Atelier21 is a workspace shared by 4 artists. We have facilities for printmaking and photographic processes. Whilst our practices are quite different, we find sharing a space brings stimulating opportunities to exchange ideas and innovations.
The practice of Theadora Ballantyne-Way gives an idiosyncratic English take on the great traditions of surrealist art. Taking everyday and seemingly harmless objects, she fuses them into romanticised suburban landscapes.
In much of her work, mundane utensils become monumental industrial components; a transformation that elevates them into objects of aesthetic consideration and bizarre emblems of middle-class terror. Her enlargement of these objects are not a critique of consumer habits, but a celebration of the surreal – a playful conceit on the rich history of the English pastoral.
Probing at our sense of perception, her use of the textures and antiquated processes of traditional printmaking produces a false sense of legitimacy; one that is at odds with most contemporary image production.
Theadora has studied at the University of Reading, St Martins and has recently completed an MA in multidisciplinary printmaking. She specialises in traditional photographic printmaking processes, including Polymer Photogravure. Theadora’s work has been selected internationally and for exhibitions hosted by the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.
Virginia is a qualified and experienced educator, with 30 years teaching experience, working in schools and local authorities, providing training for teachers and other education professionals. She has an MA in Multidisciplinary Printmaking from the University of the West of England and now works full time as a practising artist.
Virginia’s work is an exploration of geometric form and materiality, using source material derived from the architectural structures within the urban environment. In some work, Virginia pares down the geometries to the bare minimum, enabling a considered focus on form itself. In other work, such as her recent brutalist series, her work is more figurative, focusing instead on her experience and perception of the urban spaces.
Virginia has exhibited widely across the UK, including the Wells Contemporary, Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, Hepworth Wakefield, Affordable Art Fair, Fresh Art and Buy Art, Manchester. She is represented by Agora Contemporary.
Barry Cawston’s photographic practice is diverse. He tends to work in series, seemingly moving randomly between architecture, interiors, portraiture, landscape and social documentary but his style always remains recognisable and his photographs have an almost painterly quality that seems both contemporary and classical.
Recently these bodies of work have become larger and more detailed as he has undertaken projects which have taken up to a year to complete. These include 'Echoes from the Arboretum', 'Are We There Yet?' A Day trip to Banksy’s Dismaland and Weston-super-Mare, Russia ‘Far From Black and White’ and 'Disturbia', a collaborative project with artist Anthony Garratt. These projects have culminated in high profile exhibitions, published books and touring museum shows. Later this year Cawston begins his biggest project to date 'Threads, A Tale of Two Cities’ which will compare the two historical textile cities of Manchester in the UK with Kanpur in India which will combine elements of his architectural and social documentary themes.
A multidisciplinary artist, Soraya explores ideas and themes related to identity. Her childhood experience of having an Iranian and Pakistani heritage, whilst being adopted and growing up in an English household, has formed her fascination in the human condition and it’s political and emotional response to heritage.
Working through photography, printmaking, collage and textiles, she investigates these themes finding inspiration in her childhood home, the surrounding woodlands, as well as objects that have found their way into her possession, inherited from her English family. Through art Soraya strives to question and understand a historical narrative and it’s consequences on modern day attitudes in the current political landscape.
After gaining a BA in Drawing and Applied Arts, Soraya went on to complete a Masters in Multidisciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England. She has worked with The Drugstore Gallery as both curator and exhibiting artist, her work had been shown both nationally and internationally.