My inspiration comes from a daily connection with the cyclical rhythms of the natural world. Working across sculpture, painting and glass fusion in my studio at home in south east Kent, I record the patterns of growth and decay, flowering and fruiting, birth and death, and explore how these patterns express themselves through the delights, tragedies and idiosyncrasies of human life. Oscillating between figurative and abstract, and using whichever materials I feel best suited to articulate sometimes complex ideas, I follow these connecting threads as they weave themselves between real and imaginary worlds.
Westenhanger, Near Hythe, Folkestone, England, United Kingdom, CT21 4HT
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I create biomorphic sculptures in various media, including fused glass. I also make fused glass panels, and more recently I have also begun painting, initially life studies but now becoming more experimental. My work is predominantly abstract, but sometimes veers into being more representational. I am interested in the cyclical rhythms of nature and how they influence our lives as human beings. So I work in both 2 and 3 dimensions, using whatever materials feel best suited to convey my ideas.
My family background was post war working class, and distinctly lacking any artistic experience. I don't recall having a single picture on the wall! But I always loved painting and drawing, and spent many years as a frustrated artist while earning my living in the corporate world. About 20 years ago I was lucky enough to be offered voluntary redundancy, and this enabled me to pursue my artistic dreams. I took Art 'A' level with Adult Ed. and my brilliant tutor there encouraged me to continue my studies. I took a BA (hons) in Fine Art, specialising in sculpture, which took 6 years as I did it part time. I then discovered the joys of glass fusion and am now very happily living the Art Life - continually learning and discovering new and fascinating things.
An actress! I was quite a shy child, and I liked the opportunity to legitimately pretend to be someone else.
As you can see above, it was a hobby for many years. Even now I can scarcely believe I am lucky enough to spend my life creating my art, and meeting so many wonderfully creative people
Observing nature - the changing seasons, the cycle of birth, blossoming, decay, rebirth - that's a very strong trigger. But also how it all affects us as human beings, influencing our moods and feelings. I think my art enables me to express things that I struggle to articulate. All I know is that my fingers itch to be handling my materials.
I never start a piece of work with a clear idea of how it will end up. So I really like the journey until I know that it is finished and complete. I like to think my work is unusual enough to provoke a reaction in a viewer, whether they love it or hate it!
I've been lucky enough to have a couple of exhibitions in a really good gallery. Both times, my work was well received there, it sold well and I had several commissions leading on from it.
I made a small glass piece on the theme of goodbye. The lady who purchased it was visibly moved by it and said it completely conveyed the heavy, sick feeling of sorrow we feel when parting from someone who is deeply loved.
I am experimenting with making one off fused and slumped glass sculptures. It's quite technically challenging but very exciting.
An absolute dream would be for a prestigious gallery to invite me to create a body of work for a solo exhibition.
Goya for the way he portrayed human life. Egon Schiele for his extraordinary life studies. Magdalena Abakanowicz for creating such powerful and beautiful work under such difficult circumstances. Picasso for everything ...
I found 'A World History Of Art' by Hugh Honour & John Fleming very interesting and informative. So much of it was new to me. But I was pretty ignorant and uninformed when I first read it, so possibly a lot of people already know a lot of it already...
Being in my studio and workshop when things are going really well...
Having wonderful conversations about art and life, with old friends and new acquaintances ...
Relaxed and happy eating wonderful food and drinking delicious wine with dear friends and beloved family...
Just do it!
I appreciate I have been very lucky with the way my life has developed and the opportunities I have been able to take. I wish everyone else some of my good fortune.