31 March 2012


I came across this record of a visit to Spurn and rather liked it.

The lighthouse seems to feature in most of the references I've found on flickr and elsewhere.  It is such a landmark and I suppose it is natural that it becomes the focus for how people think of the place (along with the aerial view that is often featured when people refer to Spurn).  It's great that YWT have received a grant for restoration of this characterful building. 

Second on the landmark list is the Spurn Low Light, seen here from the top of the old lighthouse.

I grew up across the water in Grimsby and Spurn point could often be seen on a clear day from the south side, in my memory particularly from Cleethorpes beach. Of course it was the lighthouse sticking up from the low-lying land of the peninsular that made that possible.

When I visited Spurn about this time last year on a gloriously clear, sunny day and Andrew took me up the lighthouse it was the Grimsby dock tower that I saw looking across the water.  And as I walked around the tip a couple of weeks ago it wasn't clear enough to see right across the mouth of the Humber but the activity of the ships coming back and forth, in and out of the estuary, grabbed my attention.  They move surprisingly fast and often look very precariously loaded up with containers. 

This one enjoyed a shaft of light for a moment amongst the greyness of the water and sky.

29 March 2012


I visited Spurn a couple of weeks ago to meet with Andrew Gibson and talk through some of the detail of my residency.  We talked for three hours then he went off to take a school group up the light house.  I walked round the tip of the peninsular from the west side of the lighthouse, past the life boat station

round onto the tip with its fast moving water and ever changing light,

up onto the east side, amongst the groynes that beg anyone with a camera about their person to capture all sorts of photographic cliches,

and beyond up the bleak east side with a persistent wind.

Always intrigued by patterns on the sand and the strange mix of rubbish washed ashore and mixed in with the natural beach material.

You can see more of the photographs I took here.  I decided not to draw, just to walk.  There is still a lot of planning to do before I start the project in late April, but it was good to get out there and start to take in the place that is going to be the focus of my attention for a good chunk of this year.

26 March 2012


Hello! I'm Alice and I am Artist in Residence at Spurn Point during this year. My residency is due to start very soon so I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm thrilled to be following on from the previous artists that have worked at Spurn - what a wonderful place to take inspiration from.  We've been unable to continue the previous blog used by Spurn Artists (link on the right) into this year's project, hence this new beginning.

I work mainly in textiles and printmaking. I completed a degree in Contemporary Surface Design & Textiles last year and am now working freelance as an artist. You can find out more about my work here and here. I use different print techniques in layers with hand stitch, sometimes using the stitches themselves to make texture for print. I am using paper a lot at the moment (many textile artists use paper): it is effectively a non-woven cloth, just like felt. I like the stiffness of it to stitch into.

I am committed to using colour from natural sources and like to experiment with mark making using colour directly from plant material and from rusty objects. Much of my recent work explores the kinds of marks that are found at the edge of water: the lines and ripples left on the beach; objects that have been discarded and sorted by the sea. I didn't set out to work to coastal themes but it is something that has developed over the past couple of years and now I have the opportunity to really bring these ideas together and explore Spurn, its detail and texture and its constant shifting of material.

My work is fairly abstract. There may be suggestions of recognizable things but really I'm interested in conveying a sense of something rather than depicting things as they are. I sketch a lot as a starting point to any project so some of the first things you will see from my time at Spurn will be drawings. I use drawing as a way of recording my experience of a place.

My background prior to being an artist was in nature conservation. I used to work for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust as one of the Otters and Rivers Project Officers. My first degree was in physical geography so my artistic practice has a firm backdrop in landscape and environmental issues.

I hope to keep this blog updated regularly during the next 6 months or so and I'd love to hear from readers who have followed the various artists in residence at Spurn or who have their own experiences of Spurn that they'd like to share.  What does Spurn Point mean to you?