Mark Charlton

photo artist cake portrait
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

The first time I saw one of Mark’s B12 Module paintings on my laptop,  I was hooked; so fascinated was I by the impression of an initial reality of what the future could be. In these artworks, the minute details, the delicate lines and shapes that complete a whole organic type structure floating in the darkest depths of space.  Painted in sunset oranges, pine greens, sand yellows, flame reds and baby pinks, yet almost comic book in style.  The titles of each painting alone are super imaginative, The vast Supernova Reaction, Titania Still Glowing, Cold Existence in Field of Stars could be telling us a narrative of our future. His first solo show in 2015 at the Brighton Art fair featured this series, and since then he appears at The Other Art Fair in London and Brighton twice a year.

Artwork painting art cake
The Vast Supernova Reaction; by Mark Charlton
Artwork painting art cake
The Glistening Red Nova Theory; by Mark Charlton
painting art artist cake
Pluto Calling; by Mark Charlton

Today in London, he has something completely different on display, I am looking at his Titan series, large artworks with a detailed collage of his own screen printing and painted paper applied on an Aluminium panels.  Mark’s works are never pre planned he tells me, exploring various techniques, such as applied mixed media, painting, screen printing, collage.  An early bird he is in the studio at 5am gradually building up his paintings, its emotional he explains, it’s the layering in his mind his love of texture, homing in on his execution, spending hours to create the proper surface, seven to eight hours straight in the studio wearing masks as he experiments with materials. The results are just beautiful.

artwork collage screen printing cake
Titan 133; by Mark Charlton
collage artwork screen printing cake
Titan 131; by Mark Charlton

Mark I would say on first impression is what I would call a cool Englishman, highly intelligent, he is an innovator, his grasp of subtle and complex humour, his interest in the surreal and quirky.  He started out as an animator, a career choice that he made after wanting to be a pilot at the Royal airforce and then changing his mind.  He is private, discreet, polite and very interesting.  Charlton studied at North East Wales Institute of Art and Design, gaining a BA Hons in Animation Design in 2001.  After his degree he taught animation in schools, became a freelance animator and graphic designer and then set up his own animation company.  Most of his clients were in the music industry, including the famous band Passenger as well as Frightened Rabbit. His business ran for several years, yet Charlton became frustrated with it and explains how he often felt that the creative control of his work was pressured with limited budgets spending hours at the animation desk. However very grateful for the time and opportunities he had working with many of the artists. He did decide on a different journey and rented himself a studio in Hove and started to create artworks.

artwork collage screen printing cake
Titan 132; by Mark Charlton

Mark was born in Margate Kent, his father was an Electrical Engineer so they traveled when he was young, he grew up in Bangladesh between the ages of two till five, then they moved to Jordan until he was eight, when the family moved back home to Sussex.  He has never left the area for long and speaks of his love of nature and spending time with it and how much he enjoys being close too the sea.  By contrast he also loves; arguably what some would regard as the slightly disturbing cartoon series Ren and Stimpy, from America in the 90’s; about the frighting psychotic Chihuahua and a docile cat.  The incredible 2001: Space Odyssey by Stanly Kubrick, and Sci-fi Eagle comics, from the 1950’s then re introduced in the 1980’s.   His love of aeroplanes, mechanics and architecture with a particular interest in a cold war brutalist style, Monoliths he tells me, and he loves concrete as a substance.

collage artwork screen printing cake
Titan 130; by Mark Charlton

 All these interests have a clear influence on his work, although each stage of his career as an artist has something completely unique, his B12 Module series and Titan. This year his paintings are what I would describe as sensuous wall sculptures, abstract again with the attention to detail, but this time not to only grab our visual senses but the desire to stroke and touch.  As he indulges me with his technique and materials, I stroke the silken texture of concrete and run my fingers over his work, across the lines and ridges that he painstakingly created.

artwork monolith concrete wall sculpture cake
The Brighthope Fragment 1; by Mark Charlton
Wall sculpture artwork conrete cake
The Brighthope Fragment 2; by Mark Charlton
Artwork painting cake art
Cold Existence in a field of Stars; by Mark Charlton

Charlton also runs a print company together with his partner Jackie who also manages the business side of his art.  He doesn’t like to be photographed and have his image placed on the internet, but he is open minded with the idea of trying to create an image of him without really showing him as he holds a piece of cake spiked on top of a fork.  All this as we are standing in the crowded Victoria House, whilst he is managing his stall and speaking to buyers.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

photo shadow cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Jo Pethybridge

 artist ceramics cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Vineyards in France, the Grand Canyon, the waves and ripples of water in the ocean or pine forests in summer and autumn, you are looking at ceramic art, the creations of Jo Pethybridge’s artwork.  I am looking at a bowl, and may I add, its not to be useful, this is what Jo explains to me.  The round shape alters the perspective of what is a vineyard or the ripples in sunlight on water, or her fishlike plates, star shaped dishes or what is the shape of vase.  Her work is different and none of her designs are the same, everything tells a different story, it is intricate and delicate yet bold and abstract and most defiantly contemporary.  “People keep telling me to make something useful” she tells me “I want to make something I really love and people who buy it really loves it”  and then she tells me a story of her most satisfying sale when a customer was so effected emotionally by a piece of her work, that she bought it.

