Although born in Wiltshire, almost all of my academic education took place locally in Sussex, including sixth form college, and a foundation year at Worthing Art College.
At school I was probably what was called a good ‘all rounder.’ I was deputy head girl, sports captain for my house and my best subjects were Maths and Physics, however I also had a natural gift for art, being awarded the Arts Cup and taking my A level at 16. I studied at Cardiff gaining a B.A. in Fine Arts in 1986, and later a P.G.C.E at Manchester University in 2003.
My work is concerned with the variety of different possible connections at any given moment and is based around the female experience. Jungian psychology, hermetic philosophy and quantum theory are areas of greatest inspiration to me.
As a child I was influenced by the Impressionists and Post Impressionists. Later Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio and Rubens. As an adult it is all the environmental influences we have around us and live with on a changing daily basis, the hugely constant awareness of all that it creates which I absorb, and which inspire me.
Prior to doing my P.G.C.E. I travelled extensively, spending two long periods staying and working in a Kibbutz. One of my jobs was to help to bring in the cows at three a.m. As it was Haifa near the border to the Lebabnon we were accompanied with rifle carrying guards ‘in case of trouble:’ Necessary but not necessarily reassuring. Whilst travelling through many European countries I was greatly influenced by the aforementioned painters, being able to view many of the Masters work at first hand, with a growing sense of awe that began in those times, and has never left me.
Besides being able to feast my eyes on all that was available for me to see, it was by no means a comfortable existence, doing copies of the work I had been viewing on the pavement outside some of the galleries, hoping I would have enough ‘tips’ to buy food at the end of the day. Often sleeping rough – railway waiting rooms, or under bridges in order to avoid the trauma of being ‘moved on’ by the local police in the middle of the night, or worse being taken to the local police station as a vagrant. All of the personal experiences whilst travelling – not all of them pleasant or remotely acceptable – have helped to focus on what is essential to me in my work in the present day.
My work has always been predominantly figurative. I have a depth of experience of many roles in a life class, observer, observed and observing having also been a life model for about ten years, in and around being a practising professional artist and teacher. I use all media and materials, with a special place for the exceptional Two Rivers handmade paper.
There are three ways that I make sense of my experience through my work:
I keep sketchbooks, doing a daily drawing is a discipline, as is monthly life drawing. Although it is observational, through empathy with the subject matter I also gain energy which I can put into the work with compassion, within the present moment, which is priceless and essential for an artist.
Always I look to access deeper levels of the unconscious through doodling and dreams, a bit like diving for pearls! I can understand more consciously once the visual language has risen to the surface and then develop it further as I see fit. I attempt to combine these specifics to make my reality tangible through art.
Art has always been the centre of my life, always will be precious to me, and is the very essence of my life and all that it embraces.
I am available for commissions: Working together to help you remember special times in the authentic and unique way only Art can provide.