Belong - A Reflection on my first Exhibition 1 Year On

Within, 2019 Watercolour, ink, acrylic, pastel on paper. 47cm x 40cm Sold

My first exhibition Belong has ended and I have been left reflecting on the emotions & thoughts which inspired me to create this body of work.

Belong was born from a desire to explore what it means too belong to a place. I had been travelling with my young family in search of a home only to return to where I grew up and found a new love for the land I had rejected as a moody adolescent. I spent hours upon days and weeks over months and seasons turned into years rediscovering the familiar trails leading over landscapes and immediately felt calm and at peace. I feel at home. I feel I belong.


Landscape, 2019, Watercolour and Acryllic, ink and pastel on paper 23cm x 14cm

Over and Further, 2019 Ink, Acrylic, watercolour, gesso and pastel on canvas 100cm x 100cm, Sold

As I wander through thick forest and roaming fields I asked myself what does it mean to belong to a place? What is it about being here that makes it feel like I belong here? Why this place? I explore these questions through mark making and keeping a visual diary of my daily journeys.

By using a range of mediums from acrylic paints to ink and pastels, my portfolio in Belong represents fleeting moments experienced among the landscapes surrounding my studio.

Through, 2019, Acrylic and Ink on canvas 100cm x 100cm, Sold

The strength in the Quarry rock particularly engrossed me. The all encompassing nurturing feeling of maternal warmth found in the stone against the still cool, lifeless body of water collected over years of rain. The prominent facades, jagged edges of rock, softened by moss, and the lichen growing on the trees. The chirps and chatters of local wildlife bring evidence of life in the woods.

I began this body of work in the spring, when fresh growth burst into bright colours throughout the valley. My work changed in line with the seasons. The fresh bright colours of spring develop into muted tones and quieting expressions of mark making as summer lost its lustre.


Working in layers allows me to explore the translucency of rivers and streams flowing over rocks and the vast landscape of rolling hills, one behind the other in an un orderly queue, broken with condense forests through thick paint or dense patterns in ink. The sunlight piercing through gaps in the leaves, or the subdued light at dusk or broken in sheets of rain all effect how the colour is applied. I react to these patterns are found in these natural occurrences with repetitive mark making. The sheet of rain moving towards a dense pattern of forestry on the next hill, creates distinct but subtle marks.

By bringing these marks together I create abstract paintings which evoke emotions and memories associated with being among familiar landscapes and with it a sense of Belonging.


Among, 2019 Ink, acryllic, gesso, ink and pastel on canvas 60cm x 60cm

Quarry Studies on Canvas , Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 20cm x 20cm


Presence, 2019 Acrylic, pastel, ink on canvas 20cm x 20cm

Boleside, 2019, Acrylic, ink and pastel on paper. Renewal, 2019, Ink and pastel on paper

Both are 21cm x29.5 cm

Ladhope, 2019,Acrylic and ink on paper. From, 2019, Acrylic on paper, 50cm x 65cm

50cm x 71cm Sold

A6 Studies - Left to Right - Quarry Pool | Overgrowth | Endurance | Flowing | Growth | Around the Corner | Riverbed | Still | Between


I was successful in gaining funding for Belong from the Visual Arts and Craftmakers Awards: South of Scotland 2018/2019 in partnership with Creative Scotland, Live Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Thank you to Mary Morrison, CABN, for helping me with the application process and Oliver Reed for your encouraging mentorship.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support my exhibition, and to everyone who followed and shared this journey on social media. If you’d like to purchase the work on show please contact me directly for enquires -