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Meet The Team

Check out the awesome artists who have agreed to collaborate on our "Talking the Coast" project! We are really excited to be able to collaborate with so many inspiring people and explore synergies between art and science! Copyright for all artwork remains with the artist.

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Ali Elly

  • Instagram

Working from her studio on the Northumberland coastline, Ali is an environmental artist whose artworks are inspired by the seas and oceans of our fragile planet. Her work helps highlight the important issues facing vulnerable marine life. She explores the aesthetics of the

underwater world to achieve a modern, clean and uncomplicated style with a strong emphasis on illustration. With a background in textile design, she is always searching for natural patterns, using organic formations and composition to make her designs flow. This unique style is further enhanced by her obsession with the colour blue. Working to connect art with science, her work helps to educate making every design the starting point of an interesting conversation.


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Andrzej Szymczyk

  • Instagram

Figurative sculptor based in London. Born in Krakow/Poland. Graduated with MA degree in Fine Arts in the faculty of Sculpture from The Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in 2012. Exhibited in Poland, Germany and the UK. Member of RSMA, SSS and Bow Arts Trust. Awarded with

RSMA New Generation Award 2019.


“I'm trying to produce sculptures that capture a "character" and "likeness" that is different from the actual reality. I'm interested in the subjective perception more than in scientific measurements. More like a poet describing an event in comparison to a journalist: although less factual, I may nevertheless reveal truths that you won't find in "dry" facts.

I especially enjoy diving which gives me access to the fascinating underwater world full of amazing and inspiring creatures. The impression you get  of a creature in its natural environment,  exposed to direct interaction with it, is far away from studying a subject in a laboratory, library or home-safe environment.

When I encounter animals I look into their eyes and trying to connect on a very basic level. I am trying to resonate with their state of mind.”


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Chris Kelly

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I was born in Greater Manchester and now live in London working in operations for an amazing cycle parking company.  

The community spirit in my area is really bursting full of artists and activists alike. I have recently joined a community group whose goals are to keep our area clean. We have monthly litter picking days, it is great to see a group of people taking pride in where they live and spreading the word against single-use plastics. 

I am motivated by environmental issues and like to use my personal projects to spread awareness of ocean plastic pollution. I am a massive animal lover, so I base a lot of my work raising awareness of the horrors that we are inflicting on them through my ocean art. I believe art can be an amazing tool in spreading awareness on these issues and encourage everyone to play their part in keeping our earth clean.  

Say no to single-use plastic!




Gemma Carter

  • Instagram

I live in Plymouth, the UK's Ocean City and it's beautiful coastline inspires my ocean art.

My favourite medium is watercolour for it's fluidity and vibrancy.

I am passionate about nature and animals. I am a vegetarian and do my best to help the planet. I use compostable packaging for my prints and donate between 10-50% of sales to wildlife conservation charities. In 2020 I donated original artworks to help injured koalas and other wildlife affected by the bushfires in Australia.

I am passionate about marine life, I've grown up in Plymouth, Britain's Ocean City, surrounded by a wonderful coastline. The sea has always inspired my work and I want to raise awareness for its conservation and the animals that call it home.


After a break from painting whilst on maternity I picked up my paintbrushes again. I just started painting whales, I enjoyed the fluidity of the watercolour and whales just spoke to me as the perfect subject. I couldn't stop painting them and support charities such as WDC through the sales of my work.


I feel very strongly about giving back to the animals and coast that inspire my work and that is why I am honoured to be part of the project.



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Heather Burton

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Much of Heather’s work is inspired by the dramatic coastlines and countryside of Yorkshire, northern England and Scotland. Heather specialises in palette knife work, applying many layers of acrylics to capture the country’s ever-changing moods and atmosphere.


‘There’s something very spontaneous and exhilarating about working with a knife and I’m always discovering new techniques and finishes ,’ says Heather. ‘I mainly use acrylics because I really enjoy layering and manipulating them to create depth, vibrancy and texture to the work.’


As well as consistently creating new work, Heather also runs workshops for art groups and holds workshops from her home/studio near Howden, East Yorkshire.


First Prize Winner of the Ferens Open Exhibition 2015 

Winner of SAA Artist of the Year 2016 Landscape category 

Highly Commended Patchings competition 2016

Commended in the Kunsthuis International Open Art Exhibition 2017

People’s Choice: Best in Show at the Great Sheffield Art Show 2019



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Jackie Curtis

  • Instagram

Jackie Curtis is an artist and printmaker inspired by the natural world. She can often be found walking, observing the landscape, sea and birds, sketch book and camera in hand. An avid beach comber and field margin scourer she is always looking for materials and inspiration to use in her printmaking. 

