Village People

Art that takes the biscuit - Village People

Kellie Miller, artist, Clayton -

Kellie Miller is a local artist who creates, curates and collects a multitude of art from all around the world. Having been highly sought-after for her ceramics in Japan at the beginning of the millennium, she’s now settled in Clayton and has turned her house and garden into a beautiful display of work featuring a number of renowned international artists.

By Joe Wayte

Kellie Miller was born and grew up in Battersea before venturing down to Brighton University to study 3D design. “I always wanted to be an artist,” Kellie said confidently, “my course included a mix of woodwork, paint, ceramics and more besides, so over the years I’ve worked with lots of different materials.”

In 2002 Kellie was offered an artist’s residency by the Arts Council which took her to Shigaraki in Japan. She was later selected for her second international exhibition for which she fired 101 cups to create a conceptual piece of art, inspired by the book The Art of Possibility. “The cups were sold individually after the exhibition,” she explained, “with the idea that they’re like seeds, going off into the world, and maybe one day, somehow, they’ll all come back together.”

Having spent a lot of time in the country, Kellie says she has a deep love for Japan and is still influenced by its culture today. “Going to Japan is like going to the moon,” she described, “you’ve got to experience it at least once in your life.”

Kellie has always based herself in the South of England. In 1996 she founded the Biscuit Studio in Hove, which was initially a centre for ceramics artists. Over the years, aspiring artists of all medias have rented space in its inspiring environment.

It was at the studio that Kellie met her husband, Kim, who lived in the house adjacent to Biscuit Studio. “The studio didn’t have its own toilet,” she explained, “and when new tenants arrived in the unit next door they denied us access to the facilities we’d been using since we opened.” Kim came to her rescue and offered Kellie a key to his house so that she could use his loo until the issue was resolved. 12 years after they first met, Kellie and Kim were married in 2011.

[Excerpt from full article printed in Issue No2 Hassocks Life magazine - June 2019]

Mr Wignall - Village People interview

Mark Wignall, Downlands Community College

By David Tingley

If you want to learn something about community, just have a chat with Mark Wignall, Headteacher at Downlands Community School.

Although born in London, Mark spent most of his childhood in the Midlands – living just down the road from the Cadburys factory; anyone who has heard him talk in an assembly has heard his soft ‘brummy’ accent. Mark has been married to Lynne for 24 years and they have three children Ellen, Harry and Joe. He describes his devotion to Birmingham City Football Club as ‘a life sentence’!

Mark has always been keen on sport. He has always loved rugby, football, cricket and squash, to name but a few, so it is no surprise that he went on to study Sports Science at Brighton Polytechnic. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do at the time, but I did love sport,” he explains, “although there weren’t as many options for a Sports Science graduate back then.”

Mark started his working life as a fitness instructor in the gym at the House of Commons; a role which ranged from designing personal fitness programmes for MPs, to collecting towels. After moving up to Harrogate to work at a luxury hotel doing a similar role, it wasn’t long before Mark asked himself: ‘Is this the rewarding career I really want?’. After some soul-searching, he returned to Sussex to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with a view to being a teacher. Placements during his course were in secondary schools in Bexhill and Cuckfield.

[Read the full story in the May 2019 issue of Hassocks Life magazine…]