Ceramics Artwork cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
ceramics art c-a-k-e
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
Artwork ceramics artist cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge

For Jo, art was an escape; although now retired from working as an Occupational Therapist and what earned her a living for a long time. It was creative in its own way and she loved it she explains “ I wanted to do something useful ” but it was also very stressful, ceramics was her therapy, a form of meditation.  Pethybridge and I talk about the making of her artwork and how she prepares the clay and how using her hands is one stage of the work.  Raised, to use her right hand when she is actually left handed; it was obviously cruel, however Jo looks at the positive and explains how subsequently, she can use both hands and that using her hands to dig in the earth as a child is the same when she is working the clay, very therapeutic.  We laugh at how we can remember being children and how some of us enjoyed getting down in the dirt and others were afraid to get dirty. “ The clay is my canvas ” she tells me, making them in batches, after moulding and baking and then the second stage the painting. 

Artwork ceramics artist cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
Ceramic artist art cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst
Artwork Ceramics artist cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
ceramic art artwork cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
ceramic art artists cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge

Jo started ceramics in her 20’s and graduated from art college in Newcastle, born in Birmingham, her father had immigrated from Poland after the war and married her Scottish mother.  Jo met her husband in Oxford, together making Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle their homes before moving back to London in 1996.  She has also traveled extensively, where much of her ideas have derived.  Jo spent time focusing on Motherhood taking time off work, to raise her two daughters and her son and now she is also a grandmother.  She took a diploma in Ceramics whilst her children were still very young and started creating and exhibiting, then returned to work as an Occupational Therapist.  Yet, there is more to Jo, she has always been an energy healer or therapist and practises yoga, she runs the Highgate Energy Healing Centre in London, and anyone can walk in.  She has also been  involved in the Women’s Centre in Kentish Town, giving some healing to African women,  who are here in England from very tragic lives, she explains, stranded in a country where they are not allowed to work until their asylum status comes through.  We had been talking about South Africa and how we both noticed that racism was still prevalent and that living in cosmopolitan London we are spoilt. “ But spoilt in a good way ” Jo adds. “ People are afraid of integration ” she points out and that London is an example of how it can work.

Ceramics Art Artwork cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
Artwork ceramics cake artists
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
Ceramics artwork artist cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge
artwork ceramics artist cake
Artwork: Jo Pethybridge

Pethybridge is a member of the East Finchley Open House and will be opening her house with other artists June/July 2019.  They are also holding an exhibition in November 50:50 at the Highgate Literary Society.  Currently she is thinking about applying to show at the Ceramics Art London.  Her next one is at Hornsey library with Islington Arts Society, which will be opened by Tristram Hunt, the director of the Victoria and Albert museum.  She has had many exhibitions and often works together with other artists teaming up and complimenting the differences in their work.  She enjoys the painting side of her ceramics the most, she explains and the reflection time to paint, sketching ideas or taking pictures from nature and everything around her, inspirations come from an array of different sources.  She emphasises how exhibitions give her something to work towards, that she particularly likes having a topic.  Then Jo reveals the importance of healing when she informs me how during a meditation session the reflection of the light around the candle became the inspiration around a pot design and confirms something I have always believed that you may learn a skill but creativity can never be measured. 

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Photography artist cake portrait
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst



Serena Korda

Artist installation art
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

The first installation work I viewed by Serena, I was mesmerised by a gigantic puppet show, with a giant monster that resembles a dinosaur moving gently. Slowly I realised that its movements were achieved by puppeteers each moving different parts of the monster; I didn’t notice this at first so enchanted was I by his movements.  The camera pans and a girl appears dancing, wearing ballet shoes, pale pink tights, over a tutu she is wearing a rounded ball of boobs.  She dances with the monster seducing him.  The installation ‘Aping the Beast’ was Serena’s first big solo show at Camden Arts Centre 2013.  Since then she has created shows over a vast array of topics and mediums, some among them The Jug Choir, Black Diamond, Missing Time, Laid To Rest, The Namer of Clouds and There is a Strange Wind Blowing.

Installation Art, Film, Puppet
Aping The Beast, Battle of the river: Serena Korda
Installation Art, film, dance
The Transmittirs: Serena Korda
Artist Installation Art
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Her work is extraordinary, it challenges every aspect of your psyche, it is science, altruism, philosophy, sound, cosmology, multiverse and mythical.  All her ideas stem from a reality and connects with an external idea, then she researches her concepts before implementing her artworks.  Often working on different projects at a time, her projects involve sound engineers, morse code, sound healers, mystics, mathematicians and scientists.  She includes musicians, who might be a local choir whom she records to embody the sound of elves, or members of the public chiming her porcelain mushroom bells. Recording sounds of the universe from homemade radio telescopes and replicating sound resonators inspired by acoustic sound mirrors that were used as pre-radar devices.  Serena created a series of these dishes each weighing a hefty 40 kilograms for Missing Time.  Nothing breaks more boundaries than Serena’s work and yet all of it resonates some form of common sense and thinking, that everything in the universe is interconnected. 

Installation art, Artist
Black Diamond: Serena Korda
Installation Art, Artist
Missing Time: Serena Korda


Artist Installation art
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

She tells me about how her devoted mother encouraged her when she realised her drawings at five were well beyond any other child of that age.  She was additionally very academic and as Serena puts it to me, a nerdy swat.  We had just taken a series of portraits in her studio and garden in Hoxton, when we chat over lunch after our shoot.  Speaking rapidly about her work and then more reflective when I ask about her personal life, her Jewish upbringing, the challenging relationship with her Hungarian father who taught her  a strong work ethic and his passing two years ago whilst she was working on Missing Time with the Norman Lipman/Baltic Fellowship at Newcastle University.  She explains how as an electrical engineer he was initially discouraged by her choice of profession, “ He didn’t get my work at first ” Serena states.  Her deep love and respect for him and his accomplishments is very obvious as she sneaks a photo to me of her parent’s wedding.  I notice how Serena’s eyes are the beautiful sharp blue like her mother with a jet of thick dark hair, and her classically sculptured jawline like her father.  

