About Hatchery Residency

Lockdown – a place where nothing we see is unknown

Hatchery – a place where new things are produced


Beginning as a self-directed residency, Hatchery aimed to capitalise on the changing circumstances to experiment with new creative approaches. By inviting other artists to participate builds on what I think are the most important aspects of residencies –  an intense time to think and create and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Now Hatchery has artists  from the UK, Italy and Canada who, together, provide mutual support, creative input and discussion. We may be in a novel confined existence, there is no reason to be limited in our art outlook. Hatchery is about thinking and making, creativity at its widest and best.


There was no selection process and not everyone I invited wanted to be part of it.  However, people I invited were those who I thought had something to offer and had a variety of art practices and ways of thinking. We each continue with our own practices and share through email and What’sApp to create a conversation providing artistic support but also contributing to a healthy mental well-being. We also have a weekly live conversation where we get to see each other and give updates about our progress and discuss some quite serious art topics.


We each have our own styles and ways of going about making work.  The images are from our What’sApp gallery and reflect our sharing and discussion.


Helen Stewvenson writes ‘The confined space I was working in influenced the more structured and measured approach’ and she later shared this doodle.



We are working in whatever space we can carve out of our individual situations. Dee has her shed and often works with the plants in her garden. The colours are bold influencing this layered paper composition.




Our subjects reflect our thoughts and situations. Jackie’s ink and watercolour drawing on paper explores many isolation themes.



Linda, in Canada, has her farm where ‘this is a bit of a stick that was chewed by a porcupine. I gave it a bit of help with graphite and Matt Medium. I see these as messages from the porcupines’.



Many things are about plants, photographing, drawing, identifying and eating them. It is what is around us from weeds in cracks and corners to carefully laid out gardens, Mary has been looking at them through a microscope, returning to painting from her current medium of print making.



Helen Lees has written poetry extensively, photographed all manner of plants from her home in Italy and is currently working with drawn  portraits.


I have been experimenting with any material I could find whilst still thinking about sound, these are noise scapes or noise scrapes.


This led into composition with birdsong and clarinet. Something I would not have done without this time.



This extensive body of work, of which only a very small amount is shown here, has been produced during the lockdown, the period of the Hatchery residency. It represents our intense creativity and our determination to not be limited by our situation but to grow our art from seed to plant, hopefully a full-grown rambler, tangling and twisting our ideas to produce fantastic artwork.