Parys Gardener

Parys Gardner

Parys Gardener is a multi-award-winning contemporary digital illustrator from Bristol who’s passion derives from creating artwork which represents women of colour – particularly Black women, empowering them to feel seen and heard.

She creates memorable work which can be described as pop art with a modern edge. Her work has been commissioned for a collaborative project with Banksy and her first solo exhibition was in Amsterdam in 2018/2019. She has been commissioned by brands such as Nike, Footlocker, Facebook, BBC, gal-dem and more.

She is a featured artist at Rising Arts Agency and sits on the board of trustees at Watershed. She is an advocate of paid work for young creatives.

She has been nominated for a Rise Award ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2019 and in 2019, Parys became the recipient of the Precious Lifestyle Award for Visual Artist of the Year. Parys frequently sits on panels, speaking on subjects such as her journey through the education system and the building of a brand both online and irl.



The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors


Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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