Angela Sowden

Angela’s artwork will be on the cover of our ‘Pills’ pocket poetry pamphlet, out later this year. We caught up with Angela to find out some more about her and her work.


What’s your earliest memory of creating art?
What a great question! I have never really thought about it. I suppose it’s always been a part of my life since childhood. My earliest memories of creating art are centered around Christmas and Birthdays when one of the most awaited gifts would be a new bumper pack of multicoloured pencils or pens and a pristine pad of cartridge paper. A little piece of heaven! The rest of the Christmas holiday would be spent drawing…I think animals and birds were a favourite, even back then, plus it was the era of ‘Smash Hits’ so copying a photo of favourite pop star or actor was quite a thing for a while!

Have you always known you would be an artist?
I have always wanted to be creative and chose to follow a career in fashion initially at College. It soon transpired that this wasn’t for me and I was more suited to designing pattern rather than the clothes they go on. I have designed print for womenswear for over 20 years now. It never occurred to me back then that I could have been ‘just an artist’. That, in my eyes, would not pay the bills but designing for a finished product would. I have often wondered where fine art would have taken me had I pursued it seriously in my 20s. It was only in my late 30s that I became interested in fine art again. I wanted to make art for my own sake, for pleasure and as a kind of antidote to the relentless churn of the textiles industry. It feels like I have re-discovered a bit of myself!

What can you tell us about the painting on the cover of ‘Pills’?
It is only a small piece, about 7” x5”. I was playing around with coloured graphite and water. You can create some interesting effects by layering things up and rubbing things away with a putty rubber. I have always loved thistles…these just happened. Sometimes I plan ahead, but this was purely an experiment. They often have the nicest results because it allows for mistakes and spontaneity.

Who or what inspires you?
Mostly it is nature and the landscape around me that inspires. I walk a lot and am lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world. Clifftops, beach, estuary, woodland, and downs all just a walk away. I like trying to capture a moment or an atmosphere. I am particularly fond of printmakers such as Angie Lewin and Sarah Ross-Thompson and I love the work of Kurt Jackson.

What are your ambitions for the future?
Very simply, I would very much like to quit the textile industry altogether and be able to earn a living by fine art alone (I wonder how many artists dream of doing that!) and never stop exploring what can be achieved with a bit of paper and some inspiration!

pills, pocket poetry pamphlet

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