Louise Craigie (hons)
After graduating from Manchester with a first class honours degree in Textiles I always knew I would return home to Suffolk, to pursue a career in teaching. That’s what I did and still do, a current Head of Arts and Innovation (Art, Technology, Media & Computer science) Faculty in a high school.
As an Artist I’ve always been about colour and mark making – capturing the beauty from the landscape that surrounds me. At times this is the whole landscape other times close ups…fragments of the bigger picture. It fulfils me to share my passion with young people but being creative is something for me, keeping me authentic and now with a family of my own that is a very important to me, to remain true to myself. Capturing where I grew up makes me feel truly connected to somewhere for both myself and my family.
Walking with my dalmatian has taken me back into rural settings over the last few years. This is where I always quickly and organically sketch the shapes and forms which I then expressively explore with a range of media and colour back in my studio. When walking I intuitively become more relaxed and in the moment, paused and centered, calm and most myself and this then provides opportunities to really see and appreciate the landscape of my memories…………………………………
Whilst my work responds initially to the absolute hereness and nowness when I am in my surroundings with my drawing, my paintings from those sketches then evolve again when I return to it at another time, as it takes on the essence of me at that moment. In addition I succumb to the surface itself as a pure form of communication through colours and marks. That are fundamentally me painting, paint! The art work becomes by nature reactionary. A time when painting is both in thinking but also in the subconscious. My work very much has an engagement with that real landscape but the actual surface reflects and brings together much more. It has the moment but also the physicality of the movement in the creation. I want the viewer to feel the layers and a connection to the creation.
The making of my Art work is an act - it doesn't always reflect me and my inner most self and at times it takes forms of something or someone else. I think my work constructs a variety of times and responses to moments in layers of physical paint, rather than being an out pouring of one emotion in one place at one time, i think this is almost unavoidable..............
The landscape, nature and our authentic self are at a distance but are so important to me, so I work to bring it in, together, to be felt and seen. I always have intent in my work, but what results and what the audience and I both get at the end of the process is okay if different to the original intention.............................
As well as being a working Artist I am also a secondary High School teacher. This has also been a passion of mine for the last 17 yrs, sharing my passion with young people from the age of 11 right up to 18. I began my teaching career in Ipswich I gained my PGCE through training whilst teaching. After 6 years I applied for a Head of Art department Post in Essex and was successful. In the last 3 years I have been promoted to Head of Creative Arts faculty and very much enjoy the cross curricular feel of all the Art disciplines - Art, Music, Drama and Dance. In the last year i have now undertaken the Faculty lead in Art and Innovation, as well being part of the ex Senior Leadership Team
As well as teaching I have been Vice Chair of the art group known as A.S.A.T ( association of Suffolk Art teachers) for 10yrs. Within this role we combine experiences and practices of teaching art at both Primary and Secondary level which we take back to our classroom practice. We also facilitate exhibiting students work, providing student workshops and going on Art workshops ourselves. We also arrange at least a yearly exhibition in which we gather current works from Artists in education to celebrate that teachers still can do. Exhibitions have taken place in venues such as Snape, Aldeburgh, Beccles and the Waterfront Gallery. Since 2017 we have been building really good relationships with the University of Suffolk and we have managed to secure regularly high profile exhibitions together.