I graduated in 1990 then did two years post grad specialising in painting and sculpture, my sculptures were awful and dangerous so I stuck to painting.
Then I was off hitch-hiking around Europe, trekking in South America and having a ball in South East Asia. I met so many exciting artists and learnt much. Lo Angel a painter, contemporary and friend of Andy Warhol in Cusco, let me help in his studio and told me tales of life in the Factory, an artist and architect in France took me to see carved troglodyte caves and showed me Picasso sketches he’d received in lieu of payment for a barn conversion- he kept them in a paper tube... I even tried traditional taxidermy methods with artisans on the floating reed villages of Lake Titicaca but was so ill afterwards, that I decided to stick with just painting.
I have worked in lots of galleries around the UK, honing skills in picture framing, marketing, events management and buying, but my favourite was Spectrum Gallery in Machynlleth working for artists Paul Martinez Frias and Pam Taylor, these really were golden days and I learnt so much including how to swear in Spanish, but not a decent grasp of Welsh, still learning – dipyn bach....
In 2007 I moved to Richmond and with Arts Council funding set up my business The Pop-Up Gallery. It ran from 2010-2018 taking artists, workshops and creative happenings to isolated areas of The Dales, running networking sessions, organising collaborations, project managing Art Festivals, Veterans’ Art Challenges, Art Trails and even a pop-up Sculpture Park, some more successful than others but all great fun.
Photo by: @adamj_photography
A Change of Direction
In 2014 I realised that I wasn’t painting as much as I wanted so shared a gallery space for a year in Ripon where I developed my ‘barn series’ in direct response to the change in planning laws of the local ‘Cow ‘husses’- cow houses the stone barns of the Yorkshire Dales. My intention was to paint a barn in every Dale, this is ongoing there are hundreds of Dales that I didn’t know about.
2016 saw another venture into Community Arts when as one of the Artists in Residence for North Yorkshire County Libraries, I revisited my time at a Veteran’s homeless unit and worked again at Older People’s housing units. Alongside actress and writer Irene Lofthouse we explored themes of identity and social history, producing modern day ‘icons’ celebrating the residents’ histories and stories.
This theme continued to be developed into the ‘Owd Lasses celebrating the glamour pusses of yesteryear as they live out their dotage, making sense of Modern Britain, silent-tutting at the youth of today, donning wrinkly stockings and reminiscing about their misspent youth behind the bike shed. Let's celebrate these feisty, sassy women whilst they are still around. Beware inspiration strikes in the most unlikely of places so one of these cantankerous, magnificent old dears’ could be based on you....
Then came Covid... exhibitions were cancelled, shielding became a thing and we upped sticks and moved to a smallholding in West Wales - a work in progress, but with a magical spirit only six miles to the most beautiful coastline, watch this space now I have swapped God's Own County for God's Own Country once again...Thanks for taking the time to look at my website always very much appreciated.
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