Arms Around The Child

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Pie Herring

November 2023 – March 2024

Introduction to Pie Herring  (Artists Residency Senya Beraku Ghana)

The vibrant and action-packed paintings of Pie Herring take centre stage in her latest exhibition, A Brush with Beraku; Paintings from a Ghanaian Residency. The collection reveals a dynamic series of figurative paintings created during her artist residency with Arms Around the Child (AATC). This charity, dedicated to providing safe homes, education, and support for children in need across the globe, offered Herring a unique opportunity to travel to Ghana and immerse her art practice within their mission.

Brimming with cultural richness and activity, Herring’s new body of work reflects the interplay of colours, rhythms and stories which defined her experience with the Ghanaian community. On view are a kaleidoscope of multi-figured paintings seeped in colourful activity. As well as a series of portraits which seamlessly merge classical techniques with a modern sensibility.

 

About the Artist

Herring, a celebrated name in contemporary figurative painting, is renowned for her ability to capture the dynamism of human experience and culture through her expressive brushwork and charismatic narratives. Her work explores themes of identity, community and human connection and is deeply influenced by her travels and residencies across the world.

Herring graduated from The Edinburgh College of Art in 2018 with a BA(Hons) in Painting. In 2019 her degree show work was awarded the Carnegie Scholarship at the Royal Scottish Academies New Contemporaries Exhibition. Later that year, her work was featured in the group show ‘Young London Painters’ held at Arthill Gallery.

In 2020, Herring was invited to Kenya with a group of artists to create work highlighting the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on rural communities in the North of the country. Subsequently, her work was exhibited in a group show at The High Line Nine Gallery in New York.

In 2021-2022, the artist moved to the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa. Later that year, she was invited by a small charity called The Milgis Trust to stay with the Samburu Tribe nestled within the Ndoto Mountains of Northern Kenya. Pie created a collection of paintings which were exhibited alongside photographer Migwa Nthiga at Matbronze Gallery, Nairobi in November 2022.

Pie has undertaken various artist residencies in her career. Most recently she was invited to Morocco as an artist in residence with Riad Alena, Marrakech. The residency culminated in a solo exhibition which raised funds for the local Fiers y Fort children’s home. Her time with the AATC Artist residency spanned a period of 5 months, ending in March 2024.

 

The AATC Residency 

During her residency Herring spent time exploring Accra’s contemporary art spaces and scenes. She was heavily inspired by the bold use of colour, intricate patterns and powerful cultural storytelling she observed throughout Ghana’s contemporary art scene.

Drawing on these influences, Herring embedded her practice alongside the lives and communities that the AATC serves to protect. Her studio was situated within the grounds of the children’s home and was visited regularly by lots of curious little people. She taught them various classes and was completely taken in by their own creativity. 

During her stay with the AATC Art Residency Herring also helped to establish the ‘Into the Wild’ inter-school art competition in Senya Beraku, Ghana. Recognising the potential of art to inspire and educate, Herring collaborated with our team on the ground and with local schools to create a platform where young students could express their creativity and explore themes related to nature and the environment. This initiative gained substantial support from Acrilex Art Shop in Accra, whose generous sponsorship provided essential art supplies and resources for the students as well as excellent prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place categories. 

Pie Herring received valuable support from Michael Harding and Pro Arte Brushes, who supplied essential materials for her stay with the AATC Art Residency. This backing enabled the artist to produce a series of workshops with the children teaching them how to create their own portraits and landscapes from oil.

The links below provide an exploration into the creation of Pie’s work in Ghana.

Senya – https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7UYiy0IdyS/  

Crafting the catch – https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cy5S3h4Ioag/ 

Two Bwoys – https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3GIf_jI1Zn/ 

Snoop – https://www.instagram.com/p/C6ooXfaItkk/ 

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Work’s made on Residency