Mushroom Porcelain bells
Hold Fast Stand Sure, I scream a Revolution: Serena Korda
Installation Art, Contemporary Artist
Laid To Rest, The Procession: Serena Korda

Serena attended Middlesex university in Fine art at the age of 19, following her graduation she began teaching and eventually decided to embark on an MA at the Royal College of Art, so she could focus on her own work.  She concentrated on printmaking and expanding her ideas of film and performance art, “ I was never satisfied by just putting things on a wall” Korda explains choosing performance, was about making objects come to life.  One of her earliest works, in Bow, East London in 2004, Old Mens Flesh, is akin to an anthropological study, Korda explains it’s about machismo, chivalry, tattoos, embroidery and relationships with people.  Serena’s ‘Hold Fast, Stand Sure, I Scream a Revolution’, first shown at Glasgow International 2016, is a breathtaking installation on symbiotic relations, her work with mushrooms, fungi and their important role in communicating to different plant species in the forest.  This symbiosis is a recurring theme in her work and in the works that inspire her such as the book The Third Policeman by Flan O’Brien, which she describes as fusing pseudo science and imagination.  Then I think about her ‘Library of Secrets’ or the ‘ The Prognosticator’ as she films in a Hitchcockian style the relations between an owner and her black cat. 

Film, artwork, black cat, cake
The Prognosticator: Serena Korda
Installation Art, Artist, Cake
There is a Strange Wind Blowing: Serena Korda
Installation art, film, dance
The Hosts: Serena Korda

Currently she is working with the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill.  The Lore of the Land, is an exhibition co-curated by The Collective featuring Korda’s work ‘ Sensitive Chaos’.  This new work sits alongside objects from the Hornimans anthropological collection challenging our anthropocentric view of the natural world whilst highlighting plant and water consciousness.  This combines sculpture and a soundscape made up of plant signals that have been put through synthesisers.  The coming together of science and art, and how all cultures actually come to the same conclusion, plants are powerful.  Then just before we leave she tells me how she included her fathers voice on  Missing Time.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artist Instalation art
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst,  Hair and Make-up: Aston Davies

Ignacio Lalanne

photo portrait artist cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

The first painting I saw by Ignacio Lalanne, I was taken by the expression of a portrait of a man’s face, with large deep soulful tragic eyes and pink puckered lips, in almost a heart shape, with rose coloured cheeks as if too much make-up had been applied and a straight bold bone structure with dark rigid lines.  It has elements of a stained glass window, a definitive Romanesque influence, completely pulled apart and put back together to be something completely unique.  As you continue to peruse his other works, from his portrait of Queen Elizabeth I  to his Matador holding his hat, or his painting of a lady with tied up gold hair in a black gothic dress, his style activates and grabs your soul.

artwork painting artist cake
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
Painting Queen Elizabeth 1 cake artist
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
painting matador contemporary artist
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
Artist painter cake Argentina
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

His influences came early as he grew up in beautiful San Isidro on the river, Río de la Plata, translated, River of Silver, in Buenos Aires, visiting the La Iglesia Del Pilar church every Sunday as a boy with his elegant grandmother.  He paid attention to the fine choreography in the woodwork and embroidered statues, he tells me, as we sit outside South Kensington having a coffee and water in the evening sun.  That was the first layer of the inner core of his artwork, he explains.

Painting art cake artwork
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne

Then tragedy struck the nine year old boy with the death of his mother; isolated and confused he started reading, a deep interest in theology and spiritualism embroiled itself.  After finishing High School in Buenos Aires, he took his back pack and as a free spirit ventured on his quest through Asia.  Two months ended up as being one year, India, Pakistan, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.  India stood out on this quest for knowledge,  working with Saint Mother Theresa’s charitable organisation at the holiest of the seven sacred cities, Varanasi.  He searched for higher knowledge through Hatha yoga as well as exploring traditions of the world.  During this pilgrimage he developed a passion for Japanese art and whilst in India he read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse as well as poems by Rumi.  What he discovered is that beauty and pain come together as one.  “The Lotus grows in dirty water” he tells me, and with this awakening, ” It was as if I had to throw up all this beauty and decided to paint.”  He pulls his palms out to express the release as he says this, the decision happened India, when he decided to study art.

Artist painting artwork cake
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
painting sailor contemporary art
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne








painting Goddess India
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
Artist portrait painting
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne

In 2001 when Argentina had its financial crisis, Ignacio had to leave Pakistan on his fathers bequest and come to London to sort out family affairs; visiting his Godmother who lived in Gloucester Road.  London started to become his base, working in pubs to save for a foundation course at Kensington and Chelsea then studying fine art in Central Saint Martins.  Other jobs included working in the reception in an apartment block, where he made friends with a gentleman, who was deeply taken by Ignacio’s diligence as the young student sat with books and notes studying in the back during shift breaks.  The man offered to cover a large percentage of his tuition costs.  Lalanne looks at me intently and explains how surprised he was that someone who doesn’t know you can trust you and see something in you.  He tells me about the three most important influences in his life, to whom he is most grateful; his partner, his best friend and his sponsor. 

Artwork artist painting cake
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
photo artist painter cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

After graduation Lalanne, made his roots here in London, Ignacio hired a studio and started his own practice in now trendy Bow, East London.  With plenty of Exhibitions under his belt, he has made a reputation for himself, however he has felt isolated in his studio at times and didn’t want his art just to be a commodity.   So Ignacio studied mindfulness and theology, and he now uses art as form of healing and meditation as he sees art as a window into our inner soul, recently visiting a spiritual retreat in Ibero, Spain, where he was giving mindfulness workshops.  

art artworks painting cake
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne
Artwork artist painting cake
Artwork: Ignacio Lalanne

We talk more about his art and influences, and he tells me Egon Schiele is an artist whose work he loves, Mugal art, Cusco School as well as Tudor Court paintings.  He tells me about paradox, referencing a visit to Israel, and that he saw the most beauty, most absurdity and the most sacredness.  The alpha and omega, the beauty and ugliness, and the many layers in a painting.  Then he gazes at me intently after describing his mother and how she reminded him of Lisa Minelli in Cabaret, and quotes the book by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The little Prince, “ The essential is invisible to the eye ” . 

