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darts at Home: Karen Hall

Find out more about the artists creating your darts at Home activities

Karen is a freelance textile and visual artist. She uses her sewing machine to draw with (rather than to make clothing etc.) and has a love for portraits, nature and buildings. She also uses mixed media to create visual art and pulls together different materials to produce a finished piece that can be anything from willow structures incorporating weaving, book binding with fabric pages, UV sensory rooms with glowing paint, wool and soundscape activities!

Karen has been working with darts for around 6 years after a friend told her about us. She says that she is still as enthusiastic and thrilled to be working with darts now as she was then! She says:

I'm always touched when participants show me their own work, which they've been doing at home after being inspired by one of my workshops. Inspiring people means the world to me.

It's great watching participants get drawn into the processes and then see results of their own work. I love the annual PointFEST event as it is an opportunity for me to be working alongside the wider team at darts and meet new people too.

We asked Karen what has helped her get through lockdown so far. She told us that she’s been doing a lot more baking with her daughters, trying new recipes and discovering the best way to clean a flour splattered kitchen floor! “We’ve finally mastered a pizza base that we’re all happy with! Yum! We’ve also started growing our own herbs and potatoes.”

Karen also says that as her studio is at home, she’s given it a well-needed tidy and sort, as well as trying out new things. She has  taken the opportunity to spend more time drawing, and enjoying the art of slow stitch such as adding hand embroidery onto one of her sweatshirts – definitely something she wouldn’t normally have time to do.

She says:

A lot of my preparation for workshops and activities is done visually in my head, then I'll write down bullet points (ok, cryptic diagrams and reminders to breathe!) for when I deliver sessions face to face. I often prepare examples of work too, so participants can hold, explore and discuss them.

Not working face to face has meant I've had to replace a lot of my practical demonstrations with methodical text to explain the activity. I've also had to adapt my work examples so they come across well on photographs. I've been practicing my Makaton ahead of film making for the Arts at Home online workshops too!

Karen has created a range of activities for darts at Home, all of which are suitable for adults or children (or for families to try together). Have a go at the ‘Mark Making‘ activity pack, making your own ‘View Finder‘, ‘Take a Walk and Find a Word’ and ‘Let Your Drawing Take a Walk’ (coming soon) and look out for some upcoming activities for those who have access to sewing materials.

We would love to see what you make using Karen’s pack – send us your images to hello@wearedarts.org.uk

 

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