corbridge middle school, Louise Underwood, environmental,

‘Recipe for Hope’ – school environmental banners at the Great North Museum.


environmental banner, school banners, hanging,

‘Recipe for Hope’, banner drawing together the instructions from the school children addressing their active hope for our planets future.

Earlier this year, I was asked to work with the Great North Museum on a very large project working with ten schools across the North of England to design and paint eleven two metre sized banners which illustrated the young peoples deep concern for our planet and what we are doing to it. These banners are instructions for us to follow. The banners were to be a ‘Recipe for Hope’ for the future and to be hung in the museum whilst ‘Dippy’ the diplodocus skeleton was on display there as part of #dippyontour from the Natural History Museum .

whale shark, warkworth primary school,

Warkworth C of E Aided Primary School – ‘Respect our seas’.

The ‘Eco Club’ at Warkworth School, made up of children from Year 1-6, have worked very hard within their local community to challenge people to think about their use of plastic and the importance of recycling. The ‘Eco Club’ are worried about the effect irresponsible disposal of rubbish and an over-reliance on plastic is having on not just land animals but also creatures which live in the sea. Their banner illustrates ‘Life Below Sea’ and how the sea should be free from: pollution from rubbish and chemicals; over fishing which can affect biodiversity and the food chain; and the acidification of the water currently taking place.

The Warkworth School ‘Eco Club’ calls for us to “Look after the ocean”, “Respect our seas” and “Save our wonderful creatures”.

corbridge middle school, Louise Underwood, environmental,

Corbridge Middle School – ‘Clean, Respect, Care, Protect.’

Pupils from Corbridge Middle School are angry as “Humans have already reduced the number of animals on our planet by 60%”. They and future generations will suffer the consequences of this, along with other climate and environmental disasters if we don’t make big changes now. The pupils aged between 9 and 13 years wanted to use their banner design to raise issues which are part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 ‘Life On Land’. The goal includes: reforestation; halting the loss of biodiversity; preventing extinction and ending animal trafficking. To reverse these trends, we need to be living more sustainable lifestyles and reversing land degradation.

The pupils had a simple message: “Clean. Respect. Care. Protect” – “YOU can save the World.”

kielder wildlife, Louise Underwood, environment,

Kieder First School – ‘Enjoy the wildlife’

The children who attend Kielder First School live in an area of special scientific interest, home to over 50% of England’s Red Squirrel population., with Osprey and Roe Deer nearby. Besides conifers, Kielder Forest also has cherry, oak, beech, willow and birch trees. This woodland provides habitats for bugs in the ground layer; grasses, ferns, flowering plants and deer; through to smaller trees and shrubs; and birds and squirrel up in the canopy. This densely populated, biodiverse habitat can still be affected by weather changes, seasonal variance affecting food supply and even fly tipping! The young children were very aware of how easily their beautiful surroundings and the creatures that live there can be adversely affected by laziness and lack of respect for their beautiful countryside.

The children from Kielder First School were keen for everyone to remember to visit and “Enjoy the wildlife” but to “Put your rubbish in the bin” and “Look after the trees”, as they look after us and make a home for the wildlife.

montalbo primary school, Louise Underwood, environment,

Montalbo Primary School – ‘Enjoy the countryside’

Montalbo Primary School is close to the countryside with woodland, rivers, upland and moorland habitats. This brings rich diversity and natural beauty. But the children at the school realise that to maintain it, it needs to be protected and used. They are setting up an ‘Eco Club’ and working towards their ‘Green Flag Award’.

The design of their banner shows some of the many ways everyone can “Enjoy the countryside” as “Exercise makes you happy”. By looking after our natural habitats such as rivers, woodland and hills for walking, we can encourage tourism which will bring money to the area not just from visitors but it will also provide incentives for governments and individuals to keep these areas intact. The children regularly play football, ride horses, take picnics and visit the river; besides their physical health it also maintains their mental wellbeing.

The children from Year 3 at Montalbo Primary School want to remind us all to “Look after our World”, “Visit the countryside” and “Enjoy the fresh air.”

South Wellfield First School, Louise Underwood, environment

South Wellfield First School – ‘A small change can make a big difference.’

