Former West End dancer Kerry Strammers Conway finds her passion for painting through her pregnancy. After 12 years of experience from well known stages around London’s musical theatres, she settles as a painter and illustrator.

After many years of dancing, practising and hard work, Kerry decided to have a baby, however when she got pregnant she was determined to commit to her performance. She continued dancing for months but when she grew too big she stepped down and began working in production.

Her creative imagination was flourishing and she started to go back to old habits, she picked up her brush again and started to paint; “I’m revisiting my childish instinct, painting with nature, reminded me of the freedom my imagination had as a child”

Kerry is holding her baby in one arm swinging up and down making him laugh, whilst we speak.

She has always been confident and strong in her body. However, to begin with the physical change was difficult, she couldn’t recognise herself in the mirror and was often asked if her career was over.

kerry conway strammer

“The physical change takes time so my colleagues tended to forget that I was pregnant and things could go on as normal,” says Kerry.

Slowing down gave her time to reflect on her achievements and re-opened new possibilities within herself. “Pregnancy is an achievement… your body is achieving something,”

Kerry’s style of painting explores the simplicity and beauty of nature.

This is how Kerry introduces one of her paintings;

“It represents the nesting instinct in pregnancy and the rediscovery of creative ‘playtime’. The nest is made up of the flowers from my own mothers garden where I grew up. An environment I hope to provide for my own child. Hidden amongst the foliage is an old tea set, it is like a prop from my childhood where stories and games were created”

When a child looks up and touches a tree noting interrupts them from their imagination, so it can go wild. It’s during this stage they discover themselves and the world around them. As an adult “playtime” and creativity often get overshadowed by the daily grind.

kerry stammersHer pregnancy reminded her to reopen and rediscover new possibilities in life. She started to let things happen more organically, taking each step as it comes, instead of her constant routine.

The internal process when you are creating a life inside of your body is a transformation that is hard to describe. She believes overcoming this phenomenon, that there is nothing you can’t achieve as a woman.

I hope my work will encourage children and adults to explore the outdoor forage and earthly treasures, and unleash their imagination to create their own stories and adventures.

ProCreate is a venture that makes it possible to explore this process more creatively.