Harlie Briggs: How Nature Inspires My Art
Artist and ceramicist, Harlie Briggs, tells us how escaping the city and immersing herself in nature inspires her work and nurtures creativity.
“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it” says creativity Expert, Sir Ken Robinson. And he’s right. Humans are extremely creative, but living in a busy and technology-filled world can overstimulate our brains and cage our creativity.
That’s why we’ve created the Unplugged Residency; a space where we welcome one creative each month to revel in their creativity and passion by locking away their devices and immersing themselves in nature.
Chapter 1 of the Unplugged Residency welcomes Harlie Briggs, a nature inspired artist who escaped to Otto.
I'm Harlie Briggs, an abstract nature and figurative artist and ceramicist. I am London born and raised but have always been destined to live in the countryside! I love slow practices, taking in all of the little moments and spending time outside surrounded by nature. Although primarily paintings, my work consists of a variety of prints, vases, pottery, clothing and homewares, such as tablecloths, too.
Nature is weaved throughout my work and life a lot. I left London and the end of Summer ‘22 and the benefits for my mental health have been immense. Although I'm in London a lot for work, returning to Epping Forest is the perfect haven for me, which is a place that inspires most of my abstract nature paintings. Earthy colours are at the forefront of my work, especially greens and browns, which I hope leaves the viewer relaxed and calm, bringing a little bit of the outside, in.
As somebody who really struggles with alone time and downtime, this was the perfect medicine for me (although I am never really alone with my dogs)! I had uninterrupted time to paint some small canvas paintings for my new collection coming up, which was crazy as usually my attention easily drifts and I am either checking my emails or being torn in different directions. I loved being cut off from the hustle and bustle of life and exploring a new area - I walked over to a farm shop and bought freshly cut dahlias from the farmer's garden and it made me so so happy.
“My attention easily drifts and I am either checking my emails or being torn in different directions”
Simply waking up and opening the blinds to endless trees and seeing how excited my dogs were too! I felt immediately calm, instead of the usual waking up to an aggressive alarm and thinking of my long to do list. The days felt long and were filled with wholesome activities!
I have always quoted this to my friends since the first day I saw it scrolling on Pinterest as a teen.
“It will all be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end”
It's just a lovely reminder that good things are always on the horizon and you will get through the tough times...maybe even more so if you're waking up in a cosy cabin with a hot brew haha!
Take a sneak peak into Harlie’s stay here.
You can also check out her beautiful artwork via her website: www.harliebriggsart.co.uk or via Instagram: @harliebriggsart_
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