Showcase of May’s #creativechallenge

At the start of May, we once again challenged you in our #creativechallenge. We asked you to push yourself to think outside the box and get creative with the theme of Grow.

We have been really inspired by the work submitted, it certainly made the judges decision very difficult, and are thankful for everyone who put in the time and effort to enter our challenge.

With work ranging from Poetry to Music, Paintings and more, we hope you enjoy this showcase of talent in and around Morley!

Growing a Cup – Lora Aleksandrova

Growing is a natural process happening in the natural world. However, we are in the transition to a human-made world. I wanted to represent the growth in that ‘new world’.It is artificial and looks ridiculous. The setting is white, which could be associated with the white aprons of scientists. The growth in the human-made world would need constant monitoring to be sustained. Or it could be linked to the white settings in hospitals. From this point of view, the object could be seen as the result of human activity, aiming to ‘heal’ nature.
With this piece, I wanted to question people’s desire to interfere in everything.

To see more from Lora, head over to Instagram or blog

Nan – Sarah Wilson

This screenprint on calico grew from a love of furnishing fabric designed in the 50s which Nan used it to sew curtains.

All the natural dye colours used in this modern take are made from dye plants mostly grown locally. It evolved organically as each colour was printed and overlaid. But the final colours were still not revealed until it was steamed and washed.

So growth was inherent in all aspects of this piece and will continue, even though the alchemy and colour shifts are fixed. As the passion to explore natural dyeing and printing has been awakened.

To see more from Sarah, head over to Instagram

Eternal Spring – Leila of Lilac Tree

A hand-drawn and hand-sawn sterling silver lilac flower, texturised with silver dust and embellished with 9ct yellow gold, sits atop a dramatic purple amethyst. The ring celebrates the fleeting beauty of lilac blossoms that herald the height of Spring, and is inspired by one of my favourite Victor Hugo quotes:
“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart; I breathe at this hour the fragrance of the lilacs, the violets and the roses, as at twenty years ago.” 
Handmade in London by Leila of Lilac Tree

To see more from Leila, head to her website or Instagram

Susie Lonie

Materials:   Acrylic & metal on hardboard.
(100 x 20cm)
Inspiration: Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “Tree of Life” symbolising the connection between heaven, earth and the underworld.  As external growth is constricted by life spent in isolation listening to reports of daily death counts, we compensate by developing internal worlds of sparkling stars and spears.

To see more from Susie, head to Instagram

Experiment – Maggie Baird

Mixed Media

During lockdown I came across a book by Robert Gillmor explaining how he uses 4 blocks to create his wonderful lino prints of birds. He prints black first and then adds paler colours on top, which is not an approach I have used before. Back in the studio, my teacher, David Holah, suggested I experiment with printing the four colours in different orders. This work stitches together the prints at different stages, starting from blank paper and growing, via different routes, to the four colour print.

A Personal Metaphor – Andrew Williamson

my life. My self-taught musical life of nearly fifty years has recently taken a significant leap forward under tuition from Morley. I believe motivation (in this case, homework assignments for the Jazz Composition class) drives one forward and I submit three of my best ever compositions as milestones on my musical journey. The tunes are ‘Orpheus On The Underground,’ ‘There’ and No Swing But Mood Swings.’

To hear more from Andrew, head over to Youtube

Abstract 28/Creative Journey (Acrylic on Paper) – Caroline Morgan

This painting was originally larger but I cut it down as I felt that the composition and colours would be much more effective in a smaller, cropped and concentrated format. For me, the journey taken in the creation of this piece-from its conception to its current, and perhaps final, form-via what could be viewed as its partial destruction, involved all the elements of risk, chance and the role played by instinct and the subliminal that I particularly enjoy exploring in my art. (87)

To see more from Caroline, head to her Instagram

Three hundred years growing

Three hundred years living

Three hundred years dying

An Oak – Nicola Atchley

During the lockdowns I walked in an ancient woodland sketching the trees during the different seasons. This concertina book contains a woodcut print of one of the old oaks I drew during winter with bare branches, wondering if it would come into leaf again this summer.

At the foot of this image, I have printed:

Three hundred years growing

Three hundred years living

Three hundred years dying

Many of these trees are over 500 years old and been with us during plagues, pandemics and wars, they are still standing strong.

To see more from Nicola, head to her Website

Re-watching wedding video
Where we were bridesmaids in pink,
Where we were pageboys in suits
Which made us all stop and think
About how much we’ve grown,
About how far we’ve come
From makeup-free faces
To the adults we’ve become
That we’re not quite ready for,
That we’re not sure who that is
Compared to innocent smiles
Turned pink from a wet kiss
To both bride and groom’s cheeks
As we take another photo,
As we watch it all unfurl,
We wonder where did they go?

The Wedding Video – Sophie Hutchison

This poem is a kind of bittersweet reflection on growing up after me and my cousins re-watched my uncle’s wedding video where we were bridesmaids and page boys.

Kew Gardens, Spring 2021 (for Aisling and Mina) – Margo Walker

I was inspired to create this mixed media piece in my sketchbook after a day spent at Kew Gardens in April. The sun was warm and the sky the brightest blue. All around us there was a sense of wonder and astonishment at the beauty but also that friends and family were finally able to meet again. We sat by the river, talking and quietly enjoying easy companionship. Other people nearby gazed out at the same vista, reading or chatting. It was a day to celebrate spring and also friendship. The word “Growing” is at the centre of my piece. I created it in April but it seems to fit in with Morley’s May theme quite well.


relentless growth curves

do not reflect

the sun’s heat

on ice sheet melt

waters freshly married to oceans

that rise up

dance with thermals

riotous cavalier

whipped to murderous storms

to batter to raze




the child

by a lagoon

grown a tad

deeper cooler riskier

than summer last

Lagoon – Steve Nally

I wrote this poem after reading news reports about the ice sheeting splitting and melting in Greenland.  We now inhabit a world where the continual quest for growth is destroying the environment and individual lives. No poem can fundamentally change things, but they can give time and space to reflect. 

Terrium Plasticus – David Wright

Terrium Plasticus – Fish Bowl with drink bottle spinefex, chiefly of the genus Trioda.

Why not lock more of our plastic waste into the built environment by ‘growing’ plants from drink bottles? We save our oceans and precious land. Recycle and reuse to save the earth!

To see more from David, head over to Instagram

Beech Wood – Jonathan Rogers

It’s a woodland scene from a series of paintings that I have been working on during lockdown, inspired by the light shining through the trees, and the feeling that you could be far off in the countryside even though you are in London. Stopping to look up at tall and ancient trees there is a strong sense of the power of growth and renewal in the natural world. 

To see more from Jonathan, head to Instagram or his website