Thursday, 3 October 2013

Art in Rure: Meet Artist Laura Adkins

Demonstrating mixed media at a Stratford-Upon-Avon Art Society exhibition 
Born in Birmingham in 1967, Laura Adkins has always had a passion for writing and art. After her A Levels she took a foundation course at Bournville Art College, later going on to study graphics at Brighton.
Throughout the 90s, Laura worked as a designer, creating advertising, magazines and exhibition graphics and learning to use computer design software. She also worked as a marketing assistant and studied a Postgraduate Diploma in History of Art at the UCE (now Birmingham City University), before leaving employment in 2002 to look after her daughter. 

A peek into Laura's studio
Arrow Slit stoneware relief work on show
at John Lewis Solihull
During this time, she began to take various painting and life drawing classes at Solihull College (taught by Jan Gay RBSA) and creative writing at the Midlands Arts Centre. In 2006, she had a children's story published by Scholastic. Later going on to study an M. A. in illustration, with a view to becoming a children's book author/illustrator. And, although she later changed career course, she won the Macmillan Prize for her illustrations in 2009.
Feeling the need for a new expressive outlet, Laura joined a ceramics class, led by Stephanie Redfern RBSA, at Bournville School of Art, where she began experimenting with clay and acrylic paint to create mixed media works. This opened her mind to possibilities she had never considered before. 
She also took up photography, successfully holding an exhibition of her work in 2010. 
Since then Laura has been exhibiting and selling through galleries and art fairs across the Midlands.

Art in Rure exhibition: Small Rock pool pot with seaweed

Works in the Art in Rure show: Arrow Slit & Ivy mixed media and acrylics
Laura takes her inspiration from her surroundings, the natural world, landscapes, gardens, seaside locations and local history, exploring  textures and the passage of time, such as seasons, tides, day and night, and the effects of the elements on stone. Influenced by her background in illustration, she has a great passion for detail and narrative, often working from her own imagination.

Laura states: “I enjoy being inventive and combining clay modelling and other materials with acrylic paint. At times, I also work exclusively in acrylics or in ceramics, either for a change or to explore the medium. As well as being a pleasure in itself, photography plays an important part in my work. These photographic references help me to develop the ideas for each creative project"

Since 2010, the artist has been a regular volunteer at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery. In 2011, she did an apprenticeship with Solihull Arts Complex to learn about leading children's art workshops, now holding classes for both the Solihull Arts Complex and the RBSA.

You can view Laura's work in the Art in Rure showcase (on the top floor), at John Lewis Solihull. Other artists works can be seen in The Place to Eat Restaurant (floor 1) and in the television department on the basement floor.

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