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artist painter cake photo
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst


Miriam Lucia

Producer director actor Miram Lucia CAKE
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst
Sam Shepard, theatre plays writer
Encounters with Sam Shepard

Went to see ‘Encounters with Sam Shepard’, a medley of four distinct pieces of Sam Shepard’s work: “Cowboy Mouth”, an autobiographical piece about his relationship in the early 70’s with Patti Smith; ‘Action’, surreal anti Vietnam war piece set in a haunting post apocalyptic world; ‘True West’  a complex relationship between two brothers. ‘Savage/Love’, a set of monologues trying to capture what romantic love is.

This slick production Directed and produced by Miriam Lucia, actor and founder of the Clerkenwell Actors studio, engaged the audience in tense drama that encompassed difficult, emotive often humorous and frighting aspects of human nature, which also revealed our own complexities; the direction and superb performances made me forget where I was.

Theatre producer director sam Shepard
Savage Love, Sam Shepard, CAS Production
Director producer theatre performance
Savage Love, Sam Shepard, Directed Miriam Lucia
Director producer theatre performance
True West, Sam Shepard, Directed Miriam Lucia
theatre performance director producer
Cowboy Mouth,Sam Shepard, Directed by Miriam Lucia
Theatre performance director producer
Action, Sam Shepard, directed by Miriam Lucia

There is an opening title on the poster advert, a quote by Sam Shepard – “I hate endings. Just detest them…The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning.  That’s genius!” –  It could also be a mantra for Miriam’s own journey, which starts in Melbourne Australia.  Her parents, both from Northern Italy, met in Trieste.  Her father, a Photojournalist, met her Mother in the dark room.  Her father left for Australia in 1956 and her mother joined him a year later.  Miriam was born in Melbourne. She commenced her actor training under Helmut Bakaitis, the then artistic director at the St Martins Youth Theatre in Melbourne.  Miriam moved to London at the age of 22 and worked in bookshops and continued auditioning and taking classes.  Met her husband and together they journeyed on to live in Bristol, Sheffield, Florida and Amsterdam, starting over each time and always keeping her finger in the drama pie.

Theatre director producer cake
Scene from Cowboy Mouth, directed by with Miriam Lucia
Sam Shepard actor writer director cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

In Amsterdam Miriam plunged into her career now her two sons were at school.  She met some great creatives in this cultural and popular city, in a few months she was acting, directing and producing her own work alongside working as a dialect coach for some big films. (Glenn Close and Julie Christie were amongst her clients).  She won a bid for a theatre space, started producing and performing several plays “pulling in all her resources” and then went on to set up her first theatre and film company, Minor Miracle Productions.  Alongside her theatre productions she started producing short films fuelled by her work with the Mauritz Binger institute in Amsterdam, a screenwriting institute.  Some of her films were shown at the Cannes and Venice film festivals.

Theatre production director
An Evening on the Couch, directed and produced by Miriam Lucia, CAS Production

Then, boom, another beginning and they are back in the UK and the door revolves the year is 2004. 

Producer director actors american writers
Miriam with her American writers, Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

“Who am I now?” is what Miriam tells me she asked herself, and with that she decided to get back into the UK scene as an actor, found a new agent, started getting theatre work and decided to do an MA in actor training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.  Whilst writing her dissertation she took on the role of understudy for Leslie Manville at the formidable Old Vic Theatre in ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ so that she could interview and observe closely the actors’ process as research for her dissertation.  Interviewing Jeff Goldblum, amongst others, was a real highlight.  Miriam also stepped in several times for Leslie Manville during the run.

Miriam Lucia
Miriam Lucia in Kitty’s Fortune
Actor Miriam Lucia
Miriam Lucia in Guardians of the galaxy

Miriam is an international, having being born and grown up in Australia, she knows that her background inspires and influences who she is and how she works.  She loves being in Europe but also has a great love for American playwrights and film makers, she admires and adheres to the American attitude towards continuing to develop as an actor by taking classes regularly throughout ones career.  In fact this was the inspiration for starting The Clerkenwell Actors studio (CAS) as an ongoing training space for professional actors.  It has evolved into a strong company of actors.  This is something she is very proud of, she believes in constantly challenging yourself as an actor and director.  Her most recent directing work with CAS, includes “An Evening with Tennessee Williams, several mini play Fests producing new writing, and “An evening on the couch ” extracts from David Mamet’s work. 

Theatre director producer cake
Mini Play Fest, Directed by Miriam Lucia, CAS production
theatre production CAS cake
Strawberries in January, directed by Miriam Lucia CAS production

As an actor Miriam has most recently worked on the upcoming BBC series ‘Bodyguard’ and ITV series ‘Girlfriends’  Film includes ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘One Chance’.  Who knows what is coming next.  This is not an industry where one can plan too much ahead but one has to feel inspired and creatively fulfilled to stay in it. 

James Corden film director actor
Miriam Lucia with James Corden in One Chance

“Being the creator of your own work is hugely satisfying and makes me feel totally alive and energised” she says, her next plan is to make a short film of Cowboy Mouth, in the pipeline for October.

Sam was right  “The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning.” 

