I spent much of my early childhood in Germany and Africa – where I read every book on my parents’ shelves, loved the patterns and colours all round me and learned to make lino-cuts.
We returned to a dark rainy London where I detested school but was rescued by an inspirational, kindly art teacher, Meriel Cardew (wife of the potter Michael). I also had singing lessons at the Guildhall School of Music. I was torn between singing, writing and art!
However I was firmly steered away from these delights into an academic path by school and parents. Somehow I found myself a university lecturer on medieval French literature.
I continued to paint and pot and draw and finally turned to more or less full-time art in the mid-90s having first embarked on courses in Art and Design, Textiles and Ceramics at Newark College. There to my surprise I won a prize – which turned out to be a commission to create a mural (6’x24’) for a local firm. My City and Guilds design work was shortlisted for a medal. My first solo show soon followed and I have been exhibiting and selling work ever since.
Colour is vital to me. I use paints, inks, dyes and pure pigments to build up intense and glowing but (I hope) subtle colours. Many of my pieces are made on my own hand-cast cotton paper which offers a seductive texture to work on and can be moulded and manipulated.
I constantly experiment with materials and techniques, juxtaposing throwaway or reclaimed materials with costly ones such as pure pigments and gold and silver leaf. I often make art out of, or about, things other people throw away – the detritus of life. So long as it doesn’t rot, fade or rub off I’ll consider it.
I’ve shown work all over the UK and have had numerous solo exhibitions in private and public galleries, especially in the North and Midlands where I lived for many years. I’ve done commissions, workshops and projects and talks. I’ve also helped to run Open Studio schemes and now take part in the Brighton and other festivals and regularly show work at the Affordable Art Fairs. My work is in private and public collections in the UK, France, Germany, US and Tasmania.
My studio is at The Wolf at the Door in Hove.
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