As projects and opportunities have arisen over the last few months, I have begun to feel that I am beginning to understand the direction I want to take my practice in. It’s been, at times, incredibly draining to find the energy to push through work that I don’t like or feel connected to, knowing that it’s an integral part of the growth process of a creative pursuit. I don’t know that I would have broken that barrier without an incredible support network of people around me, urging me to move forward, giving me opportunities and genuine feedback about my work. Reflecting on this now, I am almost certain I would not have arrived at the point I’m currently at.

Experimenting with the scale of my work for murals at ALTaR (in collaboration with illustrator Chloe Breeze) and The Slamwich Club towards the end of 2018 showed me how to think of my work applied to different contexts. Organising and hosting Life/Still-life Drawing workshops not only reminded me how rewarding it is to share your practice, but also when you want something to happen (I was searching for life drawing classes with a chilled vibe but couldn’t find any closer than Manchester) sometimes you have to bite the bullet and create it yourself, and hope that people come to support it (which you do, so thank you!) Having pieces selected for exhibitions/displays gave me a needed boost, and the pinnacle of it all receiving some funding from Grow Wild UK to support an exhibition I’ll be having later this year in May at Entrepreneurs, Hanley. Between the workshops, my other two jobs, other projects, and planning this new body of work, I feel like I’ve bitten off a little more than I can chew, but am going to embrace it all the same. I feel energetic. For now!

This new work that’s supported by Grow Wild is going to be looking at connecting with our Spaces - natural & man-made alike. I’ll be creating a collection of paintings, prints, screen-printed textiles and ceramic vessels, drawing inspiration from the land around me to create the pieces. I’m super excited to get cracking with this work, albeit a bit nervous. The more I create, the more of my self, my mind and heart I’m putting on display. I can only hope it’s an honest reflection of all that goes on inside my head, and am grateful to anyone who wants to come along with me for the ride.

Katrina Wilde