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

photography director producer cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst, Hair and Make-up: Becky Buriton

Nayan Kisnadwala

Photography art artist banker guru
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

I am looking at this painting bright silver on vibrant cyan red, of two tropical birds mirroring each other and detailed patterns almost like decorations surrounding each bird as it appears perched on a rose.  I gaze at another image of spirals and circles that form a pattern like a rose set in hopeful gold.  Art and geometry or art and maths, this is what artist Nayan Kisnadwala talks to me about when we meet.  Sacred geometry, he explains is everything in nature, a rose, a flower, nature is perfect geometry, it is the repeating circular movement, as he turns his hand a few times in a circular motion.  I am staring at another painting of roses in the moonlight, one of his series for his upcoming exhibition, the roses are delicate and the leaves shimmer, when Nayan enlightens me with something beautiful, “Gold represents the sun, the sun represents the soul, the moon represents the mind and the coming together of soul and mind is meditation”. 

Painting Artwork Nayan Kisnadwala
Artwork: Nayan Kisnadwala
Artwork artist painting gold geometry cake
Artwork: Nayan Kisnadwala

Always very good at art and maths at school, he had to choose between both his love of maths and art, he decided to choose maths and finance and turned away from his passion for art, he tells me how he was highly ambitious and that he wanted to succeed, and chose a career in banking.  An MBA at New York University Stern School of Business, completely focused on his success, his ambitions paid off and his life has been happy and balanced with constant travel, collecting art, as well as living in a long list of several cities around the world, including New York, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Lonavla, Houston and Kennett Square in Pennsylvania.  His base is a home in New York, Mumbai and London that he shares with his wife Sonal, and his daughter Karnika Kisnadwala. He married his wife Sonal in New York in 1986, it was during this year he also met Her Holiness GuruMaa Jyotishanand Saraswati at her Ashram, that his spiritual journey also began.

Photo artist banker guru cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Nayan trained in art with the tutelage of David Cranwick, who with a few lessons, turned on his ‘art switch’ like Guru’s do.  When he paints he chants Shri Hanuman Chalisa or listens to the classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj  or Rattan Mohan Sharma, his canvases are his meditation from the universal energy stored in his subconscious mind.  Mesmerising artworks that you will stare at, as the pictures pull you towards them drawing you in.

Artist art painting cake
Artwork: Nayan Kidnadwala

“Nayanmitra Art is spiritual in nature, where I combine learnings and symbols of all philosophies and religions of the world ” he explains, that he has learned that all religions are fundamentally the same and that people just misinterpret them, in his art he combines sacred geometry, colour therapy, numerology to create pieces of art to help with visualisation and positivity.

art artist banker cake
Artwork: Nayan Kisnadwala
painting roses art cake
Artwork: Nayan Kisnawalda

His recent works for his next exhibition are roses, acrylic on canvas; roses are perfect geometry, the selfless creation of God, a beautiful array of colours and fragrances, and are used as offerings to God because of the emotions they represent.

Art artist banker cake guru
Artwork; Nayan Kisnadwala

His parents were originally from Mumbai, but later migrated to Nigeria; however, Nayan grew up in Mumbai where he was born and he reveals that they had humble beginnings and that studying and education was the way out; he tells me that Indians had very little disposable income at the time during his youth to make money in art. 

Artist artwork cake Kisnadwala
Artwork: Nayan Kisnadwala
silk scarf fashion painting
Scarf: Nayan Kisnadwala

However, five years ago in his early 50’s whilst walking through Soho he walked into an art shop and decided to start painting again.  He booked a gallery space for one year later, he filled the gallery with 36 artworks, inviting friends, relatives and colleagues and 50% of all works were sold in one day, donating the proceeds to three different charitable organisations, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.  Meanwhile, he has since completed more than 201 artworks and has held nine exhibitions in London, New York and Mumbai.  He is also a floral artist, and introducing Nayanmitra Scarves in the near future.

Interview; Antoinette Haselhorst

artist photography art
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

He refers to himself and Sonal as being global nomads, citizens of the world and how travel equals education.  Nayan’s passing words to me before I leave for the day is that life is full of ups and downs, if you deal with both of them with same emotions, then you have equanimity.  Accept the rose with its thorns! 

Artist artwork painting Guru banker
Artwork: Nayan Kisnadwala

 I now recognise the symbol of Aum or Om, as some of us know it, it’s in many of his paintings. Aum, a primordial sound, represents the coming together of the soul, represented by the first alphabet of Aatma (soul) in Sanskrit, and the symbol for moon (mind), and the curved line joining both to reflect the meditative state! 

Photography artist Guru banker Cake
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst


Kimberley Gundle

Kimberley Gundle
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

I first saw an exhibition of Kimberley’s work exhibited at Art First in London in 2009 titled ‘A Slice of London’.  I remember looking at these paintings and thinking, these are views of a South African seeing London as some Londoners can’t; Londoners believe they are progressive thinkers, yet these paintings are an illustration of how London really is in a traditional sense and how a foreigner may view this city, juxtaposed with what is about to happen or what passes you by somewhat like the film Sliding doors with Gwyneth Paltrow.   Kimberley moved to London in 1988, she lives in a leafy suburb with her family, her studio overlooking the back of the garden. 

Artwork by Kimberley Gundle
Slice of London, Kimberley Gundle
Ceramics Sculpture artwork
Ceramics sculptures, Kimberley Gundle

I first met Kimberley in primary school in Johannesburg South Africa, as friends we played together, visiting each other’s homes after school.  At the age of 12 we both went our separate ways, completely lost touch and never saw each other again until we both turned 47 and bumped into each other at friend’s house in London. Hard to explain what that feels like to meet someone again that you remember only as a child.  Slowly getting to know each all over again as mature woman, whatever that means really.  

