‘Awenek’ – Cornish for ‘creative’…
Awenek Studio is a Community Interest Company with three directors:
Rosie French (Director and Studio Manager); Frances Brennan (Director); and Fiona Raymont (Director).
The Studio is based at Maker Heights, a beautiful and picturesque hilltop location that serves the communities of Millbrook, Kingsand, Cawsand and Cremyll. It is situated behind The Canteen in the Upper Nissen Hut (PL10 1LA). We rent the space from Rame Conservation Trust.
The CIC (Community Interest Company) was formed in May 2017 by Rosie French and Frances Brennan.
Rosie is a talented artist, married, with three young children based in Millbrook. Frances, also based at Millbrook has always worked within social inclusion and primarily helping people with disadvantaged backgrounds to fulfil their potential.
Rosie had the idea for the studio from speaking to other families, many of whom are on low incomes, some living in poverty and struggling to find affordable housing. Her involvement in running local toddler groups meant that she was acutely aware of families who were finding it hard to fund activities for their children, especially during the long school holidays. At the same time, Rosie was heavily involved with the Rame Conservation Trust and their plan to save and develop Maker Heights. Rosie was offered the chance to develop the Nissen hut into an educational space and saw this as an opportunity to try a new approach to offer support for all ages.
Working with Real Ideas Organisation, Rosie formed Awenek Studio CIC and began to develop the idea. Frances became a fellow Director and provided start-up funding. More recently Fiona Raymont has joined the team, who, working for the University of Plymouth, has considerable expertise in providing advice to individuals on developing career options.
The Studio’s mission is to provide a welcoming, safe space for people of all ages to enjoy art, crafts, and creative activities through our in-house workshops, informal drop-in sessions and outreach activities.
Awenek is a lovely relaxed space, where you can try out new crafts and stretch your creative muscles! A great thing to have on our doorstep.
MEET THE TEAM
RESIDENT ARTIST, FOUNDER & STUDIO DIRECTOR.
I have always created art from a very young age and it is a necessary part of my life. I absorb colour and textures wherever I go. The quality of light in Cornwall accentuates the images I choose to paint. I wish to always paint and share my view of the world for others to enjoy.
I grew up on the Rame Peninsular and it is a very special place for me. I studied Graphic Design at Plymouth College of Art and Design in the late ’90s and then went on to The Surrey Institute for my degree.
I graduated in 2003 with a BA Hons in Graphic Design. This was not the right degree for me as the prospect of ‘creating’ on a computer stifled my creativity. I promptly returned to Cornwall to reignite my passion for painting and develop my style.
Not long after my return I met my soul mate and moved further into Cornwall to the beautiful harbour town of Falmouth. There, we were immersed in music, art and the stunning magical coastlines. I developed my techniques and happily created my own view of the world.
I moved back to my home village with our first child and have since had two more wonderful beings. I have continued to paint over the last 11 years and have had successful solo and collaborative shows both locally and on Plymouth’s historic Barbican.
I have been known for my mixed media works, using anything to hand but more recently I also work in oils. I still like to reclaim materials to work on, such as parts of boat moulds and recycled timber, as well as canvas. I pick up photographic memories of close up textures that I find and store the colours and light quality so I can recreate them later. I often see beauty in the hidden dilapidation of the working boatyards, the weather-beaten colour palettes draw me in. I like to enlarge the small details for people to experience in my work. Most people would just walk past these bits of ruin and rust that I find so captivating.
“Rosie French’s work takes small details from the natural and industrial landscapes surrounding where she lives and recreates them in her own unique and beautiful way.” – Cornish Times 2016.
I find being artistic and having a space for solely that purpose is healing, inspiring and a necessity in the modern world. I still paint and make for my own personal development but growing Awenek Studio to share creativity with people in the community, who also need it in their lives, is an absolute passion and joy for me.
FREELANCE ARTIST, MUSICIAN & SUPPORT WORKER.
Helen works in acrylic and ink and her practice explores the ability to express the non-verbal and psyche through the medium of paint and the subject of landscape. Currently, she is engaged in creative experiments to explore how subtle nuances in the application of paint, choice of colour and composition can convey and express different narratives of place, whether historic or contemporary experience.
Helen is in the emerging stages of her career as a visual artist, making her main living with an established band. She is a folk musician with a specific interest in Cornish culture and she has extensively researched the notion of revived traditions and is in the later stages of writing a short book on the subject. Up until May 2017, Helen held a long term, full-time role in mental health and learning support in higher education services, and before this, various support worker roles in autism, disability and mental health services.
RESIDENT ARTIST, FASHION & TEXTILE DESIGNER, SEAMSTRESS, THESPIAN & MUSICIAN.
Amelia is a bespoke fashion designer who expertly crafts clothing from recycled materials. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@renouveaudesigns). She also runs a regular sewing repair shop and craft sessions in the studio.
HOW TO FIND US
Awenek Studio is situated at Maker Heights on the beautiful Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall.
From the village of Millbrook, follow the B3247 towards Mt Edgecumbe, continue past Fourlanesend School on the right, then take the next right into Maker Heights. Follow the drive up the hill and you'll find the studio amongst the group of Nissen huts on the left.
Plymouth Citybus services 70/70A/70B stop near the main road entrance to Maker Heights. The route runs to and from Plymouth, via Torpoint, Whitsand Bay, Kingsand, Cawsand, Millbrook and Cremyll. You can also catch the Cremyll passenger ferry from Plymouth and take the short bus journey up to Maker Heights. (Check Plymouth Citybus website for latest timetable information).
Top Nissen Hut