Manchester-based artist and maker Caroline Dowsett has rallied together 30 local creatives to donate their work for a special raffle she's organising to raise money for the city's food bank.
Caroline is known for her abstract, colourful paintings full of shapes and movement surrounded by blank lines and little messages – some of which she'll be putting up for auction as well. Her own background lies in graphic design, something she studied at the Manchester School of Art but didn't graduate, as she decided to take a break but never went back.
"I wanted to use this time to find my own voice and take part in some print fairs which were just starting to take off, including the Manchester Print Fair, the London Illustration Fair and DIY Art Market, too," she tells Creative Boom, "With having dipped my toe into these, and meeting other creatives who were making their practice their main line of work, I decided to give freelance a proper go."
In 2014, Caroline moved into a shared studio at Islington Mill with two other friends, then, a year later they moved into the Engine House, a shared studio space with 11 other creatives: "It was incredible and I think truly the beginning of my career. We shared ideas, briefs and curated group exhibitions together."
But by the beginning of 2018, Caroline got very sick. "It impaired my mobility through an autoimmune disease. With that, I was forced to be home for four months, as I recovered. It was during this time I started to really play with my style."
Caroline says her artworks today were developed from that recovery time. "It was a way to get my thoughts and emotions down onto paper through shapes and lines. With this new situation I faced, I moved my studio home in 2019 due to not always being able to move about, which was a little sad, but I have been enjoying working from home."
She uses acrylic and ink for her paintings, which are on canvas, wooden panels or paper. She also creates murals and does some digital work, too. "The digital work has been used to create rugs, tote bags and prints. I love seeing my work applied to a whole host of different objects. I have plans for more textile work this year."
And if you want to find out more about her Creative Raffle, then you can find all the details on Just Giving. Tickets cost £2 each and you can win a range of prizes from A2 screenprints and handmade ceramics to gift cards for independent makers and more. Artists signed up include DR ME, Leimai Lemow, Rob Bailey, Amy Victoria Marsh, Aliyah Hussain and Atelier Bebop. The full list of artists can be found on the Just Giving site.
The raffle will run until 23 May 2020 and will be drawn on the next day.