I studied HND ceramics at Cumbria College of Art and Design from 1992-1994 From here I decided the next step was a degree and was accepted into the second year at Cardiff Institute which at the time was one of the best ceramic courses in the country. I immersed myself in the course my drawing work becoming as important as the clay work. Graduating in 1996 my next focus was travel. In 1997 we embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Africa. We spent 17 months working and travelling around Southern Africa, mainly in Zimbabwe and Malawi. We had a fabulous introduction to the diverse craft world in Zimbabwe as the couple we stayed with in Harare sold crafts, we travelled all over Zimbabwe with them buying crafts direct from the makers. With little or no access to clay my sketchbook work became increasingly important to me. I believe Africa re-introduced me to nature, I witnessed the most beautiful and extreme flora and fauna, it was here I found the most amazing tree of all – the baobab ( its nickname the upside down tree )
After returning in 1999 we decided to move to Brighton as we thought this would be a great base to start our creative practises. In 2002 I had my first solo painting on wood exhibition at a local restaurant which was called Early bird …………… and yes you’ve guessed it the topic was birds ! I had a fantastic response and sold 75% of the work. One of my biggest influences for the show was a group of painters I met in Zimbabwe called The Weya Women ( I still have 2 of their paintings in my lounge ) They are a group of untrained women who created artworks of their everyday life, mainly on wood or objects. From here I continued painting and exhibiting, finally discovering printmaking in 2005.
In 2006 I was 1 of 4 artists chosen to take part in a printmaking Residency in the Scottish Highlands at The Highland Print Studio. I lived in Cromarty, North of Inverness ( if you listen to Radio 4 you might have heard it mentioned on their shipping forecast ) It was like living in the middle of a nature reserve. It was a fabulous opportunity in which I immersed myself in printmaking for 3 months ( I did so much work here when I returned to Brighton it felt like I had been away for 1 year )
I have continued printmaking ever since, in 2009 crossing over from being a full time painter to printmaker. With printmaking I am constantly learning new techniques which keeps the whole process very exciting. At first I was mainly concentrating on making Lino-cuts and I taught myself the technique of chine colle whilst making the odd screenprint. Now it is the complete opposite, I have become addicted to the process of screeprinting as each print I make I learn something new, its such an exciting and sometimes very challenging process …. but that is why I love it.
For the first time in awhile, this year (2015) I have started painting again. Its not as easy as you might think crossing over from printmaking to painting, I’ve loved it and the finished pieces, but shall we say its been very challenging, obviously this is a good thing to push yourself out of your comfort zone!
Phoenix Brighton, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton. East Sussex. BN2 9NB
Apologies my CV seems like it is not updated but I’ve been showing in galleries permanently for a while now. Please click on ‘galleries‘ to find out where I currently show my work.
2006 Cardiff Institute, South Wales. BA Hons Ceramics (2:1)
2004 Cumbria College of Art and Design. HND Ceramics (distinction)
2002 Shrewsbury College, Shropshire. Art Foundation (pass)
Selected Exhibitions: Please click on ‘galleries‘ to find out where I currently show my work.
Oct 2011 – Rostra Gallery, Bath. Part of a group show.
Oct 2011 – Palace Art Fair, Fulham, London. I was one of 4 artists showing with Liberty Gallery.
Oct 2011 – AAF Battersea, London. A group show with BIP – Art.
Jul 2011 – The Haymakers, Hay-On-Wye. Invited artist as part of a group show.
Jun 2011 – Castle Gallery, Inverness, Scotland. Mixed Summer exhibition.
Apr 2011 – Printfest, Ulverston, Cumbria. Three day print fair.
Mar 2011 – Fisherton Mill, Salisbury. Landscapes.
Mar 2011 – Hybrid Gallery, Honiton, Devon. Print matters.
Feb 2011 – Liberty Gallery, London. 20/21 art fair.
Feb 2011 – New Ashgate Gallery, Farham, Surrey. Colour matters.
Feb 2011 – Rostra Gallery, Bath. Any toucan fall in love.
Dec 2010 – Saltburn Artists, Saltburn. Off the shelf.
Oct 2010 – The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London.
Sep 2010 – Brighton Art Fair, Brighton.
Jun 2010 – The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Mixed Summer show.
Feb 2010 – The Hop Gallery, Lewes, Sussex. I love you, an exhibition of 20 printmakers work.
Nov 2009 – The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London.
Nov 2008 – Serena Hall Gallery, Southwold, Suffolk. The great little picture show.
Nov 2008 – Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield. Temptation, mixed Winter show.
Sep 2008 – The Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, Lancashire. Exhibition of my most recent paintings and prints.
May 2008 – The Dragonfly House, Brighton, E.Sussex. Exhibition as part of the open house trail.
Dec 2007 – Highland 2007, The Highlands, Scotland. Touring exhibition of my prints and artwork produced by the children of Hilton Cadboll Primary School during my Scottish residency in 2006.
Aug 2007 – Blue Moon Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Mixed summer show.
Jun 2007 – Stockwell Studios, Stockwell, London. Invited as a guest artist to show work during an open studio event.
May 2007 – Barn Galleries, Henley On Thames. Artspace. Annual art exhibition by over 60 artists.
Nov 2006 – Battersea Art Fair, Battersea, London. Art Fair.
Aug 2006 – Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Powys, Wales. Surface. An exhibition of artists living in or from the Welsh borders , organised by young curators.
Aug 2006 – Tore Art Gallery, Tore, Scotland. Mixed summer show.
July 2006 – Castle Gallery, Inverness, Scotland. Mixed Summer Show.
May 2006 – Printfest, Ulverston, Cumbria. Annual printmaking show.
