Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Black Winkle Studio

Black Winkle Studio

Curious curios

Butterfly lady of Paris

Butterfly Lady of Paris

Wandering along the road to the cliffs at Rock A Nore, HOT’s Zelly Restorick passed by the open-now-and-again, Black Winkle Studio, where Peter Quinnell and his partner, local artist, Clare Fletcher work and create.  Both artists are illustrators, but what especially drew me in were Peter’s eccentric and quirky creations using toy figures and unusual objects to make amusing box-framed collages.

Quinnell Charity Shop Challenge

Front Row Fashion winner

Peter Quinnell, illustrator, fine artist, teacher at Sussex Coast College, creator with Radiator Arts, workshopper and two-time winner of the Front Row Fashions Charity Shop Challenge, moved to Hastings fifteen years ago.

His inspiration comes from ‘lots of stuff’, he says, assemblage and collage, making art out of recycled materials, musical instruments, woodwork and found objects, discovered at boot fairs, auctions, on the beach or the street.  Are you a bit of a rescuer, saving these old objects from destruction and the rubbish pile?, I asked.

‘I get a lot of enjoyment just from the object itself’, he said. ‘I like things that people have liked before, putting them into cases, like a museum piece. Protecting and preserving them. I’d like to have a museum in the future maybe, including all the things I’ve collected – all the over-looked objects and curios.’

How is Hastings in comparison to London?

Peter Quinnell

Peter Quinnell

‘London was expensive and dreary.  Here we’ve got the sea, very nice people – and it’s not driven by money so much here.  It’s a lot more real in comparison to London. Lots of artists and musicians, all doing different things, with lots of exhibitions.  Hastings is rich for creating with community groups.  It’s much more community based here than in London – and it’s a great place for trying things out and to experiment without the pressure of the money.



‘Hastings is affectionately known as Hoxton-on-Sea amongst the illustrators’ world.  There are loads of illustrators here – London colleges, such as Camberwell and The London College of Communication come here to take a look at what’s going on.’

More confirmation that Hastings and St Leonards are unique artistic eco-systems.

Practical Love

Practical Love

Seeing the Scrabble letter studio name above the door, I asked him if he is the mysterious Scrabble word artist whose work can be found around town?  He firmly denies this.

The Black Winkle Studio is open 12 times a year and can be used by other artists.

To see more of Peter’s work :

Email :

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Posted 08:01 Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 In: Arts News

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