The children from South Wellfield First School live close to the coast and visit it regularly with their families and friends. A beautiful coastline encourages people to visit these areas, to spend time and money which helps the local economy. However, the children are keen to point out that to make this a fun and happy place to visit, our beaches need to be free from rubbish and our water clean from pollution. The design for their banner illustrates how they would like to see their local beaches and the sea to be: colourful, clean happy, healthy places for people and wildlife. The children point out that wildlife often mistakes plastic for food and each year millions of animals and birds die because of this. This should not be something that continues to happen in their, and their children’s, future.

The children from Year 4 of South Wellfield First School would like to point out that “A small change can make a big difference” so that all our lives can “Be greener and cleaner”.

St Bede's RC Primary School, Louise Underwood, environment,

St. Bede’s RC Primary School – ‘Less cars, more legs.’

Year 4 at St Bede’s have been learning about science and climate change by being involved in the Polar Explorer Programme and looking at the British Arctic Survey. Although their school has a concrete playground with no green spaces, they have been learning about how they can care and protect for their environment. Living in an urban area the children were very aware of the importance of small but very important things we can all do to help make our local environment a better, cleaner place for the benefit of everyone.

The design for St Bede’s banner draws upon the streets where they live and how they would like them to be: free from litter, with less pollution from traffic and more greenery.

They want to see “Litter free, happy streets.”

South Hylton Primary Academy, Louise Underwood, environment,

South Hylton Primary Academy – ‘Keep the planet green, not grey.’

Year 3 at South Hylton Primary School are very keen to share some of the very easy ways we can all “Care for the Earth” with their local community and all the visitors to the Great North Museum. The design for their banner reflects some of the things they have been thinking and talking about in school .

Some of the things Year 3 would like us all to try:
• Use a reusable water bottle.
• Always recycle.
• Buy Fairtrade.
• Take clothes to, and buy from, charity shops.
• Don’t use plastic straws.
• Don’t buy things with Palm Oil in.
• Use reusable bags.
• Reduce your food waste.

For the children’s future they say: “Keep the planet green not grey”.

Laurel Avenue Community Primary School, Louise Underwood, environment,

Laurel Avenue Community Primary School – ‘Happy environment, happy life.’

The residential streets around Laurel Avenue Primary School are all named after trees, which you can see to the rear of the school. The children are aware that although they live near Durham City centre, they can play an important part in helping with the habitats of the insects and birds that make urban areas their home. The children feel that having a space for the natural world all around us, no matter where we live, helps us all to feel happier and safer. The Year 5 and 6 children created a design for their banner which reflects the bright happy colours that nature brings us through butterflies, bees, ladybirds, the flowers they pollinate and which might even grow into fruit on the trees. The children had discovered that 9 out of 10 land plants rely on pollination from insects and that it is important to grow pollinator friendly plants and leave wilder patches for insects to hibernate and breed.

One of their motoes is “Happy Environment, Happy Life”.

St Mary's RC Primary School, Louise Underwood, environment

St Mary’s RC Primary School – ‘Tree-mendous!’

The children at St Mary’s Primary School live near to the busy A1 and the Metro Centre. This has encouraged them to embrace the benefits of trees and the natural environment which lies behind their school. They have become very aware of the negative side of being close to busy roads, with all the fumes and what that means for everyone’s health. The children have done lots of research over the last year about the benefits of trees and this has played a big part in their design for their banner.

They point out that:
• Neighbourhoods with few or no trees are more likely to have higher incidents of violence.
• Trees on shopping streets encourage people to slow down, allowing drivers to look at the shop fronts.
• Trees increase property values.
• Trees can be teachers and playmates.
• Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.

The children of St Mary’s say “Thumbs up for clean air” – “We love trees!”

Lowick and Holy Island C of E First Schools, Louise Underwood, environment,

Lowick and Holy Island C of E First Schools – ‘Keep colour in the world.’

The children of Lowick and Holy Island First School’s design for their banner focuses on how close they live to the sea. They understand the importance of keeping the beach and the unique area they live in clean from rubbish which might wash into the sea; to help with this they carry out a weekly beach clean. Their banner illustrates the two sites of their schools: coastal and lowland. The children feel that the natural beauty that surrounds them should not be taken for granted. Living where they do, concerns about the impact of sea level rises on this beautiful Northumberland coastline are an important consideration.

