Zoe Francis Spowage & Rufus Newell

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Sharing a love of drawing, we use our environments to inspire and inform our work. Rufus is influenced by the historic sculptures and artefacts from his workplace,( the Hepworth museum and art gallery) and sketches there daily. He then takes this to the studio to enlarge and develop them into colourful and expressive paintings.

This is an approach we would intend to apply in ComPeung, to independently draw every day and then explore ways in which we can combine our work to produce a variety of pieces. We imagine fashioning shapes and forms using cheap and natural materials, decoratively painting onto them with imagery collected from walks and visits to cultural spots.
We are keen for local traditions and techniques in the decorative and religious arts to broaden our knowledge and use of materials. Our aim is to be open and inquisitive through exposure to the Thai culture and local community.

As you know I am the daughter of Diana Shepherd, who is undertaking a residency with us now. We have worked together creatively since I was a young girl and I will be assisting her throughout her year of drawing in different venues. The personal significance and nature of this union excites us enormously and, on top of what we have already proposed, the potential for the trip is huge and unknown.

Rufus and I were extremely taken by the descriptions of daily life and the compassionate ethos of ComPeung and its culture. We would want to fully utilise the outdoor space, that is one thing rarely afforded to us in the north of England. Being contemplative and studious artists, ComPeung’s peaceful principles would allow us the space physically and mentally to develop ourselves as artists.

The ComPeung residency would follow two months at the Cyprus College of Art, we will be applying for Arts Council Funding for our project which includes both trips if sucessful. For us this is a way to see and experience the world as emerging artists.


Zoe Francis Spowage, April 2016



We are Leeds based artists, sharing studio space and embarking upon a year of collaborative painting , mixed media and sculpture.

Together we aim to undertake a number of international residencies which will include exhibitions , installations and workshops.

Our shared interests include the exploration of painting through both traditional and contemporary practice.
We believe that the experience of working collaboratively whilst also immersing ourselves in other cultures will develop our work greatly and be highly influential towards our future work both independently and as a partnership.

After graduating from Falmouth School of Art, I was awarded a residency in an old Burtons shop in Nottingham, I used the space as my workspace and also as a platform for an nine month Arts Council funded project. I have worked as a Scenic Painter for four years, working on plays in the West End and Broadway learning an invaluable amount about painting and carpentry. This rich theatre work has informed my practice and propelled my practical skills.


Rufus Newell graduated from Leeds Collage of Art in 2013 and now works at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, delivering creative workshops to families and school groups. Rufus has recently been awarded a bursary for his first solo show in June this summer.

We are part of an artist collective called Precious along with four other artists, in which we have had an introduction into working together on commissioned creative projects. These include the interior design and realisation of a boarding room in Art Hostel Leeds, live art performances at Tetley Garden Party and various group exhibitions.