Jackie works from her Somerset studio using relief techniques. Her monoprints are spontaneous, lively, innovative prints often created as an immediate response to recent experiences. The collagraphs, produced from a collage of materials, are rich in texture and depth of tone. Linocuts are more intricate and stylised with strong elements of pattern, whilst her woodblocks are influenced by natural grain, shape and flaws in the wood. More recently (when Covid restrictions permit) Jackie has been working en plein air creating blocks outside from foraged materials and using a portable press on location.  


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Jasmin Heard

  • Instagram

I am an environmental artist who specialises in painting species that live in or rely on coral reefs. I graduated with a BA(Hons) Fine Art degree from Bath Spa University in 2020, where my core projects centred around research into the complex relationship between humans and the natural world, and what impact that is having on the reefs. My recent work portrays more scientific studies of reef dwellers in oil paints, which I had never used before lockdown. My previous work was very mixed media; ceramics, drawing, sculpture, and installation. The aim with my work is to raise awareness of the changes that are happening in coral reefs, and to highlight the beauty of what we are losing. Corals are one of my favourite subjects to paint as they vary so dramatically in colour, form and behaviour. 25% of all marine life are dependant on coral reefs, it is vital that we act to help preserve the precious eco systems. 


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Keith Siddle

  • Instagram

Having painted and been fascinated by wildlife since childhood, when I first became a professional artist, I initially decided to concentrate on one subject and chose the oriental and beautifully ornamental fish, Nishikigoi (Koi) - for their power, grace and colour variations. 


My love of colour, imagination and drawing has led me to writing, illustrating and self-publishing my own range of children’s picture books. My stories are based on things I care about or have seen, my first book “Pirate Jack the One-eyed Cat” was a tribute to Jack, our beautiful old one-eyed (Pirate) cat!  Both the ‘Little Angelica’ books were inspired by scuba diving experiences: The “Little Angelica – A little fish on her BIG adventure” story came to me whilst on a dive in the Red Sea when I noticed one fish much smaller than its shoal. Whether scuba diving in the UK or abroad sadly the abundance of litter, both in the sea and on the beaches, has grown drastically, so I wrote and illustrated “Little Angelica – To Save our Sea” to reach a younger audience and raise awareness.


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Mark Sofilas

  • Instagram

My first visit to the Yorkshire Coast & in particular the fishing town of Whitby, was integral in my decision to paint coastal images.


There was an immediate impression as soon as we approached the town’s harbour. I felt an emotional connection with the boats, the nets, the old iconic ‘swing bridge’ & the harbour life in general.


There was just so much that appealed & excited me.


After my discovery of Whitby, which really kick-started my direction in painting, many other visits followed, these included trips to neighbouring villages & towns along the North Yorkshire coast.


I believe my connection to the north Yorkshire coast, was born from my time growing up in the coastal town, now city, of Bunbury, Western Australia. A place that was surrounded by the Indian ocean, inlets & estuaries. 


My dad & his brothers & before that my grandfather (a sponge diver), who emigrated from Greece in the early 1900’s, were all fishermen at some point through their lives. It was definitely my experiences growing up on the coast & being involved with boats & the  fishing community from an early age, that has help play a big part in my love of the coast & eventually leading to painting images of the North Yorkshire coast.



Michelle Wood

  • Instagram

Michelle Wood is an artist based in Whitley Bay on the North East coast. She runs social enterprise Sea Tern Print to help people experience, learn & be inspired by printmaking. Being creative and learning new skills can be enjoyable, leading to increased confidence, a sense of achievement and improved wellbeing. 


In her own work, Michelle specialises in printmaking and her work is inspired by the coast, natural forms & colour. Michelle also makes artists’ books and other 3D items, including shell-like forms from vintage maps. She exhibits and sells her prints, tea towels and cards through Sea Tern online shop and at exhibitions and art fairs.


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Perri Wilkes

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I am a graduate of Nottingham Trent University in Fine Art where I practiced a large minimalist style of painting, but painting has been part of my life since childhood, with my parents and grandparents also being enthusiastic artists. I started exploring the theme of water and the ocean about three years ago after returning a year in Japan. I take a lot of inspiration from travel and different cultures and creative styles from across the world. I am particularly interested in painting the ocean as it opens a window into a world in which we have barely scratched the surface. I am fascinated by the patterns and details you can find in all aspects of the ocean from sea foam to bach stones. For me water has a lot of calming and stress relief properties which I try to encompany into my work with the use of tranquil colours and the medium of watercolour which enables me to create movement and fluidity. 