They wished to pass on the message that we should always remember to “Take our rubbish home” so that we can “Keep other animals safe” and “Keep colour in our World.”

The above photos show the projections within the #dippyontour exhibition using quotes from the pupils who worked on the ‘Recipe for hope’ banners.

Great North Museum, Louise Underwood, environment,

Showing some of the ‘Recipe for hope’ banners on display at the Great North Museum.

Dippy and the school ‘Recipe for hope’ banners will be on display at the Great North Museum until the 6th October, 2019. And if you would like to ‘have a go’ at designing your own family banner, here is a copy of the worksheet designed by the GNM for schools: Design an Eco Banner


New maps for Great North Museum’s interactive workshops


Recently, I was asked to make some additional pieces for the Great North Museum’s school interactive workshops collection. In the past I have made all sorts of weird and wonderful things for them including a full sized Egyptian mummy to be used to show the process of mummification, to a large Triceratops head, squirrels tails to run around the gallery in and large interactive map of South America to show the effects of deforestation.

ancient egypt, map, Louise Underwood, schools, interactive,

Large canvas map of Ancient Egypt.

I was asked to make replacement maps for the paper versions they had been using for sometime and continually needed replacing. The maps were to be for their workshops about Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. I choose to hand paint the maps on lovely, heavy cotton canvas which gives the appearance and texture of an old map. The maps were to be kept quite simple in design, as they were to be used with children from all Key Sages.

To ensure that the maps received the best care when used by school groups, I decided to finish them off as though they were a prized object from their ancient collection and finished them with a tie ribbon and a bag which looked and felt like it was made from soft suede. Hopefully, this will help to bring longevity to the pieces – as many of the pieces I have made for the GNM are now over 10 years old and been used by tens of thousands of school children.

map, canvas, Ancient Greece, schools, interactive, Louise Underwood,

Hand painted canvas map of Ancient Greece.

The Shipley Art Gallery Centenary Quilt, finished.

In 2016, I was asked to work on a lovely, large community project to help the Shipley Art Gallery celebrate their 100th Anniversary in 2017. The Shipley Art Gallery has a fabulous collection of the decorative arts and a very long, established link with the traditional technique of patchwork and quilting. Within their collection they have hundreds of hand quilted pieces, which have either been wholecloth designs or made using English Paper Piecing.

The project took over 9 months and was ready for the anniversary celebrations in November, 2017. We had over 100 patchworked squares made by members of the community, some local and few were posted from different part of the UK. The pieces which didn’t form part of the finished quilt (not because of quality as the standard of the finished, hand paper pieced squares was fantastic), have been made into pieces which can be used with schools, community groups and general visitors to help explain the process of hand paper piecing.

Quilt 5

Planning the final position of the patchwork squares for the centenary quilt.

Once all the squares were collected in and registered. A small group of people who had worked closely with the quilt over the last nine months, came together to help with the very tricky job of deciding where to place all the finished pieces. At this point, the paper templates were still in the back of the squares. Members of the group took a couple of rows away to join the individual squares together, then two rows together.

Quilt 6

Reverse of the centre panel for embroidering, with it’s paper templates still intact.

During this time, I worked on the centre panel, which was made up of cream and white self patterned ‘Grandmother’s garden’ hexagons, which would become the area to embroider the text upon. This section was then sewn into the middle of three rows of squares.

Quilt 3

Detail of the embroidery onto the central panel. The silk was hand dyed and hand spin by one of the members of the group.

Once all the rows and the central panel of the patchwork were sewn together, it was then placed, pinned and quilted to an organic cotton wadding centre and cotton backing. It took a long time to just pin the three layers together, accurately, as the quilt by this point was 200 cm by 220 cm.

Quilt 2

The finished patchwork ‘top’ being pinned to the organic cotton wadding and cotton backing, in preparation for hand quilting.

I decided to use a new tool, called a basting gun, which I bought from Cottonpatch to ‘pin/tack’ the three layers of the quilt together. A bit like the tools used in clothes shops to attach price labels to clothes, which can delicately keep the layers together but also quick and easy to remove. It made things much quicker and cut out the damage pins could do. It also allowed me to use a large hoop to quilt with, as it was too large for my frames.

Quilt 4

Binding the edge of the quilt.

