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10 - 22nd April  2023

What a place Awakenings at Wick is! A private home, owned by artist Penny, with 22 acres of land in the heart of Somerset.


Awakenings at Wick is a self-directed residency for artists, crafters, poets, writers, photographers, sculptors, musicians. The house and various artistic spaces; garage, art barn, shepherds hut, hermitage, etc. are surrounded by 22 acres of fields, woodlands and gardens to explore and produce in. Penny, and gardener Sian, have created the most colourful and inspiring home - a creative’s canvas, and mood board all in one!


I chose this residency as I had a specific Somerset-based project in mind, plus thsetting and spiritual 
ethos is very much my bag!

You can choose your studio so I went for the converted Soviet van. I’ve set up all my things, and am currently weaving and dyeing for the project I have planned here.


We (the other artists and I) did many tarot readings!


MOOD BOARD for the two weeks...

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My project looked at the serpent and its symbolism within Somerset and beyond. Through research I decided to explore my idea in the form of medieval-inspired banners/flags.

At present, the Mendip Hills are home to the rare and secretive adder, and although this snake species is declining in the UK, it remains very strong in Somerset.

Maybe its local historical significance has kept it alive...

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It can be argued the origins of Somerset’s red dragon coat of arms dates as far back as c.500 BC. It begins with archaeological finds that demonstrate the ancient Celts in Britain practised Serpent Worship, some images of which resemble dragons. 

In ancient times, Ophiolatreia, the worship of the serpent, was widespread throughout Britain and the world. The Druids were worshippers of the solar deity - symbolised by the serpent - Hu Gadarn, or ‘The Dragon Ruler of the World’, whose priests were aptly called ‘Adders’.

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Rust and 

verdigris-dyed wool


From the Gaulish Druids derived the Draco, used during the Roman occupation of Britain from AD 43 to AD 410. Draco - Latin for dragon - is a constellation, and, in military terms, a standard/flag.

The Draco standard was used to determine the wind-direction for archers, and to deter opponents with it’s bellowing cries. It had a hollow, metal head, in the form of a toothed dragon, with a cloth tube tail attached for the wind to blow through. When a rider would gallop, holding the Draco, the wind would funnel through the tube creating the cry of a dragon.


It's believed the open-mouthed profile of the Draco influenced the Celtic use of the dragon (often drawn with their tails in their mouths = the cycle of life).

To the Celts, dragons were indicators of places of power. ‘The Path of the Dragon’ was the Celtic term for ley lines, which are the stretches of mystic power that crisscross the land. At Wick there is a dragon ley line, and a dragon portal in one of the trees that crosses it.


Bits n bobs from the charity shops and compost heap


Directly inspired by the Celtic dragon was the dragon used by Alfred the Great, The King of Wessex. This was the symbol seen on his standards and helmet during the Viking Wars, which he famously and successfully defended. Alfred’s dragon is where Somerset’s flag and county council coat of arms originates.

Embroidering a weave with
nettle cordage and red yarn frothe local charity shop in
Langport. The environment
of Wick inspired me to
add different techniques
tmy weaves that
used before
embroidery and painting.

Miss these nails by babe Frankie

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Medieval illuminations...


I was super lucky with the creatives I was sharing the residency with. We really got immersed in the area together, taking a day trip to Glastonbury, attempting to cook pizza in the garden pizza oven, and doing many group tarot readings!

Take a look at their work...


"It is one of the greatest mysteries of the Isle of Avalon that two different healing springs, one touched red with iron, the other white with calcite, should rise within a few feet of each other from the caverns beneath Glastonbury Tor. Both have healing in their flow"

The White Spring set within the base of the Tor at Glastonbury


You are encouraged to 'leave your mark' at Wick Farm - it's a very collaborative and community-orientated place. I decided to go on the hunt for pigments on site to create one of my colour maps to leave behind.

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Pigments as watercolours, painted on a map of Wick Farm, and the watercolour shell-pans

Thanks to Sarah, I actually have photograph of me with my artwork for once!

I am using Bionic Reading - traditionally used by neurodivergent folk, or more specifically people with ADHD, and those with reading difficulties - created by Swiss typographic designer Renato Casutt. It bolds a small number of letters at the beginning of a word allowing your memory to fill in the rest, creating a more visually stimulating font.

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