Studio Outings #1 -what I do and how I can help you to think more creatively.

Studio Outings is a new concept in exhibiting that I’ve been building up to over the last couple of years. I’ve been trying to find the thread that joins everything together. Ever since I began making art, I have been interested in what allows us to do it, what is hard about it, what is easy? Many of us think we are no good at it, or believe only some people are good at it. I began making art as an adult in an old church in Naenae, where I built myself a studio space in which I decided everything was allowed. All feelings, all expression, all attempts. This felt like the only way I could carve out enough space to just try things out, fail, and try again. So began my explorations into creative practice.

Since then, I have made all sorts of things, some of which I love, and some of which really challenge me! But they all come from my experiences, my body, and what I am capable of that day, with the resources I have. So my job as an artist is to let them come through, and work to accept them, just the way they are.

So I’ve begun to think of creative practice as a combination of learning skills, but more importantly, creating safe and encouraging space for whatever comes out, and then getting to know it.

This is the sentence I came up with:


When I say I’m an artist, people often say “Oh how lovely!” Like it’s a really pleasurable, relaxing thing to do. And sometimes it is! But lots of times it’s a battle against all the voices that have told us that what we are making isn’t good enough, doesn’t look how it’s supposed to, or like everyone else’s work. But what if what you have to say is valuable, just because it’s your own unique way of seeing and saying it? If only we could get it out, past the inner critic /s.

The way I make things is playful, experimental. I try my best to loosen up, to be curious and not fearful, to see what is here, to engage with materials, people, stories and spaces. The things I make are often complex, interwoven, and ‘messy’. This is how I experience the world, as lots of things that are all true at once. I try to put those things together on the same page, in acknowledgement that life is complex, messy and beautiful.

Studio Outings is a format where I regularly invite you in, to see how I make things, and how I work to facilitate other peoples’ creative ways of thinking and making things too:

I want to share the work I make, and I hear from people how much they love living with it. One recent buyer shard how she sees her piece as the space between dream and reality, and lies in bed gazing at it, reflecting on the softness and mystery there.

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So Studio Outings will continue to exhibit my work, with opportunities to buy pieces to live with. I’m collaborating on this with the wonderful Margie Beattie, who is helping me to connect my work with people who’d like to adopt a piece.

email Margie talking

Studio Outings also offer opportunities to get closer, with this one including visits up to my work space, which people really enjoyed!

I want to share not just the art I make, but also the methods I use, and what I’ve learnt about how to think creatively. I mapped out the story of everything I do, including classes, team building, storytelling, and service design.

email Sian with stand

Here’s some of what people say about engaging with the methods I share:

“You are teaching us to be able to deal with change.”

Workshop participant


“We Don’t Have To Be the Building has been a reflective and cathartic experience which has given voice to those who were, and often still are, silenced.” Project participant

Courtenay Place Light Boxes Sian Torrington We don’t have to be the building
Courtenay Place Light Boxes Sian Torrington We don’t have to be the building

“As policy makers we often don’t see the people we make policy for. You have really brought their stories to life, bringing them into the room. It’s challenging to see them, and we need this challenge, we need to see them.” Ministry for Primary Industries

What I have learnt in over a decade of creative practice, community engagement, teaching, and sharing people’s stories through workshops, drawing, and public art, is that it’s hard to find out and express what we think, feel and experience. But only by doing so, can we create the kind of workplaces, homes, and society that we want to live in. We have to be able to hear each other, have empathy, and figure things out with everyone’s voices being heard. I can help with that!

The next Studio Outing is in July, and focuses on classes, but in the meantime, talk to me about how I can work with you!

Book me for:

Telling stories with impact using context specific language, and visual elements drawn directly from the people whose stories you need to tell.

Team building that builds strong connections across your whole team.

Capability building workshops in customer centric thinking, design thinking and problem solving.

Service design that finds and fixes the real problems.

Customer consultation through empathy interviews and community engagement, bringing you insights that will help you work more effectively.

Find out more about my classes here:

Upcoming Classes

And here’s my LinkedIn profile:

LinkedIn for more info


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