Rima Staines is an artist using paint, wood, word, music, animation, clock-making, puppetry and story to attempt to build a gate through the hedge that grows along the boundary between this world and that. Her gate-building has been a lifelong pursuit, and she hopes to have perhaps propped aside even one spiked loop of bramble (leaving a chink just big enough for a mud-kneeling, trusting eye to glimpse the beauty there beyond), before she goes through herself.
Rima was born in London in 1979 to a family of artists and has always been stubborn about living the things that make her heart sing. She lives in South Devon with Tom Hirons (a writer, storyteller, acupuncturist, poet & wilderness rites of passage guide), and their two young sons. Together they steer Hedgespoken - a vehicle for the imagination - a travelling offgrid home and theatre built on a 1966 Bedford truck.
Rima's artwork has appeared in and on books, magazines, and record covers on both sides of the Atlantic. For many years she maintained a passionately-followed blog at intothehermitage.blogspot.com and has sold paintings and prints of her work (as well as the clocks she makes) on her travels the length and breadth of Britain. Her work hangs on walls in six of the seven continents.
A former accordionista with the London Gypsy Orchestra, she can now be found playing by Devon’s street corners and campfires, and giving life to puppets on the edges of woods. She has books in the making, and also produces animations and puppets and obscure games in lost dialects.
Rima’s inspirations include the world and language of folktale; the faces of the people who pass her on the street; the folk music and art of Old Europe and beyond; peasant and nomadic living; magics of every feather; wilderness and plant-lore; the margins of thought, experience, community and spirituality; and the beauty there is to be found in otherness.