The quilt needed to be finished a couple of weeks before the centenary celebrations, as it had to go in the large freezer at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. This is something which the museum and gallery service will regularly do with new items to their collection to ensure that no new contaminates are brought into their collection.

Throughout November 2017, there were lots of different events at the Shipley Art Gallery to celebrate it’s centenary and the quilt was at the centre of this. People from the local community including the women of the Jewish community, women from the local Syrian community, plus local craft groups, the Shipley Quilters and all those who had individually made a square, were invited to a lovely afternoon of celebrations at the Shipley.

Local Syrian ladies community group

Some of the women from the local Syrian community who worked on the quilt.

Quilt in situ 22.11.17

Finished Shipley Art Gallery Centenary Quilt on display.

The Shipley Art Gallery Centenary Quilt, 2017.

The Shipley Art Gallery Centenary Quilt, 2017.

New interactive pieces for The Sill, Northumberland.

The Sill, is a new landscape discovery centre in beautiful Northumberland, very close to many of the famous Roman sites along Hadrian’s Wall. The Sill helps visitors to look deeper into the landscape, culture, history and heritage of Northumberland.

View from The Sill roof

View from The Sill roof

Last year, whilst The Sill was still being built, I was asked by the Education Team to work with them on creating some interactive bags for schools and community groups to use whilst visiting their building and galleries.

Inside The Sill

Inside The Sill’s gallery, which explains many of the uses of the landscape, materials and habitats found in the area.

A large part of last year I spent working on the Shipley Art Galleries Centenary Quilt but as soon as that was finished, we started planning in more detail what interactive materials The Sill would benefit from first and how they would like them to look. So the first two interactive bags I worked on was the Moorland Curlew Bag and the Geology bag.

Curlew 1

Curlew Children’s mask

The Moorland Curlew bag was great fun to make. The bag itself is large enough to carry all the interactive pieces in plus room for teachers notes. I always find children love as much opportunity to dress up – so any chance to make wings and masks is great!

Curlew 2

Curlew wings, child size.

The Curlew bag also had a crochet nest, with eggs plus worms for the Curlew to eat!

Curlew eggs

Curlew nest and eggs.

Habitat bags always need a predator and what better than a fox – great fun for interactive role play!

Fox mask

Fox mask.

The Moorland Curlew bag itself had two sides, as the curlews nest in the moorland building their nests on the floor and they also spend their time at the seaside amongst the mudflats – which you may have seen, with their long, curled, distinctive beaks.

Using bags in the Sill

Moorland Curlew (mudflat side) and Geology bag being used at The Sill.

The geology bag looked at how the stone and the Whin Sill had been created over thousands of years. The bag itself illustrates very simply how the stratigraphic layers in the area have built up to create the landscape and stone in the area.

Geology bag strat layers

Geology bag cover, textile illustration of the stratigraphic layers in Northumberland.

To help illustrate to children visiting with schools and community groups, small textile panels were made to show how the local stone is used in Hadrian’s Wall, making roads, sandstone walls and limestone kilns.

This bag was also quilted so that rocks and stones, plus other materials could safely be placed inside.

Interactive 'stone' pieces

Four textile panels illustrating the use of stone in the area: top left – road building, top right – sandstone walls, bottom left – limestone kilns and how limestone enriches the ground and bottom right – Hadrian’s Wall.

These bags have now been delivered and I am now working on a ‘Dark Skies and Mythology’ bag plus a large, layered map which will be used up on the grassed roof, to assist discussions about how the landscape has changed over the last two thousand years.

Get involved! The Shipley Centenary Quilt Project

The Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear will this year be celebrating its 100th Anniversary, after being founded following a bequest by local solicitor Joseph Shipley (1822-1909). The gallery holds a beautiful collection of European Old Masters, to Victorian and more modern paintings. It now is also extremely well know and highly considered for its collection of decorative art including ceramics, textiles, wood, metal and glass by local and national makers. The Shipley Art Gallery has an amazing collection of whole cloth and patchwork quilts, which the North East has a long and strong tradition in making, either for private use or as a way of making money.

As part of the celebrations, I have been asked to work with and encourage creative people to work together to make a new patchwork quilt. As traditionally, patchwork would have been made using English Paper Piecing, this quilt will also follow in the tradition. To make this quilt, we need 100, 20 cm square (plus seam allowance) hand pieced panels.


