This month has been excellent for art and writing inspiration. I kicked it off a couple of weeks ago when I spent a week at Lumb Bank, the Arvon Foundation’s writing centre in rural Yorkshire. It was magical, as I knew it would be, and it inspired my writing side in a very big way. But when the wordy side is stoked up, the visual side demands to be fuelled too.

Last week’s day trip to the London Art Fair sorted me out – maybe too much! I now want to continue writing the two books I’m working on AND make paintings AND book art. The Fair was held in the airy London Business Centre in Islington and though quite busy, it was not overwhelmingly full of people. I could take my time and hang out looking at works I wanted to spend time with. I’ve included a few of them here.

Art by Swoon at the London Art Fair 2015.

Art by Swoon at the London Art Fair 2015.

I liked street artist Swoon‘s work. Some of her images were on found objects like old fencing and others, like the image here, are wall art. I admire her style – it’s bold and delicate at the same time.

Chun Kwang Young‘s mulberry paper constructions astonished me. From far away they look like rocky landscapes, but when you get close you can see they are made up of hundreds of folded papers. Han-ji (mulberry) paper is very important in Korean culture and in the video on his homepage, the artist talks about ‘gathering the spirits of ancestors’ in his pieces. Each one contains a whole population of spirits.

Work by Chun Kwang Young at London Art Fair 2015.

Work by Chun Kwang Young at London Art Fair 2015.

Detail of work by Chun Kwang Young.

Detail of work by Chun Kwang Young.


Another Korean artist, Kwan Woo Lee, uses many stamps and seals in his pieces. Close up, they are an amazing collection of characters and small graphic images. I enjoy art that works on several levels and contains layers of meaning, especially when the artists work with small, beautifully crafted elements.

Detail of work by Kwan Woo Lee at the London Art Fair 2015.

Detail of work by Kwan Woo Lee at the London Art Fair 2015.

What’s the next inspiration? I’m hoping it will be The Weather Machine, an intriguing immersive theatre performance in early February. Stay tuned.