There’s something special about places you discover when you’re young, when you are travelling on your own and not with parents. That’s how my huge affection for Ludlow and the land bordering Wales took shape.
Many years ago, when I was 16 and should have been revising for exams, I took off with a couple of friends from our neighbourhood in London on a wonderful odyssey. We beat in Tewkesbury and walked (with a few hitchhiked lifts along the way) up to Shrewsbury. I had no idea what to expect and found places like the Long Mynd utterly breathtaking and loved the rolling countryside of Shropshire.
Ludlow was the place I adored the most. As we walked through the ancient arch and up the cobbled streets, gazing at the black and white buildings and the castle in the distance, I thought I’d stumbled into a fairy-tale place. Whenever possible, I make a point of returning the area and still feel the same thrill.
So, during lockdown, when none of us were going anywhere and I was stuck in my studio, I decided to take journeys through my imagination and memory. And thoughts of Ludlow and Shrewsbury bubbled to the top immediately.
I’m a paper collage artist and use all kinds of paper to create my work. I set up Papershades in 2017 after discovering a way to turn my art into a product — a paper lampshade made from my own paper collage designs. For the Ludlow and Shrewsbury Papershades I used a mix of wrapping paper, tissue paper, specially printed paper and bits torn from magazines.
It was a joy to reproduce the landmarks — beautiful bridges, the river, castle and the amazing architecture. But most of all I wanted to capture the atmosphere of these places and I hope that my love for Shropshire shines through these paper lampshades [pun intended], whether the lights are on or off!
My Papershades can be bought from the website and cost £25 each. They come as a flat pack and you have the fun of constructing them when they arrive — not complicated — and there’s a ‘how to’ film on the website.
For Let’s Go Ludlow I’m offering a buy one, get one free to the first four people who purchase a Papershade from my website. So you’ll have one Papershade for yourself and another to give to someone special, or someone like me who loves Ludlow or Shrewsbury! Just use the code: LETSGOPAPER20 when you purchase.