Patchwork 7

One finished 20 cm square patchwork panel for the Shipley Centenary Quilt.


If you would like to get involved, the individual patchwork panels need to be returned by the end of August, either to myself or the Shipley Art Gallery. The finished patchwork quilt will be on display for the centenary celebrations towards the end of November. So, this allows a couple of months to piece all of the panels together and to quilt it.

Residency Day 6 – visit to Uppsala.

As part of my residency, I was keen to visit Uppsala where Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) lived, studied and worked. Linnaeus is famous throughout the world as the person who started using the classifying system in Latin for plants and later animals. Within my work for my residency at Bergby Konstcenter, I have incorporated the Latin names into my textiles, linking it to this part of Sweden.


Beautiful flowers found in Linnaeus’s garden.

The flower seen above, I have used since as part of my inspiration for the last sea creature I was to sew on my ‘Sea Juggernaut’ textile – which I shall blog about over the next day or so.

Uppsala is a very beautiful city, with a large cathedral and famous university. Like Stockholm and Norrtalje, we found it was also a city full of art, from public outdoor work to great galleries. In the Domkyrkan, Scandinavia’s largest cathedral, besides being the most beautiful stained glass windows, frescos and tapestries, there is also some beautifully simple pieces of modern art.



From the cathedral, we walked on (lots of walking today) to the fantastic Museum of Evolution, which is within the university area. It is very much a traditional museum, which holds a wonderful collection of dinosaur and early human fossils.


Bror Hjorths studio.

Our last visit was to Bror Hjorth’s house and studio. Bror Hjorth (1894-1968) was a mondernist painter and sculptor. He is considered to be one of Sweden’s greatest artists.  The museum we all found very exciting and inspiring.


Bror Hjorth’s studio.


Sculpture by Bror Hjorth in his garden.

Residency Day 4 at Bergby Konstcenter

Today I decided to visit Stockholm for the day, I had heard about a number of different places which would be really inspiring to visit. It is very straight forward to get to Stockholm from Bergby, the public transport in Sweden is very efficient (buses to Stockholm from Norrtälje every 10 minutes), clean and the roads are quick and quiet.


Public art on the underground platforms.

I had been told about the public art on some of the underground train lines, which we were keen to check out. From beautiful, tasteful tiles to war like caverns painted into the ‘stone’.


Snippets from Moderna Museet .

The main place I wanted to visit was the Moderna Museet, a gallery of 20th century art by some of the most prominent artists of that time, including a good collection of Picasso’s, work by Duchamp, Dali, Warhol, Bridget Riley, Man Ray etc. I was also delighted to see work by Judy Chicago and loved the work by Moki Cherry.


Rosie looking at the Moki Cherry collection.

Moki Cherry (1943-2009) is an artist who uses story telling in her work, which is often textile. She studied in Stockholm and became notorious in the 1970s art scene, with her husband Don who was a jazz musician. Her work has clear political overtones and she lived with a distinct blur between her life and art.


Crane decorated as a giraffe!

As I spend more time is this part of Sweden, I find that ‘art’can be found in so many places. Stockholm is a very beautiful city and to enjoy it’s architecture more, we took a river ferry. It was an absolute delight to see this large metal crane decorated to look like a giraffe! Maybe not an official piece of public art, but art all the same.

Residency Day 3 at Bergby Konstcenter

An early start down the studio this morning – in by 8 am. The ‘Sea Juggernaut’ piece I am working on is very labour intensive, very much  ‘slow art’. But I do enjoy spending hours beading and embroidering.


Beaded sea creature.

Later in the morning we went visiting some of the local coastline, islands and artists.


Albert Engström’s Art Studio

Possibly my favourite place so far is Albert Engström’s artists studio on the edge of the sea at Grisslehamn, which is only about a 5 minute drive from Bergby Konstcenter. It is now  a museum but you can see how the artist  (who I believe died in 1940) felt so inspired to work there. With a beautiful forest walk with glimpses of the sea through the trees, past the unusual optical telegraph communication hub – used in Sweden in the 18th and 19th centuries – then onto the sea. There is a beautiful little cove, with islands, sand and rocks to perch on.


Geoff and Violet sketching by the sea.

