Kelly Cracknell

Like most children I felt inspired to express myself by drawing, using whatever I could get my hands on to mark down onto the page what I saw around me helping me make sense of the world. Due to going to university to study fine art this form of expression continued on into my adulthood turning inwards.

I have slowly learnt to deepen my process over the years and now use the act of creation as a way of exploring my inner landscape, my feelings, hopes and dreams reveal themselves to me through images. This opening up of the imagination has in turn made my life richer, broader and fuller.

As this inner journey of self exploration unravelled itself I began to grasp the telling of a tale and so during my time as an artist in residence at sanctuary Slimane I was lucky enough to start weaving this story together using the images as inspiration for the writing. It also was the perfect opportunity for me to experiment once again with natural pigments, making watercolour paints, natural inks, and dyes using the plants found growing at Dar Slimane. This gave me a deeper connection to the medium I was using bringing the paint alive for me.

Pomegranate skins dyed my fingers an intense yellow, bougainvillea petals kissed the paper pink while shaggy mane mushrooms decayed into the blackest of inks. The balance between time spent connecting with my outer landscape and time for inward reflection opened up a space for creativity to flow, thank you Dar Slimane!

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