Artwork art contemporary art photo portrait
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Gundle’s home and studio invites an unparalleled feeling of escapism from grey city pavements and beige -washed walls, with an interior shaped by her artistic vision, swathed in intense colour and eclectic décor.  The perfect backdrop for our photo shoot.  We sit down at her kitchen table (which she designed and painted) sipping coffee and chatting before the shoot.  Then over lunch, I am updated about her work inspired by the Maasai tribes of Kenya and Tanzania.

Maasai drawing by Kimberley Gundle
Maasai artwork, Kimberley Gundle


It has been almost a decade since Kimberley Gundle first encountered the Maasai, semi-nomadic pastoralists of East Africa. She continues to be captivated by the physical adornment of these bold and dignified people living a fragile existence in a changing world.  Gundle’s  first experience of the Maasai was during a charity hike across the Great Rift Valley in 2009, where she witnessed their struggle for survival during a terrible drought. Yet the woman were magnificently adorned in their ornate beadwork and flowing cloth.  She has resided in many remote settlements, making drawings and taking photographs of Maasai communities in both Kenya and Tanzania,  absorbing their culture and tradition.  She explains how she feels like an anthropologist recording a culture and tradition, that is slowly being eroded by the changing world: some positive and some negative changes. 

Painting artwork artist Maasai
Maasai collection, Kimberley Gundle
Art sculpture artwork
Maasai series, Kimberley Gundle

Physical adornment is integral to Maasai culture and tradition.  Kimberley celebrates the beauty of the Maasai.  The Victorian Art critic John Ruskin states “cameos are miniature sculptures.’’  In the cameo series Kimberley depicts each member of the Maasai community within this oval shape to reference historical miniature paintings.  Traditional cameos often depicted royalty, and could be presented within a locket.  The oval shaped portrait makes each work feel small and loved, a keepsake.  She wanted each portrait to feel special and preserved within the cameo; likened to a loved one, worn close to the skin, kept warm, shielded and protected.  Portrait miniatures reflected the social history of the times. Whilst her portraits may not be in miniature form they encapsulate the essence of the miniature.  Like a loved one, the existence of the Maasai people, their culture and tradition needs to be preserved, protected and cherished.  In October 2018, Kimberley will  be exhibiting a series of detailed bronze sculptures set onto reclaimed wood, the reclaimed wood having had a former life works well with the pieces as both have a story.

a series of detailed bronze sculptures set onto reclaimed wood,
Sculpture  Kimberley Gundle
Artwork painting contemporary artist
Painting Maasai collection, Kimberley Gundle

A percentage generated from the sale of all her work returns to the communities.  She has recently completed funding a water project bringing fresh water to 5000 in the Ololosokwan community in Tanzania. Kimberley has been invited to exhibit installations inspired by the Maasai at Palazzo Bembo during the Venice Biennale 2013, 2015 and 2017.  This year Kimberley Gundle will be having an exhibition end of October in London at the A&D gallery 51 Chiltern Street, London W1 6LU.  The sales generated from this exhibition will go to Enkiteng Lepa School in Kenya which Kimberley Gundle visited in June 2018.  This school  provides education and a safe-haven for girls, rescuing them from FGM and protecting them from early marriage.  It was founded by Helen Nkuraiya.

minature sculpture contemporary art
Sculpture, Kimberley Gundle

Kimberley majored in Psychology and Fine Art. After completing her postgraduate in Fine Art at Michaelis in Cape Town she moved to London for her Postgraduate at The Slade School of Art completed in 1990.  Kimberley has lived and worked in London ever since. Her work is a combination of both her understanding of the psychology of people and being an artist.  Figurative as opposed to abstract, colour and line is what matters she tells me.  As demonstrated in her series of paintings ‘Below the knee’ she explains the thoughts behind this concept to me “You cannot choose your face, but you can choose the shoes you wear.” These portraits are about lifting the lid of the letterbox revealing an intimate part of who we are.  She often has commissions by families who want their portraits done this way. 

artwork painting Maasai cake
Maasai, Kimberley Gundle

Her artwork extends to scarves and clothing printed with her works of the Maasai, and silk rugs colourfully designed with each commission almost as a portrait of her clients character she once explained to me.  Kimberley reflects a strong work ethic and responsibility, extremely gracious and humble.  Mother of three girls and a marriage coming up to 30 years.  However when you meet her everything about her is progressive and colourful, she is constantly on the move, always creating, frequently traveling, open minded and stretching boundaries.

She exhibits internationally. Recent exhibitions include 2017 Venice Biennale , Palazzo Bembo, Head of Society German Ambassador’s Residence London, 2016  SCOPE Basel, Johannesburg FNB art Fair, Discerning Eye London, 2015  Venice Biennale , Palazzo Bembo2015,2013. 

Portrait photograph artist CAKE
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson on Waterloo Bridge
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Sometimes you meet people who no matter what they put their mind to, just think out the box. I remember the advertising industry in the 80’s  and 90’s when the UK produced the best adverts in the world.  Everyone looked to this place for inspiration and no-one could do it as well as them.

I met someone who was equally inspired by this world, at an exhibition opening, Richard Wilson who enjoyed a career in advertising and was the mind behind ‘Care for the Rare’ a creative programme for global brand J&B Rare to help save rare species.  Perhaps one of the advertising campaigns which led the way to our awareness of endangered animals and acknowledged by Prince Charles at a midsummer party at Highgrove.

Care for the Rare brand

Richard Wilson Care for the Rare
Care for the Rare
Richard Wilson
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Richard is now predominantly a filmmaker, directing, producing, editing but still works as a creative consultant.  Richard’s filmmaking journey began when he was working for WWF as a brand and creative consultant. 

