Royal Academy previews; year-on-year, the exploits of Ben Zaven Crane – aka Mojo Filter – are unending.

His eclectic music collection has seen Ben as the first DJ ever to play at Buckingham Palace. Although a modest affair, this set the precedent for a new breed of DJ amongst the upper echelons of the events industry.

With a refined musical prowess and an uncanny ability to merge occasion, placement and people, Crane exudes an almost supernatural understanding of what it is to create magical and frenetic atmospheres with music. From Bond to Bollywood, disco, rock and soul, Ben has the tools to engineer heightened states of dance.

“No two events are the same, much as the flow of a river will subtly evolve and reform according to its ever-changing environment,” says Crane. “Music is the culmination of space between sounds that – when honed – can complement and accentuate the energetic exchanges between people and place.”

“No two events are the same, much as the flow of a river will subtly evolve and reform according to its ever-changing environment,” says Crane. “Music is the culmination of space between sounds that – when honed – can complement and accentuate the energetic exchanges between people and place.”