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Artist Profile: Alicia Ridley

Artist Profile: Alicia Ridley
Tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic medium:
 

Like most people, I loved to create when I was little. From odd art installations in my room, my own Monopoly version, to paired dance routines to Barbara Streisand with my little sister and I adored art at school but somewhere around the age of 14 I was told by an Art Teacher that I couldn’t draw. So I literally dropped Art there and then. It was friends in Zimbabwe who helped me to overrule that lie and fortunately, ceramic lessons began a love of clay and a way back into art. Now, I make using all different forms of clay, plus, I paint and use mixed media.

What project/s are you currently working on with Creativity Works?
 

I recently met the Wellbeing and Loving Life group in Radstock to talk about some workshops I drew up for them and I was delighted to hear that they want me to work with them. I am excited about starting next month.

Who inspires you and why?
 
I get inspired often…listening to anybody who has experienced great hardship and yet still sees the light in everything inspires me on a personal level. And those who see where they can help in some way and then just get on and do it. A psychologist with an insight into long lasting effects of trauma on a child’s brain has started a project where they meet the refugees boats and help children immediately re-frame their traumatic experience. That I find truly awesome..

 

In terms of art…the natural world is a constant delight. Just last night we drove home from school captivated by the silvery light on the birds against the dark rain cloud that dominated and clashed against the sun. I want to paint that sky and the birds. But sometimes it’s just looking very closely at an object and seeing it in detail. I did that with an acorn cup last week and had a go at making one in porcelain.

 

What book or exhibition has inspired you recently?
 

Well, it’s probably blowing our own trumpet, but I was incredibly blessed to be part of the recent ‘Holding Space’ exhibition at Walcot Chapel. We are a collective of artists, who having studied the art therapy foundation course at Bath College together, decided to be a bit vulnerable and put some of our work in an exhibition. It finished last Saturday and I miss being around the art and with the other artists – the atmosphere was extraordinary. The feedback was powerfully moving and is inspiring us to think big about what next. Holding Space as we call ourselves inspires me at so many levels. I am very thankful for it.

What’s been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?

Although I am wanting to move away from using the labels, I think managing to recover from ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia through my journey with God and the rediscovery of the delights of art and the healing that was in it, is something that has had a profound effect on my life and others. But being a mum of two lovely, kind and decent humans is a matter of deep worth for me.

What are your creative aspirations? (with or without Creativity Works)?

I have lots!! Several plans afoot around ‘Holding Space’, and the Radstock Art Group. My ambition long term is to have an ‘art barn’ for kids and adults to come and get creative in a way they need to but schools can’t supply anymore. On a personal level I want to keep exploring porcelain and some bigger pieces, I am desperate to do a sculpture course and I would love to do some Raku.

What advice would you give an emerging socially engaged artist?

I don’t feel massively qualified to offer advice….but what has inspired me in terms of being in touch with my heart and my own personal creativity is the stunning Father Heart Course in Combe Down, doing the Art Therapy Foundation course, and being part of a group of other artists who inspire and encourage and give me space to just be me.

Where do you hang out on social media?

I am new to Instagram but I am there as @cialazuli. We also have a @Holdingspaceuk insta account. I will be setting up an online shop (eeeek….still wobbly about that) but it will be a case of one step at a time..or bechana bechana as my husband says!

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