When science and professionalism become art

chinese lanternsfor those of us with a research background, we know that the success of our work resides in attention to detail and rigourous recording of data, based on a keen knowledge of underlying principles. It was therefore with pleasure - and some trepidation when Heather Maunders, scientist turned artist asked me to provide her with basis of a new website design to display her work that she could continue to develop herself (see www.heathermaunders.com for the completed site).

Whilst the finished project gives some indication of her skills, the original artwork has to be seen to be really appreciated and the opportunity to do so exists over the next few weekends as Heather exhibits as part of the well established and renowned annual Cambridge Open Studios.

Last year, Heather exchanged the laboratory for a studio, so that she could, as an already successful painter, develop her ideas further. Having lived near Ely in Cambridgeshire for 18 years, her flower garden inspired much of Heather's work. Whether botanically accurate or in a more relaxed style, Observing flora's bold intensity of colour, sensuous rhythms created by movement or their ephemeral nature as they develop, mature and die provides limitless scope to produce vibrant and striking images.Equally at home with ink, pencil and acrylic, Heather's preferred medium is watercolour - because of its versatility, allowing different approaches from delicate transparency to bold layers of colour for impact.

The lure of Cambridge Open Studios is the direct interaction with the visiting public - a welcome adrenaline rush for any artist otherwise working in isolation for most of the time. Indeed it has also bitten a fellow Huntingdonshire Business Network member, Geertje Anderson. Geertje has been designing interiors since the early 1980's, although her interest and passion for design started long before. Being one of eleven children and coming from a creative family, she experienced designing, building and decorating from a very early age and, as a result, combined with professional training, interior design has become 'second nature'. The designer's eye is also revealed through her other passion, natural photography.

I'm giving exhibiting my own artwork and photography a miss this year, but I must also mention neighbour and friend, Alison Hullyer (http://www.hullyer.co.uk), who is now exhibiting for her 13th consecutive year. Alison is a successful freelance artist, illustrator and printmaker, working in the village of Milton near Cambridge, England. She uses various techniques in her work including pen and ink, oils and watercolours; Alison also uses and demonstrated some printmaking methods such as collography and dry-point.

At the recent Annual Greater Cambridge Partnership meeting, the creative sector in our regions was identified as the next skills area to be supported and developed in out region.

If you want to see the potential, then the next four weekends in July provide an unparalelled opportunity to visit up to 300 local artists in their studios; from amateurs exhibiting for the first time to renowned artists in their field.

Visit the Cambridge Open Studios website at http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk/ or pick up a local brochure to find out more.

Chris Thomas
Director Milton Contact Ltd
(online gallery at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/miltoncontact)

Enabling communication within a company, between companies and internationally through interpersonal

skills, text and images.

artists, Heather Maunders, Geertje Anderson, Alison Hullyer, Cambridge, open studios
Chris Thomas