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Sara Dudman

  • Instagram

Shifting relationships with the environment are at the heart of my work and development.

My practice explores emotional and analytical responses to environment, increasingly informed by research, particularly:

  1. Coastal erosion

  2. Analogous relationships of wild flocks and swarms with their environment

  3. Migratory seabirds as indicators of climate change.

I frequently use low-tech video and photography as sources for reprocessing experiences through drawing and painting and increasingly I use lens-based media as artistic output per se. Immersion in rural and remote places is essential to my work.
The drive of my practice centres on an urgent need to review our collective relationship with the world we inhabit.
I exhibit extensively, fundraise and lead projects, curate exhibitions, create work alone and in collaboration & lead community participation and education activity.
I was elected an academician at the Royal West of England Academy of Art in 2016.
Exploring the physical world is central to my practice, examining notions of ‘permanence and impermanence’ and ‘substance and essence’, including human and animal relationships with ecology and geology. 
My works present a re-enchantment with the world.


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Hilary Kington

  • Instagram

Fascinated by salt marshes, Hilary Kington records the wildlife and views of salt marshes in sketches, paintings and woodcuts.

What began as a couple of months of salt marsh sketching has turned into years of fascination with this habitat. The number of sketches continues to grow and has become a lifetime’s passion.

Salt marsh is grassland regularly flooded by the tide made even more enchanting with its backdrop of birds and boats. It is an exciting and inspiring place endlessly altered by the influence of water, light and weather.

“My love of tidal landscapes first began when my husband and I worked together on a fishing boat in the Severn Estuary and then the English Channel. While I have exchanged fishing nets for sketchbooks I have never lost my passion for the sea and its wildlife.


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Ruth Brumby

  • Instagram

Since 2012 I have been working with papier mache. This began as a means of transforming papers from my past, edu-speak and bureaucracy, into responses to the North Norfolk landscape, representing the reshaping of my life. I became increasingly fascinated by the possibilities and constraints of working with papier mache and increasingly aware of the links between thinking through making and thinking through walking.

Ruth and our founder Scott discuss synergies between art and science in this video:


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Vienna Forrester

  • Twitter

I am inspired by patterns in the natural world; wild, unspoilt places are a main feature of my work. Ocean waves, vast expanses of sky and beautiful vistas fascinate and energise me. 

I aim to capture not just colour, but energy, movement and a feeling of 'being there'.  My  digital creative practice took over 10 years to perfect and involves using the latitude, longitude and colours  I capture with my digital camera to create a base fractal which I work with until I create something that resonates with me about the place I visited.  

What evolves from this is a fusion of two distinctly differing fields – the absolute rules of the fractal algorithm and the imagination of the artist acting on sensory and actual recollection. What I want to portray are my memories and emotional responses to a place as it appeared in a snapshot of time, almost like a retinal imprint that remains when the eyes are closed. Weather, mood and light play a large part in my work.  

I also write poetry inspired by the natural world and find that the coast in particular provides a rich source of inspiration. I like to write en plein air, immersed in my surroundings.  In 2019 I completed my Master of Research: The Wild Self: An Exploration of Writing in Nature and I am currently pursuing a poetry PhD at the University of Hull.



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Chris Johnston

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Chris has been working as a self-employed artist and musician since 2010.  His art has largely been character based (often anime influenced), producing work for his own comics, animations and audio productions, fashion illustration, and doing commission work for others.      

One popular character has been Mabubadoo, a cute Bobtail Squid, designed initially for a range of fashion and homewear items, who may soon feature in his own environmental comics.

Chris has always loved the ocean, recognising its importance in the world’s delicate ecology and being inspired by its vast array of wildlife from plankton to sharks to life in the rockpools and around the coastline.  He enjoys snorkelling and is currently studying for a move into marine biology and conservation, happy to use his music and art to help wherever possible.



Lea Gudrich

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Born in 1987, Lea Gudrich studied Fine Arts in Rouen (FR), Trier (GER) and Krakow (PL). Her work is shaped by the highly intriguing combination of delicate ink drawings with bold, abstract acrylic backgrounds. Her works are a continuous exploration of ambivalence: fascination and deterrence, light and darkness, feeling fear and facing it. Lea’s mystical paintings allure the viewer only to confront them with existential questions about transience. Often depicting animals, the artist creates magical worlds in which a sense of dread is present behind the visually inviting surface.

See Lea's illustration for "Why do the plovers fly away?" here.




Sabú Gudrich

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Sabú is a writer, composer and musician who earns his living with his other love besides art - Latin and Ancient History.