Riche Rich productions Wonderful World
Wonderful World

He worked closely with inspirational film director, Ossie (Osbert) Parker, to create the most heart wrenching film a ‘Wonderful World’.  The film flips the memorable lyrics of Louis Armstrong’s iconic song to emphasise how the human race is destroying the planet.  The film paid for itself before it was launched and was adopted by the WWF global network as their new brand film.  It was later partnered by Disney for their film, Brother Bear. 

Film by Richard Wilson and Osbert Parker
Our Living Planet

Richard worked with Parker to produce another successful film for WWF Our Living Planet’ and this gave him the confidence and appetite to shoot some films for himself.  In 2005, armed with a simple camcorder, a laptop and a hunger to explore Africa, he headed off to Ethiopia, Mali and Morocco and made his own film.  Just like that.  The result is an extraordinary collaboration of various cultures converging with the most exotic locations in breathtaking footage edited into a nativity story.

WWF animation Richie Rich Productions
One Planet Future
animation One Planet Future
One Planet Future

One of Richard’s favourite films is his animation ‘ One Planet Future’ for WWF made and illustrated by primary school children.  A beautiful example of how innocent illustrations can capture our emotions and consequently the result is a compounded message, more powerful than you would expect.

Richard Wilson on his scooter with CAKE
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Richard is the genuine free spirit, impelled to follow his own calling and find meaning in his work.  He resigned from a senior job in advertising to explore his spiritual and creative quest in the nineties.  After a short trip to South India to ‘think things through’ he decided to return to London, set up as a consultant, and use his advertising skills to help causes he cares about. His first challenge was to build Care for the Rare into a successful global programme

Trouble a film by Ben Steel

Richard also works with aspiring young filmmakers – writers, directors and actors – mentoring them and helping them to create poignant, stories, like ‘Jasmine’ and  Trouble’  which was nominated and screened at the London Short Film Festival 2014.

Film by Richard Wilson
Seconds Out

With any creative person and their ideas is the devotion to what they do and the discipline. Although Richard is a free spirit it’s his sense of community, diversity and understanding of the world as it truly is that gives him meaning, provides him with his own niche and shapes his creative ideas.

Richard Wilson Film Maker
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Jonathan Wright

Artist Jon Wright
photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

If you go down to the sea in Hove you will notice a new installation, looking up at the sky the gold shimmers against the blue, the sculpture is like a golden charm bracelet, a skateboarder, a beach hut, a windmill, a ship, a seagull, all gracefully moving in the wind or breeze twinkling at you.  It appears delicate like a baby’s mobile that hangs above a crib, each object turning aimlessly.  It is strong and solid however ready to withstand all gales and hurricanes that should hurl their way across the UK, as it stands 3 meters on a 3 meter solid plinth.  You may have seen it in the news recently, as this famous seaside town presented the ‘Constellation’ for ‘Fourth Plinth’,  the sculpture, a model of planets orbiting, created by award winning contemporary artist Jonathan Wright

Constellation by artist Jonathan Wright

Jonathan once a local Crouch Ender borne and raised, attended the reputable Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ in London, although there was no spare cash in the bank with Jonathan’s single mother, she astutely had her two sons, Jonathan and his elder brother, sit exams for them to obtain their scholarship for this prestigious school.  He tells me how much he loved the school and the size of the art department, smiling his ever charismatic smile, that gets the girl on the opposite side of the road to reverse her car into another, as she tried to catch his eye with him through the car window, this had me laughing loudly.

Artist Jonathan Wright
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

He is understated and humble but ferociously intelligent.  He builds most of the art himself, a secret engineer, scientist, and carpenter he received a 100% in a biology exam that no one had ever accomplished but Jonathan is an artist first.  He tells me, he already knew he wanted to be an artist age nine. Always drawing in school, and when you are good at something people reinforce it, he says.  His inspirations are looking up and being grateful. 

I ask Jonathan about his golden boats, ‘Fleet on foot’  that you see curated along Tontine Street, high up on posts.  3D printed replicas, of actual boats with a history in this town, covered in 24 carat gold leaf, complimenting the paintwork of edwardian architecture in pretty Folkestone.  This is his new home since eight years, with his wife, actress Zigi and their two children Archie and Daisy.  Jonathan also has two elder children from his first marriage, Lottie 22 and Rufus 24.  His inspiration for ‘Fleet on Foot’ came from the golden lions in St Marks’s Square, Venice, he explains.  

Art work Jonathan WrightFleet on FootFleet on

What fascinated me abut Jonathan, when I ask him about this work, is that he gave me a whole new meaning about how to understand boats, educating me on what the hull actually does.  The pressure from the water below versus the weight from above, as I gaze at another art work in his studio ‘Hulls’, the sculptures are boats that are open on one side to reveal the hollow structure, the other inscribed with words.  One of them from Hemingway’s book Old Man and the Sea, the other sculpture the emotionally charged words from broken refugees fleeing Syria to come to Italy.

Water tanks Jon Wright
Artist: Jonathan Wright


Artist Jonathan Wright
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

His other passion is clear as he patiently explains how incredible water tanks are, as we discuss his paintings of them, the engineering, the energy they provide, the importance of living near water and why they stand high up tall on iron stilts.  His respect of water tanks and celebrity as an artist now has his work permanently featured in Folkestone as well.  The sculptures, known as the ‘Penthouses’ not one, but five of these artworks shine in silver in strategic parts of this seaside town.  Some large, that stand above the former public baths of Folkestone following  the small and sometimes disappearing Pent stream others almost hidden above buildings and the final one at the mouth of the stream going into the harbour, where we take one of the last portraits.  He shows me all of them as he takes me around Folkestone, giving me the guided tour, including a visit to the previous residence of the late  H G Wells. You have to come to Folkestone to find them, and his golden boats.

