Griselda Mussett was born in London. She was a broadcaster (BBC, Anglia TV) and then a teacher and lecturer, and then an environmental campaigner (founding the Friends of Brockwell Park, the Friends of Faversham Creek, and the Faversham Creek Trust).
Her artwork is wide-ranging and reflects her passionate love of the land and natural places, as well as her abiding interest in the human body and how people move and interact. Street-scape and buildings are another area of concentration.
I am a visual artist and writer, and community activist especially thinking about the environment.
A Londoner, oldest of 4 children, born into an unconventional rather bohemian and engineering family.
I had no idea. I imagined being a mother, but otherwise had no idea how to become a grown-up. That confusion lasted a very long time. But eventually I joined the BBC in a very loosely specified job, which was useful to me.
I went to art galleries, specifically Kenwood House (Rembrandt, Gainsborough), and the National Gallery and British Museum and looked at the collections.
Once I had retired, and found I was living in a very active artistic community (Faversham) I thought it was ‘now or never’… time for me to start learning about becoming an artist in my own right.
I have always drawn, and been interested in design… But I went to some local classes, started asking questions, bought materials, enrolled in online art workshops and f-2-f groups. Everything started to consolidate.
I seem to have a nonstop flow of ideas, though in execution they often fail lamentably in my own eyes. It is really useful working in groups, or with teams of other people, fellow students or practitioners.
That I made it. That it answers some of my questions. That it baffles some people.
My exhibition in the summer of 2022 – the Cancer and Chemo show, of pastel paintings and selfies. It seems extraordinary to me that I could produce such a coherent and powerful body of work in such a short space of time, totally non-verbal.
People cried when they came in to see the Cancer Art Show. It raised quite a lot of money for cancer charities, and I was invited to bring the whole show to St Christopher’s Hospice in London later this year for 3 months.
I feel very confident the next series of paintings will be strong. Doubts which held me back in the past seem to have melted away. I don’t know if the work will mean anything much to anyone else but I know it will for me.
To see a civic art gallery open in Faversham – maybe partly convert the parish church building, or build on top of the Public Library. Personally I want to start making much bigger paintings, and I also have an idea in mind for a series of bronze cast statues.
Visual artists: Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Cindy Sherman, Tracie Peisley. Writers, mathematicians: Jane Smiley, Carol Shields, Katherine Johnson.
Too many to mention.
Peaceful sunlight, laughter, meals with friends, being recognised without fuss.
Don’t take responsibility for other people’s problems. Be kind. Learn to relax. You get to big by starting small.
Finding your community is the best possible thing to do. Then you’re not on your own.
Faversham ME13, , Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom, ME13
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