Karin Klompe returned to her printmaking roots after her father passed away at the end of 2019. And from today her lockdown-inspired work can be seen at the Milk Shed Café, in Sproughton, another local business which started during the global pandemic
After the freedom of a country childhood spent amongst hedgerows and fields, and holidays in the forests of Sweden, Art School beckoned; closely followed by teacher training and a move to Suffolk, marriage, raising three sons, working and moving to far off lands, before coming back to Suffolk and back to my roots. Having always had a drive to create, I have finally been able to allow my passion for printmaking to take over after 30 years of conforming.
In my late teens, I went to art school for five years, three of which were spent at the then Norwich School of Art, happily playing among the inks, acids and presses on one of the few printmaking degree courses that were available at that time. I have always been a printmaker at heart, even when life has taken me in on lots of different adventures, I knew I’d return.
In 2019, my father became seriously ill and life became more complex. After losing him at the end of the year I decided to take a big step and change direction; start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can. 2020 started as being the year of big changes! Little did I know how big they were going to be.
By March, I had familiarised myself with my equipment and had started to play again with inks, paper and ideas. Then lockdown hit. Two sons were collected from university, another started home schooling with me, and space needed to be made for my husband to work from home. Life around us slowly grown to a halt. To maintain the family’s wellbeing during this time we started exploring our local area and going on lockdown walks. Life became so tough and strange for everybody and the future so uncertain that whilst on these walks I was reminded of a quote from my favourite artist, Georgia O’Keeffe –
When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world at that moment.
On our walks, I encouraged my family to lose themselves in the natural world around us, living for the moment (Fika) and this then became the inspiration for my lockdown walk prints.
During this time, I started to follow Clare from the Milk Shed Café on Instagram. She also has a love of Fika and living in the now, and I watched her build (literally) a new business, based around this ethos, in the toughest year possible, especially for catering. She also found me on Instagram and our shared passion connected us. We both have started on a new path in the hardest year and have found similar ways to stay positive. So, it is apt that my first solo exhibition in years will be the Milk Shed Café’s first exhibition of local artists’ work.
I will have a range of pieces on display, from July 7 until August 1. All prints will be for sale, with additional unframed pieces available too. So come and stop for a while, focus on the now and enjoy some amazing and quite frankly, addictive cakes and coffee whilst exploring my world of print. The Milk Shed Café is set amongst the trees, in the countryside just outside of Ipswich, a perfect place to find some peace.
After this, I have a new series of prints to start work on based on my passion to encourage everyone to stop and look at the amazing world all around them and to escape from the uncertainties of the future for a moment. And of course, we will be well into the summer holidays so I will continue being a mum. Clare is hoping to showcase more local artists which will be exciting to see.
The exhibition runs from today (July 7) until August 1 at the Milk Shed Café, Springvale Studio, Hadleigh Road, Sproughton, Suffolk, IP8 3AS. Clare Forrest, co-owner, adds: ‘When I first met with Karin I loved the fact her art is inspired from walks discovered during the many lockdowns and our joint ambition to pursue our passions which have ended up with us both launching businesses during a global pandemic.’ Visit Karin Klompe on Instagram