With unity and collaboration at the very heart of Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees, it’s no wonder that some of our artists have been inspired by a sense of togetherness. Designed to connect our community with loved ones and those from further afield, we hope visitors to the art trail use this fun-filled event as an opportunity to meet with friends and family to rekindle relationships after years of hardship and separation.
Through her emotive design ‘Together we are One’, local illustrator Ellie Thomas represents Kirklees’ diverse community and how The Kirkwood is here to help everyone who needs support as they navigate challenging times, not only those living with a life limiting illness, but the people closest to them.
If you want to find out more about Ellie’s design inspiration and why she’s getting involved in the art trail, read on!
Q: What inspired your design the most?
A: The Kirkwood and what they do to help our community. I lost my grandmother at the beginning of the first lockdown. She had been placed on palliative care just before restrictions were introduced. Sadly, we weren’t able to be with her or say goodbye when she passed away because of those restrictions, but the support that carers gave to my grandmother and my dad helped us through. They were with her up until the end and treated her with such kindness and love, and that reminded me of the support that is available to the people of Kirklees through The Kirkwood.
Q: What is your art background?
A: I originally trained and worked as a womenswear designer in retail for over nine years. I fell out of love with it all and lost sight of what I’d originally gone into design for – the creativity! I started doing some printmaking courses alongside bringing up my family and totally fell in love with printing and being creative again. I loved being in a studio environment, surrounded by other creatives. I gradually started to turn to the things I had been inspired by and loved doing at art collage and ended coming back to my love of illustration.
I’ve been printmaking for over ten years now and have been a member of the West Yorkshire Print Workshop (WYPW) ever since. I’m an artist and illustrator, currently working towards becoming an author/illustrator for children’s picture books. I work mainly in screen-print but like to explore other printmaking techniques such as monoprinting, linocut and woodcut.
Q: Why did you choose to get involved in the art trail?
For a number of reasons really. It gives me the opportunity to work alongside other artists and gain experience of working on a community art project, and it allows me to help raise money for an incredibly worthy charity.
Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees officially launches to the public on September 2nd and will run for eight weeks. The art trail is set to be the largest free event of its kind to ever come to West Yorkshire.
To find out more Ellie’s artwork, you can follow her on Instagram @ellie.thomas_illustration
To find out more about The Kirkwood’s mission to support people across Kirklees living with a life limiting illness, please visit www.thekirkwood.org.uk