PenthousesPenthousesPenthouses Folestone

Artist contemporary Jonathan Wright
Harnessing light by Jonathan Wright

Jonathan graduated at Middlesex University, Chelsea and Royal College of Art, only to become a senior lecturer himself, teaching at Middlesex, RCA and Chelsea for 12 years, which clarifies why he is so good at engaging your interest.  He then began focussing more on being an artist himself painting for about seven years and working on shows, it is during this time  when I first met him, and encouraged him during a party session to contribute to the book, Reflections on Nelson Mandela: Icon of Peace,  later he turned to sculpture.  Accomplished as an art director for film, advertising and TV, including Candy Crush,  he is predominantly established as one of the United Kingdom’s respected artists, showing his work internationally, New York, Lisbon, Belgium, Madrid and at home at the  Folkestone Fringes, Triennial,  plus many awards under his belt, including the prestigious 3-D Verbier residency, three months in Switzerland with everything paid for.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Jon Wright on the beach in Folkstone
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Elspeth Gliksten


Marie Antoinette Cakes dog corsett
photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

I took a friend of mine to see Ellie’s work exhibited in North London, and whilst we ate our salads and enjoyed a deep dark slab of gluten free chocolate cake, we observed Ellie’s work.  Colourful and thought provoking collage; layers of it, and it’s the layering of it that makes some of the pieces really interesting.  On closer inspection you will see how they layer over and over each other, whilst revealing sections of earlier work – the hidden subject is something that intrigues.  Another aspect of Ellie’s work is the surreal, and English people love lateral thinking.

Artwork glass mirror cake
Remover of Obstacles, by Elspeth Gliksten

You will notice her work is all about India. Indian images, Indian art and culture. It’s obvious and it’s a question how a blonde, petite, lively creative, super exuberant, open minded and liberal has found her inspiration from India.  Most of her work thus far is of Indian inspiration.  So of course I ask her, as anyone would, if she has been to India and she tells me of one of her several trips to this country, a month long back packing adventure around Rajasthan.  Not only with her husband but their then two year old daughter, Nell, seven year old, Al and nine year old, Grace.  They toured this exotic country, famous for its religions, spices, history and all that is colourful, beautiful and exotic, but all that is hot and over populated, sticky and sexist.  Yet I don’t know anyone who hasn’t wished to go there and do know people who have been lucky enough to visit, however, not enough to inspire most of your art work.  So I dig deeper…

Collage art India
Collage artwork, by Elspeth Gliksten

Idi Amin, we all remember him as the notorious murderer, president, psychopath, power hungry leader of Uganda in the 1970’s.  So Ellie explains about growing up in Leicester. During her childhood the Gujarati Indians, who had been kicked out of Uganda and forced to emigrate to the United Kingdom, were sent to Leicester to reside and start a new life in safety.

collage art cake m
Collage artwork, by Elspeth Gilksten

Ellie recounts how her Grandparents were one of few families who stayed in the street, surrounded by the life, colours and culture of those Indian refugees, and how they framed her life and how her family integrated.  Ellie, an English girl with blonde hair and beautiful green eyes in the cold winters of urban Leicester, with the glowing orange of living room fires in England, embraced the traditions of her Grandparents’ neighbours.  Ode to the beauty of multiculturalism!  Who could have inspired this English rose, then growing up around the scent of the Indian Ugandan friends from the centre of Africa making home in this midlands town?

How a ruthless African dictator, ordering his Indian doctors, engineers, and scientists to get out of his country, Uganda and how this piece of African history and it’s refugees make home in England and this shapes the mind of a young English artist.  Like all stories and links and connections, there is always that element of surprise.  Although familiar with what happened in Uganda, and I remember Idi Amin and I remember what happened in the airport very well, for those of you not familiar with the story, I recommend you watch the film ‘The Last King of Scotland’.

Collage Art colourful
Collage artwork, by Elspeth Gliksten
tiger glass India tobacco mirror
Mixed Media artwork on glass, by Elspeth Gliksten
Artist Elspeth Gliksten
Photo Antoinette Haselhorst

Elspeth Gliksten and her family she grew up with were all artists she tells me; Art Directors, Creative Directors, Advertising, Dance and Film. Ellie is also a dancer, a specialist tap dancer and she runs a dance school in North London. I have seen her perform, tap dancing like Fred Astaire on the stage at Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate.  She was photographed during this performance, and a great photo of her appears in the book ‘Reflections on Nelson Mandela: Icon of Peace’ along with her written contribution. “I always felt I was an artist”she says and although discouraged by her father because of the competitiveness of the creative industry, it was her elder brother who really nurtured her interest.

collage mixed media artwork
New Dehli, by Elspeth Gliksten

However, it was her husband Matt, whose bohemian and fascinating upbringing amidst a family of antique dealers , who finally gave her the confidence to express her almost dark and eccentric side through her art, she tells me.

layered collage Jesus
Jesus, by Elspeth Glisten
Indian elephant
Collage: Elspeth Gliksten

The creativity in the family is encompassed by a solid family unit and admirable energetic work ethic, whilst shooting Elspeth, her daughters actively participated in providing the cakes and helping style the set.  Grace works as a City Forex Trader, Al is a professional Rugby player & Nell has just chosen her GSCE subjects, Art being one of them.

Ellie’s first works had a massive response, which she admits surprised her, and she watched her pictures sell rapidly with her first exhibition.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Eating cake cakes Marie Antoinette
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst, Hair and Make – up:  Aston Davies