The Pazuki Blog
A Weekend Away, from Suffolk to Norfolk September 20 2013, 0 Comments
First stop Aldeburgh...
I find Aldeburgh has been a constant source of inspiration. As soon as I step out of the car, my whole being relaxes. Some sort of simplicity or purity - I can’t put it into words. An unpretentious town, in stark contrast to the busyness and relative trendiness of neighbouring Southwold.
We always head to the Market café for fresh fish or a coffee, sitting outside on the main street people and dog watching.
Next stop is the bookshop - always have to buy something here – this time a large paperback volume of Grayson Perry’s work –as a textile designer I love his stunning use of colour and pattern and am fascinated by his uniquely personal drawings.
Wherever you are in Aldeburgh you’re always incredibly aware of the sea. I was devastated to miss “Grimes on the Beach”, the Benjamin Britten opera recently staged outdoors for his centenary – apparently it was magical. They used the real boats on the beach as part of the set.
I love how huge hollyhocks seem to sprout from every crack in the pavement and along the flint walls and the pastel, ice-cream coloured houses, except please can the person who painted theirs swimming-pool blue have a re-think.
Next morning off to the North Norfolk coast.
We drop our bags at the White Horse pub in Blakeney where I am pleased to see they have cushions and lamp shades from my old friends’ Lush Designs.
From here we go and explore the moonscape marshes at remote Burnham Overy Staithe – swirling flocks of birds and the setting sun glistening on the water and mud. Also a visit to Burnham market, peering through the window of Ruby and Tallulah who stock Pazuki. It’s a stunning village – but it’s had a severe attack of the Farrow and Ball’s and we spotted too many London types wearing Barbours out walking their Labradors.
The next day we visited the windmill at Cley, set by a sea of tall rushes that made a soothing rustling sound in the wind, with the odd cry of a seabird overhead. Beautiful flint walled cottages, how I would love to own one, however small, even a little hut somewhere here.
We had a long walk out to the sea at Holkham Beach in bright sunshine, collecting shells and paddling in the warm sea, empty apart from a few families with buckets and spades. A breath-taking stretch of sand, the wind skimming and swirling the sand, stinging your ankles and looking like dry ice.
Norfolk is wonderfully remote and free of people - simplicity, big skies, space to think. The light is different so therefore the colours look clean and sharp. Can’t wait to go back.
(Please don’t all stampede there and spoil it!)
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From? September 11 2013, 0 Comments
Pookie's bicycle in the garden
Everywhere…….just looking out of the window at my garden right now, the rusty old bike with a wire shopping basket on the back, leaning up against the apple tree and dandelions growing out of the path.
I’ve always loved juxtapositions and contrasts that are unusual and quirky, coarse against smooth, precious against rough.
I think it all started at college (Camberwell School of Art and Crafts). My favourite print for my degree was of crocodiles whose mouths were tied up with stripy ribbons, I even had a screen made up that was just for printing the crocodile’s teeth, soft against spiky and scaly.
The best inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places; train journeys are mesmerising, all the colours whizzing past, telegraph poles, goods yards, trees, streaks of bright yellow rape seed fields.
My work has developed hugely over the years. I used to painstakingly draw everything and now with the digital revolution everything has speeded up and become more photographic. Anything is possible now - too much in a way - it’s easy to forget the beauty of simplicity. I love the sophisticated aesthetic of Japan - I spent 3 weeks there in the late 80s and it had a huge effect, the subtlety of colour they use and the stylisation of nature.
Travel is very important, even if it’s just getting on the train to Waterloo! It jiggles everything, seeing the unfamiliar.
Pookie in Arizona
Now I take trips deliberately to look for new ideas. The current summer collection was inspired by a trip to Arizona, the extraordinary plants and vast spaces, the Grand Canyon and the open road. Winter 2012 it was Paris, but the un-obvious things, the underbelly of the city, often the seedier side, neon lights in Pigalle, floating bottles and leaves in a fountain, layers of stickers on lamp posts, graffiti.
A weekend in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was inspiration for another summer collection. As a townie, it was totally not how I imagined the seaside to be. It had a beautiful bleached out simplicity and many unusual, not obviously pretty, things - the beauty of a thorny bush on a pebble beach, peeling paint on the side of a boat.
Sometimes it’s a risk, working in this way. “Occupy” – inspired by the protestors at St. Pauls, their amazing hand painted banners, knitwear, tents and alternative lifestyle - was not a success with UK stores but ended up being my bestseller as it sold really well in Japan, and surprisingly, Belgium.
When I was studying at Camberwell the tutors would go into ecstasy about things like torn posters. I can remember carefully working on my 10 screen fabulous (I thought) print onto pinned out silk and being so happy when a tutor came across to admire my work. “Beautiful”, he said with a look of rapture. He was referring to the places where the print had gone onto the backing cloth over faded out layers of other prints and blobs of dye. I now appreciate what he was showing me.
Pookie's Crocodile Print Camberwell School of Art and Crafts
Pookie on the beach in Aldebrugh, Suffolk