We moved on and drove around the islands up to Singö, travelling over pretty bridges, stopping at Singö church.


Singö church.

On our return to Bergby, we popped in to see a local artist whose gallery was open this week. Her gallery is called ‘Fru Strids’ ( I need to check the translation!) and her name is Kicki Jonsson. There was work by a sculptor called Annika Alm in bronze and carved stone. Violet was very taken with her work. Hopefully, Kicki is going to pop by when my exhibition will be on next week at Bergby, as she is a fellow textile artist working on intricate embroidery.



Entrance to Fru Struts gallery. 

About ‘obsesivcreativ’

Rupert Brooke poet

Hand and machine embroidered portrait of war poet Rupert Brooke

Louise is a Newcastle based textile and three dimensional artist making unique pieces, working with traditional north east techniques such as hooky and proggy matting, as well as spinning, quilting, patchwork, embroidery, felting, batik as well as upholstery and lino print.

William Morris

Hand and machine embroidered portrait of war poet Rupert Brooke

Louise is particularly influenced by nature and environmental issues. Inspiration and influences include the Arts and Crafts movement, costume of all eras (but particularly military, late C20 and theatrical), contemporary quilting and fibre arts in the US, subversive crafting and textiles.

AWAS chair 1

Hand and machine embroidered portrait of war poet Rupert Brooke

A constant maker, Louise sources materials from across the country. She is keen to react against mass production and uniformity.

Recently, Louise was very pleased to be involved in the exhibition of Grayson Perry’s ‘A Vanity of Small Differences’ at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Louise worked with local community groups to create three large textile wall hangings in response to his work, these hung alongside the exhibition.

'The First Aspirational Tea Party' made with young mums for Grayson Perry's  'The Vanity of Small Differences' exhibition in Sunderland.

‘The First Aspirational Tea Party’ made with young mums for Grayson Perry’s ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ exhibition in Sunderland.

Louise believes that passing on skills is very important and welcomes commissions involving school and community work, teaching textile crafts in formal and informal settings.

'All We Are Saying' blanket for Peace.

‘All We Are Saying’ blanket for Peace.

This year, with her family, Louise is heading to Sweden for a two week artists residency at the Bergby Konstcenter. The underlying theme for her residency is about the environment and she have come up with the working title of ‘Häxors Trosor’ for the residency. This is Swedish for ‘Witches Knickers’! This is a humorous term for the shreds of plastic bags stuck in trees and bushes which are such a common sight in our landscapes.  These are symbol of the sad condition of our planet, much of which is a result of a throw-away culture, with rubbish found dumped in beautiful landscapes, plastic floating in the seas and chemicals seeping into the planet’s ecosystems. Watch how the project develops here and on instagram.

Egyptian Book of the Dead

Egyptian Book of the Dead panel

Egyptian Book of the Dead panel

In the past I have made some very exciting pieces for the Great North Museum, Hancock, many of those linked to their Egyptian collection. To add to the interactive ‘Mummy’, the dressing up clothes and other pieces, I was recently asked to make a large textile panel which showed the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony – as the heart should be lighter than a feather to reach the afterlife – to be used in school workshops.

Decorative border and gods in place.

Decorative border and gods in place.

The panel shows the Egyptian gods Anubis, Ammut, Thoth and Horus. The panel was painted on fabric, to ensure it could be easily folded and was practical to use for school workshops.

Thoth and Horus.

Thoth and Horus.

When starting to research the different gods, how they were illustrated, the colours they wore, it was quite frustrating to see there was quite a lot of variation – they both have very distinctive faces but the design changes from tomb wall panel.

Thoth and Horus completed, detail.

Thoth and Horus completed, detail.

Anubis completed, detail.

Anubis completed, detail.

One the panel, was to be written in hieroglyphics a secret message from the museum’s Learning Team, for the school children to decode. Again from researching hieroglyphics, I have discovered there is also quite a lot of variation in the standard imagery used – but my 10 year old was able to decipher it last night without a crib sheet from what she remembered learning at school a couple of years ago, so I think the children will be fine!

Anubis and Ammut weighing the heart.

Anubis and Ammut weighing the heart.

Whenever I work on projects like this, I realise just how lucky I am to be able to get involved with such interesting and fascinating projects – for this to be my job!