Ceri Bridge-Harrington is an incredible artist in her 40’s. This wonderful woman is British, born and raised in London, England but now she lives in a small market town on the edge of the Peak District.
How would you describe yourself?
I am an ex retail assistant, ex city worker, ex gallery employee, full time parent and occasional doer of housework who loves paper and pencils and creates images whenever she can.
How would you describe your art?
My work is a playful and humorous take on everyday domestic family life. I have kept a daily sketchbook of observational drawings for over 5 years and often use the sketches of friends, family, my home and home town to make more complex images, zines, visual journals and paper people.
How would you describe your field?
I work primary with paper to make collage images. The papers used could be found scraps, bought paper or paper that I have coloured and textured myself with paint, pens or coloured pencils. I’m definitely more inclined to drawing rather than painting and like to think of my work as drawing with scissors and paper.
What do you want to say through your art?
My work is very personal with themes and subjects very close to my heart. I’m not conscious while making of wanting to impart any particular message or statement to others, but rather am motivated by observing and recording memories for myself and my family .However I would like to think my work conveys to people that the small, overlooked and mundane aspects of life can be just as visually interesting if you care to take time to notice them.
What / Who inspires you?
While I love looking at artist’s and illustrator’s work on Instagram and Pinterest I often find myself comparing my work unfavourably with others. So to be true to myself I try to find inspiration from my daily life. I have probably drawn my husband a hundred times. My children are also an endless source of inspiration as they are so observant, insightful and imaginative.
Does your work comment on your social or political issues?
My work is light hearted rather than overtly political and deals with small scale issues rather than wider social ones. However it is very important to me that my work conveys my personal experience as a woman in so far as my work records and celebrates my ordinary domestic life. I feel strongly that all women’s experiences are valid and that their many and different voices need to be heard.
What obstacles have you faced?
My largest obstacle is overcoming my own doubts and lack of confidence in creating and showing my work. I think many creative people struggle with the feeling that their work is not ‘good enough’ and its been helpful to me to hear artists and illustrators I admire admit to the same feelings.
My other obstacle is time, I am usually the main carer for my children and finding quiet uninterrupted time to concentrate on projects can be a struggle. I am trying to turn this obstacle into a challenge that encourages me to work faster and looser and not get bogged down in superfluous detail.
What is the best advice you could give to someone entering the same industry as you?
If you want to create and need to create, just keep doing it. Every day. Even if you are not happy with the work you’re producing, work through it. Just keep making, drawing painting whatever you do, do it every day, you’ll find your voice.
On a more pragmatic level have you been supported during your project?
My friends and family offer much needed confidence boosts, the occasional shoulder to cry on and solid financial support to allow me to indulge in my paper passion.