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I’m a painter: I exhibit regularly and have work in museums and private collections. I completed my MA in Fine Art as a mature student at Middlesex University in 2006, and also have a degree in Education. In September 2016, I moved from London to Kessingland, a small beach village in Suffolk.
Over the last few months, during the Coronavirus lock-down, I’ve had a chance to think about my art practice and life, and what is important in the great scheme of things.
This compulsory time has made me slow down completely to a pace I have never experienced before. I’m still learning about how to live in this “new normal”, but I’m relishing the concept of “slow time” and living much more in the moment. I’m drawn now to simpler things, such as how the light falls on the garden at different times of the day. I’ve become very attached to my garden studio, where I can watch the weather change and light reflecting.
All my paintings tend to be about the inner and outer world, and my mind has focused on positive memories. As a consequence, it has gained bold, free use of colour, optimism and hope – which has surprised me, as I thought the dark and bleak images I produced at the beginning of Covid-19 would persist. Hopefully, in planning work for “Moving On”, an upcoming group exhibition to be held with Easterly Artists in June 2021, my palette will become still lighter and brighter.
My language is painting. There’s something primal about it. It’s innate, the need to make marks. That’s why, when you’re a child, you scribble. The mark making has become more spontaneous and I’m able to return to a painting and not completely overpaint, but record painting time, with layers of drawing and marks. The contradiction of a painting on top of a painting replicates the slippage we have between the real world and the visual world. It’s about the memory of the pictures I have, at my disposal: millions of memories of sights, sounds and experiences on which to concentrate and paint.
The most difficult issue will be not to focus too consciously, but to let things just evolve. This time I must just let the paint dictate – another phrase I once used which, at the time, was quite meaningless, but which now I’m beginning to understand.
My early years were spent in South Wales, where the landscape and people made a great impression on my visual memory. It was an unstable world: grimy steel industry, pit closures, accidents and the threat of the Cold War. Overwhelming natural beauty and a pitiless, wind-and-rain-scoured grandeur formed the context of my early life.
My paintings don’t seek to be a representation. The image is drawn from the inconsistency of memory and the limits of imagination. The elusive world within memory is where particles of life disperse and cluster: a world where time is understood not as a linear narrative, but rather as a simultaneous bombardment of sensory perceptions. For me, what is particular to painting – for example: time taken, layering, the evidence of the body which made the marks – is the form of mediation which makes possible an investigation of the affective aspects of these issues, in clear dialogue with the theoretical.
For me, it’s not possible to separate the manner of the technique from the emotional impact I want to project through the content of my work. My interest is in the convergence of the figurative and the abstract, and in evoking a feeling from the past through the painting process.
- MA Fine Art, Middlesex University
- BA Fine Art, Byam Shaw, London
- Foundation, Bournville, Birmingham
- Sept 2020 – Selected Group: “Hidden Nature”, Easterly Artists virtual exhibition
- May 2020 – Selected Group: “In Isolation”, Easterly Artists virtual exhibition
- Nov 2019 – Selected Group: The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk
- Oct 2019 – Selected Group: “People Power”, Easterly Artists pop-up gallery, Lowestoft
- April-May 2019 – Selected Group: Easterly Artists pop-up gallery, Britten Centre, Lowestoft
- Nov 2018 – Selected Group: The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk
- Feb-March 2018 – Selected Group: “Change”, Fisher Gallery, Bungay
- Dec 2017 – Selected Group: The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk
- March 2016 – Selected Group: “Breath of Nature”, Boundary Art, Cardiff
- Sept–Nov 2016 – Selected Group: “Autumn”, Boundary Arts, Cardiff Bay
- July 2015 – Selected Group: “Summer Show”, Abergavenny Art Shop & Gallery
- March–May 2015 – Selected Group: “Breath of Nature”, Boundary Arts, Cardiff Bay
- April 2015 – Selected Group: “Y Not”, Espacio Gallery, London
- Nov 2014-Jan 2015 – Selected Group: “Borders”, Bernard Weatheril House, Croydon
- Oct 2013-Dec 2014 – Selected Group: Brynmawr Heritage Festival, Wales
- June 2013 – Selected Group: “Feminist Times”, Online
- March 2012 – Selected Group: “It Is Green”, Cultivate Gallery, Vyner St, London
- July 2011 – Selected Group: “Oh Open”, People & Portraiture, Bethnal Green
- June 2011 – Selected Group: Show curated by June Frickleton, Kings Hill, Kent
- March 2010 – Selected Group: “BRICK”, The Gallery in Redchurch Street, London
- August 2009 – Selected: Cork Street Open, Cork Street, London W1
- May 2009 – Selected Group: “CRAC”, Hackney Empire, London E8
- June 2008 – Selected Group: Show curated by June Frickleton, DMH, London
- April 2008 – Selected: “Artandaid”, Red Cross Exhibition, The Hague
- July 2007 – Selected: “Barnet Open”, Artsdepot, London N12
- March 2007 – Selected Group: “New Art”, Birmingham
- March 2007 – Selected Group: “Women’s Work”, Arts Centre, Basingstoke
- February 2007 – Selected Group: Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
- March 2020 – “Pit Girls – Forgotten Women”, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil
- Oct 2014-Jan 2016 – “Landscape and Memory”, London Psychotherapy Centre, London
- July-August 2010 – “Sanctuary”, Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London
- Sept 2009 – “Figures in a World”, London Psychotherapy Centre, London
- Oct-Dec 2008 – “Change”, Cloisters, Pump Court, Inner Temple, London
- April 2007 – “What Lies Beneath”, Pittstudio & Gallery, Worcester
- Nov 2007-15 – Chocolate Factory Open Studio, London
- June 2017-19 – Suffolk Open Studios, Kessingland