Nov 2005 – Brighton Art Fair, Brighton, E.Sussex. Annual Art Fair on the South coast.
July 2005 – Henley Festival, Henley on Thames. Represented by Barn Galleries.
May 2005 – Barn Galleries, Henley On Thames. Artspace. Annual exhibition of over 60 artists
Mar 2004 – The Rostra Gallery, Bath.Hare and Hounds. Mixed arts and crafts show.
May 2003 – Bath Arts Festival, Bath. An exhibition of paintings by artists living in the South.
May 2003 – Sussex Open, Brighton Museum, E.Sussex. Bi-annual exhibition for artists living in Sussex
May 2007 Jubilee Library, Brighton, E. Sussex.
Myself and light box artist Jeremy Lord were commissioned to make an interactive piece for babies and toddlers. The final light box was made at baby crawling height and placed on the floor of the library in the children’s section. My illustrations placed within the box with a sequence of pastel coloured lights gradually changing colour, illuminating the illustrations.
April-July 2006 Artist in Residence, The Highland Print Studio, Inverness, Scotland.
A three month residency involved with the Highland Council based at The Highland Print Studio. The position was divided between developing my studio practise within printmaking and also designing, delivering and evaluating an educational art programme for 42 children at the Hilton of Cadboll Primary School. Within this project the children became illustrators for 12 weeks researching the subject of sea life. The final outcome of the project being that the young illustrators would work towards developing their own imaginary sea-creatures through a series of exciting workshops researching the subject and experimenting with art materials. Their final characters were painted onto re-claimed wood. The artwork they produced was toured throughout Scotland in 2007.
June 2005 Artist in Residence. Scarborough Hospital, Scarborough, Yorkshire.
A one month residency for Hospital Arts For North East Yorkshire. The position involved combining studio-based practise at Scarborough Crescent Arts where I made a large- scale piece for The Duke of Kent children’s ward, alongside delivering a series of workshops with the children on the ward aged 2-12. This particular project gave me skills in working sensitively in a healthcare setting and made me realise that sometimes the role of taking part rather than the outcome is more important. The majority of the children on the ward were very young so their parents also took part.
April 2009 – Sep 2010 Art instructor at The Arthouse Meath, Godalming, Surrey.
The Arthouse Meath is a charity which develops the artistic talents of people with epilepsy, physical disabilities or learning difficulties. Around 60 artists work in The Arthouse under supervision, 12 of these I work with personally once a week. I design and deliver art workshops, developing my own projects for the group to work with. Arthouse Meath artists exhibit and sell their work in regular exhibitions around the UK, as an art instructor I am also involved with putting up the shows and selling their work. Within these workshops I recognise the importance that each member of my group has completely different needs, I work with my team individually. Arthouse Meath is a very exciting project which I feel very lucky to be part of. www.arthousemeath.com
April 2008 Brighton and Hove Children’s Festival 2008, Hove Museum, E.Sussex.
I designed and delivered a day of clay workshops for 2-7 year olds. It was great fun and very messy! The importance of these workshops was in the physical taking part rather than the final outcome. Adults also took part and in some instances enjoyed it more than their children.
August 2004. Hatherleigh Festival, Hatherleigh, Devon.
I was a visiting artist at a music and performance festival in Devon. I delivered a series of paper mask making workshops for 4-12 year olds.
2001-2002 Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, E.Sussex.
Information Assistant. Here I volunteered for 4hrs a week for one year.
Fabrica is an innovative, artist-led contemporary gallery in the heart of Brighton that places audience participation and learning at the heart of its activities. In this capacity, I helped a wide range of visitors engage with and enjoy the sometimes difficult and challenging exhibitions.
June 1996 St Fagin’s Working Museum, Cardiff, Wales.
I delivered short workshops using clay for children aged 4-12yrs.
December 2010, May 2010, December 2009, May 2009.
As well as organising my own exhibitions throughout the year I have recently began organising and hosting exhibitions mainly for local artists as part of The Open House Trail for Brighton Festival. The ethos behind the trail is that people living in Brighton and the surrounding areas open their houses as galleries for four weekends in May.
In May 2010 over 1000 artists and makers showed their work in more than 250 homes. To date I have organised four very successful exhibitions and I am presently organising my fifth. The exhibition shows a variety of mediums indoor and outdoor – ceramics, paintings, prints, drawings, jewellery, sculpture, textiles, and glass. The present exhibition I am organising shows 18 artists work.
Photographs taken from the last two exhibitions are available to view on the flickr link below.
April 2002. Professional Development grant South East Arts (Arts Council, South East)
- Ability to teach across a wide range of disciplines within different communities.
- Highly motivated with excellent organisational skills.
- Ability to adapt and respond to new environments.
- Excellent knowledge of printmaking processes.
- Ability to work as part of a team or independently.
- The ability to communicate clearly and effectively to both individuals and groups.
- Appointed person First Aid certificate.
- Good knowledge of Mac and PC systems, Word and Photoshop.
- Friendly and approachable manner.
In my recent work, I have been creating imaginary scenes filled with the patterns of nature inspired by both the Sussex countryside and the diversity of life I found whilst travelling in Africa. I am interested in looking at details of trees and plants, Indian textiles and bird encyclopaedias, and merging these sources to create, wall-paper like patterns that celebrate the English decorative tradition.
My latest prints has been hand-made in small editions in Brighton, using the techniques of lino-cutting and screen-printing. I use special printmaking papers from the UK, France, Japan and India.
Within my work as a whole, I use nature as a metaphor for human emotions.
Oh yes, one more thing … I quite like birds.
Liz is based at Phoenix Studios, Brighton.
Liz Toole demonstrating the printing technique Chine Colle. Produced by Printfest for Printfest 2015. Supported by Arts Council England.