My art interest stems from childhood, but I didn’t receive formal training until my youngest child began school in 1988, when I took a part time BA (Hons) course in Fine Art and Critical Studies at Central St Martins, graduating in 1993.
There was a strong emphasis on integrating theory and practice on the FACS course. Students were encouraged to adopt socio/political themes and to find relevant placements. My area of interest was in the value of art in health care and I spent a placement year at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford.
Students were also encouraged to work in contemporary media, including photography, film, performance, installation and site-specific work. Until then, my practice had been painting and drawing, but I am a slow painter and I found diversifying interesting and valuable, often producing more immediate, more appropriate work to the project in hand.
Themes that interest me include health, the natural world, and concepts of the word ‘home’, including the homes of other creatures. My collection of shells, rocks, fossils and abandoned nests are a continuing source of inspiration. Subject matter can also occasionally arise from a dream, as in ‘Seabeds’, a pastel and ink drawing, in which the freedom of broad pastel strokes contrast with pen and ink detail. I try to work against a tendency to fine detail and find using pastels/charcoal large scale, especially helpful in this regard.
OAS, OVADA, WOA