Anita Russell

I started the Driftwood Dreams Gallery  in 2002 when I  running out of space to keep all my papier mache sculptures and I was getting requests to do more pieces of work.  I had recently had my first papier mache exhibit chosen to be displayed at The Victoria and Albert Museum  and felt I  wanted to expand this art form and be part of a forum of papier mache artists worldwide.

Since then, and over 300 pieces later I enjoy many messages from all over the world with advice, shared interest and commissions. I was privileged to exhibit a second piece of papier mache again at the Victoria and Albert museum in 2004 with my "Bird of Paradise".

I have exhibited my papier mache work in many galleries and have taught Family Learning Courses in Papier Mache at Richmond Adult Community College, taken workshops at many schools and taught the art in private sessions. Papier Mache is so useful. Both my children are now quite handy at it and it has been a big boost to their school projects. I now sell voucher gifts where you can give a friend or relative a tutorial in papier mache for a group or individual.  My work is now mainly tableaux although I am still doing the occasional 3d sculpture.

I am so pleased I have learnt how to use the papier mache technique in a new sophisticated sculptural form.
This is a vibrant and fresh approach to a skill which goes back centuries.  I love the way this art has extreme movement and the characters  enchant.

The use of driftwood and natural bases alongside paper sculpture enhanced my work and given my papier mache my own unique approach.  Over the years, I have evolved an identity which became my own. I also acquired a taste for using  a mystical range of silvery colours, jewels and a developed a very detailed painting technique on my papier mache pieces to try and capture the stuff of dreams.

My aim is to make people feel a real joy in owning one of my papier mache sculptures. I want people's senses to be uplifted, to make them smile and be happy.  People tell me I have done that, and that is a wonderful feeling.

Here are some pictures taken down by the Sussex coast where I spend my summers trawling the beaches collecting  driftwood and dreaming up inspiration.

With one of my papier mache artworks,  you too will be able to escape and travel to far away places.  By commissioning  your own unique papier mache mirror,  clock or wall sculpture you will be part of a special band of happy customer's who have really enjoyed owning a  vibrant, colourful Driftwood Dreams papier mache artwork with a sentimental and personal meaning.  And maybe,  my  seascapes will take you back to those holidays you remembered as a small child.  They do me...........   

So please sit back, look through my  Gallery and drift.....

To see how Anita creates her papier mache sculptures top click


Victoria & Albert Museum, London

I was privileged to  displayed my second papier mache piece  at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the 2004 Inspirations Exhibition.  "Antigua"  was shown in 2002 and my  papier mache piece "Bird of  Paradise"  was on display from May to July 2004.

Here I am at the Inspirations preview &  prize giving
at the V & A in 2002
Here is my "Bird of Paradise" displayed sculpture at the V&A
 Inspirations Exhibition in 2004

The Inspirations Exhibition is an annual competition started in 1999 where students design and produce a piece of work in a variety of media.  The work is judged by the gallery curators and V & A educators on the basis of 3 things:

1. Inspiration and reinterpretation of the V & A collections
2. Skill in the media they are studying
3. Evidence of benefit from the learning experience

In recent years up to 300 people have applied annually and under 100 pieces are finally displayed each year.

I  have been undertaking  papier mache commissions, particularly tableaux / clocks for first wedding anniversary presents since 2002. I also have a large range of religious gifts and have had many sailing boats and seascapes sold. I also enjoy teaching  papier mache  workshops in schools and colleges and I am available most weekends for private parties/ papier mache workshops at an art studio in Petersham situated at The Russell School. 

Public Exhibitions of Anita's Work

Public Exhibition at Pfizer

I have exhibited at a number of galleries and locations throughout London.

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