I was born in southeast London in 1951 and moved with my parents to Cheltenham in 1960. I studied Art and Education at LSU in Southampton from 1969-1972. After completion of my studies I worked as a primary school teacher coordinating Art at schools in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Swindon and latterly, again in Cheltenham, at St Thomas More’s School. I have been a member of the Wilton Art Group since 1997, and have exhibited at their annual show in Cheltenham since 2007. My work is held in private collections across the UK. My Art, family and faith are the fabric and texture of my life – inextricably interwoven. More recently I have been able to focus fully on my Art, fulfilling a life-long ambition.
I have a passion for collage born out of my keen sense for the surreal – a constant feature since my early studies. With Dali and the psychologist Carl Jung as crucial influences on my outlook and Art, I use the juxtaposition of images as a way of communicating my emotional response to places and things.
Collage suits the organic nature of my method of working. Inspiration might come from a building or a ruin – something that sparks a sense of discovery. I love old buildings – imbued with history and a feeling of what has gone ‘before’ – they can sometimes elicit overwhelming emotion that feeds and generates my artistic response. The unusual beauty of things that are falling down or in decay can speak deeply of the joy of what has passed or the anticipation of resurrection. I use photographs and mixed media, often fragments of images, to develop a piece which grows naturally out of my personal view and experience of a place. These images of things which have their own reality and message in their own time, resonate with our own experience and feeling in the ‘here and now’. These fragments, strangely familiar, can appear like magical mirrors where we glimpse our own future.
My Art is developmental, extending existing skills (such as ceramics) and at the same time exploring new means of expression. Collagraphic techniques – in building and overlaying images and materials – enable me to adopt an evolutionary approach to the artistic production process. I am particularly keen to ensure my work is shared as widely as possible through innovative use of social media and the publication of limited edition prints.
Recently I have been exploring my roots in the west of Ireland (my father was born in County Limerick). This has given me a new perspective, in appreciating how my origins, my interests and passions, and my love for family inspires my Art – creating a picture of their own that I am now beginning to see…as if for the first time.