All of his art revolves around nature and our place within it. "Music is a great way of creating a direct access to our feelings and of enhancing our relationship with our natural surroundings by allowing us to connect to them on an emotional level. We need to make people realise that they can love what surrounds them, feel good within their surroundings and harmonise with their surroundings, care for them, protect them. With my music, I hope to help bring this message across and make it “feel-able” for people, on a mental and physical level.

I think that there are many people out there who long for a positive, emotional connection with nature. My music creates a kind of harmony that we can all be part of, with all our imperfections, the idea being that everyone is welcome. It’s very inviting and open, that's really important to me.

Read his interactive story Choices and learn about dunes and the dignity of butterflies!

Listen to Part 1 of the choir piece Sabú created for the Plover Rovers here.

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Suzy Sharpe

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Suzy finds that spending time in wild landscapes, watching birds and being around animals always lifts her spirits. She is intrigued by the strong connection between humans and animals evidenced not only by our age-old dependency on them for food and work but by animals creating meaning, stories to live by and metaphors in our language and literature.

With her work, Suzy explores the way in which humans and non humans experience the world in order to raise a question in the mind of the viewer and to create work which reflects a thoughtful and considered engagement with the natural world and the broader landscape. She says: “The best purpose for my work would be to bring meaning to the lives of the people who view it and encourage them to show respect, compassion and ultimately protect the non human beings with whom we share the planet.”


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Stella Alexander

  • Instagram

"The beautiful colours and shapes of nature give me the most pleasure to draw,and my ethos is stick to drawing what you love.
By drawing these creatures it gives me a chance to study them in more detail and learn more about the natural world. I’d like to explore more ways I can use my art to help conservation, but in the meantime I’ll keep sharing my appreciation of wildlife."

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The Lürxx

  • Youtube

The Lürxx are a rock band which has been intermittently active since the mid-90s. 

Even way back then, the band was very passionate about nature and animal rights. “We didn’t shrink wrap our CD”, remembers vocalist and guitarist Xavi, “and we put a little sticker on: ‘Out of environmental reasons this CD has not been shrink wrapped’. People told us it would look unprofessional but we didn’t care! Even back then we didn’t wanna be part of the problem if we could help it!”. Education was another important aspect of the band’s output. “We used to hang out in the West Hollywood library, just digging all that knowledge that was stored there”, says Sabú, formerly the bassist, now lead recorder player.

“We always felt that our music was portraying nature in a way. We always tried to create this harmony and power that we would see in nature, the rising and falling of waves, the light reflecting in the trees, just the aliveness of it all”, says Sabú. “The intertwining melodies of the lead instruments are like a web of life”, adds Xavi, “The drums are the heartbeat, the rhythm of Earth. I think that’s why music can have this massive positive effect on people, just like green and blue spaces can. It’s like the music is a green and blue space, one that you can get to anytime.” 

More information and lots of music is on their website here.


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Jim Mayor

  • Instagram

'Currently based in Brighton I've had an affinity for the sea since
watching Jacques Cousteau on TV as a child.  With a background in Urban
Design, I started working with fused glass a couple of years ago after
getting some encouraging feedback from a local gallery, and now
increasingly focus on making the creatures Jacque's adventures
introduced me to.

I try and use the glass as a way to gently raise awareness of the
ethical, environmental and health implications of our decisions on
underwater life, and donate a small percentage of my profits to support
the great work Sea Shepherd are doing on all our behalf to protect the

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Jo Polack

  • Instagram

I love to roam the rockpools, to swim in the sea.

It is a joy and a privilege to live and create in St Agnes, Cornwall.

My art is primarily, although not exclusively, inspired by the experience of exploring these incredible local coastal ecosystems.

By sharing this resulting artwork I hope, in turn, to encourage other people to take time exploring our natural world and to care for our planet.

Creating makes me happy and keeps me curious. Its a way of observing, sometimes understanding, our world then communicating how I feel about it. Sharing happiness and beauty is reason enough for art to exist.

My previous environmental career remains a significant influence not only in subject matter but also processes of my creativity and materials used.


Cat Mellis

  • Instagram

There are some peculiarities about being underwater. Although it is a fleeting period of time we have at

depth, it seems strangely eternal. Descending is your youth, the actual dive your adulthood, ascending your

twilight years, with death arriving as you punctuate the surface of the water. This journey is always done

alone but in the presence of others. Forced silence renders you childlike, innocent of the world above.

Intrepid divers can find themselves meditating the mundane or absorbed in heart singing moments of awe,

fear and joy. Severed from everything, captivated by the spell like murmurings of the infinite deep.

I print to try and take some of this home. Difficult as this is it requires many iterations. I try every angle, every perspective and then find I must dive again because I am lost.

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