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Lesley Whelan studied Art (Textiles) at Birmingham and currently works from a studio on The Canal Basin in Coventry
In 2003 she was invited to be Artist in Residence at Birmingham University’s Botanic Garden and since then has exhibited widely.

Her fascination with the colours, patterns and textures found in the natural world is evident in the work she is currently producing. She uses heat to distress the work surface giving a dramatic, highly textured and almost sculptural effect. She then adds light and colour by building up layers of paint, using colour in an arbitrary way to express mood and inject feelings.



I am a soft sculptor and Illustrator.

I work from my studio at home to produce sculpted textile toys called Naughty Monsters as well as zombie dolls and illustrations. I also produce props for commission.

I have lots of experience in teaching across the full primary range and many artistic disciplines. I love working with children and enjoy seeing them develop as artists. I build up good working relationships and work hard to creatively interpret the curriculum being taught. Recent work has included PPA cover in years 3 and 4.



My main interests lie in Creative Education and learning through investigative processes. I did my degree in Fine Art Painting and I specialise in mixed media using readily accessible materials that are often found around the home. I often bring this element into the many creative projects I have done with adults and children alike – making and creating with things that people have around them. I have worked in a variety of settings and with people of all ages.

Things that I love are my family, wonderful friends and the great outdoors.


Laura John Image

I am a passionate and outgoing young artist and I have recently joined the Real Art team! I am supporting art sessions in primary schools at the moment but am eager to learn as much as possible and take on more responsibility. I studied Fine Art at York St. John University where I developed a strong interest in Installation Art and Photography.

I enjoy experimenting using a range of materials to create pieces which the viewer can experience and engage with. I love discovering new ways of showing the audience a fresh perspective in art. I also enjoy culture, travel and spending time with family and friends.



I’ve recently joined the team and have been working in partnership with Lesley. My heart is in Early Years and learning through play, so many projects will involve getting messy (I trained as an Early Years teacher as a mature student)! I love to collaborate with others and come up with new ideas.

Art has aways been an important element in my life and I’ve recently taken up watercolours.  I believe creativity is in the heart of every child and is a means to discover and grow in self-esteem and self-worth. Success is not the finished article but the confidence built in the process.

I have worked in a variety of primary school settings across key stages. I am part of the Education Team at Brandon Marsh where I regularly lead groups in creative and investigative outdoor activities.

I love outdoor adventures, being hospitable and spending time with my family and friends.



Michael works as a freelancer in educational settings having worked for over 25 years as an art teacher. He enjoys running art workshops and painting murals as well as producing his own illustrations. He has experience of working with people of all ages who have a range of abilities and has recently been doing a series of workshops with Earlsdon Stroke Recovery Group

His illustration work includes visual storyboards for agencies and has recently been published in a group Comic Anthology for emerging comic illustrators.



I am an artist, teacher and art technician and I specialise in Fine Art, Photography, conceptual art and installations. I have experience teaching a variety of ages having delivered PPA cover and more bespoke projects too.  It has been great to track creative development, research different topics/artists and broaden the children’s understanding of Art. Teaching has brought many positive challenges and helped me to develop personally as an Artist and educator.

I live with my wife and two children in Coventry.



Brit is a designer with experience across a range of platforms and mediums.  Mainly a graphic and interior designer, she also has a background in fine art and a passion for all things craft.  She enjoys anything messy and abstract, with bright and bold colours.  She has experience working with educators and businesses to creatively develop and express their values and culture.



I have been working with the Real Art team for almost 4 years now working mainly in primary schools. It has been a rewarding time seeing children respond to new skills in art and understanding about artists whose work informs their own. I am excited when they express themselves and at how well they grasp the language of art. Engaging in quality provision at primary level enables children to have better access to aspects of culture and art in the future.

I have taught children and adults of all ages and in a variety of settings, including adults with learning difficulties. Prior to this, I was head of Art in a secondary school.



I am a friendly, versatile, hardworking and knowledgeable teacher of Art who can deliver all aspects of the Art curriculum up to ‘A’ level standard and beyond.  Alongside my Art qualifications, I also have certificates in welding, brazing and 2D CAD.  I am fully conversant with teaching workshop practice within the DT side of the subject.

I continually seek to improve myself professionally and actively strive to ensure that the pupils I teach receive an art education that motivates, stimulates and challenges. Beside the practical skills that I teach the children, I endeavour to build up an aesthetic appreciation of their work. I believe that it is fundamental that pupils from an early age know what a successful piece of work looks like, how to achieve it and how to overcome difficulties.

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