Five months since I left the beautiful studios and rural landscapes of Ayrshire and I'm starting to get itchy feet.
I've been searching for a local artist studio around Derbyshire for a few years, and although it hasn't been particularly difficult, I have been particularly picky.
Working with light as both a medium and concept for my work requires the need of both natural and artificial lighting in order to fully explore the potentiality of my painting, sculptures, and installations.
I came across Haarlem Art Space when working in Nottingham and happened to come across a fellow Derbyshire artist, Olivia Punnett, who told me all about her ideas, projects and inspirations about bringing more contemporary arts to the Derbyshire area.
As a newly renovated studio space with a great historic background I fell in love at first sight. Scotlands countryside living had followed me back home, as I discovered a space that also brought an inspiring landscape, rural settings and creative active spaces for artists.
From the 17th Century, Wirksworth was renowned for its Roman lead mining and quarrying. On the edge of the Peak District it Built in 1777 by Sir Richard Arkwright, a leading entrepreneur and inventor, sought to begin the Industrial Revolution in Cromford, which spread across several neighbouring towns across Derbyshire.
Haarlem Mill played a leading role in the developments of the Industrial Revolution as it became the first mill [in the world!] to utilise the power of steam. It became a flourishing textile mill of cotton and silks.
Lots more info on Haarlem Art Space website here!
With its persevered exposed beams, small casement windows and daylight toned lighting, it reminded me of the Dimplex Artist Studios I was last working at in Scotland.
Each studio is partitioned with moveable timber and plywood walls giving artists privacy yet communal space that encourages collaborative projects and cross-displinary practices. Although I have previously enjoyed a large independent studio with little distraction, I have always found productivity in communal studios. Similar to University art spaces, Haarlem offers artists talks, group crits, presentations, artist residencies and a social community amongst artists and creative professionals.
But of course I still went for a large space!